Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

4.96 from 22 votes

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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!

bbq pulled pork in a white bowl with stubbs barbecue sauce and pickles
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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.

tongs with bbq pulled pork

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
bbq pulled pork how to collage image

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!
white casserole dish with barbecue pulled pork tongs and bowl of green beans

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.

white casserole dish with barbecue pulled pork

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.

This classic barbecue pulled pork recipe is about to amplify your kitchen game. With a few simple ingredients tossed into the Crock Pot, you'll have smoky, indulgent BBQ Pork Tenderloin in just about 4 hours--or less!

More pork recipes:

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.

This classic barbecue pulled pork recipe is about to amplify your kitchen game. With a few simple ingredients tossed into the Crock Pot, you'll have smoky, indulgent BBQ Pork Tenderloin in just about 4 hours--or less!
4.96 from 22 votes

BBQ Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot

This easy Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork recipe only needs a few simple ingredients, with practically no prep!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Servings: 6 -8

Ingredients 

  • 1 pork tenderloin, (1.2 to 2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, (store bought or homemade)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 812mg, Potassium: 432mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 206IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Other slow cooker pork recipe you might love:

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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!

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Recipe Rating




49 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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!!

    1. Yes! I do this in the winter sometimes to warm up the house, I do 225 degrees F. for 10-12 hours.

  2. 5 stars
    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.

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 4 stars
    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!

  7. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

  8. 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.

    1. 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.