Slow-Cooker Herbed Balsamic Pork Roast

As I’m typing this, the snow is very lightly falling outside.  So lightly, I can barely see it.  It’s too cold for those giant, lacy snowflakes I like to catch on my tongue.  They are tiny icy snowflakes that just barely dust the ground in a fine powder.  The kind you can blow like confetti.

This winter has been much colder than others I remember.  And I give myself permission to complain about it for at least 2 more months.  I’ll stop near the end of March when it is my birthday and the first day of spring.  It will probably keep snowing through the spring if the plentiful snow we’ve already had is any indication.  I’ll wish and hope for a spring as warm, lovely and vibrant as last year’s.

In the meantime, I will stay inside all bundled up, eating soup and vegetable stews to stay warm inside and out.  My family, however, has found the soups and stews a little tedious.  They cheered when they came home from school, the smell of pork roast bathed in sweet balsamic vinegar wafting through the house.  Another cheer came for the bowl of warm mashed potatoes served alongside.  I threw together another batch of my new favorite veggie recipe, Green Beans with Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts that I shared on 4 Men 1 Lady a few days ago.  Oh, mama!  I could eat the whole pan of those beans in one sitting if my tummy would stretch that far.  They are really that good.

Here’s to staying warm, if you live somewhere cold, and surviving until the sun is warm on our faces again.  And for those of you who live somewhere warm, can I come visit for a few weeks?

Pinapple Smoothie

Slow-Cooker Herbed Balsamic Pork Roast
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-10
A flavorful, tender pork roast slow cooked to perfection. Reduce the cooking liquid for a tasty, tangy sauce or gravy to serve with the roast.
  • One, 3-5 pound pork roast (shoulder or loin are great)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Place pork roast in the slow cooker and top with the other ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours, depending on the size of the roast. (I put mine in frozen and it was done in 4 hours, but I left it for longer so it was more fall-apart tender*.)
  2. Remove the cooked roast from the slow-cooker. Cover and keep warm. Pour the accumulated juices and vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it reduce by about half. Slice the roast and pour the sauce over the top and serve.
  3. Note: If you let the roast cook even longer, it will shred easily with a fork and makes delicious sandwiches. Don't reduce the liquid, it will be absorbed into the shredded meat. We've done both ways and like them equally. It's a great thing to make when you're having company for dinner.

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49 Responses to “Slow-Cooker Herbed Balsamic Pork Roast”

  1. Kalyn Denny January 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Yes, please. And can I feature this on my slow cooker site? (And I just made a balsamic pork roast too, different though.)

  2. Annalise January 17, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    Oh Lindsey, this is one gorgeous piece of meat. Definitely perfect for these cold, cold nights!

  3. Emily January 17, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    You had me at balsamic. And pork. And herbed.

  4. mountain mama cooks January 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    This is so incredibly gorgeous. With all this cold weather, I’m craving hearty warm meals like this. The balsamic is such a nice addition!

  5. The Marx Family January 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    I will be trying this one very soon!

  6. Mary Sheehan Winn January 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I am going for this one. I love pork roast and balsamic glaze :D
    Thanks for the wonderful green bean recipe too. I could eat green beans all day long.

  7. suebear37 January 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Just wondering, Lindsey… what cut of pork did you use for this? Could you use a pork loin? It looks delicious!

  8. Lindsey Johnson January 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    I think the roast I used was a pork shoulder. The package didn’t say what it was and I can’t remember. Certainly you can use a pork loin. I think that would be even better. :)

  9. Cindy January 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    I know you said you put it in frozen (I didnt know you could do that!) but how did you get the charred look on the pork?

  10. suebear37 January 21, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Thanks! Looking forward to trying it!

