Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

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Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork is one of my go-to dinner recipes. We eat pulled pork on its own, in sandwiches, stuffed into tacos, piled on nachos, stacked with enchiladas, and last but most certainly not least, layered into BBQ Sundaes!

There is almost no way to go wrong making a batch of pulled pork and there are countless ways to serve it.

Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

This Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork was one of the first recipes I shared here on the blog and it was an instant favorite.

The recipe is quite simple and does beautifully when left alone all day in the Crock-Pot. The house smells pretty amazing when dinnertime rolls around.

I shot the video for this recipe a couple of days ago when I was making it in the pressure cooker. The method is the exact same for slow-cooker (Crock-Pot) or pressure-cooker (stovetop or instant pot), the times are simply different.

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

What makes this recipe so delicious? There are a lot of factors at play in this super easy pork recipe but my favorite is that it has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

The brown sugar and apple cider vinegar work beautifully together, highlighted by mustard and spices, to create one of the tastiest BBQ pork recipes I’ve tried. You have to taste it for yourself to understand how good it is.

There’s a reason that everyone loves this pork!

Pulled Pork Recipe

Rinse and pat dry the pork roast to prepare it for cooking. Place onions in the slow-cooker or pressure cooker. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly.

Rub the brown sugar and spice mixture all over the roast and place the roast on top of the onions.

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper; whisk to combine. Pour over roast.

Cover the pork in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours, adding about 30-40 minutes for each additional pound if you’re multiplying the recipe.

Shred with the cooked meat with tongs and let the shredded meat rest in the liquids.

Brown Sugar, plenty of spices, and apple cider vinegar work together to create the perfect slow cooker pulled pork.

How to Make Pulled Pork in the Crock-Pot

 

How to Make Pulled Pork in the Pressure Cooker

Seal the pressure cooker and cook the roast on high for 60-90 minutes. Check to see if it is shreddable. If the pulled pork is not yet at the desired done-ness, cook an additional 30-40 minutes as needed.

Shred with tongs and make sure meat is well mixed with the liquid when finished cooking.

Serve warm on your favorite rolls, stuffed into tortillas, piled on nachos, or anywhere else you love pulled pork. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

  • When I made this BBQ pulled pork in the instant pot, the cooking time was 90 minutes. Others who have tried it in the stove-top pressure cooker have told me it takes less time. If you’re using a stovetop cooker, start with 60 minutes and check the pork to see if it’s shreddable before continuing to cook for additional time as needed.
  • Pork shoulder, picnic roast, pork butt, or even sirloin tip roasts will all work well for this recipe. Bone-in or boneless roasts both work fine.
  • This recipe doubles nicely. (The video illustrates a doubled recipe in the pressure cooker.) Add 1-2 hours cooking time for the crock-pot and an additional 30-40 minutes cooking time for the pressure cooker.

Tender, juicy, pulled pork in the slow cooker

Pulled Pork Freezer Meal

Pulled Pork makes a fantastic freezer meal to make in advance. Once the meat is cooked and shredded, let it cool completely.

Then store it in an airtight bag. Let the pulled pork thaw completely in the refrigerator prior to reheating.

More Pulled Pork Recipes

This Sweet and Tangy BBQ Pulled Pork is one of my most frequently made pulled pork recipes, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing with tons of others over the years.

When your family loves pulled pork as much as mine, you can never have enough variations on this easy and versatile meal.

Pulled Pork Carnitas make a Mexican dinner extra tasty, not to mention easy! You’re going to love Pulled Pork Taquitos with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce and Crock-Pot Mexican Pork and Baked Taquitos.

You may have gathered that I have an affinity for Mexican and southwestern inspired dishes by now. I combined my love of good BBQ with my love of southwestern flavors in this Crock-Pot Green Chile Pulled Pork.

Love sweet and sour flavors together? Next, give this Sweet and Sour Pork a try.

Leftover pulled work is amazing served for breakfast the next day, too. My kids love whenever I make Pulled Pork Breakfast Wraps in the morning!

Coleslaw is required for the ultimate pulled pork sandwich

Kitchen Tip: I use this slow cooker and these tongs to make this recipe.

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder, picnic roast, pork butt, or even sirloin tip roasts will all work well for this recipe. Bone-in or boneless roasts both work fine. For what it’s worth, I almost always triple this recipe when I make it.

