Slow Cooker Apple Cider BBQ Pulled Pork

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 to 8 1/2 hours
  • Total Time: -27549927.5 minute
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings


This slow cooker bbq apple cider bbq pulled pork will melt in your mouth. It’s cooked to perfection with a delicious sweet & spicy homemade bbq sauce and rub. Pile it up high on a toasted buttered bun and enjoy!


For the bbq rub:

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (You can also use light brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons allspice


For the pork:

  • 6 pound boneless Boston butt pork roast or a pork shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 ½  cups of apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of liquid smoke


For the bbq sauce:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (32-ounce) bottle ketchup ( I prefer Heinz because it’s extra thick and has a great flavor)
  • 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅔ cup fresh apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup sorghum syrup or molasses
  • ¼ cup of liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper


  1.  In a medium-size bowl, combine all the ingredients for the bbq rub. Trim any excess fat off the pork roast. Pat the rub all over the entire pork roast and gently massage the rub into the meat.
  2. Place the pork roast in a 6- quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar, apple cider, worcestershire, and liquid smoke together. Pour the apple cider mixture in.  Cover with the lid and cook on low for about 8 to 8 1/2 hours or until roast is fork-tender.
  3. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Let the meat rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before shredding. Shredded with two forks or with your fingers. (NOTE: If you are serving the pork later on in the evening or the next day, do not shred. Refrigerate the pork with the pan juices after cooling and shred just before serving. This will prevent the meat from drying out and will keep it moist. Reheat in the slow cooker with cooking juices on low heat.)
  4. To make the bbq sauce: Saute minced garlic and jalapenos in hot olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, apple cider, sorghum, liquid smoke, worcestershire, salt, pepper, paprika, dry mustard, celery seed, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Pour over pulled pork or serve beside the pork. This bbq sauce will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator.  Makes about 3 cups. This is a sweet and spicy bbq sauce. It’s delicious!!


Freeze/Do-Ahead Tip: You can make the pork 2 or 3 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator in the cooking juices. Do not shred until serving time. This will prevent the pork from drying out and will keep it moist. You can freeze leftover pork for up to 5 months. Be sure to freeze in the cooking juices or bbq sauce to keep the pork moist. To reheat, let the pork thaw out in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the slow cooker on low.