Slow-Cooker Italian Pork Roast

There was a cosmic convergence among five factors to bring this recipe post into your kitchens.

Nom Nom Paleo did a cooking demo of her incredibly, lusciously delicious Slow Cooker Kalua Pig at our paleo throwdown in Estes Park, Colorado — and her 3-ingredient recipe inspired me to think about how I could adapt her technique to some other flavors. In addition, this month I’ve had to jettison spices while I experiment with the autoimmune protocol for paleo. Since my spice playground is verboten, I’m playing around with herbs instead! 

Due to my experimental tendencies, I’ve been pushing the boundaries of using my slow cooker as a roasting vessel. I have a passionate dislike for stew and soups made in the slow cooker — they just don’t caramelize enough for me, and I feel like they’re always too watery — but I’m loving my slow cooker as a countertop oven. Also, Dave just acquired a new camera so he’s snapping pics all over the place to deepen his relationship with it before we start official photography for Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat… which is why we have along-the-way photos in this post, in addition to the finished, tender, shiny, scrumptious pork.


Slow-Cooker Italian Pork Roast

Serves a lot! | Prep 10 min. | Cook 16 hours, give or take | Whole30 compliant

  • 5-7 pound pork roast, boneless or bone in (shoulder, Boston butt… ribs would work, too)

  • 5-7 cloves garlic, cut into slivers

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon Penzeys Italian Herb Mix (or 1 teaspoon each dried oregano+dried basil+dried rosemary)


Pat the pork roast dry with paper towels. Use a small sharp knife to make slits all over the pork, then insert the garlic slivers into the slits.


In a small bowl, mix the salt and dried herbs, using your fingers to crush the leaves and mix them with the salt. Rub the mixture all over the pork roast, working into the nooks and crannies.


Place the pork roast in the slow cooker and cook on low for 14 to 16 hours. As the pork roasts, the pan of the slow cooker will fill with liquid. You have two choices: (1) let it go and pour off the liquid when the meat is finished cooking; or (2) halfway through cooking, remove the lid and carefully pour off the liquid. Put the lid back on the pork and let it continue roasting; refrigerate the liquid in a glass bowl/jar or BPA-free container so the grease can separate from the luscious juice. I like to pour off the liquid so the outside of the roast gets crispier.


When the meat is finished roasting, it’s fall-apart tender. You can either shred it with forks, mixing the crusty bits with the interior, tender bits—or break it into serving-size hunks. It’s crazy-good either way. Remember the juice you put in the fridge? Now you can easily skim off the excess fat, re-heat the juice in a pan on the stove, and use it as a sauce for the cooked meat.

Step-By-Step Photos

I started with a 7-pound pork shoulder roast. Mine had a bone, but boneless will work, too.

Then I picked out some nice chubby garlic cloves and cut them into slivers…

I mixed Penzeys Italian Herb Mix with salt…

Stuck the garlic slivers into my piggy friend…

Then gave him a salt+herb massage. People pay big bucks for that kind of loving rub-down!

Straight into the slow cooker — no fuss, no muss, no liquid…

And 16 hours later, it was fall-apart tender and infused with flavor.

Print this recipe
MMM: Italian Slow Cooker Meatballs

Today's recipe is courtesy of Stephanie Gaudreau at Stupid Easy Paleo. She's disguised the superfood power of liver in flavorful Italian meatballs in a slow cooker...

Read More
5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs

I don't know what's gotten into me this week, but I've been on a serious Asian food kick. My poor cumin has been languishing in...

Read More


  • Fay says:

    That looks delicious! Unfortunately, I don’t eat pork. What cuts of beef do you think might work with this? I also hate crockpot anything, for the same reasons you mentioned above, so I’m eager to try this!

    • Mel says:

      I made it with a grass-fed beef chuck roast, and it was really tasty. Basically, any roast cut will work, I think. The low, slow heat is pretty forgiving. I’ve also used this technique on stew meat, and it worked well.

    • Beverly Scarpulla says:

      My mom always browned the outside of a roast in a pan before cooking. I am trying this tonight for tomorrow and will follow the recipe exactly bc it’s the first time I’m making it, but if I were more adventurous I would brown it first… I don’t want to screw up 7 lbs of meat! Lol.

      • You can brown it first, if you’d like… I skipped that step because when I made mine, it got nice and brown on the outside in the slow cooker, without needing to add that extra step. BUT… if you want to be guaranteed a brown crust on the outside, you can brown it on the stove, then transfer to the slow cooker.

        • Dave says:

          this is the maillard reaction. It will occur when meat gets up around 300 degrees whether done in a pan through direct application of heat while “browning” or it will also happen in an oven or slow cooker as long as the meat isn’t submerged in some kind of liquid (has to remain dry, so if you really want that to happen then follow her instructions about removing the liquid halfway through so you get more maillard bits). So basically she is browning it in the slow cooker. It all tastes the same–mmmmmmm Maillard tasty!