Leftover pulled pork is pretty much my favorite leftover – as all of the recipes I’ve linked here will attest.

This recipe multiplies nicely. (The above video illustrates a doubled recipe in the pressure cooker.) For a doubled or tripled recipe, add 1-2 hours cooking time for the crock-pot and an additional 30-40 minutes cooking time for the pressure cooker.

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Coleslaw is required for the ultimate pulled pork sandwich

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

5 from 3 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to My Baking Addiction
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 pound pork roast
  • 1 small onion sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse and pat dry the pork roast. Place onions in the slow-cooker or pressure cooker. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. Rub mixture all over roast and place the roast on top of the onions.
  • In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt and cayenne pepper; whisk to combine. Pour over roast.
  • CROCK-POT DIRECTIONS: Cover the pork in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours, adding about 30-40 minutes for each additional pound if you're multiplying the recipe. Shred with tongs and allow the shredded pork to rest in the cooking liquids until ready to serve. Serve warm on your favorite rolls.
  • PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS: Seal the pressure cooker; cook on high for 60-90 minutes, (The cooking time is 90 minutes for the Insta-Pot, but I've been told that it requires less time for a stove-top pressure cooker.) check to see if it is shreddable. Cook an additional 30-40 minutes as needed. Shred with tongs and allow the shredded pork to rest in the cooking liquids until ready to serve. Serve warm on your favorite rolls. Enjoy!

Notes

FREEZER MEAL: This makes a great freezer meal. Once the meat is cooked and shredded, let it cool then store it in an airtight freezer bag. Let it thaw completely in the refrigerator prior to reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal · Carbohydrates: 9g · Protein: 34g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 95mg · Sodium: 886mg · Potassium: 658mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 7g · Vitamin A: 708IU · Vitamin C: 2mg · Calcium: 21mg · Iron: 1mg
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{originally published 5/21/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/18/20}
Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork makes the best sandwiches

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork is the perfect main dish for any occasion! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

 

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Sara De Leeuw says

    Thank you for sharing both pressure cooker and slow cooker methods! I have a new pressure cooker and am looking for recipes! LOVE pulled pork! So versatile! <3

  2. A10 says

    I think 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard for 2 pound pork roast is too little. It should be 1/2 to have a delicious meal.

  3. Kim in MN says

    I made this pulled pork along with the slaw and baked beans recipes and have found new favorites. The pork especially was fabulous, made exactly as posted except for a wee bit less pepper flakes. Everyone loved the meal. Thanks for another great recipe!

  4. juliet says

    This looked great but unfortunately it was WAY overcooked. I used a 2.3lb pork loin and cooked on LOW in a crockpot for 4 hours and was so disappointed in how overdone it was. The flavors were pretty good, but you should adjust the time on your recipe for cooking in a crock pot.

    • Mary says

      I’ve never had a 2-pound roast cooked through in four hours on the low setting. I’m guessing that your crock-pot is significantly hotter on the low setting than mine is.

  5. Sylvia says

    This is my second time making this recipe this month. We don’t like a lot of sweet savory dishes and this is just right, not too sweet and a little kick at the end.

  6. Larry says

    The recipe sounds very good and the slow cooker is a great way to cook a butt. I have been using my grill equipped with a smoke box to barbecue some butts as we like to always have some pulled pork on hand for the uses you mentioned but having read this, I’m putting BBQ sundae on the must try list.

  7. Lloyd says

    Try it over poutine sometime, instead of the rolls. Very hot french fries mixed with chopped cheese curds and covered in real beef gravy (NOT canned). leyer the pork over top and dig in.

  8. Patricia says

    We really enjoy the straight forward and uncomplicated recipes! You make it fun n easy for young n old! Thanks5 stars

  9. Brooke Booth says

    Love your newsletter and recipes, thank you for sharing and creating such great recipes.
    Brooke from Newport Beach California5 stars

  10. Debbie says

    Mary,
    Keep the recipes coming! I had made your Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork and it was amazing!!! YUMMY! I have signed up for your emails and have made many delicious recipes, which I often share with friends!

    I’ve been retired for 2 and a half years and now have time to spend in the kitchen, and thanks to you have become a better cook and baker. Many thanks!5 stars