This orange barbecue pulled pork sandwich is full of orange flavor, using both orange juice and orange zest. It is also easy to make in your slow cooker/crockpot. Got leftovers? Find leftover pulled pork recipes here.
I’m down to the last giant bag of oranges from our visit to the orange grove. I’m feeling a little sad. My family and I have really enjoyed the freshly squeezed orange juice every day. And I’ve enjoyed baking and cooking with the oranges and trying them in everything.
It’s to the point where no one is surprised when I tell them what they are eating has oranges in it! And this orange barbecue pulled pork is one of our favorite new recipes!
Why this recipe is so awesome
I have made pulled pork a number of different ways. From smoked pulled pork to oven pulled pork, the flavor options are endless. But sometimes, my family wants a nice barbecue pulled pork and I love the ease of the slow cooker.
Since I had so many oranges on hand, and I baked a ton with many of them, I was looking for a way to use the oranges in a savory recipe. This orange bbq sauce is really tangy and not too sweet.
When you make your own bbq sauce, you can control what goes into it. Like it more sweet? Add more honey. Like more tang? Add more vinegar.
I added both the juice and zest of the orange to the sauce when gave such wonderful citrus flavor and aroma. And it was so easy to prepare, since it all gets thrown in the slow cooker and forgotten for six hours!
You can also prepare the pork on the grill or in the oven. To make the orange bbq sauce, combine the ingredients in a small pot and simmer for about an hour for the flavors to meld together.
Ingredients you need
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
- Boneless pork butt roast: You can use a bone in pork shoulder, Boston butt, picnic shoulder or pork loin.
- Oranges: Both the juice and zest of the orange is used. But if you only have orange juice on hand, you can omit the zest.
- Apple cider vinegar: You could use plain white vinegar, but I love the flavor of apple cider vinegar.
- Sweeteners: honey and mollasses
- Pantry staples: tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce
- Seasonings: salt, pepper, paprika, chile powder, cumin, onion powder
1. Trim off the large chunks of fat from roast and season with salt and pepper. Place pork roast in a 6-quart slow-cooker
2. Top the roast with onion slices.
3. In medium-sized bowl whisk together remaining ingredients then pour the orange bbq sauce over the pork roast and cover the slow-cooker.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours. For the last hour, remove the roast from the slow-cooker.
5. Use two forks or your fingers to pull pork apart until the entire roast is shredded. If you have a bone, remove it. Discard any excess fat. Return shredded pork to the slow-cooker and continue cooking for one hour. Place pulled pork into serving dish and mix in with some of the juices from the slow-cooker. Serve with rolls.
Recipe tips and FAQs
For this orange pulled pork, I served them as sandwiches. You can use regular dinner rolls, kaiser rolls, hamburger or hoagie buns. Dill pickles are a must for my family, too. Some of our favorite side dishes to serve with this include:
- Cider Vinegar Potato Salad
- Homemade Curly Fries
- Baked Sweet Potato Chips
- Mango Cole Slaw
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
You have several choices in meat cuts when preparing pulled pork. The most common choice is the pork shoulder. It is the lower part of the pork shoulder and includes part of the front leg quarter. Another great choice of meat for pulled pork is a Boston butt, which is above the shoulder blade and marbled with fat.
The picnic shoulder, or picnic ham, is a shoulder cut with the shank attached. This cut is cheaper than the other cuts because it requires less work butchering it, and it contains more bone. Some people use pork loin, but because it is such a lean meat, it can dry out. I prefer using the cheaper cuts of meat, and honestly, they taste better cooked this way.
- 4 lb boneless pork butt roast
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed preferred
- 6 oz tomato paste
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 3 TBS honey
- 3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 ½ tsp chile powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp molasses
- 8 kaiser rolls
- Trim off the large chunks of fat from roast and season with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
- Place pork roast in a 6-quart slow-cooker with onion slices.
- In medium-sized bowl whisk together orange juice, tomato paste, cider vinegar, honey, worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp salt, paprika, orange zest, garlic cloves, chile powder, cumin, onion powder and molasses.
- Pour barbecue sauce over the pork roast and cover the slow-cooker.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours.
- For the last hour, remove the roast from the slow-cooker.
- Use two forks or your fingers to pull pork apart until the entire roast is shredded. Discard any excess fat.
- Return shredded pork to the slow-cooker and continue cooking for one hour.
- Place pulled pork into serving dish and mix in with some of the juices from the slow-cooker.
- Serve with kaiser rolls.
- You can also smoke the pork roast over the grill and serve with this orange barbecue sauce.
Serving Suggestions: Got picky eaters? You can also cook the pork without the barbecue sauce. Just serve the sauce on the side for those who want to mix it in!
Cooking Tips: Don't have a slow-cooker? Heat your oven to 300º F and cook the pork without the water and bbq sauce in a roasting pan, fat side up, covered with aluminum foil, for 4 hours. Remove the foil and continue to bake until roast is tender, about 2 more hours. After shredding the pork, add bbq sauce and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 759Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 812mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 56g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my eMail list, too!