How to Make a Pork Picnic Roast in the Slow Cooker

Updated on June 26, 2015
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I am a K-12 Art teacher at a small school district and love to cook, therefore most of my Hubs 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. | Source

This is an extremely easy pork roast to make in the slow cooker. I looked up many different recipes online for picnic roasts. This was the fist time I have ever made one and I was unsure of how to prepare it. This is my combination of the recipes that I found with what I had in my pantry. It is very tasty and moist and will make fantastic BBQ as leftovers. I cannot wait for a BBQ sandwich, and wish I had some coleslaw right now to go with it!

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 of the roast by checking the internal temperature of it. 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. | Source
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. | Source
Picnic shoulder roast, extremely tender and tasty.
Picnic shoulder roast, extremely tender and tasty. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 7 hours
Ready in: 7 hours 15 min
Yields: serves 6-8


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

Have you ever made a bone-in pork shoulder picnic roast?

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  • profile image

    Chef GG Family 7 days ago

    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.

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    Gordon Ramsey 3 weeks ago

    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

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    Amber Dahnke 4 months ago from New Glarus, WI

    will need to try pineapple juice, that sounds great!

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    dpc5149 5 months ago

    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!!!!

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    Joanne Bachman 12 months ago

    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.

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    MelissaMae2808 13 months ago

    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

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    Liz 14 months ago

    Sounds perfect, plan to do this tomorrow

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    Amber Dahnke 14 months ago from New Glarus, WI

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

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    Jason 15 months ago

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

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    sue 15 months ago

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

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    Loretta 15 months ago

    Making this today, thank you for the recipe

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    Jill 16 months ago

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

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    Amber Dahnke 18 months ago from New Glarus, WI

    We love this recipe! thanks for trying!

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    Butterz 18 months ago

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

  • amberld profile image

    Amber Dahnke 21 months ago from New Glarus, WI

    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.

  • amberld profile image

    Amber Dahnke 21 months ago from New Glarus, WI

    Yes, you could definitely substitute either of those.

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    purplebettyy 21 months ago

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

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    Patrick 22 months ago

    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.

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    Amber Dahnke 2 years ago from New Glarus, WI

    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.

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    george minton 2 years ago

    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.

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    Gail 2 years ago

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

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    Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

    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.

  • amberld profile image

    Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

    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!

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    Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

  • amberld profile image

    Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

    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!

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    Annie Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

    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.