How to Make a Pork Picnic Roast in the Slow Cooker

I am a K-12 art teacher at a small school district, and I love to cook. Most of my articles are art projects for kids or recipes. Enjoy!

Pork picnic roast, falling off the bone with a beautiful caramelized glaze.

Pork picnic roast, falling off the bone with a beautiful caramelized glaze.

This is an extremely easy pork roast to make in the slow cooker. I studied many different recipes for picnic roasts. This is a combination of the recipes I found and was influenced by what I had in my pantry. It is very tasty and moist and makes fantastic BBQ as leftovers. I cannot wait for a BBQ sandwich, and wish I had some coleslaw right now to go with it!

Cooking Tips:

  • I started my roast a little later in the morning than usual, so I put the slow cooker on high for an hour and a half. Always remember to double the time on high to figure how many hours on low it equals. I then turned it down to low for about 4 more hours.
  • Check for doneness by checking the internal temperature of the roast. Do not place the thermometer right next to the bone as that will raise the temperature too high, but place it in another thick part of the meat. It should register between 145° and 150° F.
  • Allow the meat to rest for about five minutes before serving. It should still be slightly pink inside and juicy.

This roast was fabulous and falling off the bone! I hope you enjoy!

Picnic roast with rub, onions and garlic.

Picnic roast with rub, onions and garlic.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

7 hours

7 hours 15 min

6-8 servings

Garlic slices inserted into knife slits, then roast is rolled in the rub all over.

Garlic slices inserted into knife slits, then roast is rolled in the rub all over.


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder picnic roast
  • 6-8 green onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon basil, dried
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Spray the slow cooker with a light coating of non-stick spray. Chop the onions and place in the slow cooker. Cut off the skins of the garlic cloves and cut lengthwise into slivers. Put about 2 cloves worth in the bottom of the crock pot with the onions.
  2. With a small paring knife or a steak knife, cut slits all over the picnic roast. Place a sliver of the remaining two cloves of garlic into each of the slits. This adds a great depth of flavor to the meat.
  3. In a small bowl mix the sugars and spices. Rub this all over the meat until it is covered. Place the roast into the slow cooker. Then place any of the remaining spice mixture into the crock pot over the roast.
  4. In another small bowl mix the water, Worcestershire sauce, and honey together. Then pour the liquid mixture over the roast. The outer layer of this roast is fantastic when it is done. Wonderful and sweet, but not overpowering.
  5. I got my roast started at around 11 in the morning. Normally I would start it at 10 and keep it on low all day. Since I started late, I put the temperature setting on the slow cooker to high for 1 1/2 hrs. Then I lowered the temp to the low setting for 4 more hours. The meat fell off the bone and was very tender and delicious.
Picnic shoulder roast, extremely tender and tasty.

Picnic shoulder roast, extremely tender and tasty.


Chef GG Family on March 14, 2018:

Good recipe. Here comes the "but". A 3 lb. pork shoulder takes 7 hours to cook in a slow cooker!! On 03/13 I used the recipe for a 9.43 lb. Pork Picnic Roast, fall off the bone tender done 6 hours 8 mins. Only changed one ingredient: 1/3 c water for 1/3 c apple juice. Cooked on low from start to finish. Roast was not room temperature prior to seasoning then adding to crock pot. Is 3 lb. a error? Salt not added. Great flavor. Will shred for pulled BBQ.

Gordon Ramsey on February 23, 2018:

Amber Dahnke you should definitely add salt when you cook, don't be foolish. You CANT SEASON AFTER THE MEAL IS COOKED, Seasoning happens while it's cooking, flavors meld together. Salt helps that, add at least a couple pinches. And if you are worried, use Sea salt, or himalayan pink. Don't be ridiculous

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on October 28, 2017:

will need to try pineapple juice, that sounds great!

dpc5149 on October 01, 2017:

I used carrots and onions on the bottom. I also used 1/3

to 1/2 cup of pineapple juice instead of 1/3 cup of water. I mixed the liquids, sugars, and the spices all together and then basted the meat really well; poured the extra mixture all around the meat! Minus the honey, I'm allergic to it!!!!

Joanne Bachman on March 24, 2017:

I but the roast in the crock pot frozen ,put carrots on the bottom so the roast gets cooked all around and just added the spices stirred it up and put over roast ,every so often I stirred to make sure everything was evenly cooked.

MelissaMae2808 on January 27, 2017:

YUMMY I used the spices as recipe calls for the rub but doubled them because I love my seasonings... I rolled the roast in half the rub, and then when adding the liquid I used a teaspoon and gently poured some liquid over the pork then the extra I put around the meat then put the remaining rub on top. Hubby and I also put carrots in bottom and onions on top of meat

Liz on January 07, 2017:

Sounds perfect, plan to do this tomorrow

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on December 29, 2016:

I do not add additional to the whole roast, if people want it they can season it with some.

Jason on December 19, 2016:

I noticed that there is no salt called for in this recipe. Is this correct??

sue on December 04, 2016:

I'm going to try this today , sounds and looks so good

Loretta on December 04, 2016:

Making this today, thank you for the recipe

Jill on November 18, 2016:

Making this today! Can't wait to try it!

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on September 26, 2016:

We love this recipe! thanks for trying!

Butterz on September 03, 2016:

I seared the pork before putting it in the slow cooker....the burnt and caramelization was fantastic....:)

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on June 27, 2016:

I kinda let the rub sit on mine a little bit before putting liquid on so it soaks in a bit, but you could reverse the order, too.

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on June 27, 2016:

Yes, you could definitely substitute either of those.

purplebettyy on June 15, 2016:

Do you have to use cooking spray or can I substitute with something else like butter or olive oil?

Patrick on May 19, 2016:

I, too, don't get the concept of pouring liquid over a roast I've just covered with a dry rub. Shouldn't you do the liquid first, then dry rub it? I ended up just pouring the liquid in the bottom of the crock.

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on August 14, 2015:

It has been a while since I made this or used my slow cooker, so I don't remember exactly how mine worked when pouring liquid over. I may have added even a little additional bit of honey to keep the liquid thicker, or I may have kept the spices and rubbed more on after pouring liquid over. It probably would work good to hang onto extra spices and put them on after pouring liquid and it probably would work just as well to pour it around the meat. The honey is what helped form a thicker edge or crust.

george minton on July 31, 2015:

Help. When I poured the liquid mixture over the meat all of the sugar crust came off. I don't understand how a crust will develop. Perhaps the liquid mixture should be poured around the pork, not on it.

Gail on July 06, 2015:

I don't see a print button. I would like to print the recipe.

Dianna Mendez on March 29, 2013:

Your photo share of the roast makes me drool! I can see how moist and tender it is and just want to take my fork and help myself to a piece. Thanks for the suggestion.

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on March 29, 2013:

Thank you for checking out my recipe! The picnic roast was great and made excellent BBQ. I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to make it!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 28, 2013:

My mouth is watering! Thanks for the simple, delicious recipe.

Amber White (author) from New Glarus, WI on March 26, 2013:

Oh, it was so simple in the crock pot. I absolutely love mine and actually have three of four in various sizes. I use it for almost anything. Hope you like it if you try it and your turkey breast comes out wonderfully!

Annie Miller from Wichita Falls, Texas on March 26, 2013:

Oh, yum! I have done a bone in picnic roast in the oven, but this sounds so much easier and I bet juicier! I am definitely going to try this.

Interestingly, I have a turkey breast in my crock pot right now. Results in about three more hours.

Related Articles