Slow cooker maple pulled pork has deliciously subtle maple flavors, a touch of spice from chili powder, and tangy apple cider vinegar. With only 6 ingredients, you can get it on to cook in 10 minutes or less. I'm sharing three recipes that you can use your pork in, making this perfect for meal prep!
One of the most efficient ways to meal prep is to bulk cook a batch of protein, then use it up in multiple meals through the week. I'm showing you how to cook this slow cooker maple pulled pork, and you can use your leftovers in maple pork tacos with brussels sprouts slaw, maple pork and butternut squash burritos and fall burrito bowls with sweet potatoes!
Maple pulled pork is slightly different than traditional pulled pork; with subtle maple flavors, a touch of chili powder, and tangy apple cider vinegar. It isn't overly 'saucy' (if you want a saucy pulled pork check out my Crock Pot Pulled Pork), but it is simple and delicious.
6 simple ingredients makes this easy to get into the slow cooker, and it makes a big batch, meaning you can have a head start on multiple dinners!
Reasons you'll ♡ slow cooker maple pulled pork
- it's simple to prepare and you can get it cooking quickly
- it makes a big batch and works as the base for multiple dinners
- it's fridge and freezer friendly
The best cut of pork
The slow cooker presents the perfect opportunity to cook cheap, tough cuts of meat. A long simmering time is required to break down tough collagen fibres in these cuts of meat, and you are rewarded with juicy and tender pork.
Pork shoulder is a great choice as it has plenty of connective tissues and fats. You can use boneless or bone-in pork shoulder, though I prefer boneless as it makes the shredding step even easier.
Pork shoulder comes in two cuts: boston butt and pork picnic. Typically the pork butt is recommended as it is more even in size, however I have successfully used a pork picnic to make pulled pork, and we all enjoyed it!
Maple pulled pork is simplicity at it's best. Here's what you'll need:
- maple syrup- sweetens the pork slightly and adds cooking liquid to help cook the pork through
- apple cider vinegar- adds a tangy flavor contrast to the sweet maple syrup, while providing additional cooking liquid
- onion- adds extra dimension to the pulled pork, but can be omitted
- chili powder- not to be confused with pure powdered chilis, this is a chili spice blend. It adds a mild spice and extra flavor to the recipe
- salt- enhances flavors of all ingredients and seasons the pork through while it cooks
- the easiest way to shred the cooked pork: transfer cooked pork to a clean bowl, and use an electric hand mixer to shred it in seconds
- do not discard the cooking liquid; toss the pork in it after shredding to keep it juicy and flavorful
- crisp it up: spread the shredded pork on a baking sheet and cover with 1 cup of cooking liquid. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until crispy
- I use this 6 quart slow cooker and highly recommend it
- I have not tested this particular recipe in the Instant Pot but think it would work. I would try high pressure for 90 minutes followed by a 10 minute. natural pressure release. If you try, would you leave us a comment to let us know how it went for you?
Prep ahead for easy dinners
Slow cooker maple pulled pork is absolutely perfect for meal prep! Here are some tips to help:
- reheat- store in the fridge for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating in a frying pan with some of the cooking liquid for 5-10 minutes until loosened up and warmed through
- freezer- this recipe freezes great after cooking. Portion out in a meal prep container, reusable silicone bag, or heavy-duty freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- crockpot freezer- this recipe can work as a freezer crockpot meal: combine all ingredients in a meal prep container, reusable silicone bag, or heavy-duty freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook, thaw completely before dumping into the slow cooker and cooking on low for 8 hours.
How to use pulled pork
One batch of pulled pork can make between 4-8 cups, depending on the size of your pork shoulder. This means it's a great protein to bulk cook and use in multiple meals through the week.
Here are some recipes you can use pulled pork in:
- on a bun with a quick cabbage slaw
- in a Pulled Pork Meal Prep Bowl
- in Pulled Pork Enchiladas
- in Tacos with Kale & Brussels Sprouts Slaw
- in Pulled Pork Burrito Bowls
- in Pulled Pork Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- in a Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Skillet
More slow cooker recipes:
- 7 Slow Cooker Chicken Breast Recipes
- Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew
- Slow Cooker Honey Lime Shredded Chicken
- Slow Cooker Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Smoky Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Slow Cooker Maple Pulled Pork
- 2-3 lb Pork Shoulder (boneless pork butt is a great option)
- ½ onion (sliced)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Place onion slices on the bottom of slow cooker.
- Place pork shoulder on top.
- Whisk together the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt and chili powder.
- Pour over the pork.
- Cook on low for 8 hours, or until pork is fall-apart tender.
- Remove pork from slow cooker and place in a large bowl (reserve cooking liquid). Shred with two forks or an electric hand mixer. Toss with cooking liquid to taste (I used at least half of the cooking liquid).
- combine all ingredients in a meal prep container, reusable silicone bag, or heavy-duty freezer bag.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- When you are ready to cook, thaw completely before dumping into the slow cooker and cooking on low for 8 hours.