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Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwich

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:  25 min
  • Cook Time:  4 hrs
  • Calories: 426
slow cooker pork sandwich with cilantro pineapples, onions and bbq sauce on a bun on a butting board.

Our favorite slow-cooker pulled pork recipe teams up with caramelized onion and squishy, pillowy rolls to make for an out-of-this-world pineapple pulled pork sandwich.

We Had You At Pineapple-y Pulled Pork, Right?

We all need a secret stash of easy and delicious recipes to serve to company and this pineapple pulled pork recipe sits at the top of our list of easy recipes for a crowd. Because the pulled pork is cooked in a slow-cooker, you can prep it ahead and be relaxed and ready when your guests arrive, which is all-too-rare and oh-so-essential! The whole recipe is deceptively simple—for both the pineapple pulled pork and for the sandwiches you make with it—and it’s cost effective enough to make for a lot of people. And if this sounds delicious to you, but you don’t have a crowd to feed, no worries! Leftover pulled pork freezes really well.

pineapple pulled pork  in a crockpot
slow cooker pineapple pulled pork in a serving bowl

We’re Going To Let You In On A Pulled Pork Seasoning Tip.

And that tip is canned, crushed pineapple. Not only is it the glorious sweet-savory combination of rich pork and fragrant pineapple the defining flavor of this dish, the canned, crushed pineapple works a special tenderizing magic on the pulled pork as it simmers away in your Crock-Pot. Pineapple is quite acidic, and so—much like Dr. Pepper, another popular pulled pork seasoning—it works to break the pork down as it cooks, ensuring that your finished pork is absolutely falling apart and perfectly juicy. In addition to salt, pepper and pineapple, our pulled pork gets cooked with:

  • Tamari or soy sauce
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh jalapeños
  • Garlic cloves
  • Limes
  • Onion
a whole pineapple peeled on a cutting board with a knife
a whole pineapple sliced in half

What’s the Best Cut For Pulled Pork?

Pork shoulder is the most classic cut of pork to use for making pulled pork and it’s our go-to. It’s also the preferred cut of most great BBQ joints, and who are we to question the greats!? If you can’t get your hands on a pork shoulder, pork butt, aka Boston butt (which is also, confusingly, cut from the shoulder of a pig) works great, too. Both pork shoulder and Boston butt are cuts of pork that are inherently fatty and tough—in other words, they really lend themselves to a good, long, low, and slow cook.

How To Make This Easy Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

Pulled pork and slow-cookers are a match made in culinary heaven. A rich, fatty, hearty slab of pork, plus a few, choice, flavorful ingredients and you’re golden. It’s literally as easy as:

  1. Combine your pork, pineapple, both kinds of garlic, chili, lime, jalapeños and onion in a slow-cooker.
  2. Cook on high for four hours. Walk away! Do something fun!
  3. When it’s done, use two forks to shred the pork in the Crock-Pot. Then, stir the shredded meat around to absorb all the fragrant, sweet-salty-spicy juices. Get really excited, because it’s time to.....
pulled pork sandwiches with cilantro, pineapples and caramelized red onions on a cutting board.

Make Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

OK, your pineapple pulled pork has been bubbling away in the slow-cooker for a few hours, and your house is starting to smell really, really, really good. Time to think about what it’ll take to help that pulled pork reach its ultimate purpose—to fill the best ever pulled pork sandwiches! Here’s what to do:

  1. Caramelize pineapple. Sounds fancy-schmancy, is actually quite simple. Basically just brown some slices of fresh pineapple in sugar in a skillet (but see below for the full step-by-step).
  2. Grab a jar of your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce, or make your own (like our homemade bbq sauce)! So many families have their own “famous” barbecue sauce, and if yours is one of them, this sandwich is a great place to use it!
  3. Get some really great, pillowy-squishy sandwich rolls and cut them in half. We really adore this sandwich with classic sweet Hawaiian buns, but it is also good on brioche rolls.
  4. Once the pulled pork is done, all that’s left to do is assemble and eat! If you’re serving it to company, it can be fun to let everyone DIY their pineapple pulled pork sandwiches so that they can adjust the balance of ingredients to suit their own preferences.
pulled pork sandwiches with cilantro, pineapples and caramelized red onions on a cutting board.
slow cooker pork sandwich with cilantro pineapples, onions and bbq sauce on a bun on a butting board.

