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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Main Course

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork

This recipe for Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork features tender pork shoulder slow-cooked in a sauce of balsamic, honey, garlic, onions, and my secret ingredient, blackberry jam.
4.84 from 6 votes
Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork from justataste.com #recipe
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 9 hrs
Total Time 9 hrs 10 mins
Servings 6 servings

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

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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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.


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Nutrition

Calories: 448kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 306mg, Potassium: 375mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin C: 4.2mg, Calcium: 74mg, Iron: 2.9mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner and loved it! I was skeptical at first because the sauce mixture smelled so vinegary but as it cooked that smell went away and it became sweet and savory. I didn’t submerge the pork after thickening, instead I drizzled it on like a sauce. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was fantastic! I came back to rate this and I almost never rate recipes. The only changes we made were gluten free Hoisen sauce and we cooked it in the instant pot. Since it was a six pound roast I doubled the recipe and cooked it for 90 minutes and then made the sauce in the bottom of the pot. I served it as tacos with the pickled red onions and my family agreed this was a winner. We had froze the leftovers from that night.

    Fast forward a month, we thawed it out and the meat was just as flavorful as when we first cooked it and the texture was good too! We cooked the leftover meat into rolled tacos. Basically filling and rolling corn tortillas with the meat and frying them. Serving them with Cotija cheese on top and the pickled red onions diced up. We will definitly be making this again!

    1. Yum, yum, yum! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Natasha, and thank you so much for coming back to rate it!

  3. This looks and sounds SO good. It’s on my to-do list, can’t wait to make it. Thanks for sharing, Kelly! :)

  4. 4 stars
    This is a pretty good recipe. I did find it to be a little less flavorful than I wanted and I think the chicken broth is unnecessary, there’s already plenty of liquid IMHO. I will try it again with more additional seasonings and maybe a gourmet balsamic, and no broth. I did marinate it overnight as I prepped everything the night before I turned on the cooker. The cook time was perfect, love when I can just grab a bone out of a roast with tongs, and slip it right out!

  5. 5 stars
    I just made your honey balsamic pulled pork this week, and have made it several times in the past. Always so good! A great recipe!

  6. Hi. I’m a total newbie to instant pot pressure cooking and have very little experience in the kitchen (besides eating). So this might be a stupid question.

    Will this recipe still work if it’s pressure cooked for an hour (or whatever time you recommend) instead of 9 hrs slow cook? I’ve read that pressure cooking should work as well or often better than slow cooking because the eat is less likely to dry out.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Steve – I’ve never tried that so I’m not sure what the result would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

    2. Hi Steve! I’ve never tried this recipe in a pressure cooker so I’m not sure what the timing/settings would need to be.

  7. 5 stars
    Finally made this tonight for very fussy husband and son. We all love it! The slaw was so tasty too! I used the bagged slaw mix instead of all purple cabbage and it was great. Will definitely make this again. Thanks!

  8. Thank you for this great recipe. We had this as sandwiches, as the recipe suggests. Then I froze the rest and we had it another time over quinoa with some roasted cauliflower. Both were delicious. I’m adding these ingredients to the grocery list to have again this week!

    1. So glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Sarah! And I love your idea to serve it over quinoa!

  9. Hi Kelly! I’m really excited to try this recipe. When you say 4 – 6 servings, do you know how many sliders that comes out to about? I’m making this as part of a larger appetizer table. Thank you!

    1. Hi Chris! It definitely depends on how much pulled pork you pile onto each slider (and the size of the buns!). I’d say you could get at least 12 good-sized sliders. :)

  10. I made this and added some sliced pineapple and about 1/4th cup pineapple juice with siricha and it turn out unbelievable!!

  11. Hi Kelly, I am going to be making this over the weekend for the superbowl. I was wondering if it would pair with a regular coleslaw, my husband is not a fan of the Asian type, should I just make a different side dish all together. I will also be making red potato fries, and homemade hamburger buns. Thank you for the recipe, looking forward to trying. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

    1. Hi Lisa! Any type of slaw would go great with this pulled pork. It has a wonderful sweet/savory flavor, so you could do a classic slaw as a wonderful complement. Enjoy!

  12. I’v made this twice already. Made it with picnic ham and boston butt. Picnic Ham was better. Though I like a little salty pork belly. I also found some other sweet vinegars like pommegranate, lambrusco and red wine give it a lot of variety. A dollop of peanut butter powder is good to stretch the recipe. Whether you have hoisin or not. It mellows out the sweet bite.

    I am going to try it on really stringy pot roast recipe. i always overcook it! But I think it might be a great substitute for sloppy joes.

  13. Kelly, you nailed this — this was amazing. I went out and got blackberry jam specifically for this but didn’t realize I didn’t have hoisin, so I had to make some myself. My parents and brothers and their families all loved it!

    1. Hi Liz – I’ve never tried this so I can’t say with certainty how it’d turn out, but you’d likely want to adjust the cooking time. I’ve found that you definitely don’t need to brown the meat before putting it in the slow cooker, as the flavor is amazing just as is!

    1. That should work, Kirsten! All slow cookers vary in temperature, so you’ll just have to monitor it and adjust the cooking time as needed.

  14. I’d like to make this for a large group of 30 or so people. Can you guesstimate how many pounds of meat I should use? Also, can I make ahead and freeze it? Thanks for any help you can give.

    1. Hi Mary – This recipe serves 4 to 6 people so you’d have to gauge how hungry your group may be in order to determine the amount of meat you’d need. I always error on people having big appetites :) I’ve never tried freezing it, so I can’t say exactly how it’d be, but let me know if you give it a shot!

