Leaner Pulled Pork Barbecue
Yield: Plan on 3-4 servings for each pound of pork used; pork tenderloins average about 1 pound each
This incredibly easy, mouth-watering recipe may be tailored to whatever amount of pork is needed. While you may use your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce, I love the flavor of the recipe that follows--and it can be prepared in advance with basic pantry ingredients. Leftovers are delicious and freeze well!


  • Pork tenderloin(s)
  • Beer, chicken broth, or root beer (½ cup per pound of pork)
  • Barbecue Sauce (your favorite store-bought variety, or see the printable homemade option that follows)
  • Options for serving: hamburger buns, additional barbecue sauce, coleslaw, pickles, shredded cheddar cheese, pickled onions


  1. Place the desired number of pork tenderloins in a slow cooker along with a ½ cup of beer*, broth, or root beer per pound of pork.
  2. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. (Note: larger, newer slow cookers may cook the pork faster, especially when cooking on high. Check early the first time you make this.)
  3. Remove the pork to a cutting board, platter, or large bowl. Reserve a cup or so of the liquid to stir into the pork later. Cut the tenderloins crosswise into 3-5 shorter pieces (this will make the meat easier to shred and avoid long, stringy pieces) and then shred the pork with two forks. (Alternatively, you may pour off the liquid in the cooker and shred the pork right in the cooker.)
  4.  Mix in the barbecue sauce, coating to your liking.** If desired, you may stir in some of the reserved cooking liquid and thin to your desired level of sauciness.
  5. If desired, you may heat the sauced pork in the slow cooker on low for about 30 minutes. This may be desirable when using cold sauce. The pork can also be made in advance, refrigerated, and reheated. It freezes well, too.


*If using beer, avoid IPAs and other hoppy varieties, as they often turn bitter when slow cooked.

**Preferred level of sauciness varies so much from person to person. I start with ¼ to ⅓ cup per pound of meat and then serve with additional sauce. Drizzling in some of the cooking juices keeps the meat loose and juicy.

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