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5 from 15 votes
Vertical picture of Brown Sugar Balsamic Pulled Pork in a white pot with buns in the background
Brown Sugar Balsamic Pulled Pork
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 20 mins
This easy slow cooker (or instant pot) Brown Sugar Balsamic Pulled Pork takes minutes to put together - what a delicious crowd pleaser!
Course: Main/Meat
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pulled pork
Servings: 10
Calories: 278 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the pork:
  • 4-5 pounds trimmed pork shoulder I use boneless shoulder ribs, (see tips above
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • cup Worcestershire sauce
  • cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 3-inch rosemary sprigs
  • 6 medium cloves garlic minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. If using a whole pork butt or shoulder, cut meat into 4-6-inch long and approximately 3-inch wide strips. If using the boneless ribs, cut them in half. Set aside.
  2. Combine chicken broth, garlic salt and pepper in a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the pork and stir. Cover and cook until fork-tender, 6-7 hours on low (depends on the heat of your slow cooker). (See “Notes” below for instant pot method.) Drain the pork and discard the liquid.
  3. When pork is cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-size pieces, with your fingers, discarding any fat. Return meat to slow cooker or a storage container (if making ahead).
  4. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is thickened and starting to become syrupy. Remove rosemary stems.

  5. Combine half of the sauce with the shredded pork. Taste and season with kosher salt and pepper, if needed. Save the rest of the sauce to drizzle on the pork when serving. Pork can be made ahead and warmed in the slow cooker before serving. Meat also freezes well. Thaw and warm before serving.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.

To make in the instant pot, add chicken broth and garlic salt to the IP pot, add the pork and stir. Set instant pot to high-pressure setting and cook for 35 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally, then drain the pork and discard the liquid. Proceed with step #3 in the recipe directions.

Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar Balsamic Pulled Pork
Amount Per Serving
Calories 278 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 1211mg53%
Potassium 663mg19%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 4.5mg5%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.