Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

4.97 from 29 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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There’s something about pulled pork that warms the heart and the belly. It’s comfort food that doubles as a protein-packed, flavor-forward topping, filling, or accompaniment, depending on how you serve it.

There are other ways to make pulled pork, but the crockpot is by far the easiest method. Throwing everything into the slow cooker takes almost no time, and then in just a few hours, you have a delicious meal on your hands. (Not to mention, your home will smell amazing!)

I love this recipe for busy, on-the-go weeknights, as well as for low-key family and friends gatherings on the weekend. Everyone enjoys this pulled pork recipe!

tongs with bbq pulled pork.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Super simple meal with a few basic ingredients and cooked in the slow cooker
  • Easy enough for busy weeknights or family gatherings on the weekend
  • Absolutely a family favorite
  • Delicious all year round, no matter the season

Recipe Ingredients

  • Pork tenderloin – see notes below for other cuts of pork that can be substituted
  • Chicken broth – it’s okay to use bouillon cubes or powder
  • BBQ sauce – store-bought or homemade
  • Smoked paprika – don’t skip this, it must be smoked paprika, not regular!
  • Other seasonings – salt, garlic powder, onion powder

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

pulled pork ingredients.

What is the Best Cut of Meat for Pulled Pork?

Pork shoulder or pork butt is often used for pulled pork. You can also use pork tenderloin (like this recipe) for a leaner cut of meat!

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

bbq pulled pork how to collage image.

Making pulled pork in the crockpot couldn’t be any easier.

  1. Make a spice rub by combining the seasonings
  2. Rub the spice mixture all over the meat and place in the bottom of the slow cooker
  3. Add water around the edge of the meat
  4. Cook on high 4-5 hours, or until tender
  5. Remove the pork from the crock pot and shred
  6. Return to the slow cooker, add BBQ sauce, and mix the meat with the sauce and juices

Recipe FAQs

Can I make BBQ Pork Tenderloin in an Instant Pot?

A good rule of thumb for cooking pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot is to cook it on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound. A 2-pound tenderloin would need 40 minutes of cooking time on high pressure. To make it super, fall-apart tender, cook for 90 to 120 minutes and let it naturally release.

Can I double the recipe for a large group?

This recipe is excellent for a crowd because you can easily fit 3 to 4 tenderloins in most slow cookers. That’s my kind of party! Pay attention to the cooking time; as the pounds of pork increase, so should the amount of time cooked.

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. Adding it at the end safeguards it 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!

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

Expert Tips

  • Pulled pork is a great freezer food. Store it in an airtight container for up to six months.
  • Cutting up the pork, no matter how much you’re making, into 3 to 4 chubby pieces per tenderloin will reduce cook time. For busy days, this little trick is a lifesaver!
  • 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.
white casserole dish with barbecue pulled pork.

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, but here are some other creative ways to serve it.

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. It can even be served on fries or added to salads. It really is a very versatile main dish!

What to Serve With Pulled Pork

Some of my family’s favorite sides and foods to serve with pulled pork are:

How to Store & Reheat Leftover Pulled Pork

Store any leftover pulled pork in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to eat it, warm up just the amount needed for that meal in a skillet. Add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the skillet and cook just until it’s heated through. In a pinch you can also reheat it in the microwave until just heated through.

More Slow Cooker Pork Recipes to Consider

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!
4.97 from 29 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
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 -8


  • 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)
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  • 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 the spice mixture all over the tenderloin then place it in the bottom of the 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 the 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 the slow cooker at a time. The cooking time will increase as the pounds of pork increases.
  • To cook the pork tenderloin more quickly, cut the tenderloin into 3 or 4 chunks. When it’s cut up, it could take as few as 3 hours to cook until tender.
  • I like adding the BBQ sauce to the pork after cooking 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.
  • Please don’t substitute regular paprika for the smoked.  Smoked paprika is a must-have for this recipe’s amazing flavor!


Serving: 1 of 6 servings, 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
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Recipe Rating


  1. Anne Beth says:

    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. Melissa says:

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

  2. Danielle says:

    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. Michael says:

    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.

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks for sharing your tips on what worked!

  4. Patrick McNees says:

    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. Eva says:

    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. Melissa says:

      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.

  6. Kerri says:

    Does cooking on low make any difference?

    1. Melissa says:

      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.

  7. weimarunner says:

    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!

    1. weimarunner says:

      Leftovers held up perfectly. Definitely will be making again this way!

    2. Melissa says:

      So glad you liked how it turned out!

  8. Julie says:

    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. Melissa says:

      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.

  9. amy says:

    Good morning! Do you think I can put the pork in frozen and simply cook it longer, or would you defrost it first?

    1. Melissa says:

      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!

  10. Liz says:

    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. Melissa says:

      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.