    • Rick brown says:

      Yeah about any kind of beef tastes good like that beef clods work well as with briskets.
      The pork roast I made it for people in family they went crazy for it great recipe.
      We do our own spices can’t buy em premade and like it myself.
      Was good recipe we also did it with a few variations and maybe got juicier adding a beer for liquid kind of infused it better or made flavor better.
      Thanks for the tips on roast always looking for something different with Bbq cooking team also. We will try it on Bbq smoker this weekend and see how it turns out with smoke. Thanks again

  • Sarah says:

    That looks so good! Perfect for cold days 🙂

  • Melissa Clayton says:

    I live in Louisiana – where can I find Penzey’s spices? Do they sell it in major grocery chains or should i search for it on-line? If I wanted to maybe make this today (because it looks so delicious) what could i use as a substitution?

    • Mel says:

      You can buy Penzeys online at — or any store-bought Italian Herb Blend will work.

      Also, as I said in the recipe, you can replace the herb blend with this:
      1 teaspoon each dried oregano+dried basil+dried rosemary

      • Rick brown says:

        Hey Mel were cooking one now in pressure cooker to see how it turns out.
        We added darker beer to try and enhance flavor more seems to make tasty better even. Just an idea like the lady above I don’t eat pork myself.
        Everyone else in family eats it but me and we’re going to try it on brisket and shoulder clods this weekend see how it goes. Smoke one maybe or split it and roast and smoke both ways.
        The spice flavor profile was excellent on pork they said.
        I can’t wait to try it on beef now can’t make too much difference if meat cooked correctly. Thanks again

  • Danielle H says:

    This looks yummy!! Do you think this could work with beef? For a Italian Beef recipe? If so, what cut of beef? If not, do you have an Italian beef crockpot recipe? Hubby has been craving Italian beef so I need to find a yummy and (possibly) whole 30 approved recipe 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I made it with a grass-fed beef chuck roast, and it was really tasty. Basically, any roast cut will work, I think. The low, slow heat is pretty forgiving. I’ve also used this technique on stew meat, and it worked well.

      • Danielle H says:

        Thanks! Would you put any peppers in? Also, I have been meaning to ask you, what are must have blends that you would recommend ordering from Penzeys? I have been wanting to place and order but just not sure what to get! I know the Itallian seasoning will be on the list for this recipe :).

        • Mel says:

          I’m not sure that veg would work very well with this technique — but there’s no harm in trying it.

          Here’s a whole post I did on my spice cabinet…

          And here’s a new one on the herbs I just stocked up on…

          • Dave says:


            Thanks loads for sharing this recipe. I just tried it (started cooking late last night so that it was ready when I got home from work tonight) and I am so stuffed right now but can’t keep from going back for another bite. In response to the veggies not working, I modified your recipe a little and I can attest they work great but just need to add some at the beginning for flavor (like onions, tomatoes, and carrots) and then the ones that you want to still have bite (like peppers and mushrooms) be added at the end so that they aren’t mush. I added 1/2″ sliced sweet onions to the bottom of the slow cooker and then packed in roma tomatoes, cut into quarters all around the sides of the roast. Otherwise I did everything else you said, including draining the liquid in the morning before I left for work. When I got home, I took out the roast and set it aside covered with foil in a roasting pan and then added back in the pork jello that was created from the liquid I removed this morning in the fridge and also added:
            2 cans tomato paste
            another sweet onion (diced this time)
            2 green peppers (diced)
            another tablespoon of italian seasoning
            a teaspoon of garlic powder (I was thining about doing minced fresh garlic, but got lazy)
            I was going to add some mushrooms, too, but forgot to grab them at the store, will try it next time. With the meat resting off to the side, added all of the above back in with the remaining juices and cooked tomatoes and onions (both so soft they essentially dissolved in with the tomato paste and juices once agitated). Kicked it up to high and took the dog for a walk. An hour later and I had an awesome tomato sauce. I decided to shred the pork and put most of it back in (what didn’t immediately go in my belly–those awesome edge pieces with the maillard reaction are just too tasty to pass up!) I think next time, I will not add it back and just put the sauce on so that it will reheat/freeze better. I might also add in some freshly diced tomatoes at the end as well and maybe a shredded carrot at the beginning for a little extra added sweetness–if you partake in processed sugars, you could just add a tablespoon of sugar or honey at the end to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. I used it on spaghetti squash since I stay away from processed foods and this has to be my new most favorite crock pot recipe.

            The biggest thing I have to thank-you for was for opening my eyes about “dry” slow cooking. I have done it before with chicken as the recipe dictated and it turned out dry and bland, but with pork its a whole different story. I might have to try it out with a different cut as you suggest above–like RIBS!!!

            Thanks again!

