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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 3 Pounds pork tenderloin (one package containing two tenderloins)
  • 1/2 Cup vinegar-based barbecue sauce or juice-based marinade

Directions

Cut each tenderloin in half cross-wise. Place two pieces in a slow cooker parallel to each other; then place the other two pieces on top parallel to each other and turned at a 90° angle to the bottom two pieces. Pour sauce on top.

Cook on High for about 3-1/2 hours. Use two forks to shred meat and mix well with liquid in bottom of pot. Turn to Low and let cook an additional 15 minutes or so.

Nutritional Facts

Servings6

Calories Per Serving313

Folate equivalent (total)0.5µg0.1%

Riboflavin (B2)0.8mg45.7%


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin

This lightened up Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin is full of lip-smacking flavor. It’s leaner than traditional pork shoulder roast, takes half the time to cook, and the only thing you have to shred is juicy, tender slow-cooked pork – no excess fat. Pocket those calories for dessert!

I’m so enamored with the ease and rich flavor of this recipe, it’s in regular rotation which gave me another opportunity to photograph a family fave. I love giving older posts new life as my photography and blogging journey progresses.

This recipe is perfect for game days or whenever you’re feeding a crowd. Plus, it’s even better when made a day ahead! Just rewarm back in the slow cooker or in the oven.


HOW TO MAKE A PORK TENDERLOIN IN THE SLOW COOKER

Pork tenderloin is a great meal choice if you are feeding your family on busy nights.

You can use the pork tenderloin in a variety of ways, from slicing the pork tenderloin and serving it with veggies or with potatoes, like these Simple Garlic Parmesan Green Beans and Gouda Mashed Potatoes, to serving pulled bbq pork on sandwiches for game day with a side of roasted buffalo cauliflower.

Ohio Pork and I are teaming up to teach you How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker. As you probably know, the crockpot can make your life so much easier when it comes to cooking and meal prep.

I also love making this Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder Roast Recipe if my family is craving pork.

You can put your meal in the slow cooker and go about your day.

When you return from work or running errands you have a warm, delicious meal waiting for you.

My family loves pulled pork, so pork tenderloin is my go-to cut of pork that I buy to make these pulled pork bbq sandwiches during the week.

I also love using the leftover pulled pork for other meals throughout the week, including nachos, quesadillas, tacos or rice bowls.

Freezing your pulled pork tenderloin is a great option for those extra busy nights when you forgot to plan dinner ahead of time.

HOW DO YOU COOK PORK TENDERLOIN IN THE CROCK POT?

  • When you are at the store you will want to find about 2-3 pounds of pork tenderloin. Sometimes that means you have to buy two pork tenderloins that equals 2 to 3 pounds and sometimes you can find a two pack of tenderloins. Either way I think 2 to 3 ponds gives you a good amount of pork to feed your family and have some leftovers to freeze.
  • When you are ready to make your pork tenderloin trim the silver skin off of the loin.
  • Next you will want to mix together your rub in a small mixing bowl and then use your hands to rub it on both sides of the pork tenderloin.
  • Place the tenderloin in the slow cooker and add the sweet onion and 1 1/2 cups of your favorite bbq sauce .
  • Set your slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours hours, or until the thermometerreads an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Once it is done cooking use two forks to shred the pork and return it to the crockpot. Add the remaining barbecue sauce and give it a good stir.

WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD CROCK POT PORK TENDERLOIN COOK TO?

When cooking pork tenderloin you want to see that blush of pink inside the pork or reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

I know a lot of people still think that pork should be cooked until all of the pink is gone, but the FDA recommends a blush of pink as safe.

HOW CAN I USE PULLED PORK TENDERLOIN?

  • RICE BOWLS: Add it to rice bowls with your favorite toppings. One of my favorite combinations is black beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese and avocado along with the pulled pork. You can see an example of a pork rice bowl in this Slow Cooker Cuban Rice Bowlpost.
  • MEXICAN FOOD: Use it as a filling to your favorite taco, quesadillas or in place of chicken in these cheesy chicken enchiladas.
  • GAME DAY: When game day comes around set out a slow cooker filled with the pulled pork and keep it set to warm. Your guests can use slider or regular buns to create a tasty sandwich with BBQ sauce. You can easily sub this pulled pork into these Beef Nachos.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PORK LOIN AND A PORK TENDERLOIN?

