This easy Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork recipe only needs a few simple ingredients, with practically no prep! Toss everything into your crockpot and enjoy a smoky, flavor-packed BBQ pork tenderloin just a few hours later. Perfect for sandwiches, tacos, baked potatoes, or anything else you love!
Crockpot BBQ Pork Tenderloin
There's something about pulled pork that warms the heart and the belly. It's a comfort food that also doubles as a protein-packed, flavor-forward topping, filling, or accompaniment, depending on how you serve it. Speaking of serving it, this dish is great in tacos and sliders, or on top of a salad, fries, or nachos!
Barbecue always reminds me of warm, sunny summer days--can I get an amen? So, eating it in the spring is a fresh reminder that longer days filled with popsicles and patio sitting are on the horizon. And I can't wait!
There are other ways to make pulled pork, but the crockpot is by far the easiest method. It takes almost no time to throw everything into the slow cooker, and then in just a few hours, you have a delicious meal on your hands. (Not to mention, your home will smell amaaazing!) I love this recipe for busy, on-the-go weeknights, as well as for low-key family and friends gatherings on the weekend. Everyone loves this pulled pork recipe.
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
Pork shoulder or pork butt are often used for pulled pork. You can also use pork tenderloin (like this recipe) for a leaner cut of meat!
Really any of the following cuts of meat would work:
- shoulder butt roast
- pork shoulder
- pork butt (aka boston butt)
- picnic roast
- pork tenderloin
How to Make Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork
Making pulled pork in the crockpot couldn't be any easier. To make this recipe follow these steps:
- Make a spice rub: In a small bowl combine the salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Rub it on the pork meat: Rub your spice mixture all over the tenderloin, and then place it in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Add water to your crockpot: Pour it around your pork meat, not on top of it. You don't want to wash off that spice rub you just did!
- Cook. Add the lid and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until the tenderloin is tender.
- Shred: Remove the pork from the crock pot, and shred with 2 forks. Return it to the slow cooker, and mix it with any liquid that might have remained in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add BBQ Sauce: Add your favorite store bought or homemade BBQ sauce.
- Dig in!
How to Serve BBQ Pulled Pork
There are so many delicious ways to eat pulled pork. I personally love to eat it on a kaiser roll with a big helping of coleslaw or potato salad on the side. You can also serve it in tacos, burritos or on top of nachos. Layer it between gooey cheese in quesadillas, or even add it to grilled cheese sandwiches. Or serve it on fries and add it to salads! The possibilities are truly endless.
How to Store & Reheat Leftover Pulled Pork
Store any leftover pulled pork in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. When you're ready to eat it, I like to warm up just the amount I'm going to enjoy in a skillet. I add a small amount of olive oil or butter to my skillet and then cook the leftover BBQ pulled pork just until it's heated through. In a pinch you can also reheat it in the microwave until just heated through.
Can I Freeze Pulled Pork?
Absolutely! Pulled pork is a great freezer food. Store it in an airtight container for up to six months.
BBQ Pulled Pork FAQs
Can I make BBQ Pork Tenderloin in an Instant Pot?
Absolutely! I love an Instant Pot hack, and this miracle machine makes my simple BBQ Pork Tenderloin recipe even simpler and more efficient if you're really crunched for time. (Hey, I've been there!) A good rule of thumb for cooking your tenderloin in the Instant Pot is to cook it on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound of pork. So, a 2-pound tenderloin would need 40 minutes of cook time on high pressure. But to get it to really fall apart I like to leave it a LOT longer (it'll cook though in 40 minutes), but for it to be fall apart tender I normally cook it for 90 to 120 minutes.
Can I double the recipe for a large group?
This is an excellent recipe for a crowd because you can easily fit 3 to 4 tenderloins in most slow cookers. That's my kind of party! Just be sure to pay attention to the cooking time; as the pounds of pork go up, so should the amount of time cooked.
Another pro tip? Cutting up the pork, no matter how much you're making, into 3 to 4 chubby pieces per tenderloin will reduce cook time, big time. For busy days, this little trick is a lifesaver!
Why do you add the BBQ sauce at the end?
I'm a big fan of adding the BBQ sauce after the pork has been cooked. Some people prefer to do it before as a sort of marinade, but adding it at the end safeguards you from overcooking or even burning the sauce. Plus, if you have BBQ sauce-naysayers in your home like I do, you can remove some of the meat before mixing in the sauce to save some plain pork for those who want it.
