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It’s one of my favorite meals for hectic days because it requires so little time and effort. Pulled pork also yields a flavorful, scrumptious supper with leftovers to make so many other tasty lunches and dinners.
Two simple ingredients will make this delicious pork tenderloin dinner for your family. All you need is a 4- or 5-pound pork loin roast and a box of onion soup mix (one with 2 packets of soup mix).
As you can see, this is an affordable meal. As a matter of fact, for $10, you will have prepped the meat for multiple delicious lunches and/or dinners!
I almost never cooked pork for my family until about 4 years ago. I ate a lot of it growing up, but really, we were more of a beef and chicken kind of family.
Pork wasn’t my favorite. It seemed to have lots of fat and not much flavor. So, I have pretty much ignored it for most of my adult life.
A few years back, I realized how much more affordable pork is and I started experimenting with different cuts and flavors. And, I learned how to cook it well. It really takes on whatever flavors you cook into it.
So, pork loin roasts have been one of my favorites to cook with ever since.
I can cut them into thick, boneless pork chops, and use them to make rice bowls and noodle bowls. I use pork loins for barbecue and so many other flavor-rich dishes.
It’s a protein that I hope you’ll give more consideration after you taste this yummy perfect pulled pork!
And if you want to get really creative with pork try this yummy, tender and delicious
from my friend Kita, at Girl Carnivore. Smoked Pork Butt
Pork Loin vs Pork Tenderloin
Maple Mustard Slow Cooker Pork Loin is made with a pork loin, NOT pork tenderloin.
What is a Pork Loin?
Pork loin is a larger, roast-style cut. It does better with roasting and slow cooking methods. The loin is cut from the back of the hog. It is a lean piece of meat, however, it usually has a thick fat cap on the top.
You may see pork loin called center cut pork loin roast, center cut pork roast or pork center loin roast. In our part of the world, it’s simply called pork loin. I can buy a whole loin or a half. The half is what you’re looking for for this recipe. They usually range between 3 and 5 lbs.
What is a Pork Tenderloin?
A pork tenderloin, on the other hand, is not a good choice for Perfect Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. It is a smaller, much thinner cut of meat. It’s from a muscle that runs along the backbone and usually only weighs about one pound. They often come two-to-a-package, in our area. Because of their small size and leanness, they are best cooked quickly, at high heat.
It’s definitely important not to confuse pork loin and pork tenderloin when making a recipe. They are very different cuts of meat. The success of your recipe depends on choosing the correct one. So, just a reminder that this recipe uses a
How to Make Perfect Pulled Pork
One whole side of your pork loin will be covered in a thick layer of fat. That’s the fat cap. Don’t remove it until after cooking. That’s moisture and flavor that will make your pork irresistibly delicious!
Remove the loin from it’s package and place it in your
with the *slow cooker fat cap UP. As it cooks that fat will melt and drip down, flavoring your meat and keeping it tender and moist.
Empty both envelopes of onion soup mix over the top of the pork loin, allowing it to run over the sides of the roast, into the bottom of the
. *slow cooker
That’s it! You don’t need anything else. No water, no stock, no salt. Just cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it to LOW.
Allow the pork to cook slowly for 4-8 hours through your day. The exact time will depend on the size of your pork loin. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145° with a 3 minute rest time for testing doneness of pork loin.
However, to get the meat to an easy shreddable point, though, you will want the pork to cook longer than just to reach 145°. It will make beautiful slices at that stage, but to actually be able to shred it the internal temperature needs to be closer to 200°.
When the temperature is close to 200°, or even slightly above, the connective tissues will have broken down and you will be able to easily shred the meat just by pulling it with a fork. That will be the best test of when your pork loin is ready.
When the Pork Loin is Finished
Oh my heavens! This pork loin roast is calling my name. Look at all the drippings that the meat and onion soup mix created on their own!
You could have roasted the meat with potatoes and carrots in there, too. Then, you’d be ready to slice it up, make some gravy with the drippings and enjoy a roast dinner. But, tonight, we’re prepping it for pulled pork sandwiches and meals through the week with the leftovers.
