Game Day Apple BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe

Time to strategize for your BIG GAME party! 

Check out the stats on this meal:

  • A $16.00, 9-pound cut of pork shoulder makes enough pulled pork for 25+ sandwiches!
  • 8 hours of hands-free cooking in your slow-cooker makes this pulled pork super easy, tender and juicy!
  • Apple + BBQ sauce are the co-captains of this dish - The pork is braised on a bed of apples + onions with apple cider and BBQ sauce.  Then it's topped with more BBQ sauce and tangy apple cole slaw!  mmm - just wait until you smell the apple, BBQ braised pork goodness!

Score!  You'll be the MVP of your party!

Lol, seriously though, these sandwiches are amazing whether you're having a big party or not.  I fed my small team of 4, pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, then froze 4 more containers each with enough pulled pork for another meal.  I just pulled one container out of the freezer a few days ago and made pulled pork enchiladas.  That's the beauty of pulled pork, you can make so many things with it: sandwiches, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, tortilla soup…okay now I'm getting really hungry!

Apple BBQ Pulled Pork and Apple Cole Slaw:

Apple BBQ Pulled Pork & Apple Cole Slaw Recipes:

Christina Verrelli -

Makes 25 servings

Pulled Pork Ingredients:

1 (9-pound) whole pork shoulder (blade roast)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 medium sweet onions, peeled and chopped

2 firm apples (I used granny smiths) peeled, quartered and cored

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 cup apple cider

2 cups BBQ Sauce, divided, plus more for topping sandwiches (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Original)

Pulled Pork Directions:

Rub pork shoulder with salt and pepper.  Arrange chopped onions, cut apples and garlic in bottom of large 6 1/2 quart or larger slow-cooker.  Pour 1 cup apple cider and 3/4 cup BBQ sauce over apples and onions and stir to coat.  Place seasoned pork (fat side up) over apples and onions.  Brush top with 1/4 cup BBQ sauce.  Cover and cook on high for 8 hours or until fork tender and easy to pull apart.  

Remove pork to cutting board and allow pork to cool about 10 minutes.  Pour juices from slow cooker through a sieve placed over a bowl.  Add cooked onions back to slow cooker.  The apples will have "melted."  Discard any bone and fat pieces.  Allow the strained juices to settle.  You can pour off some/all of the fat.  Pull apart/shred the pork into bite sized pieces and add them back to the slow cooker with the onions.  Discard any bone and fat pieces.  

Add and stir in 1 cup BBQ sauce and about 1 cup reserved juices (or until moist enough).  Reheat pulled pork and keep warm in slow cooker or transfer to containers to refrigerate/freeze.  Reserve the remaining juices to add if more moisture is needed.  (I even freeze in little containers to use with any leftovers.)   

Apple Cole Slaw Ingredients:

3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Hellman's Light)

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon mustard (I used Gulden's Spicy Brown)

2 teaspoons celery salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (14-ounce bag) cole slaw mix (about 6-7 cups)

1 cup apple cut into julienne/thin strips

Apple Cole Slaw Directions:

Whisk together the first 8 ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.  When ready to serve, in a large bowl, toss together the cole slaw mix and the apple strips.  Stir in about half of the dressing or until dressed to your liking.  Reserve the rest of the dressing to add if needed.


Set up a self-serve area with:

  • soft hamburger buns* (I used the potato roll variety)
  • warm pulled pork
  • apple cole slaw
  • extra BBQ sauce 

Note* If you have time to butter and toast the buns cut side down in a skillet, it makes the buns extra yummy!

Printable Recipe Link: Game Day Apple BBQ Pulled Pork and Apple Cole Slaw

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Thank you for spending some time in the cloud with me!  I hope you enjoy the recipes!  Tina ( :

Sweet Baby Rays was nice enough to send me some awesome BBQ sauce samples to test out for this recipe!  They're running a fun Game Time Smack Talk Contest at the moment if you're interested you can check out all the details here.  You could win a year supply of Sweet Baby Rays!