Tender, flavorful Crock Pot Pulled Pork and Apples made easily in your slow cooker. Use it in pulled pork sandwiches, burrito bowls, tacos, and more!

Bowl full of rice, green beans, and pulled pork, garnished with parsley.

This winter, I have been surviving – nay, thriving – off of crock pot meals.

Aside from the ease-of-preparation and the eventual comforting meal, one of my favorite parts about slow cooking is I can be reasonably assured the result will be nothing short of amazing.

Rummaging through the pantry and refrigerator and throwing whatever sparks my feelers into the crock effectively metamorphosizes my lazy take on food prep into actual genius. Saved by virtue of the fact that flavors and textures end up melding together into a beautiful dining experience.

This easy slow cooker pulled pork and apples recipe makes a delicious family dinner for busy days and special occasions alike. The combination of pork and apples jives so seamlessly and we end up with juicy pork.

All we need is basic ingredients, no fancy maneuvers, and 10 minutes of prep time. 15 if you’re easily distracted by Christmas lights and Netflix.

My favorite way of preparing shredded meat is using the slow cooker because it is a goof-proof way of achieving the tender result I’m looking for.

Slow cooking helps soften muscle fibers and connective tissues so that you end up with melt-in-your-mouth tender pulled pork. If this is your first time making pulled pork in the crock pot, this easy recipe is here to guarantee your success!

I usually set everything up the night before, allow the magic to happen during the sleeping hours, then awake with the luscious rich scents of slow cooked sustenance.

White bowl full of Crock Pot Pulled Pork, apples, brown rice, with Sauteed Kale and Avocado

You guys are going to think I’m crazy, but I use apple cider as the liquid in this slow cooking extravaganza. Have you tried such a thing before?

It turns out we can use all sorts of liquids for slow cooker recipes, including but not limited to: juice, booze, tea, and even coffee. My Cider Chai Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe and my my Crock Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork Burrito Bowls are testament to this.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for this great recipe.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Pulled Pork:

Boneless Pork Shoulder: What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork? Any kind of boneless pork roast will work, but the most common cuts people use are pork butt and pork shoulder.

If you have access to a bone-in roast that fits in your slow cooker, feel free to use it! The bone adds a great deal of flavor. You can also use 3 to 4 pounds of pork loin here.

Seasonings: Sea salt, black pepper, paprika, ground cumin, and dried oregano. We use these seasonings as a dry rub for the meat so add some flavor.

If you have the time, you can dry brine the roast in these ingredients overnight prior to cooking. You can use any spice rub you’ve tried and enjoyed. Garlic powder and onion powder are great additions too.

Yellow Onion and Fresh Garlic: Fresh chopped yellow onion and fresh minced garlic bring bold flavor to the meat.

There is no need to sauté them ahead of time before adding them to the crock because we’re cooking for so long. There is plenty of time for the flavors to open up.

Fresh Apples: A couple fresh apples get chopped and tossed in. Pick your favorite kind of apples!

I like using sweet apples like gala apples, envy apples, or Fuji apples. Granny Smith apples hold up slightly better. You can omit them if you aren’t interested in eating soft apples.

Apple Cider: I like using unfiltered apple cider to add natural sweetness to the otherwise savory meal, without the need for refined sugar like brown sugar. If you prefer, you can use chicken broth here.

Apple Cider Vinegar: A little vinegar adds an acidic element for tangy flavor that balances out the sweet and savory flavors. Lemon juice, lime juice, or balsamic vinegar work too.

Molasses: Bringing rich flavor, a little molasses adds a unique flavor that makes you think, “Hmm…what is that?” In the most pleasant way.

Molasses flavor doesn’t shine through, but a richness does. If you enjoy the flavor of liquid smoke or Worcestershire sauce, you can add 1 teaspoon to this pork crock pot recipe as an alternative.

There are many different ways you can change up the flavors of this recipe! Reducing some of the apple cider and adding your favorite BBQ sauce is a great option.

Close up of shredded pork in a bowl.

Let’s make the best slow cooker pulled pork!

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:

In the realm of slow cooker or one pot meals, this recipe is so silly easy, it’s almost laughable.

