how to cook pork shoulder in a slow cooker

4 Simple Steps on How to Cook Pork Shoulder in a Slow Cooker

Last Updated on February 6, 2023

Learning how to cook pork shoulder in a slow cooker can be fun and easy. So, if you’re looking for a simple but satisfying dinner that requires minimal effort, this recipe is sure to fit the bill. All it takes are some basic ingredients, the preparation of your pork shoulder and then let your slow cooker do its magic. You’ll be able to enjoy tender succulent meat with little fuss – no need for fancy kitchen gadgets or long hours over the stove top. So gather up those ingredients, get ready to prep that pork shoulder and follow our instructions on how to cook it perfectly in a slow cooker.

Table of Contents:

Gather Your Ingredients: Prepare the Pork Shoulder

Preparing a pork shoulder is an essential step in making delicious meals. Before you begin cooking, it’s important to properly prepare the meat for maximum flavour and tenderness. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

Trim Fat:

Start by trimming off any excess fat from the pork shoulder. This will help reduce the amount of grease released during cooking and ensure your dish isn’t overly greasy or fatty. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to carefully remove any large pieces of fat from the surface of the meat.


Once you have trimmed away all visible fat, season your pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Be sure to evenly coat both sides with seasoning before moving onto other ingredients like herbs or spices if desired. You can also use garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, oregano or other dried herbs as well as fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme for added flavour.


If you want extra moisture in your pork shoulder while it cooks then consider marinating it overnight in a mixture of oil (such as olive oil), vinegar (such as apple cider vinegar) and aromatics like garlic cloves and bay leaves for additional flavour depth before roasting or grilling it up.

After seasoning the pork shoulder, it’s time to move on to cooking instructions and get your slow cooker ready.

Key Takeaway: Cooking pork shoulder in a slow cooker requires proper preparation and seasoning for maximum flavour. Trim fat, season with salt and pepper, and consider marinating overnight for added moisture.

Cooking Instructions

The key to success is having the right ingredients, proper preparation of the meat, and following the correct cooking instructions.

Gather Your Ingredients

You will need a 4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder roast, 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. You may also want to add other seasonings such as thyme or rosemary for additional flavour.

Prepare the Pork Shoulder

how to cook pork shoulder in a slow cooker

Before you begin cooking your pork shoulder in the slow cooker it’s important that you properly prepare it first. Start by patting dry with paper towels then rub all sides of the roast with olive oil followed by seasoning generously with salt and spices on all sides. Make sure that each side is evenly coated before moving onto the next step.

Cooking Instructions

Once your pork shoulder has been prepared place it into your slow cooker along with chicken broth or stock. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours until internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Once cooked through remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before serving so juices can redistribute throughout the meat giving you juicy tender results every time.

Serving Suggestions

Pork shoulder cooked in a slow cooker makes great pulled pork sandwiches served on buns topped with coleslaw or barbecue sauce if desired. It also pairs well over mashed potatoes or rice, making this dish perfect for any night of the week when you’re looking for something quick yet flavorful that everyone will love.

Once you have cooked your pork shoulder in the slow cooker, it’s time to explore some delicious serving suggestions for this flavorful dish.

Key Takeaway: A slow cooker is an easy way to cook pork shoulder with great results. Gather ingredients, prepare the meat and follow cooking instructions for juicy tender pork every time. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice, in sandwiches with coleslaw or barbecue sauce.

Serving Suggestions

how to cook pork shoulder in a slow cooker

Once your pork shoulder is cooked, it’s time to get creative with how you serve it. Pork shoulder can be served in a variety of ways, so don’t feel limited by traditional recipes. Here are some ideas for serving up this delicious cut of meat:

Mashed Potatoes:

Mashed potatoes make an excellent accompaniment to pork shoulder. Simply boil or steam the potatoes until they’re soft and mash them with butter, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve the mashed potatoes alongside your cooked pork shoulder for a comforting meal that everyone will love.


Transform your pork shoulder into tasty tacos. Shred the cooked meat using two forks or chop it into small cubes before adding it to warm tortillas along with salsa, guacamole, cheese, lettuce and other toppings of your choice. Serve these flavorful tacos as an appetizer or main course – either way, they’ll be sure to please.

Salad Bowls:

Create nutritious salad bowls by combining shredded pieces of cooked pork shoulder with fresh greens such as spinach or kale. Add crunchy vegetables like carrots and cucumbers plus beans like black beans or chickpeas for extra protein. Top off each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil-based dressing for added flavour.

Sandwiches and Wraps:

Slice up some leftover cooked pork shoulder and add it to sandwiches made on whole wheat bread or wraps filled with leafy greens like romaine lettuce and tomato slices – yum. You can also try experimenting with different types of condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard sauce or BBQ sauce depending on what type of sandwich you’re making (e.g., pulled-pork sandwich).

Stew and Soup Recipes:

Incorporate chunks of tender cooked pork shoulder into hearty stews full of vegetables such as onions, celery root, sweet potato cubes and more – perfect for cold winter days. Or why not whip up a creamy soup loaded with chunks of slow-cooked pork? Both options are surefire crowd-pleasers that will leave everyone asking for seconds or thirds.

Key Takeaway: Pork shoulder can be served in a variety of ways, from mashed potatoes to tacos and sandwiches. Get creative with your recipes by adding it to stews or soups for a comforting meal everyone will love.

FAQs in Relation to How to Cook Pork Shoulder in a Slow Cooker

How long does it take to cook pork shoulder in a slow cooker?

The amount of time it takes depends on the size of the cut, but generally speaking, it will take 8-10 hours on low heat or 4-5 hours on high heat. It’s important to check for doneness by using a meat thermometer; when the internal temperature reaches at least 145°F (63°C), your pork shoulder is ready to enjoy.

Do I need to add liquid to slow cooker pork shoulder?

Yes, adding liquid to a slow cooker pork shoulder is essential. The liquid helps to keep the meat moist and tender while it cooks. Without enough liquid, the pork can become dry and tough. When cooking with a slow cooker, use at least 1 cup of broth or water for every 4-5 pounds of pork shoulder. This will ensure that your finished dish is flavorful and juicy.


With the right ingredients and simple instructions, you can easily learn how to cook pork shoulder in a slow cooker and create a flavorful meal that will be sure to please your family or guests. So why not give it a try today? You’ll soon find out just how easy it is to cook pork shoulder in a slow cooker.

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