Tender and so delicious, this simple recipe for sweet balsamic glazed pork contains easy directions for the slow cooker OR Instant Pot!
Gosh, we’re full of good things today. Exclusive recipe coming your way + this amazing sweet balsamic glazed pork I’ve lovingly pulled from the deep, dark recesses of my archives (posted way back in 2011) in order to make many of you who haven’t noticed it very, very happy.
It was sorely in need of a facelift and a huge shoutout.
This is one of our family’s favorite meals ever. Ever, ever.
If you’ve made it, you’ll probably understand why.
It’s crazy simple. Get yourself a pork roast, season it with sage + salt + pepper + garlic. Throw it in the slow cooker with a bit of water and let it cook.
How’s that for a hands-off, easy dinner night?
The sweet and savory balsamic glaze simmers on the stove for, oh, five-ish minutes, so when that tender, delectable pork comes out of the slow cooker, you’re good to go.
Drizzle away…and then devour.
Because the world is going crazy with everything Instant Pot (including myself, I heart my Instant Pot big time), I’ve updated this recipe with easy instructions for the Instant Pot.
I haven’t done a side-by-side, same day comparison between this balsamic pork in the slow cooker and this balsamic pork in the Instant Pot, but my taste buds tell me that it’s a little more tender and a little more delicious made in the lean, mean Instant Pot machine.
Pressure cooking will do that, you know.
And since I get asked a lot, this is the slow cooker I have: Hamilton Beach 8-quart. Endearing due to it’s lack of bells and whistles, it cooks a lot more evenly than other slow cookers I’ve tried.
I will sometimes use the slow cooker function in my Instant Pot, but it seems to cook at a lower temperature than I’m used to in a slow cooker, and I haven’t found the magic adjustment to make it all-the-time reliable instead of trial-and-error yet.
Either way you make it, this sweet balsamic glazed pork is a keeper.
It is often one of my go-to selections when serving company. You honestly can’t beat the seemingly unfair tradeoff:
how can something this delicious be so dang simple?
A quick note about pork roasts, I have the best luck using a pork sirloin roast (I usually get them in a 4-pack at Costco but have seen them in other grocery stores); it cooks up so tender and juicy.
Many people have commented below over the years with their experience about this recipe – some have used pork chops, others pork tenderloin, and many have made it per the recipe (so feel free to read through the comments for additional feedback and ideas).
Some of you have even served it on buns, like pulled pork, and if I remember right, I believe you’ve reported the end result was so tasty, you cried. Or died. Or took a bath in the glaze. The details are a bit fuzzy.
So, if you haven’t made this sweet balsamic glazed pork loin, what are you waiting for?
- 2 to 3 pounds boneless pork loin or pork sirloin roast, trimmed of large fat pockets
- 1 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced or crushed
- 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub the spices all over the roast.
- For the slow cooker: place the pork roast in the slow cooker and add the 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- For the Instant Pot/Pressure cooker: place the pork roast in the insert of the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Increase the water or broth to 1 cup and add to the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes (hit manual --> dial up or down to 60 minutes --> Instant Pot will start automatically and count down the time). Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before quickly releasing the rest of the pressure.
- Near the end of cooking time (for either slow cooker or pressure cooker), whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the glaze thickens, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper, if needed/desired. Keep warm until ready to use.
- Remove the pork from the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Shred the meat into pieces and place on a platter or plate. Drizzle the glaze over the pork and serve immediately.
Sometimes I use 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder if I'm out of fresh garlic; I also will sometimes cut the ground sage back to 1/2 teaspoon (just a personal preference as we've made this over the last 5+ years).
In addition to the pork cuts listed below, a lot of you (via the comment section) have had good success using pork tenderloin. I most often use a pork sirloin roast (Costco sells a 4-pack); it seems to be a bit more tender than a pork loin, which can be very lean.
Recipe originally posted September 23, 2011; updated with new pictures + recipe notes.
Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links for products I’ve bought there.