Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork from justataste.com #recipe

The cranberry sauce is chilling, the mashed potatoes are in motion and the oil is coming to a boil for our annual Christmas Day feast starring a deep-fried turkey and all the trimmings. And while I’m counting down the minutes until I pile my plate high this evening, I can’t help but start planning for the next food-filled celebration: New Year’s Eve!

‘Tis the season of slow cooker creations, and this time I’m serving up a spinoff on the most pinned Just a Taste recipe of 2013. Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork stars meltingly tender pork shoulder slow-cooked in a sauce of balsamic, honey, garlic, onions, and my secret ingredient, blackberry jam.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork from justataste.com #recipe

But there’s no fork required for this party-perfect bite. Serve the pulled pork piled high atop brioche buns topped off with a serving of crunchy, cool Asian-inspired coleslaw. Or, skip the sliders and slaw and grab the tortillas for slow cooker pulled pork tacos with pickled red onions. New Year’s Eve has never tasted so good.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork from justataste.com #recipe

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork from justataste.com #recipe

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork from justataste.com #recipe

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Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 9 hours

Ingredients:

1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) boneless pork shoulder
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup blackberry jam (See Kelly's Notes)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 recipe Asian Slaw or store-bought coleslaw
12 slider-sized buns or rolls

Directions:

Trim any excess fat from the pork shoulder and place it in the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, balsamic vinegar, jam, hoisin, chicken broth, garlic and onion, and then pour the sauce over the pork shoulder. Cover the slow cooker and cook the pork shoulder on LOW for 8 to 9 hours until it is no longer pink and is cooked throughout.

Using tongs, remove the pork shoulder from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the pork shoulder into smaller pieces. Place the pulled pork in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.

Transfer the liquids from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and whisk in the slurry. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the pulled pork, tossing to combine.

Halve the buns. Divide the pulled pork between the buns, topping the pork with a portion of the Asian Slaw, and serve immediately.

Kelly's Notes:
If you don't have blackberry jam, you can use any other variety of jam, such as raspberry or plum.

Depending on your preferences, you may want to pour only a portion of the sauce over the pulled pork. Any leftover sauce can be served with other proteins or veggies.

The pulled pork and slaw can also be served in tortillas for pulled pork tacos.

Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

      

80 Responses to “Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork”

  1. #
    1
    Dina — December 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    sounds delicious!

  2. #
    2
    Jessica's Dinner Party — December 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Yumm! The addition of pickled red onion sounds perfect!

  3. #
    3
    JulieD — December 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    These look soooo good!! Hope you had a nice Christmas, Kelly!!

  4. #
    4
    Happy Valley Chow — December 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Holy cow! I need to try this ASAP!! Totally craving this now….Hope you had a terrific holiday :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  5. #
    5
    Julie @ Lovely Little Kitchen — December 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Loving the flavors going on here, and I’m always looking for slow cooker recipes for busy weeknights. Pinning to try soon!

  6. #
    6
    TamTam — December 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Looks yummy! Has anyone tried it with grape jam? Also, I don’t have hoisin sauce, what would a good substitute be?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 29th, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

      Hi TamTam! Grape jam would definitely work, but I’m afraid the hoisin is a crucial ingredient. You could try substituting additional jam for the hoisin, but I’ve never tried that before. Hope that helps!

  7. #
    7
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane — December 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    These look so mouth-wateringly tasty I could eat one right now, even though it’s only 9am! I especially love the colourful effect with the Asian slaw and the whole thing seems like it would be so easy to make … just my kind of recipe.
    Thanks for this great idea!

  8. #
    8
    Amie — December 31, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I’ve just bought all the ingredients ready to make this new year’s day. Very excited!

    Just wondering, as I’m going to be terribly hungover, will it be ok to pop all the ingredients in the pot tonight and refrigerate/marinade ready to slow cook in the morning?

    Many tas

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 31st, 2013 @ 10:50 am

      Hi Amie! I’ve never tried marinating the pork in the ingredients a night in advance, but as long as you keep it covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated, it should work out (although I can’t say with certainty!). Let me know how it goes, and I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s!

  9. #
    9
    Carrie — January 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    This sounds SO yummy! However, we are not pork eaters. Has anyone tried it with chicken? If so, what would the cooking time be? Thanks!