4 More Easy Pork Recipes to Try

It’s what’s for dinner. Or at least, we think it should be!

A hand holding a slow cooker pork sandwich with cilantro pineapples, onions and bbq sauce on a bun.

The Best Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe, Period.

If we do say so ourselves. We know that we love it, but we want to know if YOU love it! If you make these juicy, drippy, sweet-salty pineapple pulled pork sandwiches, we want to hear about it! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see your incredible handiwork! Happy eating!

Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwich

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:  25 min
  • Cook Time:  4 hrs
  • Calories: 426

Ingredients

Pulled Pork

  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 (20-ounce) canned crushed pineapple
  • ¾ medium red or yellow onion,minced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)

Caramelized Pineapple

  • 1 medium pineapple, cored and diced
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

For Serving

  • BBQ sauce
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • 10 brioche or Sweet Hawaiian buns

Method

Slow Cooker

  1. Make the pulled pork. In the slow cooker pot, combine the pork, crushed pineapple, onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Using tongs or two forks, shred the pork in the pot, discarding any large pieces of fat. Stir the shredded pork into sauce to incorporate. Taste and add more salt as needed.

  2. Meanwhile, make the caramelized pineapple. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the pineapple, onion, and brown sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, tir until the sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the pineapple is browned and the onion is softened, 8 to 10 more minutes. If the bottom of the pan is browning, add a splash of water.

  3. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the pulled pork onto each brioche bun. Top with BBQ sauce, caramelized pineapples, and cilantro before serving.


Instant Pot:

  1. Season the pork all over with the salt. Using the saute function, heat the oil in the Instant Pot. Once the oil is glistening, add the meat and cook until browned, about 10 minutes total.

  2. Add the crushed pineapple, onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Lock the lid in place, being sure to close the vent valve, and cook on high pressure for 1 hour. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release if needed.

  3. Using tongs or two forks, shred the pork in the pot, discarding any large fat pieces of fat. Stir the shredded pork back into sauce to incorporate. Taste and add more salt as needed.

  4. Finish as directed for the slow cooker.


Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

  2. Season the pork all over with the salt. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the meat and cook until browned, about 10 minutes total.

  3. Add the crushed pineapple, onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to the oven. Roast for 3½ hours, or until the pork is very tender.

  4. Using tongs or two forks, shred the pork in the pot, discarding any large fat pieces of fat. Stir the shredded pork back into sauce to incorporate. Taste and add more salt as needed.

  5. Finish as directed for the slow cooker.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories426
  • Protein44 g
  • Carbohydrates50 g
  • Total Fat10 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol117 mg
  • sodium827 mg
  • Total Sugars20 g

Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwich

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Vanessa Hester

    Can you use canned pineapple rings?

    Definitely! Hope you enjoy Vanessa!

  • Anna Janusz

    Do you think this would work on Low for 8 hours? Or is that too much time with not enough heat? I have to be at work all day so wondering if I can cook longer.....

    That should be fine. Enjoy!

  • Shanique Shanté

    Pineapple and pork are like a match made in heaven! I can't wait to try this recipe out!

    They are!

  • Amanda

    I made this once and am back again it was so delicious! Can't wait to have it again, thanks for the great recipe!

    Love that it's worthy of your repetition, Amanda! Thanks for letting us know!

  • Shannon Childers Hatcher

    This is my fourth time making this and it makes my family HAPPY and EXCITED for dinner every time!!!

    Yay! That's the best news!

  • Kelli Ruth

    We LOVE this dish in our house! Seriously, so good! BUT twice now I’ve cooked the meat on high, and had trouble shredding it. Not sure if it dries out quicker that way or what. Highly recommend cooking on low for 6-8 hours for best results. 👌

    Good to know! I haven't made it in a while. I will retest and edit soon!