Pork loin and pork tenderloin are two different cuts of pork and come from different parts of the animal. I talk about How to Cook Pork Loin in the Slow Cooker in this post.

They also look different- pork tenderloin is thinner and smaller than pork loin. Pork loin is wider and much bigger.

A pork loin can weigh up to 5 pounds while tenderloins are usually around 1 to 2 pounds.

Cooking a pork tenderloin in the crockpot will require less cook time than pork loin.

You might be wondering how long to cook pork loin in the crockpot or how long to cook pork tenderloin in the slow cooker?

When I make pork tenderloin in the slow cooker it usually is done cooking at about the 6 hour mark on low.

For pork loin it can take 8 to 10 hours on low depending on the size of the cut or pork.

WHY SHOULD I SEAR THE PORK TENDERLOIN?

When it comes to pork or beef it helps develop the flavor of the meat when you sear it first in a large skillet until all sides are browned before putting it in the crockpot.

It is not something you have to do but I do think it really helps bring out the spices and flavor in the meat.

MORE PORK RECIPES YOU WILL LIKE:


How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:

First you want to season the pork shoulder. This could be as simple as salt and pepper, though I absolutely love rubbing on some homemade Sazon Seasoning:

Another simple flavoring is to cook the pork in pineapple juice, which is a magical flavor combination with pork. Simple add a small 6-ounce can to the crock along with the other ingredients.

Note: it is not necessary to add any liquid to the slow cooker if you’re just doing a spice blend.

Next, place the pork shoulder into the crockpot, and no, I don’t sear the pork beforehand. I’ve tested searing and don’t think it makes much difference here. Most of the meat you’ll be eating later is interior, and doesn’t get a sear anyway. I’ve concluded it’s not worth the effort, which is nice because honestly it’s a pain to sear a 4 pound hunk of meat.


What to Serve with Pulled Pork Loin

Tropical Fruit Salsa was the perfect match for this meat piled up on a bun. But you could use any salsa, and you should play around with options. Here are 8 Fruit Salsas to Change Things Up!

P.S. The barbecue sauce comes together super fast, and you will have leftover sauce for drizzling on the sandwiches and also for using in other things later in the week. Use jarred barbecue sauce if you want it make it stupidly easy.

P.P.S. This Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork Loin was terrific at a later, less hectic meal with Caesar Salad and also a chickpea salad.

More Slow Cooker Recipes:

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Frequently Asked Questions about this Crock Pot Pulled Pork

My favorite way to save this pulled pork is to save the meat in one container, then I get all of the juices from cooking and save that in another container. Store both in the refrigerator. Then the next day when you’re ready to reheat, add the meat to a large skillet over medium heat, and spoon in the juices. The fats will have separated from the juices, so it’s up to you how much of the fats you want to add back into the meat, I typically just scoop out the juice from beneath the fats.

Yes!! Store the meat in an airtight sealed container. Can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Tools To help make this recipe (affiliate links):


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Sometimes the slow cooker is a source of easy, one-crock meals other times it’s merely a crucial stop in a longer journey. These rich, comforting enchiladas are in the latter category: Pork shoulder, dried chiles, and tomatoes slowly turn luscious over as many as 10 hours in the slow cooker, then get turned into a memorable filling, rolled into sauce-dipped tortillas and baked under a blanket of cheese. Serve these on a Sunday afternoon with a refreshing tangle of jicama and orange salad and a pitcher of agua de Jamaica or beer.

Game plan: Cook the pork shoulder up to 2 days before you need it, remove it from the cooking liquid, let it cool for an hour, and refrigerate both the meat and liquid overnight. Skimming the fat is a breeze after it’s solidified, and rolling and baking the enchiladas will take no time at all.

Tips for Pork and Pulled Pork

Pork is easiest to thaw when placed in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Small roasts will take three to five hours per pound, while larger roasts can take up to seven hours per pound. Thawing ground pork depends entirely on the thickness of its packaging.

It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork, but its cooking time may take 50 percent longer. Frozen pork should not be cooked in a slow cooker.

Instructions

  1. 1 Put the pork shoulder, tomatoes, dried chiles, vinegar, and water in the crock of a large slow cooker.
  2. 2 Cook on low until the meat is tender and easy to pull apart, about 8 to 10 hours.
  3. 3 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Carefully lift the cooked pork out of the slow cooker and transfer it to a large bowl. Use a large spoon to skim the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid in the crock, removing as much (or as little!) as you like. With two forks, shred the meat into large bite-sized pieces, pulled pork style.
  4. 4 Transfer the skimmed cooking liquid, including the chiles, to a blender. Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt.

  5. 5 Being careful not to scald yourself with the hot liquid, blend until you have a thick, smooth sauce. You should end up with at least 3 cups.
  6. 6 Measure 3/4 cup of the sauce and add it to the shredded pork in the bowl, mixing to achieve a nice, moist consistency.

  7. 7 Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  8. 8 Pour the remaining sauce into a wide, shallow dish (a pie plate is perfect). Dip a tortilla into the sauce, submerging it so both sides are coated. Drain off the excess sauce, then lay out the dipped tortilla on a work surface. Spoon some of the pulled pork down the center and roll to enclose the filling. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Evenly distribute the remaining sauce over the rolled enchiladas and top with the cheeses.
  9. 9 Bake, uncovered, until heated through and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the enchiladas rest for 10 minutes before serving, so they’re easier to handle. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.
  10. 10

How to make Pulled Pork Tenderloin

Rub the pork tenderloin.

  • Combine ground coffee, brown sugar, rosemary, black pepper & salt in a small bowl.
  • Rub the mixture onto the pork.

Slow cook the pork tenderloin.

  • Place the rubbed pork in a crock pot.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, honey and garlic together.
  • Pour the mixture over the pork in the crock pot.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Serve the pork tenderloin.

  • After the pork has slow cooked, reach two forks or meat claws in the slow cooker and pull the pork apart in the crock pot.
  • If you’d like to serve the pulled pork in a sweet potato, follow the steps below.
    • About an hour before serving the pork, place 4 sweet potatoes in the oven at 350°F on a foil-lined baking sheet for 45 minutes, or until soft to the touch.
    • Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and cool 10-15 minutes.
    • Slice the potatoes open and fill them with the scrumptious pulled pork.
    • Optionally top with diced green onions.

    Easy Family Dinner Main Dish

    When you use a Crock Pot, it basically cooks itself without worry about what temperature to cook a pork tenderloin. That&rsquos one of the main things I enjoy about my slow cooker, which is why I use it a lot.

    You can either put everything together first thing in the morning or make a bunch of freezer meals to put in the slow cooker later.

    Slow cooker aside, a pork tenderloin also makes wonderful leftovers. I&rsquoll explain how to reheat leftover pork tenderloin below.

    There are so many recipes you can make with it the next day, like shredded pork sandwiches and casseroles with either potatoes or rice.

    Regardless of how you prepare any crockpot dinner, the flavors come together in a blend of deliciousness.

    Also, there&rsquos nothing better than coming home to the aroma of dinner at the end of a long day.

    It&rsquos nice that all you have to do now is get the sides ready since the meat is done.

    Another option is to add vegetables to the roast and let them absorb some of the flavors.

    Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

    You only need a few ingredients, besides the pork tenderloin. You might have most of them in your fridge or pantry.

    I added onion, minced garlic, barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper.

    Sometimes I add either Tabasco or sriracha sauce. But the barbecue sauce I used had all the spice I wanted.

    If you want to add vegetables, some good ones are carrots, green beans, onions, corn, and potatoes. You can actually add whatever you want.

    For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by clicking on the &ldquoprint&rdquo button.

    How to Make a Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

    First, I always spray the interior of my slow cooker pot with nonstick spray. That saves a ton of cleanup time.

    Second, place the pork tenderloin in the center of the pot. This one was a little bit long, so I curled it around on one end.

    Next, sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork. If you&rsquore cutting back on sodium, you can skip the salt.

    However, the black pepper gives it a little kick that adds flavor. Or you can use cayenne pepper if everyone can handle the heat.

    Then, spoon the minced garlic over the tenderloin. Do your best to distribute it evenly, but it doesn&rsquot have to be perfect.

    You can use fresh garlic cloves. This time, I used minced garlic in a jar.

