Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Plum Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
This slow cooker pulled pork has a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce made with Mirabelle Plum jam and bourbon. It will become your new favorite pulled pork recipe.
Slow cooker pulled pork. One of my favorite go-to meals when I want something in the slow cooker that is going to taste great and be ready at the end of a busy day. Having a crowd over? Slow cooker pulled pork is the perfect entree to serve. So easy and convenient, with no last minute preparation.
I’m a little obsessed with this barbecue sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, spicy, and….well, bourbon. It is SO good. I could have eaten it straight off this cute little yellow spoon. Perhaps I did? You’ll never know.
This homemade barbecue sauce studded with pieces of onion as well as sweet plum. It’s perfectly seasoned. I use Bonne Maman Golden Plum Mirabelle Preserves (which I could also eat straight off the spoon). If you prefer, you could substitute a different fruit jam, such as cherry, apricot, or mango-peach.
The pairing of fruit with pork is such a natural one. I’m sure you’ve seen recipes pairing fruit and pork — like this pork tenderloin with roasted grapes, or bourbon mango pulled pork, or this apple cranberry stuffed pork roast. And that’s only a sampling! There are countless combinations. If you haven’t tried pairing fruit with pork yet, you must.
Using jam or preserves makes it even easier because the added sweetness gets you one step closer to perfection. Pork + fruit + sweetness = perfection. Simplified: Pork + Jam = Perfection. And I’m a nerd.
Like I mentioned, I use Bonne Maman Golden Plum Mirabelle Preserves for this BBQ sauce. This flavor was new to me but I can already tell that we’re going to be BFFs. Especially when it comes time to make pulled pork. This might just be the only way I’ll ever make slow cooker pulled pork.
Have I convinced you yet to make this for dinner tonight? The barbecue sauce is so perfectly sweet and tangy and spicy all at the same time. I know I already said that, but it is just the way barbecue sauce should be, and it’s perfect for this slow cooker pulled pork.
What kind of pork should I use?
While pulled pork is traditionally made with pork shoulder (did you know that cut is now called a Blade Pork Roast?) — I often opt for the pork loin (which is now referred to as a New York Pork Roast!) because it is a leaner cut and I’m always trying to watch the fat/calorie content of what we eat. Or at least I make an attempt to.
Once you pile on this amazing barbecue sauce made with plum jam, you’ll never realize there’s less fat in this cut of meat. If you prefer a pork shoulder, though, that will be perfect, too. I almost always use pork shoulder for slow cooker pork tacos or Instant Pot pork carnitas.
The National Pork Board has recently released new names for many cuts of pork. Here is a handy visual to help you navigate these new names.
Pulled pork is perfect for meal prepping. While this slow cooker pork is inherently a make-ahead recipe (make it in the morning, let it cook all day!), you could also prepare it further in advance. Refrigerate pulled pork for up to four days, or freeze it for up to three months.
Thaw overnight in the fridge if it’s frozen, before reheating. Reheat in the slow cooker, or in a pan on the stove. If you are reheating a small portion, the microwave works great.
Looking for more pork recipes? Pork is so versatile — it can be grilled, pan fried, air-fried, broiled, baked, cooked in a pressure cooker, or a slow cooker. I mentioned some of my favorites already, but here’s a few more mouth-watering ideas:
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Grilled Pork Kabobs with Apples
- Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Instant Pot Pork Loin Roast
- Pork Medallions with Lemon Garlic Sauce
- Pork Tenderloin Recipe with Easy Spice Rub
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Loin with Balsamic Glaze
- Crockpot Cuban Pork
- Breaded Pork Chops with Herbs and Parmesan
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork loin roast (boneless pork half loin)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups jam, divided (see note)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- buns for serving
- coleslaw for serving (optional)
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Mix together salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, chili powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the pork loin roast. Put the pork roast into the hot skillet and brown for about 3 minutes on each side or until dark golden brown.
- Transfer to slow cooker, fat side up, and add ½ cup jam, balsamic vinegar and water. Cover and cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours, or on High for 4 hours, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, stir together barbecue sauce ingredients: ketchup, red wine vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer.
- Remove pork from crockpot and place on large platter or pan. Remove remaining liquid from crockpot and discard. Shred pork using two forks. Return shredded pork to slow cooker. Add sauce, stirring to coat. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Substitute boneless pork shoulder if desired.
- We use a 13 oz. jar of Bonne Maman cherry jam. Golden plum mirabelle or peach jam may be substituted. Another brand is fine, too.
- Nutrition information is for meat with sauce and does not include bun or coleslaw. It's calculated for a 3 lb. pork loin roast.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Disclosure: This post is written on behalf of the National Pork Board and Bonne Maman. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are always my own. Thanks for supporting my blog by supporting brands I love!
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