Sweet and Sour Hawaiian Pulled Pork

Heather Dessinger

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sweet sour hawaiian pulled pork

We love pulled pork (and I love how easy it is to make). This Hawaiian pulled pork recipe is a delicious twist on the classic. The kids beg for it and we actually prefer this version to one with regular barbecue sauce.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork (in the Instant Pot!)

What is Hawaiian pulled pork you ask? Think sweet and sour meets barbecue! Fresh pineapple and pineapple juice add a touch of natural sweetness, while apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, and a little ketchup give it that BBQ tang.

I love my Instant Pot for cooking up tender cuts of meat in no time, but a slow cooker works just as well! (Just takes a lot longer.)

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Sweet and Sour Hawaiian Pulled Pork Recipe

Juicy and tender pulled pork with pineapple made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 355kcal
Author Heather Dessinger



  • Roughly chop the onions and place them in the bottom of a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  • Put the pork shoulder on top of the onions.
  • Pour the water and fresh pineapple juice over the pork.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, mustard, ketchup, cumin, paprika, salt, and apple cider vinegar. 
  • Pour the spice mixture over the pork.
  • Cook in a slow cooker on low for 7 hours or on high for 5 hours. Cook in an Instant Pot on high pressure for 45 minutes and allow pressure to release naturally.
  • With one hour of slow cooking time left or after pressure releases in Instant Pot, remove pork to a cutting board and use two forks to shred.
  • Return the pork and add the diced pineapple to the slow cooker to finish cooking or to the Instant Pot to heat through.
  • Enjoy!


Serving Suggestions:
  • Mix in some barbecue sauce for barbecue pulled pork
  • Serve in tortillas or lettuce wraps alongside mango avocado salsa and southwest coleslaw
  • Serve over salad greens with the above sides to make a pulled pork salad


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.7g | Protein: 35.1g | Fat: 18.6g | Saturated Fat: 6.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7.7g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

Here are some ideas for serving.

  • Wrapped in gluten-free tortillas or lettuce wraps with southwest coleslaw (mix sour cream, a little vinegar, and taco seasoning together. A little shredded red cabbage and this mango avocado salsa would be amazing with it!
  • Layered over greens with the above sides to make a Hawaiian pulled pork salad!

How do you like your pulled pork? Have any other twists on the classic to share?

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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30 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Hawaiian Pulled Pork”

  1. Hi there. This looks great and I am really inspired to make it. I had never heard of pulled pork (or any other pulled meat) till my very good friend form the US moved back here and stayed with us for a few weeks until they were sorted. What I would like to know is… (a) Do I leave the rind on the pork or remove it before cooking? (b) What would you normally serve it with (ie, what ‘toppings’) or how would it be eaten? We have just put our 2 porkers in the freezer and need lots of pork recipes…

    • Hi Annette,
      I would recommend removing the rind before cooking, and the topping are really up to your wildest imagination! I personally believe that homemade BBQ, Avocado Mango Chutney, and Red Cabbage Slaw are amazing with it. But you can honestly top it any way you like, with cheese, tomato, lettuce – or even just plain!
      Katie @ Girl Meets Nourishment

  2. Hi Tanya,

    That is an excellent question – since tomatoes are out of the question, you could easily omit the ketchup and add in extra pineapple juice.
    Hope this helps!

  3. Hay lovies – I made this a couple days ago and ended up with pork stew. SO much liquid formed during cooking, I seriously don’t understand where it came from. Started out with the pork covered with paste on the bed of onions and a quarter inch of juice and water in the bottom of the crock. I woke up to the pork completely submerged in liquid. When I added the pineapple chunks I left the lid off hoping some would evaporate out, but not much. Any suggestions or ideas what I did wrong?

  4. Trying this today! It’s in the slow cooker now. I left out the cumin and paprika because I’m AIP and just starting to reintroduce things. I’m using this as my mustard reintroduction. I have mustard with only mustard seed, vinegar, salt, and turmeric as the ingredients. I also used carrot ketchup instead of tomato ketchup. Can’t wait to try it!

  5. The taste is FABULOUS! I will make this again (and probably again!). However, just a heads up, don’t over-cook or you may end up with mush. lol

  6. I made this once and it was absolutely delicious! I multiple the recipe by 5 and it barely fit in the slow cooker. This time I’m only quadrupling the batch. Ha. It’s so easy and delicious!!! Thank you so much! This is definitely a keeper!

    • Hi, Becky!
      Not sure if you’ll see my comment, but I see that you multiplied this by 5! I need to quadruple this recipe. Would I then need to quadruple all the ingredients? Just checking since that would be a LOT of liquid!


  7. Another great recipe! So I included this one in my contributor post – “50 Fabulous Grain-Free Slow Cooker Meals” – over at Keeper of the Home too. I hope it sends lots of new friends your way! 🙂

  8. Hi!
    I was wondering… I need to quadruple this recipe so that I can feed a crowd using a 6 lb. pork roast or pork shoulder. Would I just quadruple all the ingredients? Just checking since that would be a LOT of liquid! Thanks for your help!!!