Slow cooker pork shoulder is a delicious way to enjoy this tasty cut of pork.
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker in the morning, and six to eight hours later, you’ll be tucking into a soft and tender pork shoulder dinner.
How To Cook Pork Shoulder In A Slow Cooker
Pork shoulder is an economical pork cut that is ideal for slow cooking.
It is often used as the preferred joint when making slow cooker pulled pork; when it is cooked long enough, it easily ‘pulls’ apart.
What You Need:
For more concise recipe instructions and to print it out, head down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
- Pork shoulder joint – any size; I used one that weighed in at 1.8kg
- 2 tsp of your favourite seasoning for pork – I used 1 tsp each of season-all and dried mixed herbs
- 2 bay leaves – dried or fresh (we have a bay tree in the garden, so it’s easy enough to pick them fresh!
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 onions
- 400ml chicken stock – alternatively use vegetable or, if you can get it, pork stock
- Gravy granules or cornflour – you can optionally stir in some gravy granules at the end to make a tasty sauce
- Slow cooker – you can use any type of slow cooker; I used a Morphy Richards
Rub your choice of seasoning over the pork shoulder joint.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Place the lid on top and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
At the end of the cooking time, check the pork is cooked through – if you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 75°C.
Do You Need To Add Liquid To Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder?
No, you can put the pork shoulder joint in the slow cooker without any liquid. During the slow cooking time, the pork will naturally release its own juices.
For this recipe, I like to add the stock; this helps to ensure the pork shoulder is soft and tender, and I can use the liquid at the end to make a sauce/gravy to serve over the pork.
How To Make A Gravy Or Sauce From The Juices
You have two options for making gravy or sauce out of the liquid at the end of the cooking time.
When the pork is ready, carefully remove the joint and leave it to rest (or put it in the oven to make pork crackling, see below for the steps to do this).
Stir In Some Gravy Granules (Or Cornflour)
Leave the rest of the sauce in the slow cooker and skim off any fat; remove the bay leaves.
Stir in some gravy granules or cornflour to thicken it up.
Return the sliced pork to the slow cooker and submerge it in the sauce.
The downside to this method is that you will still have some excess fat from the pork in the gravy, which might make it a little greasy, and also, if you are crisping the pork fat rind up, the gravy might cool down too much before it’s time to serve.
As a side note, I used this method, and it wasn’t too greasy and tasted amazing! No extra seasoning was required.
Strain The Liquid And Simmer In A Pan
The other option, and the more common method, is to remove the bay leaves, blend the liquid with a stick blender, and strain the liquid into a saucepan.
Add some cornflour (or gravy granules) to thicken it up, and simmer it on a really low heat while you wait for the crackling to crisp up or the pork to rest before slicing it.
After a quick taste test, you may want to add some more seasoning to the gravy.
Can You Put Raw Pork In A Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can put raw pork directly in a slow cooker. I rarely separately sear or brown any meat before I add it to the slow cooker, mainly due to the extra time and washing up it creates.
How To Get Crispy Pork Crackling
Understandably, the pork shoulder joint fat won’t crisp up in the slow cooker to make crispy pork crackling.
But the good news is that you can still get a crispy pork crackling by adding in an extra step.
About 10 to 15 minutes before the end of the slow cooker cooking time, preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 9.
You can also do this step in an air fryer – preheat for 3 minutes instead.
When the pork shoulder is cooked in the slow cooker, you can either put the whole joint in the oven (or air fryer) or carefully remove the fat from the pork joint and crisp it up on its own.
I prefer to cook the pork cracking on its own, leaving the joint loosely covered in foil to rest before carving it.
If you choose to place the whole pork joint in the oven loosely cover the meat part of the joint with foil so that it doesn’t dry out.
Either way, you need to score the fat rind with a sharp knife, brush oil over it and rub salt all over it.
Place it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until it has bubbled up and is crispy.
In an air fryer, it should take about 20 minutes.
What To Serve With Pork Shoulder
More Slow Cooker Pork Recipes
Are you looking for more slow cooker pork recipes?
- Slow Cooker Gammon in Cola
- Slow Cooker Pork Ribs
- Slow Cooker Chilli Peanut Pork
- Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork