Pork shoulder is slowly cooked in a sweet and tangy Asian teriyaki sauce until fork-tender. Perfect for serving over rice, in a wrap, on salads, and more.
With the business of everyday life as a mom, homeschooler, and business owner, I am always looking for time-saving tips in the kitchen. Prepping large batches of shredded meat that can be repurposed throughout the week in a variety of meals is one of my favorite ways to stay healthy with limited time on my hands for cooking.
Recently I turned a boneless pork shoulder we had in the freezer into Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pulled Pork. We enjoyed the pulled pork over rice the first night then used it throughout the week in pasta, over salads, in soups, wrapped in tortillas, and more.
To start, gently insert a small knife throughout the pork shoulder. Pork shoulders are a large cut of meat so this allows the sauce to penetrate the inside of the roast as opposed to only seasoning the outside.
Speaking of sauce, I created the Asian teriyaki sauce by whisking together a few pantry staples I had on hand including soy, sesame oil, pineapple juice and hoisin. The secret to a well balanced sauce is to have equal parts salty, sour, spicy, and sweet ingredients. No pineapple juice? Try orange juice or brown sugar for sweetness instead. Don’t have tomato paste? Try diced tomatoes, a fresh tomato chopped up, or even a little ketchup. Use what you have on hand!
To cut down on dirty dishes, I like to whisk together the sauce right in the bottom of the slow cooker insert. No need to dirty an extra bowl! Then, before turning on the slow cooker, I liberally season the entire roast with kosher salt and pepper.
While this is optional, I like to baste the pork shoulder every hour or so while it cooks. Remember those slits we made with the knife? This allows even more of the sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce the penetrate the pork shoulder.
Before serving, I remove the remaining liquid, strain, and separate the fat.
Once I’ve separated the fat from the liquid I pour the remaining liquid back over the pulled pork before serving. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly if you need more salt or pepper.
Frequently asked questions:
What’s the best way to separate fat solids from the liquid?
You can chill the sauce overnight in the refrigerator and separate it the next day OR you can place the liquid in an ice bath in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and remove the fat solids once complete.
What’s the best way to store pulled pork?
It will last in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How should pulled pork be served?
Use it anywhere you’d use shredded rotisserie chicken such as over salads, over rice, in pasta, in soup, in a wrap, in quesadillas, burrito bowls, tacos and more.
Your fork is waiting.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pulled Pork
- 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- kosher salt
Asian Teriyaki Sauce
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce (or tamari to keep gluten free)
- ¼ cup Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar (or lime juice )
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- Whisk together all of the Asian Teriyaki Sauce ingredients in the slow cooker insert (pineapple juice through Chinese five-spice powder.)
- Place pork shoulder in the slow cooker and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper then spoon a bit of the sauce on top to coat. Cook on high for 4 hours, with the fat side facing up.
- Remove the cooked pork from the slow cooker and let cool 10 minutes before shredding with two forks.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large liquid measuring cup and strain the leftover liquid from the slow cooker, carefully removing any solids. To remove the fat, chill liquid in an ice bath for 30 minutes until the fat solidifies. Toss the fat then pour the remaining liquid back over the shredded pork. Warm the pork before serving.
Want more Slow Cooker recipes? Head over to Pinterest!