One of the best ways to ensure a tender and flavourful pork roast is to cook it in a slow cooker. Many people are confused about cooking times and how to flavour the roast to ensure the best outcome. While cooking times vary slightly because of variations in slow cookers themselves, there are some easy ways to tell when the meat is done.
Choosing the Meat
Most beginning cooks make the mistake of choosing pork that is too lean. A small quantity of fat is necessary for all roasting meats to ensure good flavour and tender meat.
The most popular cuts of pork for cooking in a slow cooker are the Boston butt and the loin roast. The loin is usually much leaner than the butt. The butt should be well marbled with thin streaks of fat throughout. The loin likely will have areas of fat. The amount of fat for the loin should be about one-tenth of the total roast size.
The roast you choose must fit inside your slow cooker and allow the cover to fit securely during the cooking process. If necessary, trim the roast to fit your cooker.
The most basic seasonings for pork roast are salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. The amounts will vary based on the size of the roast, but a good rule is 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons each of the garlic and onion powders per pound of meat.
Add water to ensure proper cooking. Regardless of the roast size, you will need only about a cup of water. For additional seasoning, you may wish to add a single bullion cube to the water before adding it to the slow cooker.
The prep time on this is relatively low. For a beginner, it should take only about five minutes to prepare the roast, season and begin cooking.
Cooking the pork roast is simple. After placing the roast into the slow cooker, add the seasonings and water. Cover the slow cooker and turn it on. A 4-pound roast will cook in about eight hours on low or about five hours on high. Test the meat to ensure it has completed cooking by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast; it should reach 71.1 degrees C. You also can test the meat by sticking a fork in it. If it is done, the meat will be white and fall apart easily.