When is Pulled Pork Done Cooking?
Cook the pork on high for 4 to 5 hours, until it's easy to shred with a fork. The internal temperature should read 145 degrees F when it's done!
Can Pulled Pork Be Overcooked?
It's difficult to overcook pork in a slow cooker because you're maintaining the moisture inside the Crock Pot -- but once the meat is fork tender, keep an eye on it. Cooking it way too long can cause it to get a little mushy.
More pork recipes:
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork (in case you forgot to set your crock pot!)
- Cornbread Waffles with Pulled Pork, Beans, and Slaw
- Knock-Your-Socks-Off Pulled Pork Tacos
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Pork Chops
If you’ve tried this easy homemade slow cooker pulled pork recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation.Print
BBQ Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot
- Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
This easy Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork recipe only needs a few simple ingredients, with practically no prep!
- 1 pork tenderloin (1.2 to 2 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 cup BBQ sauce (store bought or homemade)
- Remove the pork tenderloin from the package, and place it on a cutting board.
- In a small bowl combine the salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix to combine.
- Rub your spice mixture all over the tenderloin, and then place it in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Add the water or chicken stock to the bottom of the slow cooker (don't pour it over the pork, though, so that you don't wash off your spice rub).
- Add the lid and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until the tenderloin is easy to shred with a fork.
- Remove the pork from the crock pot, and shred with 2 forks. Return it to the slow cooker, and mix it with any liquid that might have remained in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add your BBQ sauce, and stir to combine. Adjust salt and BBQ amounts to your liking, serve warm.
- This recipe is really easy to scale up. If you are feeding a crowd, you can put up to 3 or 4 tenderloins in your slow cooker at a time. Your cooking time will increase as the pounds of pork increases.
- I like adding the BBQ sauce after the pork as cooked for a few reasons. It doesn't overcook the sauce or "burn" it. Not everyone likes BBQ in my house, so I'll pull some of the meat out before adding the sauce for those who don't like it.
- If you want your pork tenderloin to cook quicker, feel free to cut your tenderloin into 3 or 4 chubby pieces. When it's cut up, it could take as few as 3 hours to cook until tender.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Crockpot
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pork tenderloin recipe, bbq pulled pork, easy pulled pork, crockpot pulled pork
Other slow cooker pork recipe you might love:
- Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Barbacoa
- Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes
- Garlic Herb Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
- The Ultimate Pulled Pork Sandwich
- BBQ Pork Quesadillas
Recipe you might want to serve with BBQ Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot:
- Homemade Whole Wheat and Oat Buns
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Quick Pickled Cucumbers: Refrigerator Pickles
- Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe
- Deli-Style Broccoli Salad
I hope you find a reason to make this easy dinner recipe because once pulled pork is on your meal plan, I know that you'll make it over and over again too!
Really tasty! I had a tenderloin I had to use and was craving pulled pork. Most people will tell you pork tenderloin is not the ideal cut of meat for this dish, but the method worked and it wasn't dry at all. After taking out of the slow cooker, I put into a cast iron pan and browned it a bit. Topped with a pineapple, cilantro slaw. Very good!
Love the tip on browning it up a little, thanks for sharing!
For a crowd is it ok to have warmed bbq sauce and let our guests decide if they want to put it on? I feel like in the past when I add to the pork in the crockpot it is too saucy.
Yes! I have lots of little kids in my life I'm often serving and most of the time I leave it off because they don't like it. It'll be great!
This was the best recipe! I was skeptical at first, because there is so little fat in pork tenderloin, but it cooked to an internal temperature of 205 and shredded easily. So easy to prepare. I added sautéed, diced sweet onions with the barbeque sauce. I am curious if you think diced onions would break down too much or yield too much liquid if added with the meat at the beginning? We enjoyed it with mango cole slaw and roasted, chopped sweet potatoes.
I think they'd cook down quite a bit but I think it would really good!
Easy and delicious.
I throw in a jar of whole pepperoncinis and half the juice while it cooks. Those that do not like the peppers they can easily avoid them. Adds a nice zip to the BBQ taste. Love your recipes Melissa. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
Melissa, it is a 2.25 lb lean pork loin boneless roast.
It'll be perfect! Maybe just an extra 30-60 minutes!
I was planning on making this recipe today, but I realize I bought a lean pork loin, not a pork tenderloin. Do I need to adjust the recipe and if so, how? This is my first time using a crock pot and first time making pulled pork. I look forward to your reply.
