Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce is a lower-carb version of pulled pork that’s savory and delicious!

PIN Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce!


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce is my lower-carb take on a classic American dish, and one reason I decided to tackle this recipe was because I find most barbecue sauce recipes to be too sweet. I wanted to see if I could come up with a low-sugar pulled pork that would suit my preference for more savory flavors, so if you try this recipe, be prepared for a sauce with plenty of mustard flavor, smokiness, and spice, and just the barest touch of sweetness.

I started with a crockpot recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork that I’d spotted on Prudence Pennywise. I didn’t want a result that was super fatty, so I consulted my butcher for ideas about a lean cut of pork that would pull apart when cooked for a long time at a low temperature. I and ended up going with a pork loin roast that I cut into two pieces against the grain, so I had shreds of pork that were 3-4 inches long. (You could also use those Pork Sirloin Roasts that are such a good buy at Costco, or use boneless pork shoulder roast if you don’t care about fat.) 

I use either Heinz Low-Sugar Ketchup (affiliate link) or G. Hughes Sugar-Free Ketchup (affiliate link) as the base of my sauce. I originally made the low-sugar barbecue sauce with mostly Stevia Granulated Sweetener (affiliate link) and a bit of brown sugar for best flavor, but now that I’ve discovered Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) I make this with all sweetener and no brown sugar. 

Can I make this in the Instant Pot?

I do think pulled pork is the kind of recipe that’s perfect for the slow cooker, but to see how to make this in the Instant Pot, check out Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce process shots collage

How to make this pulled pork in the slow cooker:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. I trimmed all the outside fat off my pork loin roast, and then cut it in half against the grain. This roast was about 2.5 pounds after trimming, but next time I’d get one just a little bigger.
  2. I use either Heinz Low-Sugar Ketchup (affiliate link) or G. Hughes Sugar-Free Ketchup (affiliate link) for my low-sugar barbecue sauce. If you don’t want ketchup with artificial sweetener, look for a natural ketchup without added sugar.
  3. Mix the barbecue sauce in a measuring cup or bowl. I tasted a few times and added a little more of this or that until it tasted good to me. (The flavors will get more intense as it cooks.)
  4. Spray the crockpot with olive oil, then put the trimmed pork roast that you’ve cut in half in, pour the sauce over and cook all day on low. I used a 2.5-Quart Slow Cooker (affiliate link), so if you only have a big crockpot I’d double the amount of everything and make this a Weekend Food Prep recipe!
  5. When the meat is done enough to pull apart easily, remove from crockpot with a slotted spoon, then shred with two forks. (I ate some before I took this photo, so a two pound roast will be a little more than this!) Pork should cook about 7-8 hours, on low, depending on how hot your crockpot cooks.
  6. I thought the sauce seemed a little thin, so I took it out of the crockpot and simmered on the stove until it was reduced by about 1/3. This also concentrated the flavor just a bit more. (This step is completely optional.)
  7. You can put the shredded meat back into the crockpot with the sauce to keep it warm, or serve right away.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork thumbnail photo

Make it a Meal:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce would be great on sandwiches, but I just ate it with a salad of shredded lettuce, shredded, cabbage, and homemade blue cheese dressing.

More Slow Cooker Pork Recipes:

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Pork Recipes~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Slow Cooker Bavarian Pork Sirloin Roast with Sour Cream Gravy ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork ~ Baked by Rachel
CrockPot Salsa Pork Chops ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cilantro-Lime Slow Cooker Pork ~ Life’s Ambrosia
Slow Cooker Pork Sirloin Roast with Spicy Peanut Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes

This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce uses reduced sugar ketchup and your favorite sweetener to cut down on the carbs! If you have a large slow cooker, definitely double this recipe!


  • 3 lbs. boneless pork loin roast (see notes)
  • olive oil, for spraying crockpot (or use non-stick spray)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sugar ketchup or natural ketchup without added sugar (see notes)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 6 T Golden Monkfruit Sweetener, or to taste (or use the sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mustard (regular yellow mustard, not Dijon)
  • 2 tsp. Green Tabasco Sauce (or 1 tsp. red Tabasco)
  • 1 1/2 T Worcestershire Sauce (Be sure to look for gluten-free Worcestershire Sauce if needed.)
  • 1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke (or more, optional but recommended)


  1. Spray slow cooker with olive oil or non-stick spray.
  2. Trim most of the visible fat from pork loin roast, then cut in half against the grain and place in slow cooker.
  3. Combine reduced sugar or natural ketchup, tomato sauce, Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (or sweetener of your choice), apple cider vinegar, mustard, Green Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and Liquid Smoke in measuring cup or bowl and whisk together, then pour over roast.
  4. Turn slow cooker to low and cook 7-8 hours, or until meat shreds apart easily.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to remove meat from slow cooker, and place on cutting board.
  6. Check the sauce in slow cooker and if you’d like it a bit thicker, pour sauce into small saucepan and simmer at medium-low heat until reduced by 1/3, probably not longer than 10-15 minutes.
  7. While sauce thickens, use two forks to shred apart the meat, placing back in slow cooker to keep warm if desired.
  8. When sauce is as thick as you want it, pour over meat.
  9. This can be kept warm in the slow cooker for an hour or two, or served immediately.
  10. Leftover Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce will keep in the fridge for quite a few days and quickly reheated in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. This also freezes well.


