Inspired by tacos al pastor, this Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork is tender and full of flavor - perfect for tacos, sandwiches, and even pizza.
The spice rub for the pork is made up of pantry staples you likely already have on hand, but we’re leaving out the brown sugar (or other added sugars) that are so common in pork rubs.
We’re using fresh pineapple - not pineapple juice - to achieve the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The pineapple, onion and pork come together as they cook to create their own juice and blend with the spices to create super flavorful meat that’s perfect for folding into warm flour tortillas.
What You Need
- Country style pork ribs
- Fresh pineapple
- Sliced onion
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Dried oregano
- Ground cinnamon
How to Make Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork
Place the sliced onions and diced pineapple into the bottom of the slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, oregano and cinnamon.
Rub all sides of the pork ribs with the spice mixture.
Place the spice-coated ribs on top of onions and pineapple in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
Once the pork is cooked, turn off your slow cooker and remove any bones from the meat. You can also remove any large pieces of fat from the meat, if you’d like.
Place the meat on a cutting board and chop it into bite sized pieces using a sharp knife or use 2 forks to pull the meat apart.
Place meat in a large bowl.
Using a slotted spoon or a kitchen spider, remove as much of the onion and pineapple as you can from the liquid in the slow cooker and add it to the pulled pork.
Mix everything up.
Serve on warm, flour tortillas with your favorite taco fixings.
Enjoy These Recipes with Your Tacos
Tips on Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos
You can use just about any cut of pork here - pork butt, pork tenderloin - but my favorite are the country style ribs. I like that they’re not a super lean cut, have some bone in them, and that they’re extremely affordable. Our local grocery store regularly has country style pork ribs on sale for under $2 a pound, which is a fantastic price.
Fresh pineapple is going to taste the best. But if you can’t find a fresh pineapple, canned will work. If you go the canned pineapple route, buy crushed pineapple and drain the juice from the can before using.
I like yellow and/or white onions best in this recipe as their flavor and texture holds up well to hours in the slow cooker.
Besides delicious tacos, you can mix a little BBQ sauce into the pork and use it for sandwiches. I’ve also used it to make awesome pizza. On a pre-made crust, use BBQ sauce as the base, add mozzarella cheese, then the pulled pork mixture. Bake as instructed on the crust package. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro when the pizza comes out of the oven.
When cooked in a slow cooker, meat creates its own liquid. There’s no need to add any extra liquid to this recipe. The pineapple will break down, producing juice and the fat and juice that renders from the pork while cooking is more than enough liquid for the recipe.
Absolutely! After all, that’s how we’re cooking the meat! 🙂 Once you’ve placed the raw pork in the slow cooker, put the lid on, turn on your slow cooker, and leave it alone. Don’t lift the lid for the first few hours or you’ll release all the steam that’s helping cook the pork and risk messing up the cooking time.
The pork is cooked when a fork can easily be inserted into the meat and used to pull it apart. My other favorite test is using the pork bone. If your cut of pork has a bone in it, use a pair of tongs to try and remove the bone from the meat. If it lifts out easily, it’s done. If it won’t come out, put the lid back on the Crock Pot and cook for another 30 minutes before trying again.
It’s certainly possible, but fairly difficult. The low and slow cooking method of a slow cooker/Crock Pot keeps meat tender. Even if the meat isn’t sitting in liquid, it’s being cooked by low heat and steam, making it difficult to over cook. However, do your best not to go more than 15 minutes past the recommended cooking time without checking on the pork and seeing if it’s done.