    In fact, I find myself using that more and more. It tastes good, and it does a great job of adding flavor.

    I&rsquom a big believer of saving as much time as possible.

    Sprinkle the onions over the pork. I used frozen onions.

    But when I chop a fresh onion, I like them diced really small. You can cut them as small as you want.

    Next, pour the barbecue sauce over the pork. Be careful not to knock off the onions and garlic.

    Finally, pour the small amount of broth on each side of the pork tenderloin. This helps to keep it from drying out while it&rsquos cooking.

    I used chicken broth, but you can use whatever kind of broth you have on hand. You can also make broth by mixing a bouillon cube or crystals with water.

    Turn the heat to low and cook for 5 hours.

    Or you can cook it on high for 2-3 hours. When you cook pork, you want an internal temperature of 145 degrees F

    After it&rsquos done, carefully remove the barbecue pork tenderloin from the slow cooker pot and put it on a plate.

    Let it rest for about 15 minutes before you slice it. If it falls apart while you&rsquore removing it, that&rsquos fine. It still tastes wonderful.

    An Instant Pot pork tenderloin recipe is basically the same. However, you&rsquoll need to add another cup of broth and cut the cooking time to 5 or 10 minutes, depending on the size of the meat.

    You&rsquoll need to do a slow release for 5 minutes, but it&rsquos a very quick process.

    If you prefer not to use barbecue sauce, you can also make a pork tenderloin with cream of mushroom soup. It&rsquos up to you whether or not to add the onions and garlic. I do, but that&rsquos because we like a lot of flavors they provide.

    How to Reheat Pork Tenderloin

    There are actually several ways to reheat a pork tenderloin. You can pop it into your microwave or air fryer if you&rsquore in a hurry.

    But my favorite way to reheat the meat is to place it in a frying pan, add a couple of drops of water or oil, and cover it. Turn the heat to medium-low. It should be perfectly warm in just a few minutes.

    More Recipes

    This pork tenderloin is delicious when served with these honey mustard roasted potatoes. You can also serve this BLT salad on the side.

    Instead of bread, try these corn fritters from the Back to My Southern Roots blog. They&rsquoll add another level of wow to your meal.

    If you like super quick and easy meals, you&rsquoll love this pork sausage and rice skillet dinner. It&rsquos delicious and cleanup is a breeze!

    For dessert, try this 2-ingredient cherry chocolate cake. You&rsquoll be amazed by how easy it is to make, yet it&rsquos so delicious!


    Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin - Recipes

    In a small mixing bowl combine the paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and mix well.

    Remove the silver skin from the pork tenderloin and place the pork tenderloin on a large cutting board. Using your hands rub the spice mixture on both sides of the pork and place the pork in the slow cooker.

    Optional: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Sear all sides of the pork tenderloin until browned. This helps develop the flavor.

    Add the onion and 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce to the slow cooker, covering the pork.

    Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the thermometer reads an internal temperature of 145 degrees F or on high for 2-3 hours.

    You can slice the tenderloin and serve with your favorite side dish or use two forks to shred the pork and mix with the juices in the slow cooker. Add the remaining BBQ sauce and mix well.

    Serve the pulled pork on buns or in rice bowls.

    Another option with this tenderloin is to slice it and serve it with your favorite side dishes like mashed potatoes and green beans.


    In a small bowl combine the chipotle powder, cumin and paprika. Rub onto each pork tenderloin.

    Place the tenderloins in a slow cooker.

    In another small bowl whisk the honey, lime juice and cilantro together. Pour over the pork in the slow cooker.

    Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

    Reach a couple of forks in the slow cooker and watch the pork completely fall apart.

    Seriously, I went to pull the tenderloin out of the slow cooker to shred it and it fell right apart as soon as I stuck a fork in it. I will now be using pork tenderloin for all of my pulled pork recipes! It’s the most tender cut of pork and ounce for ounce it’s as lean as a skinless chicken breast!

    Once the pork is shredded inside the slow cooker, prepare the tacos.

    Spoon the pork into warmed tortillas and top with avocado, cotija cheese and fresh cilantro. Serve each taco with a lime wedge for squeezing over the taco.

    It’s taco time y’all, grab one or two… or four and dig in!!