  • This looks SO GOOD. I’ve never seen anything that crispy looking come out of a slow cooker! I’m definitely going to try the longer cooking time, and pouring off the liquid. Mmm, I can taste it already…

  • StaceyO says:

    Simply brilliant! Going on the menu for next week! Also, glad to hear about the 2nd Well Fed book. We are living out of the first and love it!!!

  • JennF says:

    This is so perfect! I’ve had a huge (just under 8 lb) pastured pork roast in my freezer forever because I didn’t know what to do with a bone-in roast that big. Now I know! I’ll be making your recipe this weekend. Thanks!

  • I’m thinking of trying this with a pork tenderloin that’s sitting in my freezer and just monitoring the cooking time so I don’t end up with cinders. Sounds delish! Glad to hear about the new book but here’s a suggestion for the publishers– spiral-bound. I use mine so much it is literally falling apart– they just don’t bind books like they used to. I’m going to take all the pages out and put them in plastic sleeves in a binder, then I can integrate my new Mel recipes with them.Thanks for the post!

    • Mel says:

      “The publishers” are my husband and me… we’re Smudge Publishing, and the bindings on our recent printings are AWESOME. It was just the first printing that had some problems, which isn’t unusual.

      Well Fed 2 will probably be available both as a spiral bound AND as a lay-flat. I personally hate spiral, but I know other people like it.

    • Mel says:

      Also: pork tenderloin is VERY lean. You might want to sear it first in a cast iron skillet, then finish it in the crockpot and definitely don’t leave it in there too long, or it will get dry. And you might want to add some chicken broth to the crockpot. The technique described above will NOT work for a lean cut like tenderloin.

  • Jenny says:

    I’ll have to figure this out — my crockpot only goes up to 10 hours on low.

    • Jenifer says:

      Same with mine, Jenny. As a matter of fact, it says 10 hours, but when I tried to make the kahlua pork, it actually switched to warm an hour or so BEFORE the 10 hour mark!

      Very frustrating!

      • Debra says:

        Ditch those crockpots…. I ruined several wonderful meals because of that exasperating built-in timer.
        After buying 2 new ones, trying them and donating to Goodwill, I finally found one at the grocery store, simple, plain, like the one I had for a decade. The brand, Hamilton Beach.
        The others had automatic shut-off or leaky, spewing lids.

  • SophieE says:

    Do you think this kimd of liquid-less roasting in the slow cooker would work with beef cheeks? I’ve been thinking of doing a teriyaki beef cheeks type of this but didn’t want it to be liquidy like all the other beek cheek stews I’ve made. Thought this might be a good way.

    • SophieE says:

      I ended up doing this with beef cheeks. Tasted nothing like Teriyaki but was AMAAAZZZINNGG (just added some coconut aminos n stuff like that). This technique produced the much desired exterior blackening of the cheeks.

  • Karen says:

    ooh well fed 2!
    YAY how long do we have to wait for it? So exciting!

  • Gary says:

    Just eaten this, but lamb shoulder for 8 hours. Simply amazing.
    Roll on Sunday for the pork shoulder for 14 hours. Tastiest meat you’ll ever eat, and all that lovely rendered fat for cooking, yum.
    Great recipe Melissa.

  • erin malone says:

    Just made a modified version of this – pork roast, stuffed with garlic, sprig of rosemary, and then a dozen small (2″) tomatoes halved and 1 cup water in the slow cooker for 6 hours. It was fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing all your good recipes.

  • Steve says:

    Great looking roast and so simple. I’ll have to switch up my standard “overnight roast” for this one week.

  • Ian says:

    Went out and got a pork roast today, its going in tonight. Figuring on having enough to provide into, and maybe through, the weekend.

    My GF has done similar with a whole chicken. Just put it in the crock pot, no liquids added. Don’t remember how long, maybe ~5 hours? It too ended up as pull-apart goodness.

  • Erin says:

    Please please please add a Pinterest button to your posts! I’m making a board of slow cooker and freezer Paleo meals. :)And I want to click a little P so that this one will go on that board.
    Muchas Gracias,

  • Sarah says:

    I just have to say; How. Delicious. Is. This? Got up at 6am on a Sunday morning to prep it and it was soooooo worth the early start.
    Round 1 was last night’s supper nom nom nom
    Currently making it through round two in a salad at my desk.
    So simple. SO GOOD. Thank you Mel – you’re awesome 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Hooray! Glad you liked it! I’m working on variations so we can use this technique on other flavors. YAY!

      If you put it in the slow cooker at 10:00 p.m., then it can cook overnight and you don’t have to get up early 😉

  • Veronica says:

    I am NOT a pork eater at all, made this for my husband Sunday, it was sooooo DELISH !!!!! I used the reserve liquid to make a gravy added it to a rue. Put ANY preconceived thoughts of crockpot and pork out of your mind, TRUST ME YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!!!!