Start by removing the fat cap, now that the roast is done cooking. I just use the edge of a fork to scrape and remove it. And I remove ALL of it. I don’t want any left in my finished dishes. Some will argue with me, but that is my personal preference. Discard the fat and the pork is ready to be pulled.
Use the same fork to shred or “pull” your pork loin roast. Toss it with all the delicious brothy drippings in the bottom of the slow cooker, so every mouthful is moist and wonderful. So simple! It’s ready to make sandwiches for dinner.
Pile it high on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce and toppings. It’s absolutely delectable with vinegar-based coleslaw, cheese,
or any other toppings your family enjoys. I tried to keep my photos minimal so you could really see the fabulous pork, but go ahead, pile on what you love. pickled onions and jalapenos
How to Use Leftover Pulled Pork
Pork Carnitas Tacos
I made the tacos in this picture by cooking the pork in a slow cooker, too, with different seasonings, specifically for carnitas. But, you can take your pulled pork leftovers and do the same thing.
Just toss the pork in a cast iron skillet with about 2 Tablespoons of oil and some citrus juice and zest. I like mixing orange and lime. Sprinkle in a little cumin and chili powder and heat everything together for a few minutes until the pork starts to get crispy around the edges.
Serve it in warm corn tortillas with your favorite taco toppings! SO GOOD!
This is a picture of my
, made with chicken. Substitute the pulled pork for the chicken for a delicious result. Or use your favorite sauce and cheese mixed with the pork and some minced onion, garlic and veggies to create your own version of a stuffed shell. Mexican Stuffed Pasta Shells
Or simply add the pulled pork to
and toss with your favorite pasta and1/2 cup of the pasta water. Grate some fresh Parmesan over the top and serve it with a crisp and cool Hearty Marinara Sauce for a fabulous Italian dinner! House Salad
The possibilities are pretty much endless. If you can make it with chicken, you can make it with pork. Use it in stir fries, noodle casseroles, soup, rice bowls, noodle bowls or so much more.
You can also make a delicious barbecue pizza, a quick Chinese stir fry or delicious burritos and quesadillas with leftover pulled pork. The possibilities are as limitless as your creativity!
Freezing Leftover Pulled Pork
You can put the leftovers into a zip-top bag with the air pushed out and freeze them, too. They’ll keep in the freezer for about 3 months and you can pull them out when you need pre-cooked meat for a meal in a hurry.
Seriously, you guys have to try this! It’s so flavorful and so versatile and it’s the beginning of so many affordable dishes your family will love.
Enjoy this recipe, my friend!
Great Side Dishes With Pulled Pork
Pineapple Salsa. Photo Credit: Glenda Embree Blog.
Bell Pepper Salad
Coleslaw with Homemade Coleslaw Dressing
Asian Cucumber Salad
Best Baked Bean Casserole
Perfect Potato Salad
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
The Recipe Print
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This delectably easy pulled pork will be one of your most favorite “go-to” recipes. It’s so versatile and affordable. Loaded with flavor and adaptable to so many dishes.
4– 5 lb pork loin roast
1 box (2 envelopes) onion soup mix
Place the pork loin roast, fat cap up, into your slow cooker.
Pour both envelopes of onion soup mix over the top, allowing some to run over the sides of the roast into the bottom of the slow cooker, too.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and set it on LOW.
Cook the roast for 4-6 hours or an internal temperature of at least 145° with a 3 minute rest time.
Remove the fat cap.
Shred the pork loin roast with a fork and toss with the drippings at the bottom of the slow cooker.
Serve in pulled pork sandwiches or add to any recipe you would use pre-cooked chicken in.
Leftovers can be frozen up to 3 months. Seal them in a zip-top bag with the air pressed out and freeze until needed for a quick and easy dinner.
Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 8 hours Category: Main Dish, Meat Method: Slow Cooker Cuisine: American
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Roast Beef Gravy