Pulled Pork Tenderloin is PERFECT for weeknights. The tenderloin is an ultra-tender cut of pork that becomes meltingly-soft with a brief cooking time.
Pulled Pork Tenderloin: Why You’re Going to LOVE This Recipe
Usually, making pulled pork involves slow roasting a huge pork shoulder in a low oven for 6 hours – for most of which I am hanging on to the oven door handle like it’s a roller coaster ride, face so close to the viewing window it gets sunburnt, with a puddle of drool slowly accumulating at my feet.
And although I do enjoy that process, the anticipation, (and torturing myself, my husband AND my dog with the incredible smell), I just unlocked the secret to succulent pulled pork on a Tuesday. It’s a life changer. Half an hour, boom – done. And the best part? It is every. Bit. As. Good.
So what’s the secret?
Pulled Pork made with pork tenderloins. They’re super tender, flavourful, and very quick cooking.
Why this Pulled Pork Tenderloin works
- Pork tenderloin is super tender when simply cooked through, and that only takes 30 minutes. No need to simmer away the connective tissue like with tougher cuts of pork.
- This spicy-tangy-sweet chipotle barbecue sauce is so tasty.
- Pulled pork has to be one of the most pleasurable foods known to man (in the realm of foods that do not contain hot fudge and/or whipped cream). It definitely ranks high on my list of favourites.
- Chipotle BBQ Sauce: with the usual barbecue suspects – onion, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, plus chipotle for heat (use the lesser amount if you don’t like things too spicy).
- Pork tenderloins: not just quick-cooking, I also love that the tenderloins are very lean – you don’t feel weighed down in that pork-y way that can occur after a barbecue feast.
How to make BBQ Pulled Pork with Pork Tenderloins
- Whip up an easy, richly flavoured chipotle BBQ sauce
- Cook the tenderloins right in the yummy sauce
- After a 30 minute simmer, they’re cooked through, perfectly tender and willing to shred with the slightest encouragement of a fork.
How to serve it
Serve this quick and easy pulled pork with:
- creamy-tangy slaw (like the one on these spicy fish tacos with cabbage slaw) on soft squishy warmed buns,
- on charred corn tortillas with quick pickled red onions and lime crema
Pulled Pulled Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp minced chipotle in adobo sauce (or 1 tsp chipotle powder)
- 1 cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 ¾ lbs pork tenderloin cut in thirds
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add chipotle, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add pork tenderloin pieces to the sauce and bring to a rapid simmer. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through (71°C/160°F on a meat thermometer, or remove one piece and cut through centre to ensure it's no longer pink inside), about 30 minutes.
- Transfer pork to a cutting board. Bring the sauce back up to a low boil and allow it to reduce and thicken slightly.
- Using a fork in each hand, pull the pork apart into bite-sized shreds, working with the grain of the meat. Return shredded meat to the sauce, stir to coat.
- 1 3/4 lbs pork tenderloins is 2 average tenderloins
- Serve in soft buns or tortillas, topped with pickled onions, sour cream, avocado, cilantro (and/or other desired toppings!)
- Because pork tenderloin is so tender, you don’t need to cook it for a long time to get the tender results you’d get from slow-simmering a tougher cut.
Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD