Slow Cooker Sweet n’ Sour Pork

posted by Andrea | 08/2/2012
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Due to our kitchen renovations, I’ve been getting creative and making everything I possibly can in our slow cooker. And I got smart and started using slow cooker liners so we have one less thing to wash {our slow cookers don’t fit well in our small bathroom sinks!}

A few weeks ago, I tried one of our favorite recipes, Sweet n’ Sour Pork, in the slow cooker. I used exactly the same ingredients as I normally do, but instead of cooking it for 3 hours in the oven, I cooked it for 6 hours on low in the slow cooker.

It was absolutely delicious! 

Recipe for Sweet n’ Sour Pork in a Slow Cooker:

{print this recipe}


  • 2 or 3 sections of bone-in Western Spare Ribs (I usually buy a huge family pack and divide it up)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1 T mustard (whatever kind you have in the house)
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce


  • Place ribs in the slow cooker (I used a slow cooker liner but you don’t have to)
  • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and brown sugar
  • Place the onion wedges around the meat
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the meat
  • Put the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 hours

The meat should be SO tender that it literally falls off the bone — it will probably be difficult to take out of the slow cooker because it will fall off your fork too.

We usually eat this meal with boiled potatoes, vegetables, and rolls… but I made baked potatoes instead.

This meat is amazing on it’s own {and as leftovers}. It would also be an ideal dish to bring to a potluck… and could probably be eaten as a sandwich on soft rolls.

What’s your favorite meat to make in a  slow cooker?

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  1. Liz


    This was so delicious!! My kiddos ate it up without any complaints…full belly + empty plate = successful dinner! Thank You!


    Andrea Reply:

    yay! glad everyone liked it!


  2. Tricia


    Hi Andrea!

    I just want to say I really love your website and your children are adorable!
    Thank you so much for all your recipes and tips!

    I do have a question for you….what does Western Spare Ribs mean? Is that the same as Country Pork Ribs and are their any bones in the ribs?

    Thank you so much for your time!

    Tricia C.


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Tricia!
    “Western Spare Ribs” is just what is says on the package of meat I buy from the store — I’m guessing that Country Pork Ribs would be very similar if not exactly the same.
    Our ribs do have bones — actually, here’s a link to an image that looks EXACTLY like the western ribs I buy. Hope that helps!


    Tricia Reply:

    Thanks Andrea!!!

    The link was very helpful!!! They look like Country Ribs. I will definitely be making this recipe. By the way…we love the Wet Burrito recipe!!!

    Wishing You and Your Family Holiday Blessings!!!

    Tricia Cucchiaro


    Andrea Reply:

    ok good — glad it helped!

    Also, those wet burritos are fabulous, aren’t they 🙂


  3. allison


    so, I’ve had this on my list to try for ages. Finally did it tonight…but can’t figure out what happened. Followed the recipe exactly and it came out with TONS of liquid. The meat didn’t come out with that rich “carmelized” outing, but more swimming in flavored broth. Any hints??


    Andrea Reply:

    That’s what is supposed to happen Allison! Since there is nothing to thicken the “broth” (like flour or cornstarch) it will stay as very liquidy broth. It’s not a like a gravy as you can see from the pictures of the meat on our plates, we don’t pour the sauce over top either. It’s just sort of the cooking liquid that gives it tons of flavor… did it still taste good?
    If you want, you could remove the meat from the broth, transfer the broth to a sauce pan and then add some flour to thicken it up into a gravy.


    allison Reply:

    I’m not looking for a gravy…your pictures look like there’s a nice brown coating of flavor on the outside. Mine came out NOT having that (they were completely submerged in the liquid). Mine looked like the meat had been boiled. Make sense? the outsides didn’t “brown.”


    Andrea Reply:

    The only thing I can think of is that you’re slow cooker is smaller than the one I used so the liquid came up way over the meat for the entire cooking process. Otherwise I’m not sure. I used a very large oval slow cooker so the meat probably wasn’t covered as much. One idea you could try is to rub some “Kitchen Bouquet” over the meat before you put it in the slow cooker. That will at least give you your color 🙂


  4. Nancy


    Trying this today! I started it in my crock-pot before I left for the office this morning. I’ve got a late work engagement but I’ll be eating it as soon as I arrive home (hubby has instructions to take it out as well as bake the potatoes!). Can’t wait to try it.


  5. Living So Abundantly


    My absolute favorite meat in the slow cooker uses this recipe(although she puts it in a Dutch oven, I have always used my slow cooker for this):

    This isn’t meat, but this is the best applesauce I’ve ever had. I’m from Michigan, and since you have access to those delicious McIntosh apples, I would recommend this recipe if you don’t have a favorite yet:


  6. JoAnn C.


    I cook so many dinners, desserts and sides in the slow cooker each week. If you wrap your potatoes in parchment paper or aluminum foil you can put them into the cooker with your main dish and all will be done at the same time. I do love liners, they make life so much easier.


  7. Deni


    Hi Andrea, glad you’re back! Thanks for all of your great recipes, I have tried so many of them. I even have a meal planning notebook with them in it : ) Today, I put thawed boneless chicken breasts with a little water in the crockpot on high and just 4 hours later I could shred them with a fork! I leave the broth in and add a little barbeque sauce and will keep them warm til dinner. So easy and great for HOT days when I don’t want to use the oven.


  8. Kimberley


    My favorite crock pot recipe is a chicken enchilada soup that I make. Slow cooks for 8 hrs…perfection!


  9. Katie


    Looks delicious! One of my favorite meats to make in my slow cooker is Italian Chicken. It is one bag of frozen chicken breasts, a dry Italian dressing packet, and about a half a jar of pepperocinis (and a little water). Cook it for about 7-8 hours and then shred the chicken (it shreds very easy after cooking all day). You can eat it on dollar rolls. We are watching our carbs so sometimes we just put it in a pile with shredded cheese on top. I’ve even made “nachos” with it. Tortilla chips, chicken, cheese and salsa!
    Thanks for all your great posts! I’m glad you’re back!