Pulled pork tenderloin is a quick, easy, and hearty dish that’s perfect for busy days when you don’t have much time! Just season it, set the slow cooker, and come back to perfectly tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat. Perfect for BBQ pork sandwiches, potlucks, and more!

pulled pork tenderloin on platter

One of my favorite recipes to make when I’m hosting friends and family is pulled pork since it’s always a crowd-pleaser. I usually prepare my classic pulled pork shoulder recipe, but this one is great when I’m feeding a smaller crowd and don’t need so many portions!

Debating on how much pulled pork you need? See this guide for how much pulled pork per person.

Just like oven-roasted pork, this slow cooker recipe has a hassle-free preparation and minimal clean-up. It’s the kind of comfort food that satisfies everyone at the dining table, but keeps me happy as a host!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple to make: This slow cooker pulled pork recipe doesn’t need constant monitoring like many protein recipes. Just set it and forget it!
  • Kid-friendly: With the perfect balance of flavors, this dish is perfect for adults and kids.
  • Versatile: You can serve pulled pork tenderloin on buns, make ​​loaded pulled pork nachos, or stir leftovers into your favorite mac and cheese. The options are endless!

Juicy Pulled Pork Tenderloin

The South is well-known for its slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth meat specialties, so I’m no stranger to pulled pork. While it’s more typically prepared with pork shoulder, this pulled pork tenderloin showcases a leaner, smaller cut of the pig, and it turns out just as delicious!

To infuse a rich, smoky undertone, I love to season my pork with a blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. After about four or five hours in the slow cooker, the pork tenderloin turns out irresistibly tender and flavor-packed!

slow cooker pulled pork on sesame buns

For a tangy sweetness and added moisture, don’t forget a dash of your favorite BBQ sauce. Serve it as the main entree, tuck it into buns, or use leftovers to bulk up casseroles.

Ingredients For Pulled Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork tenderloin: This lean and tender cut absorbs flavors well. It usually comes in a pack of two, so you can freeze the other or double the recipe for leftovers. If pork tenderloin is unavailable, you can use pork shoulder for a more traditional taste and texture.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavor of the pork. You can adjust the quantity to taste.
  • Smoked paprika: Gives the pork a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. Regular, sweet, or hot paprika will also work if smoked paprika isn’t available.
  • Garlic powder: Adds a savory, toasty, and earthy element. Not garlic powder on hand? Replace it with extra onion powder instead.
  • Onion powder: Brings a mild sweetness and savory depth to the dish. Alternatively, you can use extra garlic powder in its place.
  • Vegetable broth: Helps keep the meat moist and tender during cooking. You can substitute vegetable broth with water or chicken broth or stock if you’d like.
  • BBQ sauce: Adds sweetness and tanginess to the pork. You can use any brand you prefer or even make your own!

How To Make Pulled Pork Tenderloin

Step 1: Season The Pork 

In a small bowl, mix together the salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Rub your spice mixture all over the tenderloin, making sure to cover it entirely for a consistent flavor throughout.

Step 2: Set Up The Slow Cooker 

Place the seasoned tenderloin in the bottom of your slow cooker. Be sure not to pour broth directly over the pork — you don’t want to wash off the freshly applied rub!

Step 3: Slow Cook The Pork 

Put the lid on your slow cooker and set it to high. You’ll need to cook the pork for about 4-5 hours, or until it’s tender enough to shred with a fork.

Read more about the best internal temperature for pulled pork.

Step 4: Shred The Pork 

Once your pork is ready, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. After shredding, return it to the slow cooker and mix it with any remaining cooking liquid.

shredded pulled pork tenderloin from the crock pot

Add your BBQ sauce to the shredded pork, stirring well to ensure an even distribution. You can adjust the salt and sauce at this point to suit your taste.

What To Serve With Pulled Pork Tenderloin

For a complete meal, pair your pulled pork tenderloin with savory side dishes like these:

Recipe Variations

  • Spice it up: Add different spices like cumin or chili powder for a flavor twist. You can even use my homemade dry rub.
  • BBQ sauce: Try different types of BBQ sauces to change the flavor profile each time you make this pulled pork crock pot recipe.
  • Beer broth: Add a can of beer instead of vegetable broth for a deeper flavor.
  • Spicy: Use a spicy BBQ sauce or add cayenne pepper for a kick.

Tips For The Best Recipe

  • Rub it right: Make sure to rub the spices thoroughly into the pork to infuse the best flavors.
  • Broth placement: Avoid pouring the broth over the pork to prevent washing the rub off.
  • Cook on high: Cook your pork tenderloin on high for the best texture.
  • Shred while warm: Make sure you shred the pork while it’s still warm to achieve that quintessential pulled pork texture.
  • Have patience: If the pork isn’t tender after 4 hours, let it cook a bit longer.

What To Do With Leftovers

If you end up with leftover slow cooker pulled pork tenderloin, here’s what to do:

  • Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Transfer the pork to a freezer-safe container. You can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months this way.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftovers in a pan over medium heat or in the microwave until hot.

Read all my tips on freezing, defrosting, and reheating pork.

Additional Recipes

If you enjoyed this pulled pork tenderloin recipe, check out some more classics like these:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different cut of pork? 

Yes, you can! While this pulled pork crock pot recipe specifically uses pork tenderloin, you can substitute it with other cuts like pork shoulder if you prefer. The cooking time will vary depending on the cut.

Can I use a different kind of broth? 

Absolutely! I use vegetable broth in this recipe, but you can use chicken or beef broth if that’s what you have on hand. The reason for broth is to add moisture and a bit of flavor to the dish.

Can I cook the pork on low instead of high? 

Of course! If you have more time, you can cook the pork on low for 7-8 hours instead of high for 4-5 hours. It will result in a perfectly juicy and flavorful tenderloin.

Pulled Pork Tenderloin

Pulled pork tenderloin is a quick, easy, and hearty dish that's perfect for busy days when you don’t have much time! Just season it, set the slow cooker, and come back to perfectly tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat. Perfect for BBQ pork sandwiches, potlucks, and more!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin these usually come in a pack of two, freeze the other or double the recipe for leftovers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce your choice


  • 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 vegetable broth 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 sauce amounts as needed.
  • Serve on buns or as the main entree.


Nutrition Facts
Pulled Pork Tenderloin
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutritional values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
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