A healthy recipe for BBQ pulled pork tenderloin made in the slow cooker.
Growing up in Texas, the first time I ever had pulled pork was in college on a trip to Memphis, TN. Inspired by the flavors, but with a little Texas flair, I adapted this recipe for weeknight home use. Not quite the same as eating smoked pulled pork in Memphis, but it’s pretty good for a weeknight dinner. Plus it’s easy to make, feeds at least six, and makes great use of pork tenderloin.
Healthy Recipe for Pulled Pork
By using a pork tenderloin to make BBQ pulled pork, it significantly reduces the total fat and calories in the dish. It’s not quite as melt in your mouth as traditional pulled pork, but if you are looking for a healthier option, this makes a delicious, family-friendly dinner.
Pork tenderloin is the leanest cut of pork. A 3 oz. portion contains 2.98 grams of total fat per serving. A same size serving portion of pork roast contains approximately 16 grams of total fat.
Store-bought BBQ sauces vary greatly in their nutrition. If you have a special nutritional concern, read the labels, and choose one that best suits your needs. There are now many low and no sugar BBQ sauces available. Be sure you like the taste and flavor of the BBQ sauce you choose for your pulled pork.
- Vegetable Oil – For lightly oiling to crock-pot to make clean up easier. You can also use non-stick spray or slow cooker liners.
- BBQ Sauce – I use Sweet Baby Ray’s in my pulled pork. Make sure you actually like the taste of whatever BBQ Sauce you decide to use!
- Apple Cider Vinegar - I use filtered ACV. I found that the unfiltered ACV results in a stronger vinegar flavor than desired.
- Chicken Broth
- Brown Sugar - Helps balance the acidity from the vinegar.
- Prepared Mustard
- Spices: Chili Powder, Minced Garlic, Onion Powder, Smoked Paprika
- Pork Tenderloin – 2.5 to 3 lbs. of pork tenderloin, with the silverskin removed.
How To Make
- Oil or line a slow cooker to prevent sticking.
- Whisk together BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar, prepared mustard and spices.
- Place pork tenderloin in the crock-pot. Pour liquid over the pork, turning to coat.
- Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or until pork easily shreds.
- Remove pork tenderloin from slow cooker. Shred pork tenderloin and cut into smaller strips if desired. Add back one to two cups of liquid mixture from crock-pot. Stir in additional BBQ sauce as desired.
Storage & Serving
Serve BBQ Pulled Pork Tenderloin on a hamburger bun, brioche or Hawaiian roll. Also delicious scooped on top of a baked potato or sweet potato.
Store leftover pulled pork in the fridge. Use within three to four days. Freeze in air-tight storage for up to three months.
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Tenderloin
- 1 Slow-Cooker
- 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup BBQ Sauce
- ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ cup Chicken Broth
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Prepared Mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- ½ tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 2.5-3 lb. Pork Tenderloin
- Rub oil on the slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar, prepared mustard and dried spices.
- Place pork tenderloin in the slow cooker. Pour liquid mixture over tenderloin.
- Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or until pork tenderloin easily shreds.
- Remove pork tenderloin from slow cooker. Shred pork tenderloin and cut into smaller strips if desired. Add back one to two cups of liquid mixture from crock-pot. Stir in additional BBQ sauce.
Recipe adapted from Texas Pulled Pork.
Chili Powder – If you don’t like spicy, consider omitting the chili powder as it does contribute some heat to the recipe.
Dill Pickle Juice – Can be substituted for the Apple Cider Vinegar.
Using another cut of pork – Other cuts of pork that will work with this recipe include – pork butt, picnic shoulder, and pork shoulder roast.
If you want crispy bits in your pulled pork, add extra BBQ sauce, place on a sheet pan and broil for around 3 minutes.
Can I freeze pulled pork tenderloin?
Yes, freeze in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.
Can I cook this on high in the slow cooker?
Due to the lean cut of pork used, I recommend cooking this on LOW in the slow cooker for best results.