  10. #
    10
    Carly — January 11, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Can you cook on high for half that time and still get the same results?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 11th, 2014 @ 11:55 am

      Hi Carly! I definitely wouldn’t cook it on “high” for 8 to 9 hours or the pork will dry out. If you’d like to use the “high” setting, I’d recommend anywhere from 4 to 5 hours, but just make sure the pork is fully cooked. Hope that helps!

  11. #
    11
    Carly — January 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks! It worked on high for 4 hours and tastes great. But my sauce isn’t nearly as thick as yours. I followed the recipe (added the cornstarch, boiled it for actually 5 minutes), any tips on what I may have done wrong? Maybe I should have just been more patient and boiled longer? :) Tasty though!

  12. #
    12
    Cissy Bills — January 15, 2014 at 1:22 am

    I’m thinking of making this for a bigger crowd this weekend. If I wanted to double the recipe would you recommend doubling all the ingredients in the list (including the vinegar, cornstarch, etc). Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 1:25 am

      Absolutely, Cissy! Just make sure you have a large enough slow cooker and adjust the cooking time. The sauce, when doubled, may also take additional time to thicken. Enjoy!

  13. #
    13
    Jamie — January 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    This is an AMAZING recipe – thanks for posting! I love pulled pork, but was getting sick of just doing bbq flavour, so this was so perfect. I made it on NYE in a hurry, so put it on high for 4-5 hours and it was great! I am making it again right now. The only change I made was blending the onion and garlic with the liquids beforehand, because I didn’t like the chunks – but that’s just me! Thanks again :)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 18th, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed my recipe, Jamie :)

  14. #
    14
    liza — January 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Just made this and OH MY DAYS!!!! Thank you, it is just tastelicious..

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 20th, 2014 @ 9:48 am

      Awesome! So glad to hear it, Liza!

  15. #
    15
    Ana — January 19, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Sounds delicious would love to try it but don’t have a slow cooker. Can this be cooked in the oven, if so what temperature and for how long?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 20th, 2014 @ 9:46 am

      Hi Ana! I’ve never tried making this recipe without a slow cooker so I can’t say for certain what the time/temp would be.

  16. #
    16
    Ashlee — January 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I’d like to scale this recipe up to serve 8-10 people; should I double it, or just increase the amount of meat and slightly increase the amount of sauce?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 21st, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

      Hi Ashlee! I’ve never tried doubling this recipe, so I can’t say for certain, but depending on the size of your slow cooker, if you do try doubling the meat portion, I’d also double the liquids. Otherwise the pork won’t be covered and it’ll dry out. Hope that helps!

  17. #
    17
    Kristin — January 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Absolutely amazing. Can’t wait to make these. I think the hubby will be quite happy :).

  18. #
    18
    Vanessa — January 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I made the pulled pork recipe today and hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a huge fan of hoisin sauce and that is what inspired me to make this recipe. Will definitely make it again.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 28th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

      So glad you enjoyed my recipe, Vanessa!

  19. #
    19
    Jessica — January 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    This was a hit for tonight’s dinner, both the pork and the slaw. I used a pork loin instead of pork shoulder, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. We will surely be making this meal again. Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 31st, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jessica!

  20. #
    20
    Beth — February 3, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I carefully followed the recipe to a ‘T’, and the sauce came out extremely liquidy. It was more of a broth than a sauce. Do I do something wrong, or is that how it is supposed to be? I even added extra corn starch and let it boil for about 10 minutes. I enjoyed the flavor, however when I think of pork BBQ’s I think of a nice thick, hearty sauce. The husband and I were rather disappointed. I will probably try this again at some point, but will consider halving the amounts of the liquids.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 3rd, 2014 @ 10:39 am

      Hi Beth – The sauce should be thick. Did you make the slurry then bring the sauce to a boil?

  21. #
    21
    Emily — February 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Absolutely delicious. I made this pulled pork over the weekend for friends and served it on slider buns with your Asian slaw. Tonight I plan to serve leftovers over polenta for a quick Monday night meal. Thank you for the great recipe!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 3rd, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it, Emily!

  22. #
    22
    Kari — February 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Does it matter if the jam has seeds in it? Is it best to use seedless jam? Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 4th, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

      Hi Kari! It makes no difference whatsoever :) I’ve made it with jam that contains seeds and jam that doesn’t. Tastes great either way!

