Slow cooker pork roast is seasoned with garlic and herbs and cooked until fall-apart tender. Made with simple ingredients, you only need five minutes of prep to get this dinner started.
The slow cooker is a fantastic way to prepare dinner whether you're at work or busy at home. All you need is five minutes of prep to make a pork roast that packs tons of savory, comforting flavor.
Since pork shoulder is a relatively fatty and tough cut of meat, cooking it low and slow is the perfect choice. This roast turns out fall-apart tender and juicy - you're going to love it!
Serve over mashed potatoes, on a sandwich, or on its own with a side of vegetables. Any leftovers reheat beautifully, making it a great way to meal prep for several days.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pork roast - Boneless pork butt or pork shoulder work best in this recipe.
- Broth - Broth can be pork, chicken, beef, or vegetable - feel free to use what you have on hand.
- Onion - Slice your onion into thick wedges - it cooks down almost entirely in the slow cooker.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic adds the best flavor, but can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder if needed.
- Herbs and spices - Salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and rosemary add flavor to your roast. Herbs can be substituted with an Italian seasoning blend if desired.
Tips and tricks
- Use the right size slow cooker for your roast - Make sure your slow cooker is filled about ½ to ¾ full for best results. If your roast is smaller than 3-4 pounds, a smaller slow cooker may work better for you.
- Using a larger roast? - The cooking time will increase if you're using a roast larger than 3 to 4 pounds. The cooking times shown are for a boneless roast in this size range.
- Low and slow is best - Don't try to rush your roast. A tough, fatty cut of meat needs time to tenderize in the slow cooker.
Frequently asked questions
For this recipe, you'll want to use a 3-4 pound boneless pork butt or pork shoulder. A pork shoulder or pork butt works best in the slow cooker because it is a fattier cut of meat. The slow cooking allows the fat to melt away, flavoring your meat and keeping it nice and juicy. Any remaining fat can be removed from your pork before serving.
I do not recommend using a pork loin as a substitution because it's a much leaner cut of meat. A pork loin would need about half as much time in the slow cooker. (Check out my recipe for oven roasted pork loin instead)
Pork roast cooks down best on low heat for about 9-10 hours. Once your pork roast can easily be shredded with a fork, you'll know it's ready. If you don't have time, you can cook your pork roast on high heat for 5-6 hours instead.
If you'd like to sear your roast, you're welcome to do so. Searing adds depth of flavor and texture that you won't get from a slow cooker alone.
No. This is a long-standing cooking myth that has been proven false many times. While searing does add flavor and texture to meat, it doesn't help seal in juices or moisture. Here is a great article on the subject: Tasting Table - The Biggest Myth About Searing Meat
Serve pork roast over mashed potatoes with the cooked onions and juices from the bottom of the slow cooker. You could also add shredded pork onto your favorite lightly toasted sandwich bread with a bit of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Pork roast can also be served on its own alongside some oven roasted potatoes or green beans.
Slow Cooker Pork Roast
- 1 large onion, thick sliced
- 8 ounces chicken broth
- 3 pound boneless pork roast, butt or shoulder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Add onions and chicken broth to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Season your pork roast on all sides with salt, pepper, and paprika and place in slow cooker over onions. Sprinkle top of roast with garlic, thyme, and rosemary.
- Cover and cook on low heat for about 9-10 hours, or until roast is fall-apart tender. A larger roast will take longer to cook. You can also cook your roast on high heat for about 5-6 hours.
- Shred roast with a fork, removing any remaining fatty pieces before serving. Serve over mashed potatoes or on a sandwich.
- Chicken broth can be substituted with beef, pork, or vegetable broth.
- Pork shoulder or butt are the best options for this recipe. Pork loin should not be substituted in this recipe - it is a leaner cut of meat and will turn out dry and overcooked.
- If making as sandwiches, we recommend lightly toasting your bread and adding mayonnaise and dijon mustard.
- Leftovers reheat well the next day - store leftover meat with some of the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker to keep moist.