Paleo Carolina Pulled Pork | Paleo Spirit #paleo

Even though I am originally from Texas where beef barbecue is king, I attended grad school in South Carolina and developed a serious appreciation for pulled pork with mustard based sauce.  This recipe for Ancho Chile Pulled Pork Barbecue contains a decent amount of mustard and vinegar for a REALLY tangy taste reminiscent of Carolina Pulled Pork.  The ancho chile powder and tomato paste mellow out the mustard a bit which gives the sauce a unique flavor. Almost every barbecue sauce you find in the grocery store is full of high fructose corn syrup. Eating Paleo means eliminating sugar as much as possible so this recipe contains no sugar yet does not sacrifice flavor.

Another great aspect of easy pulled pork recipes is cost. The pork shoulder and pork butt are fairly inexpensive cuts of meat.  I purchased the 9 pound pork shoulder at $1.29 per pound.  This Paleo barbecue recipe makes more than 12 servings which means it is seriously economical. You will likely also have left over sauce you can use to spice up other dishes.

Paleo Carolina Pulled Pork | Paleo Spirit #paleo

Ancho Chile Pulled Pork Barbecue Recipe

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1 (7-9 pound) pork roast, either shoulder or butt
  • 1/4 cup water

Paleo Carolina Barbecue Sauce

  •  1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Liquid from the cooked pork


Mix the ancho chile powder, sea salt, paprika, onion powder, dry mustard and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Paleo Spice RubRinse the pork and pat dry with a paper towel.Paleo Spice Rub and PorkRub the entire pork with the spices.  Place the seasoned pork shoulder in a large crockpot and add 1/4 cup water.Paleo Pork Shoulder in Crockpot Cook on high for AT LEAST six hours or on low for up to 9 hours. (The longer time will make it easier to shred)

Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue Sauce

When the pork is done, drain the liquid into a large-bottomed pan, skim off some of the fat and simmer until reduced by about half. Add the vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, garlic, salt, cayenne and black pepper into the saucepan.  Heat at medium, and simmer and stir for 10 minutes.

paleo barbecue sauceOnce the pork has cooled off a bit you should remove any bones and as much of the large pieces of fat as reasonably possible.  Using two forks, “pull” the pork until it is nicely shredded but not destroyed into mush.

Paleo Pulled Pork

Pour half of the prepared barbecue sauce over the pork and stir until well coated. Serve the pulled pork with a side of the remaining sauce. I also recommend serving the pork with some sort of coleslaw.  When my garden is in full swing I shred cabbage, carrots, onions and raw beets and toss with an oil and vinegar dressing. (Recipe for Beet and Cabbage Coleslaw or Spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw)

Paleo Carolina Pulled Pork and Beet Slaw | Paleo Spirit #paleo

Paleo eating does not include ordinary buns. BUT if you are determined to enjoy your Carolina Pulled Pork with a bun of some sort you might want to try my recipe for Paleo Dinner Rolls.  Enjoy, y’all!