All you do is throw all of the ingredients in your slow cooker, turn the nob to low and wait patiently while your house fills with delectable aromas as the meat becomes tender.

There is no need to sear the pork roast ahead of time in a skillet, unless you want to go through the extra step. 

Remove the pork roast from its netting (if applicable) and set it on a large plate. If there is a lot of excess fat on the roast, you can carve some of it off if you’d like. Sprinkle all sides with paprika, oregano, cumin and sea salt and pat the seasonings into the meat.

Chop the onion and garlic and transfer it to the bottom of the slow cooker. Similarly, transfer the seasoned pork roast and chopped apples to the crock pot.

Pork shoulder roast in a crock pot with apples, onions, and garlic.

Combine the apple cider, apple cider vinegar and molasses in a measuring cup and stir well. Pour this mixture into your slow cooker.

Pouring liquid into a slow cooker with pork butt, apples, and onions.

Secure the lid of the crock pot and cook on low heat for 8 to 12 hours, or until the meat is very tender. You can also cook on the high setting for 5 to 6 hours, but I recommend the slow version for the best results.

Slow cooker with pork shoulder roast, apples, onions, seasonings, and broth, ready to be slow cooked.

Transfer the pork roast to a cutting board and shred it using two forks. Transfer the shredded pork back to the crock pot and stir well. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes to absorb some of the juices. Serve with your choice of side dishes, and enjoy!

Crock pot full of pulled pork and apples

To make crispy pork, transfer a small amount of shredded pork to a sheet pan in a single layer and broil it under the oven broiler until crispy. You can also perform this step using a large cast iron skillet on the stove top.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

How to Serve Pulled Pork:

The most common way of serving pulled pork is in pork sandwiches. If you go this route, toast up some hamburger buns or sandwich bread, spread a little butter on them, add cheese, then load it up with your shredded pork.

I include slices of fresh apple.

Pulled pork sandwich with gouda cheese and apples.

You can also smother pulled pork sandwiches with barbecue sauce if you like it. Serve pulled pork sandwiches with The Best Potato Salad.

Make pulled pork sliders using slider buns with your favorite barbecue sauce and any additional toppings like coleslaw.

I love making burrito bowls out of pulled pork, using brown rice, some sauteed veggies, avocado, and any salsa or sauces. You can also add grated cheese to this extravaganza. I drizzle the leftover juices over everything for plenty of flavor.

You can also use leftover pork for pork tacos or pork nachos.

Tips for Perfect Shredded Pork:

In my humble opinion, maximizing the cooking time is the best way of ending up with amazing shredded pork. While you can take the quicker approach by cooking pork on high heat, I recommend the low setting for a long period of time. In fact, I cook my boneless pork butt for an entire 12 hours.

I always recommend allowing meat to sit in its original juices for as long as possible after shredding it in order to maximize flavor and texture.

After I shredded my pork, I allowed it to sit untouched overnight in the juices…perhaps the longest night of my life as consuming the pulled pork was much anticipated. Shredded meat recipes like this are always better the next day! In this sense, don’t be shy about making this recipe ahead of time.

Bowl full of pulled pork, brown rice, avocado, sauteed kale and seasonings.

Wondering if you can prepare this recipe in a pressure cooker? For the Instant Pot version, make my Instant Pot Pulled Pork and Apples!

If you love easy crock pot recipes, also try out these reader favorites.

More Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes:

Put it in your crock and cook it!

Bowl full of pulled pork, brown rice, avocado, sauteed kale and seasonings.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork and Apples

4.41 from 5 votes
Easy pulled pork and apples made in the slow cooker results in insanely flavorful meat!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings



  • 3 to 4 lbs pork shoulder roast *
  • 2 tsp dried paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized apples **
  • 6 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple cider
  • 1 cup chicken broth or beef broth
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp molasses


