Apple BBQ Pulled Pork

Gluten Free

Apple bbq pulled pork

This apple BBQ pulled pork is a great freezer meal for your meal plan! It can be as simple as two or three ingredients if you prefer to use your favorite packaged BBQ sauce!

Or if you are aiming to make everything from scratch I have included a healthy BBQ sauce you can make with a blender and staple pantry ingredients. (apple cider vinegar, raw honey, spices, etc…)

Who knew making homemade BBQ sauce for your pulled pork was so easy!

The apple in this pork bbq recipe gives you a wonder tartness combined with the sweetness of your BBQ sauce.

Tip: If you like heat add a little hot sauce or chipotle! Absolute perfection!

Pork and apple have a history of tasting delicious together, one classic dish is a slow cooker pork roast with apples. That dish inspired this apple bbq slow cooker recipe, and being a lover of comfort food the bbq recipe version wins hands down!

p.s. I love comfort food but also healthy food. Making the easy apple bbq sauce in my recipe below makes this apple bbq pulled pork recipe both preservative free for a delicious clean meal!

Why you will love this apple BBQ pulled pork recipe. 

  • 10 Minutes to Prep
  • Super Easy
  • Extremely Tasty
  • Healthy (Soy Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free)
  • Family Friendly
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Can you freeze pulled pork?

Yes! My favorite way to freeze pulled pork is before the recipe has been cooked. If you freeze this recipe prepped and cook it day of you will enjoy a fresh dinner that didn’t take any time to cook. 
 
Just take your apple bbq pulled pork out of the freezer and let it cook for you!
 

Ingredients you will need for this apple bbq pulled pork recipe. 

  • pork shoulder (or pork butt)
  • gala apples
  • bbq sauce

Homemade BBQ Sauce Ingredients (Optional):

  • tomato paste
  • cinnamon
  • raw honey
  • apple cider vinegar
  • chili powder
  • water
  • cumin
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • mustard

What is raw honey? Is it different from regular honey?

 
Raw honey comes straight from the honey comb. It is cleaned of any bits of comb but does not undergo a pasteurization process which leaves it a bit cloudy because this is honey in its pure natural form. 
Regular honey undergoes a pasteurization process making it pure and very consistent in it coloring. It also does not solidify. 
The pasteurization process may decrease the health benefits that raw honey has to offer by lowering the number of antioxidants and nutrients in the honey. You may use raw or regular honey but because of the health benefits I always recommend using raw honey. 

How to make the homemade healthy bbq sauce?

SUPER EASY! In the past sauces have intimidated me. But this one is as simple as throwing all the sauce ingredients together in a food processor or high speed blender and blending until smooth. 
 

How to make this slow cooker pulled pork recipe in the slow cooker/crockpot?

Just throw everything into a slow cooker and let it cook for you. No mess, no fuss and a delicious home-cooked dinner!
 
Freezing pulled pork before cooking it and then throwing it in the slow cooker saves tons of times and keeps you out of the kitchen. 
 
 

 

What kind of meat can I use?

I love using pork butt or pork shoulder for this recipe. But if you are looking for a lower fat pork try making this recipe with pork tenderloin just decrease your slow cooker cook time to 4-6 hours on low instead of 8-10 hours.
 

What to serve with this apple bbq pulled pork recipe?

Serve with any of your favorite bbq sides. I love serving with a potato salad, side salad and fresh slaw. You can even top of your sandwich with the slaw to get a little crunch. 
 
The ultimate pulled pork sandwich for me has a fresh slaw, toasted sourdough bread, and a bit of mayo on top. So good!

How to store this healthy pulled pork recipe?

After cooking apple pulled pork, store in fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
 
If desired, freeze pulled pork after shredding and cooking it individually to use in sandwiches, salads or on its own. 
 

Do I need a slow cooker for this recipe?

You can use a slow cooker or crock pot for this recipe. It is designed to be fast and easy so you do not have to take the time to cook all night.
 
This is a super easy pulled pork recipe that you can make for the family or a crowd. 
 

Can I use an instant pot instead?

Of course! If you are tight on time or a last minute cook then throw everything in the instant post and adjust cook time. For slow cooker to instant pot conversion times click here to get a simple instant pot cheat sheet. You will never have to guess or research an instant pot cook time again!
 

*See FAQ’s and specific tips following recipe below. (so you don’t have to scroll for a million years to find the food 😉 ).

