This Easy Crock Pot Shredded Pork Tenderloin makes a small batch of delicious BBQ pull pork from tenderloin—a perfect recipe for a smaller household.
You will love this pulled pork for some great BBQ sandwiches. Moist and tender, this shredded pork tenderloin is seasoned with a dry rub and only takes a few hours in a crock pot.
Think of it as pulled pork for two—no need to make large amounts with leftovers for weeks. But you can easily scale up the amount for your needs.
For shredded pork loin, see Baked Shredded Pork Loin or Crock Pot Shredded Pork Loin. And check out some other crock pot BBQ recipes, like Crock Pot BBQ Chicken, Crock Pot Pulled Pork from Butt, and Crock Pot Baby Back Ribs.
- Pork tenderloin
- Liquid smoke—good quality, recommended but not required
- Pantry ingredients for spice rub—brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper
👨🍳How to cook shredded pork tenderloin in a crock pot
- Trim and cut pork tenderloin into 5-6 pieces.
- Use a dry rub of your choice or in a small bowl, mix the provided rub. In a larger bowl, coat the pork with liquid smoke (optional) and coat the pieces with the rub and liquid smoke.
- Place the meat in a 2 quart or larger crock pot.
- Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Check the pork at 2 hours to see if it will shred easily. You may need to cook up to 1 hour longer.
- Shred the meat and mix it with the crock pot liquid. Let it cook another 15-20 minutes on high.
🌡️When is pork tenderloin done and ready to shred?
The minimum safe temperature for pork tenderloin is 145°. But shedding needs to be a bit higher, usually 155°+.
Test it with a fork for "fork tender," which is when a fork can go in the meat and back out with little resistance. That is when it will shred the easiest.
✔️Tips and Variations
- The thickness of a mass of pork will affect the cooking time. You do not want to be piling the chunks on top of others. Or if you do, the cooking time will be longer. Try to keep it to a single layer to help the cooking time and even out the cooking.
- This works in a 2-quart crock pot, but I like to use a 3-4 quart size to stay in a single layer. But a bigger slow cooker will also work.
- If the pork has been frozen, it may not contain as much moisture as a fresh tenderloin. Then add a bit of chicken broth after shredding if needed.
- Older crock pots may have thermostats that do not work well, and the crock pot's temperature may go much higher.
- The dry rub provides the seasoning, but you can use any pork rub you like or check out BBQ Dry Rub for Pork, Chipotle BBQ Dry Rub, or Memphis Dry Rub.
🐖About Pork Tenderloin
The tenderloin refers to the psoas muscle along the lower back. It is chicken tenders in the chicken or beef tenderloin (filet mignon) in cattle. The psoas muscle is generally the most tender cut since it is not used for movement.
A pork tenderloin is not a pork loin. To shred a pork loin, it requires a braising technique.
BBQ sauce should be added at serving but not during cooking or reheating.
BBQ sauce has acid due to the vinegar base. This will deteriorate the texture of pulled pork from a tenderloin or pork butt, especially when heated.
Use a large crock pot and make a double or triple recipe. It will take longer to cook if you need more than one layer of pork.
❄️How to store and reheat shredded pork tenderloin
Store leftovers in an airtight container. Store in the refrigeator for 4 days. Or in a freezer for 3 months.
To reheat, cover in the oven with a few sprinkles of water until hot. Do not reheat in or cover with BBQ sauce. The meat will become mushy due to the acid in the BBQ sauce.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
Have you tried this recipe, or have a question? Join the community discussion in the comments.
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with pork tenderloin. Trim off extra fat and the silver skin and cut into 5-6 pieces of about equal size.
If using the included dry rub, mix 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon each pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
In a larger bowl, coat the pork with liquid smoke (optional) and coat the pieces with the dry rub and liquid smoke.
Place the meat in the bottom of a 2 quart or larger crock pot. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Check the pork at 2 hours to see if it will shred easily—it should be over 145° and fork tender. You may need to cook up to 1 hour longer.
Shred the meat and mix it into the crock pot liquid. Let it cook another 15-20 minutes on high before serving.
Easy Crock Pot Shredded Pork Tenderloin
- 1 ½ pound pork tenderloin - one whole
- 2 tablespoons dry rub of your choice
- 1 teaspoon liquid Smoke—optional but recommended - Wrights preferred
Optional Dry Rub
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Start with pork tenderloin. Trim off extra fat and the silver skin and cut into 5-6 pieces of about equal size.
- If using the included dry rub, mix 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon each pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- In a larger bowl, coat the pork with liquid smoke (optional) and coat the pieces with the dry rub and liquid smoke.
- Place the meat in the bottom of a 2 quart or larger crock pot. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Check the pork at 2 hours to see if it will shred easily—it should be over 145° and fork tender. You may need to cook up to 1 hour longer.
- Shred the meat and mix it into the crock pot liquid. Let it cook another 15-20 minutes on high before serving.
Your Own Private Notes
- Be sure you use pork tenderloin and not pork loin for this recipe.
- You don’t have to cut the pork tenderloin into chunks, but it will take longer to cook and you will end up with very long pork stands after shredding.
- Bad liquid smoke is worse than no liquid smoke. Use Wright's or skip this ingredient.
- Try to keep the pork in a single layer to help faster, more even cooking.
- This fits in a 2-quart crock pot but will be a single layer in a 3-4 quart crock pot. I suggest a large crock pot for a double batch.
- Add the BBQ sauce you like at serving but do not store or reheat the shredded pork in sauce. It will affect the texture.
- Good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and frozen for 3-4 days.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
© 101 Cooking for Two, LLC. All content and photographs are copyright protected by us or our vendors. While we appreciate your sharing our recipes, please realize copying, pasting, or duplicating full recipes to any social media, website, or electronic/printed media is strictly prohibited and a violation of our copyrights.
Editors Note: Originally Published July 13, 2014. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.