I love this easy weeknight recipe!
Now, I love a slow-smoked and pulled pork shoulder – our friends Matt and Chip both make some fine pulled pork in their smokers. I also love my “Game Day Apple BBQ Pulled Pork” which uses a big ‘ol pork shoulder and a slow cooker. But for me, cooking and pulling a big bone-in pork shoulder is more of a weekend activity – I wanted to come up with a recipe that uses pork tenderloin which is lot easier to deal with on a weekday.
I know what your thinking… pork tenderloin is too lean if you want a succulent pulled pork. However, if you slow cook that dry rubbed pork tenderloin with some finely chopped bacon and garlic. The fat and flavor from the bacon melts right into that lean tenderloin making for a tasty, juicy and yes, succulent pulled pork sandwich!
We like our pulled pork on brioche or potato rolls that are buttered and toasted on a griddle. Add some cole slaw and pickles or maybe some baked beans and macaroni and cheese, and you have a delicious meal on your hands – probably some on your face too! Grab some extra napkins before you dig in!
How to Make:
Weeknight Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker
- Pressure Cooker
- 3 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt I use coarse kosher
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped bacon, uncooked 2-3 strips depending on thickness
- 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
- Rinse tenderloin, pat dry with paper towels and trim if necessary. Cut into about 2 - 2 1/2 inch lengths.
- Combine brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in zip top bag and shake to coat.
- Set 5-6 quart slow cooker to low. Add apple cider vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce to slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Add pork tenderloin pieces and sprinkle with garlic and chopped bacon. Put lid on slow cooker and cook for 6-7 hours on low or until the pork pulls apart easily.
- Pull the pork pieces apart with two forks - or - to pull using your hand mixer: Remove pork pieces from slow cooker and place on plate or platter, pour the cooking juices out of the slow cooker and reserve. Put the pork pieces back in slow cooker and use the regular beaters (turbo beaters) of your hand mixer to pull the pork right in the slow cooker.
- Stir in as much of the pork cooking juices and the barbecue sauce as desired. We like our pulled pork on toasted buttered buns with dill pickle slices and extra barbecue sauce...or topped with cole slaw!