How do you make this Apple BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe? 👇 

Apple BBQ Pulled Pork

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ Pulled Pork, Easy Dinner, Pork Recipe, Pulled Pork
Servings: 8 Adults
Calories: 297kcal
Author: Hannah Stewart

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker/Crock Pot

Ingredients

  • 3 lb pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 2 gala apples, chopped
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (if you want to make your own see recipe below)

Homemade BBQ Sauce (Blend Together):

  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard

Supplies for freezing:

  • 1 Gallon Freezer Bag

Instructions

Directions:

  • Add four balls aluminum foil into base of slow cooker.
  • Set pork atop foil balls then top pork with bbq sauce and chopped apples.
  • Cook on low 9-10 hours.
  • Remove from slow cooker and shred.
  • Serve over rice, in tortillas, in a sandwich or any other way you like!

Freezer Directions:

  • Label Freezer bag with Recipe name, cooking from freezer directions and expiration date (todays date plus three months).
  • Add all ingredients to labeled gallon freezer bag.
  • Store in freezer for up to three months.

Cooking from Freezer Directions:

  • If desired, Thaw overnight in fridge or in the morning in water (meal may not be 100% thawed but that is ok).
  • Add four balls aluminum foil into base of slow cooker.
  • Add freezer bag contents into the slow cooker atop foil balls.
  • Cook on low 9-10 hours.
  • Remove from slow cooker and shred.
  • Serve over rice, in tortillas, in a sandwich or any other way you like!

Notes

Notes:
  • Be sure to only cook pork butt or should on low, that is how the pork gets its amazing flavor and texture!
  • Optional: Add 1 tsp liquid smoke.

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Tag @My_FamilyDinner or #MyFamilyDinner

How freezer meals will change your life.

Makes homecooking Easy

Only spend one hour in the kitchen for a whole week of dinners. Day of, throw your freezer meal in the slow cooker or instant pot and enjoy dinner!

feel confident

Knowing you have a fool proof systen for something that is easy and works gives you confidence in the kitchen. So wether you're a seasoned chef or occational home cook the method of freezer cooking will work for you!

Eat Healthier

Because you're prepping the freezer meals with fresh foods you're eating healthier. Anytime you cook at home instead of eating out you get the benefits of healthier food.

Enjoy less stress

Have you ever felt the pressure of forgetting about dinner, or having to cook at the end of a long day?! No more, just grab something out of the freezer and you're good to go.

To learn more about how freezer cooking can help make your life easier sign up for FOOD FOR THOUGHT! Get healthy recipes, meal plans and hacks straight to your inbox weekly. 

Frequently asked questions

No problem! Just throw the freezer meal in your slow cooker and you’re all set. If it doesn’t fit thaw it for a few minutes in warm water. (You may need to add an extra 30 minutes cook time if completely frozen when cooking).

Pork tenderloin, pork shoulder or pork butt all work great in this slow cooker pulled pork recipe. The homemade apple bbq sauce is healthy and compliments eat cut wonderfully. Plus all three cuts of meat shred easily when cooked. 

If you overcook your pulled pork and it turns out dry don’t worry, we can fix that. Try using extra apple bbq sauce on top of the pulled pork and mix it all in for a juicy pulled pork sandwich. 

 

This BBQ sauce has apple cider vinegar in the pulled pork recipe which gives a great additional flavor to the whole dish. 

A serving size assumes 1/2 cup of pulled pork at 297 kcal per serving. 

Absolutely. You may have to play around with cook times. If you’re interested in an instant pot cheat sheet for cook times click here!

Just use two forks and pull the forks apart from each other to shred the meat. If you notice the meat is super tough and not shredding easily it may need an extra 30-60 minutes cook time so the meat comes out super tender and ready to be enjoyed by all. 

Cut a chunk off your pork shoulder if it is very large and start shredding with two forks pulled apart from each other as you insert them into the meat. 

This recipe is! Making everything from scratch in your food gives you the control of what you eat. This homemade bbq sauce above has no hidden ingredients or added preservatives. PLUS making bbq sauce is as simple as throwing everything into a high speed blender or food processor and blend it up!

You can freeze this apple bbq pulled pork recipe either before or after cooking. I love to freeze my recipes before cooking and enjoying super fresh flavor day of. 

But if you have ever wondered, can I freeze pulled pork after cooking? Then the answer is yes! Try freezing the pulled pork in individual portions to use however you prefer whenever desired. Its easy to freeze pulled pork. 

Don't forget to pin this recipe and save it for later! 👇

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