Use up that extra cider with this Apple Cider Pulled Pork recipe. The perfect blend of flavor with onion, garlic, coconut sugar, and loads of spices.
The ultimate fall-friendly apple cider pulled pork
Pulled pork is delicious as it is. Enhance it with apple cider, and holy moly. We’re talking about a serious flavor bomb here! And that’s exactly what this meal is – a flavor bomb of intense, savory deliciousness.
Making pulled pork with apple cider puts an autumnal spin on the classic meal. It’s a great option for serving to a crowd as guests can easily assemble their own sandwich which whatever toppings they may like!
I love to whip this together on weeknights in the Instant Pot, and sometimes I spend a Saturday letting it cook to perfect in the slow cooker. The method is up to you! Let’s dive in.
Ingredients in this apple pulled pork recipe
We’ll kick things off with the meat and onion, followed by the flavorings like coconut sugar, paprika, and chili powder.
- Pork tenderloins: Start with 2 pork tenderloins. Together, they should amount to about 2.5 lbs of meat.
- Avocado oil: Use 2 tbsp of avocado oil to sauté the onion and garlic.
- Yellow onion: You will need 1 small yellow onion diced into small pieces.
- Garlic: Use 3 cloves of minced garlic for great flavor.
- Coconut sugar: Interestingly enough, this recipe is delicious with a touch of sweet flavor. Use 3 tbsp of coconut sugar or brown sugar.
- Seasonings: Flavor things up with 2 tsp of salt, chili powder, and smoked paprika (each) and 1 tsp of pepper.
- Apple cider: Last but not least, 1 cup of apple cider will add lots to flavor to the pork and will finish off the dish with all of the fall vibes!
Tool needed to make this pork recipe
Depending on the cooking method you choose, you will need a specific set of kitchen tools. Both options keep things simple with only 3 items required.
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Fork or tool to shred the pork
- Fork or tool to shred the pork
For measuring, you will simply need 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, and 1 cup.
How to make apple cider pulled pork with an Instant Pot
This recipe has double the flavor and double the cooking methods! I’m breaking down how to make this pulled pork recipe in an Instant Pot or a slow cooker so that you can choose the best method for the occasion. Both are very easy. The Instant Pot is great for a quick dinner, and the slow cooker is nice if you want to let the meat cook all day!
To go the Instant Pot route, begin by setting the pot to the sauté function.
While it heats, cut each pork tenderloin into 4 inch long chunks.
Add the oil to the pot. Once hot, add the pork and sauté for 2 minutes on each side to brown the meat.
Once browned, set aside on a plate.
Add the diced onion to the hot pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes before adding garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant, turn off the Instant Pot.
Add the pork back to the pot and then add the seasonings, followed by the apple cider.
Seal the lid and manually cook for 25 minutes. Once the time is up, let the pot naturally release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, quick release the rest.
Turn off the pot and remove the lid. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes and then shred the meat and mix it with the juices. It should be easy to pull apart. If not, it may need more cook time.
How to make apple cider pulled pork with a slow cooker
To cook the pork in a slow cooker, begin with a large skillet. Heat it and add the avocado oil.
Sauté the pork on each side for 2 minutes until slightly browned, and then place the pork on a plate.
Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes and then add the garlic. Let cook for another minute or so.
Set the slow cooker to low heat and add the pork, onions and garlic, spices, and apple cider.
Let cook for 6-8 hours or until the meat is easy to peel apart with a fork.
How to serve this apple pulled pork recipe
The classic way to serve this pork is atop a roll just like regular pulled pork. It tastes delicious on a fluffy bun either alone or garnished with onions, tomatoes, pickles, and/or shredded carrots.
You can also enjoy the pork as-is plated with sides like cornbread, green beans, broccoli, mac and cheese, salad, etc.
Apple cider pulled pork makes a hearty option for leftovers. You can use it the same way you served it originally, or add it to tacos, sandwiches… you name it! It will last for up to three days when sealed in an airtight container and kept refrigerated.
And great news! Pulled pork can be frozen too. In fact, it lasts quite a while in the freezer (up to 6 months), making it a great prep-ahead meal. When ready to eat, simply let it thaw and then warm it up in the oven or a slow cooker.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
The fall-approved recipes don’t stop here! Try this sweet potato casserole, squash chili, pumpkin muffins, and one pan chicken!
- Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole
- Butternut Squash Chili with Turkey
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Fall One-Pan Chicken and Veggies
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by Quarter Soul Crisis
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 2.5 lbs total)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup apple cider
- Heat Instant Pot to saute function.
- Cut each pork tenderloin into chunks about 4 inches long.
- Add in oil. Once oil is hot, add in pieces of pork tenderloin to Instant Pot and saute for 2 minutes on each side just to brown.
- Set pork aside on a plate.
- Add diced onion to hot IP and saute for 2-3 minutes before adding garlic. Once garlic is fragrant, turn off IP.
- Add pork back into IP, and then add all seasonings and apple cider on top.
- Seal the lid and manually cook for 25 minutes. Once 25 minutes is up, let IP naturally release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes is up, quick release the rest.
- Turn off IP and take off lid. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before shredding. It should be easy to peel apart, if not, it may need more cook time.
- Shred your meat and mix into all the juices. Enjoy!
- Heat a large skillet with avocado oil.
- Saute pork on each side for 2 minutes, until slightly browned. Place pork aside on a plate.
- Saute onions for 2-3 minutes and then add garlic. Let cook for another minute or so.
- In a crockpot, turn to low heat. Add pork, onions + garlic, all spices, and apple cider.
- Let cook for 6-8 hours or until easy to peel apart with fork.
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