Super Easy Slow Cooker Pork

Super Easy Crockpot Shredded Pork - and a trick for getting those deliciously golden crispy bits! | pinchofyum.comThis post is a part of a Marzetti® ambassador program. It is sponsored by Marzetti and product (specifically the yummy balsamic dressing) has been provided by them.Tracking Pixel

Pork in the crockpot is a totally foolproof win.

Exhibit A: I am not much a meat-maker, grill master, stew lady, whatever you want to call it. I just don’t really cook meat that much, but when I do, I do pork in the crockpot. Without fail, it turns out so delicious with a very minimal effort. As in, let’s go eat candy while this machine makes our house smell good. It’s a food cheating short cut that’s legal. And even recommended.

The idea for this recipe came from my obsession with the crockpot carnitas. Yeah, THOSE crockpot carnitas. They are so good, so simple, and they make for a very happy house at dinnertime. But sometimes you just don’t want Mexican food anymore, you know? Like after eating 900 million avocados, you say to yourself: gimme a different kind of food.

So this is my new go-to for those days when you want a crockpot pork meal with a very versatile, rich flavor and that classic perfectly golden crispy exterior. And it really does go with anything: with a baked sweet potato, with a rice pilaf, on a sandwich, over some mashed potatoes, or with some polenta. Yummy yummy good good.

Super Easy Crockpot Shredded Pork - pinchofyum.com

For this pork recipe, I welcomed Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Balsamic Dressing to the party. I love it because

  • It’s not overly balsamic-y. Let’s face it – straight up balsamic is sometimes really really strong. This dressing is just slightly creamy and much milder than traditional balsamic, while still kicking a teensy bit with that balsamic tang.
  • It has a short, recognizable ingredient list. Simply Dressed. Get it?
  • It has a flavor that works with lots of things, so you can use it to make crockpot pork and then drizzle your freshy-fresh salad with it the next day. Versatility, kids. It’s a good thing.

Super Easy Crockpot Shredded Pork - and a trick for getting those deliciously golden crispy bits! | pinchofyum.com

Alright, rule #1 of this crockpot pork. YOU MUST BROIL THE MEAT.

It would be such a shame if you cooked your pork in the crockpot all day and then just… ate it. Juicy and delicious? Yes. Beautifully golden brown and lightly crisped? No.

You would miss out on the most deliciously golden crispy bits of meat that get that sort of caramelized exterior and my mouth is watering as I type. This is THE THING that makes it for both texture and taste. Crockpot all day long, then broil just before serving.

Super Easy Crockpot Shredded Pork - and a trick for getting those deliciously golden crispy bits! | pinchofyum.com

Once you broil, just gaze upon the beauty. It really gives this otherwise homely looking shredded meat a nice lil makeover.

Super Easy Crockpot Shredded Pork - and a trick for getting those deliciously golden crispy bits! | pinchofyum.com

Pop some color on there with some fresh herbs. WHOA SNAP POP. It looks gorgeous and tastes deeelicious. If you’re looking for an extra kick of flavor (honey orange fans out there?) check the notes of the recipe. I left a secret there for you.

This is one of those recipes that you just kinda keep up your sleeve at all times. So hold tight and don’t let go. Pork in the crockpot is the way to go.

PS. I used my regular slow cooker for this recipe which is a Crock-Pot that I’ve had for the last five years. SO MUCH FOOD has come out of that thing over the life of this blog which is pretty impressive for a $28 kitchen appliance.

5.0 from 11 reviews
Super Easy Slow Cooker Pork
Author: 
Serves: 9-12
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 1 cup soda (I used Sprite)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Marzetti Simply Dressed Balsamic dressing
Instructions
  1. Place the pork, soda, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  2. When the meat falls apart easily, shred it directly in the crockpot with two forks. Add the balsamic dressing and stir with the liquid in the crockpot. The meat should be saucy and moist.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (or use the broil setting if you have that) and transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread it in an even, thin layer and cook in the preheated oven until the juices are bubbling and the edges are crispy, 10-15 minutes (less time if you have a broil setting).
  4. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy on sandwiches, with a baked potato, or however else you want to enjoy it.
Notes
Notes: You can also whisk the juice of one orange and a spoonful of honey together and drizzle it over the meat before broiling for an extra flavorful browned exterior. Bjork wanted his “plain”, but I liked the tangy-sweet combo.

 

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Comments

  1. Looks like perfect Super Bowl food! Gotta try this one.

  2. Only 900 million avocados you said? And I always thought of you as Billionaire avocado kind of girl…guess I was wrong ;)
    And yes, pork + slow cooked = marriage made in heaven. You can’t go wrong with it!