If you trim most visible fat, the pork roast should be about 2 1/2 lbs. after trimming. For this recipe I use either Heinz Low-Sugar Ketchup or G. Hughes Sugar-Free KetchupGreen Tabasco Sauce, and Liquid Smoke (affiliate links).

If you prefer to make pulled pork in the Instant Pot, click here to see Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce.

Nutritional information is calculated using the low-sugar ketchup and Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) that I used.

This recipe adapted from Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from Prudence Pennywise; low-sugar barbecue sauce recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8.8gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 255mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: .5gSugar: 14gProtein: 49g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you’re making this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce for the South Beach Diet, follow the suggestions about using pork with only 10% fat and using low-sugar ketchup and an approved sweetener to sweeten the sauce. Obviously, the sauce without the brown sugar is most diet-friendly and lowest in carbs, although the small amount of brown sugar doesn’t add much sugar per serving. I’d probably limit this to Phase 2 or 3 for South Beach and I’d use portion control if you’re actively trying to lose weight. If you use all sweetener and omit the brown sugar this could be a treat for a low-carb dieter, although even low-sugar ketchup does have some carbs.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Slow Cooker Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click for Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Pinterest image of Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    54 Comments on “Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce”

  1. I'm glad people are liking this simple way to make pulled pork.

  2. Love the pop of the colors on the plate. I'm a big fan of pulled pork – bookmarking the recipe.

  3. I was actually craving this at 9am! It looks absolutely heavenly.

  4. You are correct Kalyn, most BBQ sauce recipes aare way to sweet. Also, Tu for a great slow cooker recipe as I need to start using it more.

  5. This sounds like an easy, flavorful dish. I really like the idea of the low-sugar sauce. Does that mean I can have seconds without the guilt?

  6. looks so juicy!

  7. That looks good. I do catering in San Francisco for a living and have tried many different types of ways to make pork. I myself do not like it, but alot of people as you know do. I am going to try this out.

  8. I'm not really into sweet sauces that's why I think this recipe will work for me. I like the idea of more savory flavors. Really interesting.:) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. Not only does this look delicious, but it looks beautiful too!!

  10. I'm with stash on the NC vinegar style bbq sauce for pulled pork, but that's because my first experience with real BBQ was as a barefoot kid on a farm in North Carolina. It was the best thing I had ever eaten.

    Here's one I got from my grandmother: http://www.nibblemethis.com/2009/02/i-like-big-butts-and-i-cannot-lie.html

    But this is more of a piedmont style. Further east in NC, they skip the ketchup altogether.

  11. Ulrike, would be fun to think of you cooking this American classic in Germany! Go for it.

    Katie, I'm not a big meat eater either, but I did like this very much.

    Helene, thanks. Super easy to make!

    Veron, hope you like it.

    Junglefrog, I guess barbecue season has passed here too, sigh.

    Cherry, I'm a pork fan too (especially for someone who's not much of a meat eater.)

    Amy, the reduced-sugar ketchup is great! I am loving my new office and now that I changed the desk I love it even more.

    Joanne, thanks, glad you like it.

    Stash, I have heard about the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. I think Chris Lilly sometimes goes there (I met him once at a Kingsford "Barbecue University." But the BlogHer conference is in August. Not sure I've had the Carolina Style barbecue, but it sounds interesting.

  12. I have BBQ at most three or four times a year. One of those times is usually at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in early June. (Incidentally Kalyn — it occurred to me that if you time your visit right, you can experience both the Block Party and the NYC BlogHer conference within the same time frame.) BBQ is just not something I have on a frequent basis so when I do eat it, I tend to go all out.

    I prefer vinegar-based sauces that aren't sweet so much as piquant. North Carolina-style pulled pork works well in this regard.

  13. I absolutely adore slow cooker pulled pork. I usually use pork tenderloin to do it, which is incredibly lean. I really like your homemade bbq sauce recipe!

  14. I didn't know that Heinz made a low-sugar ketchup. I haven't been able to eat store-bought ketchup for years. I make it (not often) from roasted tomatoes and it's a real treat. I never thought I'd hear myself say that.

    Your dish looks fabulous. Also saw on Twitter that you reorganized your office & have a great work space. I bet that feels great.

  15. Looks delicious. Thanks for this recipe. I just love pork no matter how they cook it.

  16. Now that title reminds me of BBQ season, which has really passed here.. 🙂 But I love how it looks!

  17. I love pulled pork, this is definitely a must try.

  18. I've never made Pulled Pork but love it. What a great recipe 🙂

  19. I can't wait to try this! I'm not usually a big meat eater, but pulled pork is one of the exceptions. I'm with you on the savory bbq sauce, too. Mustard is one of my favorite condiments, and I want to be able to taste it!

  20. mmh, I`ve never had pulled pork, but I own two Slow Cookers so I should do it in the near future

    Ulrike @ Küchenlatein