  • Buttoni says:

    This sounds very easy and DELICIOUS, Melissa. I love doing garlic-studded meat. Bet this would be equally good on beef and lab roasts.

  • Jacqui says:

    This is so tasty, but it was a bit stinky overnight as a slow roasting piggy in the kitchen infused the sleeping household with piggy smells! Put it on at 10 p.m., drained liquid @ 6 a.m., let it finish cooking till noon. Very easy…except for the tricky part of trying to figure out how to pour off the liquid.
    Mel, can you give us some more “crock pot as a roaster” recipes? I love this idea! And thank you for YOU. This week my house has Choc Chili, your lemon AWESOME mayo, and zuccini noodles. How did I live without these things before I “met” you? XOXO 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I LOVE waking up to the smell of roasting meat! 🙂

      I’m working on a few more counter-top roasting recipes. They’re pretty easy. Very little liquid, meat, spices… done!

      I’m so glad my recipes are filling your kitchen with yummines. YAY!

  • Erin says:

    I get what you’re saying about the reasons for not liking slow cooking…but I’m in grad school, and the fact that I can get stews/soups/pulled meat with almost no time or effort is so worth the compromise. I would KILL for a Well Fed Slow Cooking edition!

  • Leora says:

    Got one cooking right now. You are right, it is a wonderful morning aroma!

  • Tina says:

    Holy crap, my stomach is GROWLING over this one! Thanks for a new method for roasting. I am looking forward to trying it!

  • Elizebeth says:

    I love your recipes. Question: Do you think that a pork loin would be to lean for the slow cooker?

    • Ian says:

      We’ve done this a few times now. The second time my GF picked up some pork loin. Figuring it was worth a try, we did it the same way, and again removed the liquids at halfway. It was OK (not great) the first night, but the leftovers were dry, dry, dry.

      The one we just did was more of a BBQ flavor to it and was excellent. (added in some sauce with sauteed onions, worcester, apple vinegar, chili powder, and yes, a bit of brown sugar)

    • Mel says:

      Nope. A pork loin is way too lean for the slow cooker. If you want to try these flavors, use the same ingredients, but cook it this way:

      Preheat oven to 500. Place pork in a 9×13-in dish.

      Put pork in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Do not open the door. Let the pork sit in hot oven 45-60 minutes longer, until meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.

      • TT says:

        Hi, I’m sorry about your site getting hacked, and I did click on the link as it was interesting before getting your hacked email. Anyways, I have a 3 lb pork loin, not tenderloin. It is fatty. Should I follow your recipe for loin above, same timing, since my loin is smaller or would you suggest something else? Thanks as i would love to try this!

  • Gena says:

    is it possible to do on high for 8 hours?

  • One of the best foods around is the pork roast. I know that my kids even eat pork roast, will have to try it in the slow cooker.

  • Deborah Dowd says:

    How did you determine the cooking time- I have never cooked anything that long in the crockpot.

  • Kate says:

    I just got a giant enamel covered cast iron covered casserole for Christmas. Would this recipe work in this in the oven on a lower temp? I’ve not cooked with this type of dish before, so don’t know about the no liquid thing. If so, what temp would you recommend? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      That should work just fine. For this size pork roast, roast it at 425 for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and roast an additional 2-3 hours. If you have a roasting rack, you might want to put that in the roasting pan under the meat. I would also keep the meat covered for the first few hours, then remove the lid to let the meat brown during the last hour of cooking. Then let it rest for 30 minutes after you take it out of the oven.

  • ra says:

    I have a beef roast that’s about half this size… This may be a dumb question, but, would I cut the cooking time in half? Or is it not as clean of a conversion as that?

  • Michelle says:

    This is so good it is almost ridiculous !!

  • christina says:

    just tried and this is great. thanks!

  • Stanley says:

    Great, and I’ll make it again, though I’ll cut the salt in half. I poured off the liquid halfway through and refrigerated it. Took off the coagulated fat and reduced the liquid, but it (the “gravy”) was way too salty. The pork was not – it was great.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Mel,
    When I made this the juices went into a jelly form after it cooled in the fridge. Is this normal? I did scrape the fat off the top but thought the juice would still be liquid. I’m thinking that this is okay but thought I would ask.

    • Mel says:

      It is AWESOME that it turned to jelly. That means there’s lots of nutrients in there — like when bone broth gels. Scrape the fat off the top and re-heat the gel; it will get liquidy and taste amazing.

      • MiShelley says:

        Great, thanks Mel. My experience with cooking meat in the past has been limited to grilling or roasting (and not the slow roasting kind) so I wasn’t sure. I have tucked into it jelly and all and it is AMAZING 🙂

  • Cheryl says:

    Hi, this recipe looks like it’s right up my alley with the slow cooker. It’s just my husband and I at home now, so I’m wondering how much your 7# roast cooked down…like approx how many 3-4 oz servings should i expect to get? I’ve made pot roasts in the slow cooker before and from a 2# roast end up with only about 4 total servings.

