Love this Slow-Cooker Korean Style Barbecue Pork? Check out our other fabulous Korean Food Recipes!
Meat. It’s what my kids want to hear when they ask “What’s for dinner?” Any time the work “pork” appears in the answer, the cheers are even louder. For instance, when I said I was making Slow-Cooker Korean Style Barbecue Pork, the kitchen erupted in cheers, and they weren’t me cheering for myself. They adore pork because it’s such a great vehicle for any number of their favourite flavour profiles, including Korean. YES. They know what flavour profiles are. They are Food Blogger Kids.
Food Blogger Kids are an interesting breed. All of mine are pretty adventurous, even the ones I deem picky. They’re quick and enthusiastic to try something even if -in their words- the texture makes them feel wiggly and they won’t touch it for love nor money later. For several years, my kiddos’ favourite cuisine has been anything Korean or Korean Inspired. In other words, anything with garlic, ginger, gochujang (we’ve discussed it before here and here), soy sauce, sesame oil, pear juice, and rice is in their wheelhouse. And God love ’em, Korean recipes tend to unapologetically feature meat. This is quite possibly one of the reasons my kids love it so dearly. Thus, Slow-Cooker Korean Style Barbecue Pork garnered the cheers that rocked the house.
Slow-Cooker Korean Style Barbecue Pork is incredibly simple, but requires a little forethought. Part of the depth of the mellow garlic that permeates the dish comes from sticking a sharp knife into the boneless pork loin roast at intervals then shoving peeled, halved garlic cloves into those holes. After that, it’s smeared generously with a fragrant paste of brown sugar, gochujang (Korean chili paste), ginger, soy sauce, soju (Korean rice liquor), and toasted sesame oil. It soaks in all that great amazingness (technical cooking term) overnight and THEN is popped into the slow cooker for a couple of hours. After the cooking time, it rests while you reduce the pan juices until they reach a mahogany coloured DANG THAT’S GOOD consistency. The roast is then thinly sliced to serve on rice, in lettuce wraps, in ramen, or on sandwiches with a drizzle of that gorgeous sauce over top.
- While I normally go for a bone-in cut of pork when it comes to the slow-cooker, I prefer boneless, center cut pork loin for this recipe. It’s an economical cut with little to no waste and it makes for easier thin slicing because of the absence of bone in the cut.
- That said, the sauce ingredients used here can also be used on other cuts of pork with the same taste but different textural results.
- Gochujang is pretty key to getting an authentic Korean flavour, but if you can’t find it and don’t want to order it from Amazon, you can sub in an equal amount of chili garlic sauce for a similar heat level in the finished Slow-Cooker Korean Style Barbecue Pork.
- The pork roast is done cooking in the slow-cooker when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. If you transfer the pork roast to a carving board and lightly tent it, this will give the carry-over cooking time to finish the roast while you strain and reduce the pan juices.
- When you have strained your pan juices and brought it to a boil, you’re looking for a visual cue to indicate it’s done. It should be dark mahogany in colour, reduced by more than half, be thick and syrupy. Remember that as it cools, it will thicken again slightly, so take that into account when deciding when you’ll take it off the heat. When cooled to room temperature, it should be runny honey or thin barbecue sauce consistency.
- Slice the finished pork very thinly against the grain. When we serve it on sandwiches, this is where we stop. When we serve it on rice or on lettuce wraps, we slice those thin pieces of pork crosswise into strips.
- Store leftover pork tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Love this Slow-Cooker Korean Style Barbecue Pork? Try these other Korean recipes!
- Korean BBQ Steak Rice Bowls
- Korean Miso and Honey Glazed Cod
- Korean Inspired Simple Roast Beef
- Easy Fast Kimchi
- Korean BBQ Chickpea Bowls
- Korean Chicken Rice Bowls
Slow-Cooker Korean Style Barbecue PorkRate Recipe
- 1 boneless center cut pork loin 4 pound, trimmed of excess fat
- 12 garlic cloves peeled, and sliced in half or quarters lengthwise
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, scraped to remove the peel, lightly smashed
- 1/2 cup gochujang or chili garlic sauce Korean chili paste
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pear or unsweetened apple juice
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons soju Korean rice liquor, sake, or dry white wine
- Mix the gochujang, brown sugar, juice, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and soju (or sake or wine) in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.