  23. #
    23
    Beth — February 5, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Yes, I did. I added the slurry and let it boil for about 5 minutes. When I saw that it wasn’t thickening at all, I added even more starch and let it boil for about another 5 minutes. Still watery. I don’t know where I went wrong! =(

  24. #
    24
    Andy — February 8, 2014 at 5:32 am

    OMG looks to die for… Will try it on sunday. No good buns available here in Germany, so I will make my own. So looking forward, will let you know about the result! Greetings from Hamburg!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 8th, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

      Awesome! Hope you enjoy the recipe, Andy!

  25. #
    25
    Gloria — February 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    If my pork shoulder is frozen should I defrost it first or can I put it right in?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 8th, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

      Hi Gloria – I’ve never started mine with a frozen pork shoulder, so I can’t say for certainty what would work best. Definitely increase the cooking time if you do start with a frozen pork shoulder.

  26. #
    26
    Carol — February 10, 2014 at 6:39 am

    This recipe is fabulous, so tasty and I will definitely make it again. So nice to have a different recipe for slow cooked pork, a sweet and sour taste. My sauce turned out perfect, the trick is to add more cornstarch to make a thicker sauce or if you cook on the stove for a while it will reduce down thicker. Absolutely yummy!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 10th, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it!

  27. #
    27
    Sophie — February 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Hi from Australia! Thanks for the great recipe! As it so happens, I chose it because I had all the ingredients in my fridge / pantry already! Well, I’m glad I did as it turned out beautifully! Just some clarification on other people’s questions you might not have been able to answer as you haven’t tested – I used a frozen pork shoulder and defrosted it fully PRIOR to the cooking. I also did not use a slow cooker (mine is still unopened in its box from my wedding 3 years ago!) but instead used a cast iron pot (with lid) and popped it into my fan forced oven for 8-9 hours at 120c (250f). Turned out perfect. Thanks again :)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 19th, 2014 @ 6:58 am

      Awesome! Thanks so much for these great notes about the substitutions, Sophie!

  28. #
    28
    Tanya @ Australian Foodie — March 6, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I made this over the weekend with Asian Slaw and served on buns with sweet potato wedges- it was such a winner! The blackberry jam and hoisin melted beautifully into the pork and everyone at the table loved it. Super easy in the slow cooker too- thanks for the recipe!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 7th, 2014 @ 1:10 am

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Tanya!

  29. #
    29
    Diane — March 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I just finished putting everything in the slow cooker and am so looking forward to dinner tonight. That being said, this was my first time making pork and I was wondering if you have any tips for trimming the fat.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:09 am

      Hi Diane – It depends on your personal preferences, but most pork tenderloin will have only a small amount of fat/silverskin, which you can trim. But it’s not essential to trim off any of the fat.

  30. #
    30
    Leah — March 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I just made your recipe this weekend with a few tweaks of my own and we loved it! Thank you for sharing such a clear and easy to create method. I’ll make sure to pingback to this post when I share my version later on this month. Leah – Sharing The Food We Love

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 24th, 2014 @ 8:26 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Leah!

  31. #
    31
    Amy — April 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Hi, I am making this tomorrow, and i’ve just realised I have forgotten to get any jam! Is there anything I could substitute?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 3rd, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

      Hi Amy! You could use more hoisin sauce, if you have it!

  32. #
    32
    Luke — April 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks for the fantastic recipe. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a recipe which is so easy to make but has such a high taste payoff!

  33. #
    33
    Kristen — April 6, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Very yummy, eating it right now!

  34. #
    34
    Angela Lopez — April 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    OMGGGGGG… where have you been all my life?! I found this recipe on Pinterest…and am now a loyal follower!

    changed some things around to make it paleo friendly and paired it with an avocado slaw…

    so yum! (:

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 11th, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

      Haha! Thanks so much, Angela :) Welcome to Just a Taste!

  35. #
    35
    MJ — April 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Made this over the weekend, and the whole family loved it.

    I didn’t thicken it, so I could use it in other meals throughout the week.

    The meat was awesome in a quick quesadilla! I used muenster cheese and some sliced sweet Hawaiian onions. Then heated it up in a pan with some coconut oil until the cheese melted, the meat heated through, and the tortilla was crisp and slightly browned. Served with chopped romaine and sour cream. YUM!

    Thanks for such a great recipe!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 16th, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it :)

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