Healthier Pulled Pork Recipe

Man I love pulled pork.

Unfortunately the traditional recipe that I grew up eating is flavored with store bought BBQ sauce, which typically includes highly processed white sugar (or even worse – corn syrup!). I have come up with a healthier option along with a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce.

Never fear – it’s easier than you think.

This is what I will be serving at this Saturday’s party. Hope you can make it!

Cap’n Jack’s Pulled Pork


  • 4-5 lb pork shoulder – Carlton farms raises happy pigs and you can find them at Zupans, Otto’s and Fubonn among other places.
  • 1-2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small knuckle of fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 – 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


I chop my onion, garlic and ginger in the food processor so it is minced really fine.

Place meat in a crock pot with all of the above ingredients and cook for 10 – 12 hours. After the meat is cooked carefully pull it out of the crock – it will be falling apart in chunks – and place in a large pan. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Shred the pork with two forks and place it back in the crock. Add back in enough of the cooking liquid to moisten the pork – at least a cup. Add one cup (or to taste) of this delicious homemade BBQ sauce and cook for one hour more.

Mary Read’s Cutthroat BBQ Sauce

(pirate reference anyone? See the party on Saturday is nautical themed…oh never mind :))


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 16 oz cans of chopped tomatoes (or 3 cups fresh when in season)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder


Put all above ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low/medium heat for about a half hour. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.


Anne McCranie is a Licensed Massage Therapist and personal trainer in Sellwood (Portland) Oregon. She loves to eat and share good food. Please see your medical professional for specific dietary advice. Click here to see why Anne includes meat in her healthy diet.