  3. Oh man, I have clearly been eating slower cooker pork the wrong way for MY WHOLE LIFE! I never knew about this broil the pork wizardry that you speak of! Crispy bits, juicy bits…I want all the bits of this pork. Thanks for the awesome tip!

  4. That honey-orange idea is amazing!!

  5. I recently started broiling after slow cooking, and you’re right–it makes all the difference! Try slow cooker wings that have been broiled–perfection!

  6. What perfect looking slow cooker pork! Perfect for this weekend!!

  7. Looks amazing! Getting ready to cook pork up for this weekend. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Now this is my kind of food!! Totally want this for Sunday!

  9. The crockpot and pork are soul mates. Thanks for bringing these two love birds together. I’m all over the broiling tip too!

  10. This looks delicious, will definitely be trying this out for dinner next week.

  11. Sound yummy!!! Is the orange juice combo used instead of the dressing or in additon to the dressing?

  12. I was looking for the perfect pork recipe to use in carnitas, and I think I just found it! That broiling tip is clutch — thank you :)

  13. Looks yamish! I have to try it!

  14. Looks amazing & would be perfect to make on the weekend for many taco nights throughout the week!

  15. Ooo. Love this. Pork in the crock pot ALWAYS works – and that broiling at the end? Excellent! Love it when you do these things! ;)

  16. You’ve taught me so much about food photography, all I can think about is how long it must have taken you to style that platter of meat! Beautiful!

    • Thanks Lindsay! I pulled out the nice pretty pieces to arrange them on top, but it was a pretty quick shoot! Which is nice because lately it’s been taking me forever to get the photos how I want them… oh food. :)

  17. Thanks for reminding us that a slow cooker can cook, but it can’t brown! A broiler is a must for getting that wonderful, brown, crispy exterior.

  18. I cook with meat a little more than I wish to because my family loves it, but not too much pork. No idea why since I too am a huge carnitas lover! This pork sounds so good. Love the dressing!

  19. Broiling brilliance! My goodness, this looks so delectable. I think you are my long lost best friend; I am not a meat cooker and I would always much rather go eat candy than stand and cook meat. Let’s meat someday, yes? Sorry sorry, couldn’t resist the pun! ;) Have a great weekend, Lindsay!

  20. Angelique says:

    Looks like the perfect pressure cooker recipe. =)

  21. Ha, no one else commenting seems to not “get this” so I’m likely being dense. You say “Preheat oven to 400 degrees…” – which doesn’t sound like the broiling function to me – but then follow that with “broil for 10-15 min.” Could you please clarify for me – is it a quick trip through a hot oven or is it literally under broiler? Thanks!

    • Sorry, yes. I just use the 400 degree oven to “broil”, because my oven doesn’t have a broil function. But use the broil if you have it and just watch it (less time needed).

    • Sarah – I cooked mine in oven too as I didn’t know how to operate my daughter in laws grill inside her oven (or broiler as it is called in USA) It turned out just fine, I also squeezed half an orange over it before putting into oven.

  22. Got to get myself a crockpot! ;-)

  23. Great idea on the broiling. That could fix several recipes that I have. Flavor is aways good, but the texture needs some help. Thanks!

  24. This looks perfect to fight off my January Blues…

    (Wait? Is it February already?) ;)

  25. This looks amazing! Question for you, though.. I can’t do soda. Could I substitute a beer in place, or any other ideas? I would sooo appreciate it!

  26. Ohmygoodness! I never thought about putting meat under the broiler after it being in the crockpot. Genius, genius. And I’m totally with you – the honey-orangey goodness must be done. I wish I could eat this rightthisveryminute. :)

  27. You are so right. Broiling up the pork to get crispy little bits is the best part. It’s absolutely essential!

  28. I will definitely make this!

  29. I’m new to the world of crockpots and just now discovering their magic, but oh goodness… I am totally sold. So much easier than hovering and cooking it myself all day long! I love that little bit about broiling the pork at the end to add that crispy element. I’d skip all the veggies and carbs and just eat the meat. Yum!

  30. Yum – I’ll have to try this!

  31. Would BBQ sauce taste OK with this recipe or is the balsamic flavor be too intense and clash?

  32. You are 100% right with the broil step. It makes all the difference.

  33. Hi Lindsay – Love this recipe and am going to make it as is for Superbowl today. Am wondering, though, about the purpose of the Sprite and what might make a good substitution? Is it for sweetness or caramelization or both? Would honey work? I’m not fond of cooking with soda and HFCS. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Diane! Sorry I’m just seeing this now. I used Sprite because I often use carbonated beverages to help with the texture of the meat. Beer, soda, in this case… Sprite. :) And yes, for the sweetness too. I think you could use just about anything and it would still taste great. It’s a really flexible and forgiving recipe. Maybe try a broth?