- Pierce the pork loin roast at intervals and push one piece of garlic into each little hole. Place the roast in the removable crock of a slow cooker. Smear the gochujang mixture generously over the pork loin roast on all sides. Add the ginger. Cover the slow cooker crock and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Take the slow cooker crock from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before putting into the slow cooker and turning on the heat. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the roast at the thickest point reaches 145°F. Transfer to a cutting board and lightly tent with foil. Strain the cooking juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil the sauce until it is reduced by about half and thickened. Serve the sauce with the sliced pork on rice, lettuce wraps, or sandwich rolls.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
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Originally posted January 26, 2015. Photos and Notes updated March 2018.
Mrs T says
The recipe description/header mentions ginger but it’s not on the ingredient list or in the directions?
Oddly, that is the second ingredient that was missing from the recipe in one week! It’s been added back in!
Jennifer Blake says
I cannot wait to put this into my dinner rotation!
Gerry Speirs says
Love these flavors!!
Jennifer Farley says
Wow, I love it!
These flavors sound outstanding! And in a slow cooker??? LOVE this BBQ pork!
Thanks, Liz! <3
That sauce is everything! Love these for a great dinner any night!
Thanks so much, Erin! <3
Why does the ingredient list not show pear juice when it appears in the lead-in description of the dish?
Interesting! I’m not sure. It must have disappeared from my ingredient list when I transferred the recipe from one plugin to another! It’s been added back in. Thanks for the heads up!
Bruce Johnston says
I have done this a dozen times (with modifications) and I LOVE what gochujang does for celebration!
– as pulled pork in a bun or a tortilla;
– with butt roast;
– 3/4 gochujang + 1/4 nam prik pao for a Thai wrinkle;
– some Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar to mellow it.
I do the sauce as a marinade for ribs that get requested again and again.
It is my favorite for the community hall potluck. I get to feel smug when I see my crock pot wiped clean long before any of the other offerings are finished.
That sounds delicious, Bruce! Thanks so much for the great rating!
Hi, this looks and sounds amazing so I’m making it for company. I’ll need to double the recipe and the pork won’t fit in my slow cooker. Do you think I could cook it on the stove top over a low heat and take it out when the internal temperature reaches 145?
Absolutely, it should work. You’ll need to watch the liquid levels if you do this on the stove top, though. Peek every now and then and add a little apple juice if needed!
Can i replace korean chili paste with chili garlic in oil? Dont want too spicy?
I really think that Korean chili paste is less spicy than chili garlic in oil, personally. It’s a more robust flavour but not as spicy.
No need to brown the roast in the skillet after it sits overnight and before it goes into the slowcooker?
Hi Tom- You can do either one, but some of the marinade ingredients are given to scorching, so be careful! You’ll want to make sure as much of the liquid that forms around the pork stays in the slow-cooker as you can get to stay in there as that helps form the sauce.
What is in the bowl with the rice? Cucumber or zucchini?
That is cucumber!
I made this today. The house smelled amazing when I got home from work and this did not disappoint. It was tender and delicious. Not to mention how easy this was to prepare. My 10 year-old son declared it “5 stars!” We will definitely make it again. 🙂
YAY, Melody! I’m so glad it went over so well at your house!
Well, my slow cooker must be a monster. On low, it cooked my pork to 165 in a little over 4 hours! I am so bummed. The taste is still great, but it’s very tough. I think I will still reduce the sauce and shred the pork and serve over rice. What do you think? I hate to throw it away!
WOW. That slow cooker must run hot. I’d absolutely shred it and put it in the reduced sauce!
OOOOMMMMGGG. I don’t usually comment but I made this. Exactly as written. Phenomenal. My college daughters who are picky about meat were home and one said “this makes my consideration of becoming vegetarian an impossible idea,” Thank you, we love your recipes and I love your writing,
That made my day, Julie! Thank yoi so much!
Oh my word, I love everything about this!!!
I want to come to your house for dinner!
You bring the wine!!
Candace @ Cabot says
Yes, the photo is perfection, but the recipe? Outstanding!
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps says
I hope my future children are as adventurous as yours! I can see why they go crazy over this — juicy pork, savory, salty sauce, just perfect.
This is spectacular, LOVE the photo 🙂