How much does your pork loin weigh? It'll work great but I bet it's a bigger cut and is going to need longer to cook!
I used a little bit of orange juice instead of water. The acid helps make it every tender and brings a little bit of flavor.
This turned out so delicious and very flavourful! Followed the recipe exactly without making any alterations. Saving this recipe so I can make it again.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!
I loved this! My daughter loves pulled pork, but I hate the hassle of cooking and freezing a giant pork butt for our small family. I was nervous this would come out dry given how lean this cut is, but it's marvelous! THANK YOU! This will be my go-to method from now on. Finally, BBQ not for a crowd! 🙂 Also, note for other readers--while tenderloin is safe to eat at 145 degrees, it has to go all the way up to 205 to be a pulling texture (to render the connective tissue, etc.). My crockpot's low setting must be around 200, because I cooked this forever on low and couldn't get it past 190 (still pretty firm), but once I switched it to high, it bumped up past 200 quickly and became moist and very pull-able. Crockpots can vary, so check the temperature of the meat, and you might have to finish on high or in the oven, depending on the preset temperatures of your crockpot.
Thoughts on cooking this in a Dutch oven in the oven low and slow?? If so what temp & length of time would you recommend? Crock pot packed away:(. Thank you!!
Yes! I do this in the winter sometimes to warm up the house, I do 225 degrees F. for 10-12 hours.
Delicious and easy! Even my very picky 9 year old ate the meat (before the bbq sauce) and the rest of us enjoyed pulled pork bbq sandwiches.
The pork came out very juicy and flavorful. I used about a 4lb loin, but still only used maybe a cup and half of chicken broth (only enough to fill about halfway up the pork loin). Of course that would depend on the crock pot you use as huge ones may require more. I doubled the rub though to get extra flavor on the outside and it worked out very well. I'm going to recommend this to anyone for a cheap and easy family dinner.
Thanks for sharing your tips on what worked!
I add a can of Rotell diced tomatoes and habaneros and use Sweet Baby Rays Sweet and Spicy bbq sauce. Add both after pulling the finished loins. Also, Hormel pork loins are the absolute best loins for this recipe. I use 3 for this recipe. Adding the sauce at the end gives you pork with sauce. Cooking in the sauce gives you bbq flavored pork loin with no differentiation between the sauce and pork. Throw in a sauteed onion AFTER cooking too. It'll add taste and texture.
I’m sorry to say I just cooked the pork tenderloin in the instant pot and it came out really hard and dry, even though it was swimming in the coke and BBQ mixture.. Don’t think We’ll be able to eat it.
If you have time, I'd throw it back under pressure, the longer you cook it, the more it'll fall apart. I'd cook it for another 40 minutes. If not, you use a knife to cut it into pieces (reserve the juice and liquid) and then add just enough liquid back so that it's moist and adjust the BBQ to taste.
Does cooking on low make any difference?
You'll want to just make sure that it's done on low. Sometimes low just takes a longer cooking time. So I'd bet on low it'll be closer to 5-6 hours of cooking time.
The taste was great -- I added 1 cup of Stubbs Spicy Legendary BBQ sauce, and just 1/3 cup of the leftover liquid. I had just slightly over 1 cup of leftover liquid in my slow cooker. I await to see if I was wrong since your instructions
said to use all of the leftover liquid. I will be reheating my portions during the week and that's when I should find out if it's too dry without all of the liquid. 4 stars for now until I experience the leftovers. Thank you for the recipe!
Leftovers held up perfectly. Definitely will be making again this way!
So glad you liked how it turned out!
How long would I need to cook 4 lbs? Would I double the amount of time to 8 hours? Should it still cook on high?
By the way My family LOVED this recipe!
I bet you'll only need like an hour more, it doesn't change the cooking time too much, so I'd do like 4-5 hours on high! I'm so glad that you liked it.
Good morning! Do you think I can put the pork in frozen and simply cook it longer, or would you defrost it first?
I have cooked it from frozen with success, thawed is a bit better because the outside doesn't dry out while the middle is cooking but honestly, mine doesn't always get thawed!
Could I use just a pork roast? This sounds delish but I think I only have 1 tenderloin in the freezer but lots of roasts. We butcher once a year. Next year I will tell him I want more tenderloins instead of roasts because most of the roasts have a bone in them.
Yes ma'am, it'll work great! We butcher one a year too and I use roasts very very often. You are going to want to up the cooking time though since they are bigger and generally bone in. Can't wait to hear how you like it.