  34. Indeed. Slow-cookers are a working mom’s secret weapon.

  35. Spends great! Would pork chops work instead of pork shoulder?

  36. I made this today and had it for supper… It was a total hit with 6/5 stars!! Thanks so much for the recipe.

  37. I have a similar recipe I make and use my Nesco roaster – you can use it as a slow cooker, then at the end I crank it up to 400 and cook for another 20 minutes – it’s THE best part!

    going to try this recipe the next time we make it

  38. Another Pinterest devotee here. I tried this last night for a dinner party. It was AMAZING. I never follow a recipe to the “T” so I did my own spice combo and used root beer instead (I know it’s obnoxious, so sorry.) I promise I don’t work for Marzetti, but that balsamic business was divine. The broiling tip, why in the hizzity-ell haven’t I tried that in the past? This dish was a huge success, so thanks for that!!!!

  39. Thanks Lindsay for sharing this great easy, yet tasty recipe. Have always wanted to try pulled pork but just never got around to it.
    However I am currently visiting my son and his American wife in Broken Hill in outback Australia where temps are hitting 110F. I was able to put this in slow cooker and go off to the Aquatic Centre to cool down! Although unable to buy that particular dressing here in Oz, I substituted half a cup of Honey Mustard & Macadamia dressing with half a cup of Balsalmic Vinegar & Olive oil dressing. A complete hit with all, including the littlies and daughter in law said it definitely brought back memories of home ( N.Carolina) which she left 17 yrs ago.
    Will be making this again as soon as I get back to Sydney. A definite winner!

  40. Made it tonight and loved it! This is the third recipe I have made of yours and I have loved them all! Thanks for making my life a little easier!

  41. Hi! I just got all the ingredients for this to make right now! I have a bone-in 6 lb shoulder — will either of those things affect the cooking time? And I was just going to double the ingredients — does that sound about right? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this and then do the carnitas tamale pie with leftovers :-)

    • Nope – I use bone in sometimes and as long as the meat fits comfortably in the crockpot I think it’s fine. Double sounds good… maybe even be a little extra generous even with the doubling. :)

      • Thank you for the reply! Just had to give you an update that it turned out great! SOOO tasty. I used Fresca as my soda and you can taste it in there, but not in a bad way :) We ended up making quesadillas with the meat and I also made the carnitas tamale pie (which we haven’t tried yet — way too full!). Very happy I found this link in Pinterest. Currently browsing your blog for more ideas. Thank you :)

  42. Daniela says:

    Made this for dinner tonight! I did not have chili powder so I used cayenne pepper. It turned out great, except next time I think I will check it while it’s in the oven mix it around and let it stay in there for a little bit longer. Mine was still a little juicy when I took it out of the oven – I would have preferred it like the picture. Served w baked potatoes and sautéed spinach! Thanks for the great recipe :)

  43. Thanks so much for the tip on broiling the pulled pork. I started doing that for carnitas when posted about that some time back, but I forgot about it. It’s the little stuff that can make food outstanding.

  44. Thanks for posting- what a great idea to broil instead of fry the meat before serving to make it crispy.

    Can’t find the SD Balsamic dressing in my neck of the woods, and love a balsamic flavor – any substitution ideas?

    I enjoy your recipes.

  45. Great recipe idea! Sometimes I want something other than BBQ. (No offense BBQ, I love you, too.) Thanks to the other reader who used root beer. I prefer and have root beer on hand so will do that. Question: spoonful of honey… teaspoon or tablespoon? Oh and MARZETTI: This girl is a good ambassador. I’d never heard of your Simply Dressed line, took a look at your page and will most definitely try out at least four of your other Simply Dressed items. That solves two other problems: removing preservatives, etc. and finding a good blue cheese dressing. Glad I clicked on this page today, Lindsay.

  46. Barbara Gallgher says:

    Just made this tonight with some boneless country ribs I had languishing in the freezer and used Paul Newman’s Balsamic vinaigrette because that’s what I had on hand. Otherwise followed the recipe. Oh my goodness!!!! I’m standing in my kitchen just eating fork fulls straight from the pan…it’s SO delicious!!! Somebody please stop me before I eat the whole pan!!!!

    Love this recipe. It’s going in my book. Love your blog, too, by the way, and can’t wait to try more of your recipes. :)

  47. jody p. says:

    I can’t have Worcestershire sauce. Can you suggest a substitute? Thanks!

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