Healthy and low-fat "pulled" pork from a pork loin using a slow cooker is almost no work recipe with these easy step-by-step photo instructions. A great recipe for parties, tailgating, and large gatherings. Use it for BBQ, use it for Mexican or anywhere you want a moist and tasty shredded pork.
I love pork, but pork loin is way too lean for shredding but cooking it in a spiced-up braising liquid and then adding some back for moisture will get you what you want.
I modified my own oven-based shredded pork loin recipe. I'm giving you two options. One for BBQ and one for Mexican.
I consider this a great recipe for parties, tailgating, and large gatherings. It makes make more than we usually want but it does freeze well. But if you want to feed BBQ a group cheap, this is it.
No, it is not equal to slow-cooked pulled pork from a smoker. BUT is darn good, moist and tasty and a heck of a lot easier and healthier.
Pork loin is just inside of the baby back ribs. When cut into slices, we call it pork chops. And is not a pork tenderloin which is a different cut of meat.
It is frequently sold in vacuum packs from pork processors and usually in the 5-pound range or bigger. It is great to cut into boneless pork chops or use like I do here.
A whole pork loin, which is usually 5-6 pounds is just too big to do this recipe. Go over to the oven method and use a larger pan. I have used that recipe several times for mss cookings.
It is generally so lean I'm not a fan of using it for a roast since it will usually come out tough or dry.
Spice to your taste. Add some garlic, brown sugar, cayenne or crushed red pepper. I have provided instructions for both "pulled pork" loin BBQ and a Tex-Mex version which will be most uses.
Lastly, this will freeze very well, so it is a good recipe for smaller households.
📖Pulled Pork Recipes
Start with about 2 ½-3 pounds of pork loin. That is half of most pork lions. The other half will freeze well.
Trim the pork loin and cut into four equal slices.
Chop a small onion.
To a medium to large size crock pot add one 14 oz can of beef broth, the chopped small onion, 2 tablespoons chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cumin for Mexican or 1 teaspoon liquid smoke for BBQ (optional).
Place the loin in the crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours until falling apart.
Remove the pork and shred with a fork. Here I'm just smashing it apart with a fork.
Move all the brazing liquid to a bowl.
Add the shredded pork back to the slow cooker. Add back about ½ cup of the braising liquid per pound of pork. So I started with 3 pounds and added back 1 ½ cup. You may need a little more or less. Test the moisture and add a bit more if needed.
If doing Mexican, you can add a cup of salsa. Add 1 cup BBQ sauce if your choice is BBQ. Continue to cook on low for another 30-60 minutes.
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Originally published March 22, 2013. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation. Some photos are from other posts for illustration purposes.