    • Mel says:

      I don’t know exactly how much we ended up with, but it was quite a bit… I’d say 4-5 meals worth, and we eat about 10 ounces per meal (4 for me, 6 for my husband).

  • Radmod says:

    I just cooked your fab roast recipe this past weekend because I was mesmerized by the dark color of the crust in your photo. Everything about the roast turned out great with the exception of that beautiful dark color. It ended up being 20 hours because it was on warm. How did you achieve it, inquiring minds want to know?

    • Mel says:

      I’m not sure… I made it exactly as listed above, including the step where I poured off the liquid. I have a new, pretty powerful slow cooker, so maybe it’s very hot (?). Sorry I can’t be more helpful! I’m making this again today, so I’ll let you know if I do anything differently and how the coloring turns out.

      • Radmod says:

        That does make a lot of sense as far as the powerful slow cooker. Mine is a Target special but I must say your recipe still makes a mean roast! I had to freeze the leftover even with 5 people eating it! Maybe a smaller roast with the same cooking time will make the difference. Thank u!

  • Pingback: Wednesday Bullets
  • Diana says:

    I have a 3 pound pork shoulder roast. Do I need to adjust the cooking time for this or do I cook for 14-16 hours on Low?

  • Kat says:

    Ok slight problem. I wanted to try out my new pressure cooker and cooked it on high for 45 mins. And it’s kinda dry :/ anything I could do to salvage the leftovers? Put what I have left in my crock pot?

    • Mel says:

      Sorry! I have no insights to share. I don’t use a pressure cooker, so I’m not sure how to advise you.

      Anybody else have any ideas?

  • Martyn Rowe says:

    This looks great. I’m off to buy a crockpot today so will be giving this a try for our Sunday dinner tomorrow!

  • Jessica says:

    I have a 2.7 lb pork shoulder. I did the math, and your recipe calls for about 2.5 hours per pound. This would come out to about 7 hours for my size roast. Would this be accurate?

    • Mel says:

      That should work just fine. Two things to look for to tell if it’s done: 1) it shouldn’t be pink in the middle and 2) it should be fall-apart tender.

  • sue phillips says:

    I am trying it today. My house smells incredible. I am scard of the mo juice in crockpot….

  • Hieu says:

    So I am definitely responding to this post really late, but I’m about to try crockpotting my pork butt according to this general idea, but using your spice blend from this post ( I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Lori says:

    Any idea how the cooking time would differ for a smaller roast? I have a 2.4 lb beef shoulder roast. Thanks!

  • Laura says:

    This recipe looks amazing! One question. Do you think I can add potatoes, onions and carrots in with it? If I did, would I have to add some type of liquid as well? Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      I’ve never tried it, but I bet it will work great. Just snuggle the veg around the meat; no extra liquid necessary.

      • Laura says:

        I went for it before I got your response and it turned out amazing! I wish I would have made a larger roast! Mine was only 2lbs and my boyfriend ate the majority of it! I did add a little bit of low sodium chicken broth, but next time Ill go without! Thanks for this wonderful and simple recipe!

  • Kendra Y says:

    I’m made a fair share of roasts in my day, and this is HANDS DOWN THE BEST ROAST RECIPE EVER!!! I will probably never make another roast any other way. You rock!

  • Eve says:

    I’m making this today. I can’t wait. Question: I have a 2.5 lb roasting roast…Is 8 hours on low sufficient? Also…I should then pour off the liquid at 4 hours, right?

  • Martine says:

    First recipe I made from your book. It was a bone-in shoulder roast. It was quite delicious!. Very reminiscent of pulled pork, and it had a lovely “bark”.

    My only complaint is that my husband scarfed all the leftovers.

  • Margaret says:

    Fantastic!!!!!! Unbelievably tender and tasty.

  • Margie says:

    tastes wonderful but, my roast did not produce enough liquid, any suggestions

  • amarullis says:

    I made this with a 2 1\2lb chuck roast, cooked it for 7 hours, and it was amazing and wonderfully browned! I added the juices to reduced beef stock for some au jus and also made some caramelized onions. This is my new favorite way to make a roast. I used a turkey baster to drain off the juices and it worked out really well.

  • Aimee says:

    Hi! Love your recipes! I bought your grocery list and started working. So far we have eaten chocolate chili and having pork tonight! Thank you so much and I look forward to ordering your cookbooks.

  • AKiteFlier says:

    AHHHHMAZING – I used my fingers to “shred it” and licked them clean when I was done – I’ve never done a pork roast like this and it rivals the best pulled pork I’ve ever had. Hubby adds BBQ sauce to his portion and serves it up on a bun (No he’s not paleo or Whoe 30) and couldn’t stop raving! MANY thanks – next time going to try it with a chuck roast.