  15. Hi Kelly! Does the liquid have to completely cover the pork when you initially put it in the slow cooker? Mine doesn’t x

  16. I made this in the slow cooker today. it was a hit. LOVED the marinade and how it turns into a delish asian bbq sauce. I will definitely be making this again! For those who don’t have hoisin, you can make your own with sesame oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, something hot like sriracha, and garlic powder! (this is what I had to do and it turned out delicious!) we are a fam of 2 so we have lots of leftovers for the week :)

  17. Dear Kelly, since I don’t have a slow cooker, do you think that it’s possible to make this beautiful meat in an oven? On low heat, for let’s say 5 hours or so. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ivana! That would definitely work, although I’ve never done it so I can’t tell you a specific oven temp or cooking time. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  18. Hi i was just wondering if you can use anything else instead of chicken broth? mabey store bought chicken stock or water possibly??

  19. Wondering if anyone who’s made this can help me out…I’m making this today, and I just realized I added the cornstarch to the original mixture instead of adding it later. I hoping I can just add more cornstarch when I heat it in a sauce pan. Has anyone made this same mistake or know if my plan with work, (I’m not a very experience cook, so I’m hoping someone out there is.) Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Lara – I would recommend checking out the consistency of the sauce before you add any more cornstarch, otherwise it may get too thick and you’ll have to thin it. Hope it worked out!

  20. Hi, if I double up on ingredients, have a 6.5ltr cooker so hopefully big enough. How long do you think it would need to cook for? Thanks

  21. Absolutely delicious recipe! I was a little dubious about the flavours but after reading other comments decided to try it. I was not disappointed! thank you :)

  22. Hi there,

    I coukdn’t work out how to comment on this but am wondering how I can make this in an oven? I have a Le Cresuet but no slow cooker, would I be able to make it in the oven and at what temperature? Thanks so much in advance,
    Tonia

    1. Hi Tonia! I’ve never tried making this recipe on the stovetop so I can’t say with certainty how it would turn out or what temp/time would be best. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  23. Made this last night for friends and had left overs for lunch today. It was the best pulled pork recipe I have worked with. I used Blueberry Jam as I grabbed the wrong jar lol.. Worked out nice. I do suggest using the Asian Slaw but make sure you chop it to bits! I hate slaw and still found the Asian Slaw weird but I am bias and think anything cabbage should be banned :) Used it and loved it! Thank-you Kelly!

  24. Just curious – what did you do to make it paleo friendly? I’m guessing the hoisin is not compliant? Thanks in advance :)

  25. This was great! I followed the recipe exactly, including the Asian Slaw, which really made it. We ate them as sandwiches but the next night, I pan fried the leftover pork so it got a little crispy/carmelized, stirred in some reheated sauce, and put them in flour tortillas with a little cheddar and some more (fresh) slaw which I pan fried too. EVEN BETTER. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

  26. My sauce turned out nothing like yours…I wish it did. I’m tired of doing the bbq route, so I tried your recipe. I also NEVER use the crockpot because of the excess accumulated liquids.
    So as I thought, I had that problem with the recipe. Could not distinguish any of the flavors. I’m better of cooking the pork by itself and throwing the sauce only at the end. Has anyone else had this problem?
    I’m sticking to cooking ribs….

    1. Hi Kim – Did you transfer the liquids into a saucepan and cook them with the slurry? That will thicken the sauce in minutes.

  27. Made this over the weekend and it was easy and delicious! I used grape jelly because I didn’t have any blackberry and it added the right amount of sweetness. I could’ve used a little bit more salt in my batch but now I know; that’s just my personal preference. Made with the Asian Slaw which added a nice crunch – could definitely taste the flavor of sesame oil (for me a good thing). Absolutely will be making this again – thanks Kelly!

  28. This was amazing! I made it with pre-cooked (smoked) pulled pork from Costco (no bbq sauce). I just threw it all into a crock pot for a few hours and it was fabulous! Love the flavors!

  29. I really want to try this but wanted to make a lot for a party. My slow cooker is not that big. Any instruction on how to make the pork in my oven?

    1. Hi Corinne! I’ve only ever made this recipe using a slow cooker, so unfortunately I don’t have any oven-specific instructions.

  30. I would like to make this for lunch tomorrow. Should I cook it today and reheat tomorrow, or am I best to cook it overnight?

  31. Amazing recipe! I doubled the recipe and served to a crowd. Everyone raved over it! I made an easy Asian slaw to top the sliders along with sliced fresh jalapeños and fresh cilantro. Yummy!!!!

  32. ETNElLECWe made this for dinner and the sauce was really good!! However the roast seemed dry so next time we try ths recipe we are going to sear the roast first and hopefully end up with it being more moist. Excellent recipe and worth the store trip for hoisin sauce.

  33. OMG, this turned out amazing. The falavors are fantastic. Followed the recipe to a “T” and it was perfect. You will not be disappointed with this one. Thanks for this great recipe, will be making this again for sure.

  34. 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!

  35. 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! (:

  36. 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!

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

  38. 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

  39. 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.

    1. 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.

  40. 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!

  41. 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 :)

  42. 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!

    1. 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.

  43. 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!

  44. 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! =(

    1. 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!

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 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.

  49. 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?

    1. 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!

  50. 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?

    1. 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.

  51. 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 :)

  52. 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!

    1. 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!

  53. 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!

    1. 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!

  54. 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!

  55. 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

    1. 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!

  56. 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!

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

    1. 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!

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