Slow Cooker Pork: 10 Tender Classics
Whether you’re biting into tangy pulled pork piled onto a soft white bun or tender “white meat” medallions of tenderloin, you’re going to get one thing from pork: flavor. Yep, pigs rule when it comes to taste—you can thank the fat that runs through the animal.
Pork comes in many different cuts, and each performs differently in a slow cooker, but the long, low-heat cooking process is generally good for moist, tender meat. When you’re working with chops or a roast, you probably want to start out with a quick sear on the stovetop for a nice golden color and caramelized crust, then let the slow cooker do the rest of the work.
We’ve got 10 recipes that harness the power of the slow cooker to bring out the best in pork, from spicy Mexican-style carnitas perfect for weeknight tacos to a sophisticated Mediterranean pork roast ideal for entertaining. So plug in your cooker and get started!
The Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Pork Roast pictured above calls on Greek seasoning and sliced fennel to give this ultra-tender pork roast a Mediterranean vibe.
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: Nothing makes better tacos than carnitas, pork that’s been simmered in spices and shredded. The crowning glory is a parsley- and oregano-packed chimichurri sauce, with garlic, shallots, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. It’s easy being green!
Slow Cooker Pineapple-Pork Tacos: Together, taco seasoning, slow-cooked pork, and diced pineapple create a fantastically tropical taco. The kids will love these savory-sweet easy-to-hold and fun-to-eat Mexican treats.
Pork Goulash: Forget beef stew—this pork goulash will have your family raving over their weeknight meal. It’s a one-pot wonder of boneless pork loin roast, carrots, green beans, and parsnips (you can also substitute potatoes for the parsnips). And the key to a great ghoulash? Plenty of sweet paprika.
Pork Chops with Herb-Tomato Sauce: Quickly browning your pork chops before adding them to the pot gives them a golden, caramelized exterior. Italian seasoning gives the pork a kick.
Sweet ‘n’ Tangy Pork: Apple juice, vinegar, and honey combine to create a sweet glaze with just a touch of acidity—it’s a perfect foil for the rich pork shoulder. Chili sauce and red-pepper flakes provide the spice!
Pork Pozole: This traditional Mexican soup is ideal for the slow cooker—the slow simmer brings out the flavor of the hominy. Green enchilada sauce adds lots of bright tastes, along with a squeeze of lime, and a scattering of fresh cilantro over each bowl.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Using a dry rub of chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika, and white pepper and then marinating the shoulder overnight gives the resulting pulled pork a delicious complexity you’ll taste through and through. Although the recipe gives you the option of slow-roasting the meat in the oven, cooking it in your crockpot seals in all that beautiful moisture.