Easy Pulled Pork Recipe in Slow Cooker With BBQ Sauce

Updated on March 13, 2018
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David experiments with new formulations while working as a chemist and he experiments with new recipes while at home in his kitchen.

Healthy slow cooker pulled pork recipe
Healthy slow cooker pulled pork recipe
5 stars from 2 ratings of Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Who doesn't love pulled pork, eh? Pulled pork is one of those dishes that is both delicious and super versatile and can be enjoyed simply on a bap, or on a pitta, in a burrito or even in a baked potato! Another bonus is that pulled pork is literally one of the easiest things to make.

So how do you make pulled pork? Well is fairly easy if you have a slow cooker. All you have to do is simply prepare a sauce, pour it into the slow cooker, place the pork into the sauce and cook! The longer you cook the better, but it must be on a low heat if you are cooking for more than 4 hours. The long cooking process allows the muscle fibers to break down and become succulent. It also allows the pork to be easily shredded. Yes the cooking process may take time, but you may cook it overnight and to be ready when you wake or put it on in the morning and arrive home to a cooked meal after work.

Many pulled pork recipes online use cuts of pork, like pork shoulder. Pork shoulder makes excellent pulled pork as it contains a higher amount of fat. This fat adds flavour and is great at keeping the pork succulent. Although a shoulder is great, I went for a less fatty option in this recipe purely to be healthy. Pork tenderloin, also called pork filet, is a much leaner option, however it does contain some fat. It is also super convenient to shed once cooked! The muscle fibers of this cut are mostly aligned lengthways along the meat and because of this, it makes it extremely easy to pull away fine strips of the pork when cooked.

The bbq sauce recipe detailed here is quite a healthy one and is totally natural and homemade. It has a tomato base, with spices, garlic, onion, smoked paprika and gets its sweetness from honey and its bitterness from apple cider vinegar.

Overall, the lean cut of pork combined with the homemade bbq sauce, create a healthy slow cooker pulled pork recipe.

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 20 min
Yields: 6 portions
How to make pulled pork in slow cooker
How to make pulled pork in slow cooker


  • 1 can (13 ounce) chopped tomato, blended
  • 4 tbls honey
  • 2 tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 2 pork tenderloin
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp worchester sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder / cayenne, or more!
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard, powder or sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, optional
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder, optional

Please note: This recipe uses canned tomatoes in the sauce and it is best to blend this first in a food processor to a smooth passata like texture. Alternatively, if you have passata you may use this instead.

1) Blend the canned tomatoes in a food processor until you achieve a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker.

2) To this sauce, add all of the ingredients, except for the pork. Mix all of these ingredients thoroughly. At this point you may taste add more chili or other flavours as you wish. Although do not add more salt at this stage as the pork contains salt and will add this flavour during cooking.

3) After mixing, place the pork tenderloins into the sauce and brush some of the sauce over them.

4) Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on a low heat for 8 hours. Alternatively you may cook on a high heat for 4 hours. Personally I prefer to cook for longer as this leaves more time for flavours to develop and for the pork to become more succulent!

Shredded pork recipe in slow cooker
Shredded pork recipe in slow cooker

5) When cooked, allow to cool slightly before shredding the pork. At this point, you may remove some of the bbq sauce to pour over the pulled pork when placed on a bap.

6) Using a fork, carefully shred the pork. It is important to shred lengthways to pull off strips of the pork. You can use one knife to hold the pork in place and another to shred.

Pulled pork recipe slow cooker bbq sauce
Pulled pork recipe slow cooker bbq sauce

7) After shredding the pork, mix the sauce and the shredded pork together.

8) Place your pulled pork on a bap or even in a wrap, burrito or a salad. If you kept any of the barbecue sauce you may pour more of it over the pulled pork.

9) Enjoy!

Slow cooker pulled pork tenderloin recipe
Slow cooker pulled pork tenderloin recipe

© 2018 David Branagan


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