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Honey Balsamic Crock Pot Pulled Pork

This juicy crock pot pulled pork with spiced chipotle-honey sauce is an easy filling for sliders. Lots of tender, caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar add just the right amount of sweetness!

Why You’ll Love This Crock Pot Pulled Pork Recipe

This effortless, saucy crock pot pulled pork will be a cookout favorite for all your sliders this summer.

  • Beginner-friendly. Whisk the spices and sauce, and then the pork practically cooks itself to juicy perfection.
  • Versatile. Serve it in sliders, tacos, make it spicy, or add mushrooms.
  • Sweet and smokey. Tomato sauce, tender onions, and honey add sweetness, while the chipotles add smokiness.
  • Freezer-friendly. Keep some in the freezer for hectic weeknights or last-minute cookouts.
Labeled ingredients for crock pot pulled pork.

What You’ll Need

Earthy paprika, herby thyme, and sage help balance the sauce’s sweetness. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact ingredient amounts.

  • Pork shoulder – Pork butt roast is a good swap.
  • Garlic powder – Feel free to use onion powder or garlic paste.
  • Paprika – Use sweet or smoked.
  • Thyme – Dried or fresh is fine for this.
  • Sage – You can also use roughly chopped bay leaves or dried cilantro.
  • Salt and pepper – I prefer kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
  • Balsamic vinegar – Reduce the amount by half if you use my Balsamic Reduction.
  • Tomato sauce – Make sure it’s plain or with very little Italian seasoning.
  • Chipotle in adobo sauce – Chop it up into small pieces to get the most flavor.
  • Honey – Raw honey and agave nectar are best.
  • Onion – Go for white or yellow onion.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Whisk the spice rub, sauce, and toss it all in. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe card.

  • Make the spice rub. Mix the garlic powder, paprika, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Prep the pork. Rub the mixture over the pork on all sides. Place it in the slow cooker.
  • Fill the crockpot. Whisk the balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, chipotle, and honey in a separate bowl. Pour the mixture over the pork. Top it with chopped onions.
  • Cook it. Set the crockpot to HIGH for 6 hours. Remove the pork from the slow cooker.
  • Shred it. Use two forks to shred the meat by pulling them in opposite directions. Return the pulled pork to the crockpot and mix well with the sauce.
  • Serve. Use the pulled pork to fill your favorite slider buns and enjoy!

Tips for Success

Make this saucy crock pot pulled pork as sweet or as spicy as you want. You can even add veggies!

  • Ask the butcher. Save prep time by asking the butcher to remove all the excess fat from the pork shoulder so you don’t have to.
  • Make it BBQ-style. Swap the tomato sauce for your favorite BBQ sauce for an easy variation of this recipe.
  • Go slow. This is perfect if you’re not in a rush. Cook the pulled pork on LOW for 8-10 hours or until pull-apart tender.
  • Crank up the heat. Stir 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or chili oil into the sauce for a bit of heat.
  • Control the sweetness. If you don’t normally enjoy pulled pork that’s on the sweeter side, don’t add all the honey at once. Add 1 tablespoon at a time and taste as you go until it’s sweetened to your liking.
  • Add more veggies. Mix in 2 cups chopped mushrooms, carrots, or halved baby potatoes during the last hour of cooking to make this recipe heartier.
Pulled pork sliders with creamy slaw.

Ways To Serve Crock Pot Pulled Pork

You can use this smokey crock pot pulled pork to make tacos, sliders, or as a topping for hot dogs. I love it in sliders with lots of veggie sides like my Corn on the Cob and Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños. My Italian Grinder Salad and Garlic Parmesan Fries are great too. If you prefer mashed potatoes, try my 3 Ingredient Mashed Cauliflower or Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes.

Proper Storage

The leftovers need to be cooled away from direct heat and sunlight before storing.

  • Fridge: Store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Transfer it to freezer-friendly bags in serving-size portions. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat as usual.
  • To reheat it: Microwave it for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat it in a small pot over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

More Easy Crock Pot Recipes

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Landscape photo of crock pot pulled pork.

Honey Balsamic Crock Pot Pulled Pork

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 1012 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


This crock pot pulled pork recipe with caramelized onions and honey-chipotle sauce is perfect for filling your sliders this summer.


  • 45 lbs. pork shoulder or butt roast, cut off all excess fat
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sage
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 adobe chipotle pepper
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped


  1. Cut off excess fat from pork shoulder. Pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl mix together, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper.
  3. Rub seasoning mixture onto all sides of the pork.
  4. Place pork in a large slow cooker.
  5. In a medium size bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, chipotle pepper, and honey.
  6. Pour balsamic mixture over the pork.
  7. Cover pork with chopped onion.
  8. Cook on HIGH for 6 hours.
  9. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred the meat, place meat back in the sauce.


  • Serving Size: 3/4 – 1 cup
  • Calories: 332
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 605 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Cholesterol: 87 mg

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