  • Remove the pork roast from its netting (if applicable) and set it on a large plate. Sprinkle all sides with paprika, oregano, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper, and pat the seasonings into the meat.
  • Chop the onion and garlic and transfer them to the bottom of the slow cooker. Similarly, transfer the seasoned pork roast and chopped apples to the slow cooker.
  • Combine the apple cider, broth, cider vinegar and molasses in a measuring cup and stir well. Pour this mixture into your slow cooker.
  • Secure the lid on your crock pot and cook on the low setting for 8 to 12 hours, until meat is very tender.
  • Transfer the cooked pork roast to a cutting board and shred it using two forks. Transfer the shredded pork back to the crock pot and stir well. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes to absorb some of the juices. You can allow the shredded pork to sit in the juices on the "keep warm" mode for several hours if need be.
  • Serve pulled pork in burrito bowls, sandwiches, nachos, or with side dishes like potato salad or broccoli salad.
  • For crispy pork, spread some of the pork over a large baking sheet in a single layer and broil for 5 to 8 minutes in the oven, or until it reaches your desired level of crisp. You can also crisp up the pork in a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat.



*I use a boneless pork roast but you can also use a bone-in pork roast if you have access to one.
**Use your favorite kind of apples! I like using sweet apples like gala apples, Envy apples, Fuji apples, or honey crisp apples.


Serving: 1Serving · Calories: 333kcal · Carbohydrates: 10g · Protein: 41g · Fat: 24g · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 8g
Author: Julia
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: amazing pulled pork, crock pot pork recipes, crock pot pulled pork and apples, slow cooker recipes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

I originally shared this recipe on December 21, 2016. I added more information and updated the photos but the recipe itself remains the same.

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

Read More

Need Help With Dinner?

View More Dinner Ideas
4.41 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Questions and Reviews

  1. I’m hoping that santa brings me a slow cooker for Christmas and then I’m sure I’ll be wondering how I ever lived without it! This bowl looks like it’s filled with so many delicious things! I hope you are enjoying the winter, Julia! Merry Christmas!

    1. Yaaaas! Santa would be the TITS if he brought you a slow cooker! I find them to be so incredibly handy! I hope you and your family have a fabulous Christmas, too! I’m sure it will be extra special since it’s baby’s first xmas! 😀

  2. That bowl of pulled pork, fruit, and veggies looks just amazing! I love this new take on pork with apples and cannot wait to try it.

  3. Hi I am planning on making this dish this weekend. I was just wondering if you leave the slow cooker on while you let the shredded pork sit in the juice. Also, any tips on reheating without drying out the meat? Thanks for the recipe – can’t wait to try it out!

    1. Hi Rachel! I turn the crock pot off while I let the meat sit in the juices, but you can go either way – if you’re wanting to keep the meat warm and let it absorb a lot of flavor, I’d say go ahead and leave the crock pot on and allow that meat to sit! If you’re serving soon after shredding, you can turn the crock pot off. I save the meat with the juices (I stick the whole crock pot in the fridge after it has cooled) so that when you reheat it, you use some of the juice to reheat. The meat will become more and more flavorful as it sits, so definitely be sure to keep the juices for optimal flavor! Hope that helps, and hope you enjoy!

  4. I might be missing it but I see the apple slices in the picture but no apples are listed in the ingredient list. What type of apple to use?

    1. My apologies, Kimberly! I use two gala apples 🙂 Any kind of apples will work but I love using sweet apples versus tart apples. Hope you enjoy the pulled pork!

  5. Julia
    Wow it came out great what a nice change up on pulled port using apples! Lots of layers of flavor as you eat it. I added more garlic we love garlic and had an open jar of apple sauce I tossed in. The only thing I changed was I added a little bit of Mae Ploy “Asian sweet chili sauce” added a little back end heat for the tacos. 12 hours low and slow was the ticket. Thanks again for another great recipe!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Max! I’ll have to add some of that sweet chili sauce the next time I make the recipe – it sounds like a marvelous addition! xo

  6. Hi Julia
    Flavors were awesome what a nice change up from all the other pull pork recipes out there. Big hit with everyone. Gives you a lot of changes you can do for additional flavors. I reheated in a frying pan added some mae ploy sweet chili sauce tossed in some veggies, mushrooms over rice YUM. Thanks for another good recipe!!

    1. Ooh, the way you served the meal sounds absolutely fantastic! I’ll have to try the same thing the next time I make it. Thanks so much for the feedback, Max! xo