  • Ladonna says:

    I honestly had my doubts about cooking it that long but it was delicious! 🙂

  • katie says:

    SO I just bought a pork shoulder and am about to put this sucker in the crock-pot! one question though- the roast I got has a the skin and fat still attached. I am going to remove the fat, according to another recipe I just looked up. Do you remove the skin and fat when you make it?


  • SeanT says:

    Hi Mel, this looks great! I’m doing it tonight into tomorrow, does it really get that dark crust just in the crock pot?

  • Rocky Beck says:

    If I wanted to use a smaller roast (2 lbs), would the cooking time be the same?

    • Mel says:

      You should probably reduce the cooking time to 8-10 hours. You’ll know it’s done when it can easily be pulled apart with a fork.

  • Megan says:

    I made this tonight and it is sooooo tasty. My roast was just over two lbs and I cooked it for about 9 hours. Mine did not have a fat cap on it but it did produce a good amount of juice, though it did not get crispy at all. Perhaps if I had left it a bit longer.

  • Isabelle says:

    Hi Mel,
    After reading your blog, I’ve made a snap decision and we’re all going to go paleo! This recipe looks delicious but I don’t have a slow cooker I actually don’t like because like you I find everything comes out mushy and watery. Could I cook this in a low temp oven for about 5hours do you think?

    • Mel says:

      That should work, but you might want to cover it with foil for the first few hours, then uncover during the last 45-60 minutes so it browns.

  • Lisa says:

    Can you cook this at a higher temperature for a shorter time.

  • Lino says:

    When you’re going to rent a comic, think about these tips as a useful guide, pointing in the fitting direction.

    his comic roles in movies like Hungama, Waqt: The Race
    against Time, Malamaal. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a magic pill and have a perfect

  • tara says:

    I only eat fish and fowl. Would this work with a toaster chicken or chicken breasts?

    • Mel says:

      You can use the herbs on chicken, but I don’t recommend cooking it in the slow cooker. The chicken will get too dry. Instead, rub the herbs on the chicken, cover with foil, and bake 25-30 minutes at 400F until it’s cooked through.

  • micki mcbee says:

    Do you usually do this overnight since it cooks for so long?

  • Ginger says:

    New to Paleo and so grateful for your recipes. Thank you! This was everything you said it would be…simple to make and ridiculously tasty! Any suggestions for the leftover meat?

    • Glad you liked it! Some ideas… toss cubes into an omelet or scramble… make hash with cubed sweet potatoes, scallions, and leftover pork… shred it and serve in lettuce cups with diced tomato and a drizzle of olive oil… put on top of a salad of diced hearts of palm, red bell peppers, red onion, and mushrooms.

  • Colin says:

    This sounds very tasty, is the pork put into the slow cooker with the fatty side underneath, or on top

  • Anita Wheaton says:

    Great recipe. Came out just as described. I did remove the juices halfway. The pork roasts beautifully. Thank you for another great recipe.

  • tiffany says:

    I just came home from a hike to this finishing up in my crock pot.


    that is all.

  • Lauren says:

    This recipe makes the most flavorful, delicious slow cooked pork I have made to date! I love how easy and basic it is but tastes so amazing! Thank you!

  • Marcy Leonard says:

    I’m on Day 3 of my first Whole30. I served your Italian Pot Roast the family and everyone LOVED it!

    Thank you for all of the great recipes! I have both Well Fed books, and am using your Week 1 meal plan as well.

    Thank you! Thank you!

  • Miriam says:

    I have made this at least 5 times now, and it is ALWAYS a good decision. Soooo tasty.

  • Felicia says:

    I made this recipe with a bit of a struggle and wondered if you could help me figure out why. I used an 8.3 lb pork shoulder (I have a huge slow cooker) and despite draining the juice after 8 hours, when I got home from work it had quite a bit more juice in it. I drained that and let it cook another hour (total, about 17.5 hrs). The meat came out delicious, but I really wanted more of that crispy exterior you wrote about. It was crispy only on some very top pieces. Do you think I should cut off some fat to help it get there? Thank you!

    • When I make it, the bottom doesn’t always get crispy — it really depends on the amount of juice it releases, etc. BUT, after it’s cooked, you can quickly plunk it under the broiler and brown it on all sides. That should only take 10-15 minutes.

  • Lynette says:

    I got a Boston butt, but it’s only 3 pounds. How long would you suggest I cook it?

  • Michael says:

    I’m going to try this in my smoker same as I cook pulled pork. I take it to about 110°-115° internal temp. then pull it out and wrap it in heavy duty foil. It goes back in and stays until it reaches 195°-200° internal temp. I save all the juices that collect in the foil and mix them in after I pull the meat. Bet it’s most fine. We’ll see.