  11. Lindsey Johnson January 21, 2013 at 6:33 am #


    Sometimes I will sear the outside of the roast before putting it in the slow cooker. This time I didn’t do that. The charred look just comes from the caramelized balsamic vinegar on the side that was against the insert of my slow-cooker. I have the All-Clad one that can go from stove top to oven to slow-cooker. It gets things nice and browned even when I don’t start them on the stove first. I hope that answers your question. :)

  12. Mom January 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Oh my goodness! That’s about all I can say right now. It all looks delicious! But we love pork roast anyway …

  13. Amy Austin January 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Wow! I just pulled this out of my crockpot and it is incredibly delicious. I reduced the sauce by half, but wanted it a little thicker so I added some cornstarch. I found this recipe through Kalyn’s Kitchen Slow Cooker site, and I can’t wait to share it with my friends.

  14. Anonymous January 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    What type of pork roast did you use? Is pork loin too lean?

  15. Anonymous January 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Sorry, after reading the comments above, my answer is already commented above.

  16. Anonymous January 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    So made this in a crockpot but it never browned put it in the oven to brown, it would probably b better in a dutch oven in the oven. But the flavor I liked but men in house liked my old fashion gravy they hate change. Makes it difficult to do anything different.

  17. Esther from A Lovely State of Mind January 30, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    This looks amazing and perfect for the semi-paleo thing my family is trying. Thx!

  18. Anonymous March 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Does the vinegar go into the crock pot or just used with the juices to reduce after the pork is cooked?

  19. Lindsey Johnson March 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi there! The vinegar goes in with the roast in the slow cooker and then you can reduce it for a thicker sauce afterwards. Hope that helps! :)

  20. Anonymous August 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    This looks delicious! But, my family and I don’t eat pork. Any suggestions on what type of meat brides pork this will work with? Thank you :)

  21. Lindsey Johnson August 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Hi there! You could easily substitute beef, chicken or turkey. If you eat beef, that would be my first choice for substitution. Otherwise, chicken breasts or thighs, or even a whole chicken would work. A boneless turkey breast would also work really well and could be sliced similarly.

    The sauce is also good on pulled chicken and beef. (I’ve tried it on everything except for fish!)

    Great question! Thanks for the comment!

  22. Melissa Tomkinson September 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    This looks delicious!! Have you ever put vegetables in with the roast while cooking in the slow cooker?

  23. Anonymous October 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I tried this a few weeks ago and it is one of the tastiest pork pot roasts I’ve had in a long time. It was a winner with my boyfriend(which is always a plus). Next time I make it I will make sure to have a dinner party so I can share the tastiness.

  24. Lindsey Johnson October 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    @melissa I haven’t tried that, but I think it would be absolutely delicious!

    @anonymous Yay! I love to hear that. Thanks for coming back to tell me!

  25. Anonymous December 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    I am trying this tonight! Have had basalmic chicken…this sounds just as delishous!

  26. Jennie December 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I’m super excited to try this recipe! I just put it in the crockpot using pork loin. I am also thinking about trying it with bison or venison. Thanks so much for sharing such a lovely, yummy-looking recipe!

  27. Lindsey Johnson December 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Jennie, I’d love to hear how it tastes made with bison and venison! I haven’t eaten either of those for years, and I should change that. :) Thanks for stopping by. Let me know how it goes!

  28. SaraB January 22, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi apologies if it does say somewhere, how many people does this serve? Thank you

    • Lindsey Johnson January 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

      Hi Sara! I didn’t list the number of servings. I’ll go add that in. It does depend on several factors – how large the roast is and how much meat you want to plan as a serving. Typically you can plan on 1/4 pound per person. We tend to go for smaller servings at our house, but I also have relatives and friends who are meat lovers and would eat more. :) So the short answer is between 6-10.

  29. Steve March 1, 2014 at 6:53 am #


    Just saw this on Feedblitz. Is the Pork Shoulder bone in or boneless? Thanks

    • Lindsey Johnson March 1, 2014 at 7:25 am #

      Hi Steve! I used boneless, but you could certainly use bone-in. It might take a little longer to cook through, but that would be the only difference.

  30. Lia March 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Hey Lindsey,
    I just wanted to let you know that this worked very well in the oven. I browned on all sides in a dutch oven, added the rest of the ingredients, and cooked with the lid on at 325. I used a small boneless boston butt, a little over two pounds, and it took about 2.5 hours.

    The only negative was that the sauce was *almost* burned tasting. I think it was from the sugar in the vinegar being cooked for so long in a hot oven. Any suggestions for next time? FYI I used 1/2 cup balsamic and 1/2 water because my balsamic is the gold label from TJs and very sweet.

    Thanks again for your very speedy reply last week. My apartment was so much warmer with the oven on and I got a delicious dinner!

    • Lindsey Johnson March 10, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Hi Lia! Thanks for reporting back. I was wondering how it turned out! Hmm. That’s disappointing about the burnt flavor. I’m wondering if using a little more water might help. My other thought is that maybe lowering the oven temperature. If you didn’t want to add water, chicken stock would be another option. Oh! One more thing you could try – start cooking it for awhile with a little water in the bottom, then add the balsamic vinegar and sugar during the last hour or so. I’ll have to try it in the oven and see how that goes. It’s been awhile since I last made it. My family would LOVE to eat it again anyway. :)

      • Lia March 11, 2014 at 7:53 am #

        Lower temp and adding the balsamic later are both good ideas. Thanks! I’m normally a slow-cooker gal since I’m at work all day, but if I happen to be home again for a snow day (fingers crossed that won’t happen until next winter), I’ll give it a try and let you know!

  31. Fran Staley March 13, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Anyone try a loin roast? I am skeptical, because I like mine med rare to medium.

    • Lindsey Johnson March 13, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi Fran! You might be surprised by this recipe! It yields a very flavorful, tender meat with delicious sauce. But it’s definitely different than an oven roasted loin served medium rare – not even the same kind of recipe. I feel like a loin roast is better for the oven and this recipe is better with a shoulder or butt roast.

  32. Nelson April 16, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    I loved this recipe. The smell of the vinegar at first was not to appetizing, but once cooked, it was delish. Since doing a whole 30, I did not use honey but substituted for the juice of a mandarine. I did also cook the drippings down to half. Worked great. I love it.

  33. Ruthie April 30, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    In the crock pot now. I’m using a frozen pork sirloin roast and am out of honey so replaced it with brown sugar. Looking forward to dinner tonight!!

  34. Ceira May 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    I am trying to get used to cooking with fresh herbs and new ingredients when time and money allows. But my house currently smells of insane vinegar. And my daughter is hiding in her bedroom away from it. Will that go away? Lol. I’m still learning.

    • Lindsey Johnson May 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      Well, I don’t know what to say! haha The recipe does use a lot of vinegar. Our family LOVES vinegar, so we don’t mind it. The strongest smell should subside after awhile. And yes, the sauce does still taste like vinegar. But it’s milder and sweeter. If you decide to make it again, you could use less vinegar and use stock or water for the remainder.

  35. Carol June 22, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    can you use a balsamic glaze and if so how much?

    • Lindsey Johnson June 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

      I don’t see why you couldn’t. If it’s an extra thick glaze, you could water it down a bit, but the ones I’ve seen before would work without being thinned out. You probably wouldn’t need to reduce the sauce at the end either. As for the amount, it depends on how large the roast is and how much flavor you want, and the glaze used. I’ll just say that if it were me (again, depending on the glaze and its concentration), I would use 1/2 or 3/4 the amount in the recipe.

  36. Judy July 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    I would love to print this recipe can u help me

    • Lindsey Johnson July 21, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Judy! For some reason this recipe wasn’t formatted for printing. I went in an fixed it. If you go to the recipe box, right under the photo there is a print link that you can click. Hope that works! If not, let me know and I’ll email it to you!

  37. Belinda April 5, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    Lindsey when using a frozen roast did you cook on high for four hours, or low temp for 4 hr.


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