  • Betsy says:

    I made this yesterday and it is delish! I used a 5lb pork butt and tripled the dried herbs using the basil, oregano, rosemary alternative to the Penzey herb mix. I served it with the defatted au jus which made the meat so moist. It’s a keeper!

  • Janelle says:

    Mel, This is so good that we served it to family at Christmas! only change w made is to double the garlic and the dry rub, and let it “marinate for several hours beforehand in the refrigerator. this is truly one of your BEST!

  • Nan says:

    Melissa, I’m eating the leftovers of this for lunch today, and they taste better than they did last night. What an awesome and simple recipe! I just started my second Whole30 (took a day off in between) and it’s recipes like this that make this lifestyle so easy and enjoyable for a working mom like me. I served my pork over a bed of sauteed savoy cabbage but hubby, who is not eating paleo, had his on a bun with melted provolone. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  • Nita Wuest says:

    This sounds so good and easy, with one exception. I cannot stand to bite down into a cooked or raw garlic clove. Other recommendations for that step? Thanks much!

    • A few options:
      – omit the garlic
      – use the cloves as described but remove them when the meat is done cooking
      – replace the fresh cloves with garlic powder — about 1/2 teaspoon should do it. Just mix it with the herbs.

  • Ariana says:

    I don’t eat any red meat, is there a possibility of me using this recipe but with turkey or chicken?

  • Susan Lerner says:

    How about a grass fed Chuck roast that weighs 1.35 lb? That is the biggest Sprouts had?

    Or maybe a chart per lb? My math skills are terrible.

    Thank you.

  • Amy Owens says:

    Have you ever cooked on high to cut time? How long? Does it still turn out? Thanks

    • I haven’t tried it on high because I usually just let it go overnight.

      It will definitely cook on high — not sure if it will get crispy on the outside. Try it and let me know!

      If it’s not browned on the outside, you can pop it under the broiler for a few minutes when it’s done cooking.

  • Marlene says:

    I’ve made this a few times now, it’s always great! I’ve put bbq mixture in a few times too. I do have a question about how long this can be kept on the warm setting after the 16 hrs on low? It will be in 16hrs at 2pm, at which time I’ll pull it apart and plan to leave in the croc pot for another 2-4 hours on warm. Low keeps it at a boil, the warm setting still keeps it hot.

  • Laura says:

    Ok, so this is the second recipe I made, using the Week 1 cookup plan. WOW, while mine did not brown much (I was sleeping at the halfway point), I found it kind of browned a little once I drained it and took it off the heat. I am going to shred it now, but took a bite first.

    THIS IS PURE HEAVEN… love it.

    Thanks so much. I also made the Chocolate Chili, also very yummy. No disappointments yet!!!!!!

    Love you for all you are doing.

  • Laura says:

    I am, you have done a fabulous job with this…I am going to tlk to my trainer tomorrow about those single leg squats! Amazing shape you must be in!

  • Dayton Pickering says:

    Hi there! This recipe looked so good, so I tried it last week. Unfortunately, my meat became so immensely dry that we couldn’t even eat it! I followed the recipe exactly, do you have any clues as to why my meat didn’t work?


    • Without being in the kitchen with you while you’re cooking, there’s no way for me to know what might the issue was. Did you use a pork shoulder? If you substituted another cut of pork, that could be the issue. The recipe needs shoulder because it’s fatty enough to stand up to the long cooking time.

  • Coreen Mora says:

    I just bought a 7 lb pork shoulder bone in and want to try this. But it looks huge and I’m not sure if my crock pot is big enough. What size is yours? Mine also only goes low 10 hours. Should I just reset it for an additional six when it goes off? Thanks so much I’m on day 2 of the whole 30 and love your site!

  • Jane says:

    Not positive if my question from last night went through, I was on my phone.

    The fat that separates from the juices when refrigerated, is that ok to use for frying veggies and stuff? Did I just make lard?

  • Bethann says:

    Mel! oh my goodness! I made this for tonight’s supper. It was SOOO GOOOOD!!! I kept thinking, “Really? SIXTEEN hours???” But, yep, it was just to die for. I have never had a pork roast with so much flavor. Tremendous. THANK YOU!

  • Christine says:

    I made this recipe this week and absolutely loved it. 5lb roast, put it in at 1pm, finished at 5am, when I get up for work…. it was a joy to wake up to the smell of a finished roast! Now, I want to make it this weekend for my friends – and because I don’t have the time to let it cook for 16 hours, I wanted to do it in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I understand from your post that you came up with this recipe based off of Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig recipe. On her Kalua Pig page, she links to a tweaked recipe for Pressure cooking it… do you think these tweaks will also work for this recipe in a pressure cooker?

  • Janelle says:

    Made this a few days ago and LOVE it. My question is about the juices – what should I do with them? I have a good 3-4 cups (I skimmed off the fat and threw it out, now I’m wishing I had kept some after reading all the comments!). Should I add it to broth if I’m making bone broth? Other ideas, besides pouring it back over the pork?

    • You have a few options: you can use the drippings as broth to make soup (add zucchini noodles and shredded pork… yum!), or simmer it to make it a little thicker and pour over the pork. Yes, you can add it to bone broth that you’re making for more depth of flavor. You could also use it in mashed cauliflower in place of coconut milk to add flavor and smoothness.

  • Jordan Eades says:

    Wow. Just Wow. I can’t believe something so simple can taste so heavenly! This recipe is such a winner in my book. As a busy working mom, it has been hard to find meals that don’t require much time in the kitchen. This was laughably easy. I have to admit, I was skeptical, and worried that it would be dry/bland. Not the case at all. Purchased a 3.5 lb roast, followed your directions (took less then 10 min), cooked it overnight, and this a.m. winner, winner PORK dinner! The best part is that this fits easily into my AIP recipes, and the boys BOTH love it. My five year old was asking for seconds, for breakfast! THANK YOU Melissa! Looking forward to exploring more of your site and continuing my whole 30 journey to health!

  • Susan McClain says:

    Mel, thank you for another perfect recipe! I put a 3.5lb pork roast in at midnight, and woke up at 9am to fall-apart roast with a “roasted” top. Never have I put meat in a slow cooker without liquid but it worked perfectly and created so much liquid on it’s own (and the house didn’t burn down, bonus…). I have poured off the liquid as you suggested and am letting it go awhile longer, despite wanting to eat it all right now. I use my Instant Pot pressure cooker for fall apart meats in a short time, but I liked the idea of your roast with the crispy outside. Cooking it overnight in the slow cooker will now be my go-to roast technique. Thank you! 🙂

  • Erica says:

    Made this a couple months ago and LOVED it! Just got the Instant Pot and was wondering if anyone tried this recipe using a pressure cooker. I believe it was be a 90 mins cook time , but I need to look into that

  • Monica says:

    Any idea what to do if you don’t have a slow cooker?

    • Preheat the oven to 425F. Rub the pork with the spices, set the meat on a rack set into a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the shoulder reads 185 degrees F, about 4-ish hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.

  • Meg says:

    Been eating this ALL week with Nom Nom Paleo’s ‘best ever braised cabbage’ and they go together great!(first week of 1st whole30)

  • Kristin says:

    My family made this recipe for the first time yesterday. We cooked about a 4 lb pork roast in a crock pot for 12 hours. The meat fell apart, and it was wonderful. I had leftovers for lunch today. I’m new to all of this, so I will need to get better with what is paleo and what isn’t. It’s only the 3 of us, so some of the recipes I found they want you to prep/cook for a lot of people. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Scott Fitzgerald says:

    Thank you so much for your recipes. I am getting ready to try this this weekend, but I want to serve it Italian Beef style but with a 7# pork butt. Does one make an Au Jus out of these drippings or should I use a store-bought style. The bad thing about those is the amount of sodium that is in packaged items. I also use Kosher salt, would this make a slight difference in anything. Thank you in advance, and also my appreciation for you website!!

  • Terri says:

    So I bought a pork shoulder cut (organic) but it is only 1.62 lbs, which is perfect for the two of us, but way smaller than any recipes I’ve found. Yours sounds great but I’m beyond sure the amount of garlic and Italian seasonings will be overpowering. Suggested amounts?

  • Scott Fitzgerald says:

    Thank you so much for your recipes. I am getting ready to try this this weekend, but I want to serve it Italian Beef sandwich style but with a 7# pork butt. Does one make an Au Jus out of these drippings or should I use a store-bought style. The bad thing about those is the amount of sodium that is in packaged items. I also use Kosher salt, would this make a slight difference in anything. Thank you in advance, and also my appreciation for you website!!

  • Katie says:

    Hello! My husband and I love this recipe! However, my husband isn’t big on eating leftovers (I know….I married him anyway, haha). Since I”m cooking for two, sometimes I can’t manage to eat all of the rest over the course of a few lunches and it goes to waste. Are there other recipes you have that I could use leftover roast in over the next couple days after cooking this? Otherwise, does it freeze well?

    • Hmmm… It won’t freeze well on its own, so I don’t recommend that. Some ideas for using the leftovers:
      – dice it and scramble with eggs, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms
      – simmer it in Muir Glen tomato sauce and serve over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash
      – dice and place in a bowl with bone broth, zucchini noodles, and fresh basil
      – dice and stir-fry with red and green peppers, onions, and garlic, then stuff into a baked potato

  • Meg says:

    Just an FYI – I have froze leftovers of this in a ziplock and it came back to life quite well!

  • Heidi A. Seely says:

    Anyone try doing this in the Instant Pot using the slow cooker function? I started it this morning, using no liquid, as directed, but now I’m fretting that it’s not going to work!!! Fingers crossed!