Instant Pot Pulled Pork Tenderloin
The tenderloin makes for some tender, lean, and economical pulled pork barbecue! In peach season, I like to use this easy barbecue sauce to minimize added sugar. This pork barbecue is delicious served with homemade cole slaw, or sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and a simple salad, if desired. It also keeps well for a few days and freezes well.
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 2.5 pounds total)
- 2 T. chili powder
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. kosher salt
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup homemade barbecue sauce (or G Hughes Sugar Free BBQ Sauce, Original)
- Cut each pork loin in half to fit better in the Instant Pot (you will have 4 pieces). Sprinkle pork with spices and salt. Pour water and vinegar into bottom of Instant Pot insert. Place pork pieces into liquid; do not stir. Select manual setting with high pressure on Instant Pot and set time to 32 minutes.
- When timer is done, wait to allow Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Then carefully release remaining pressure and then remove lid. Using a slotted spoon, remove pieces of meat to a platter and pull apart with a fork. Stir in barbecue sauce.
One serving contains about 5 grams of carbohydrates if storebought barbecue sauce is used, which can be decreased further by using a lower sugar or sugar free option.
Can this be done using frozen pork tenderloin?
Sorry for the delay, I was on spring break vacation! Yes, certainly you can use frozen pork tenderloin, I just haven’t tested it myself. This recipe cooks the unfrozen tenderloin longer than is necessary for doneness (to get it to pulled texture), so I’d probably add only 5 minutes to the time if the tenderloins are frozen, and then check it, because you can always add more time. Let me know if you try it before I get a chance to give it a try next time I have frozen tenderloins!
Works like a charm. Only you need to think ahead and freeze them in halves or squished into circles.
Thanks for taking the time to comment and I’m glad it worked well for you. You are right…cutting the pork tenderloin before freezing is definitely a good idea! And I tested it out myself to be sure: simply add 5 minutes if your pork tenderloins are frozen and it turns out great!
Thanks for the tenderloin recipe! I did this a few weeks ago and didn’t write down my cook times and now I can consult this post! (And write it down for next time…)
Thanks for leaving a comment, I’m glad to be a resource. And I do that all the time…forget to write down my cook times or full recipes that I make up on the fly! I was literally just searching for a green tea margarita drink recipe that I made this time last year! I guess I will just have to experiment all over again, poor me. LOL
Can you do this with only 1 pork loin ???
Yes, I wouldn’t change anything! Since the recipe is for two separate pieces, it should work fine with one. Let me know how it turns out!
Can I use a smaller tenderloin (just over 1 lb)? What would be the time/ingredient adjustments?
Yes. The recipe calls for two pork tenderloins about 1.25 pounds each. If yours are closer to a pound, I’d maybe take 5 or so minutes off the time. I haven’t tried it, but it will likely be fine. I’d leave the liquid the same though so it comes to pressure properly. Let me know how it goes!
Do you sauté the meat before cooking it in the IP?
No, you don’t need to saute before cooking.
I was out of apple cider vinegar so subbed it for juice from a jar of pepperoncinis and it was delicious! I’d about put pepperoncinis in a pie, so maybe I’m a bad judge of it, but my gang thought it tasted great! 😀 I also just used a rib rub I had on hand instead of the spice mix because I was feeling lazy. 😉
Glad you made it work for you!
How long do you suggest i cook if i’m using 5lbs of tenderloin?
Thanks for asking! Pork tenderloins are usually each about 1 pound, so if you’re cutting each piece in half, it doesn’t matter how many halves you put in there, the time would stay the same. In the IP, it’s more important that each piece is the same size. Hope you enjoy this easy, real food main dish!
This is a great recipe! So glad that you keep it short and simple.
Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad you appreciate my easy, real food recipe and my brevity…Google (for search engine optimization) usually prefers posts with more words, but I value your time more than it’s worth it to fill up the Internet with my ramblings!
If I’m cooking a single1.5 lb loin..should I reduce the liquid? ..and the time? I’m totally new to the Insta Pot. (6 qt duo)
Sorry for the delay! The recipe is written for 2 1.25 pork tenderloins. If yours is 1.5 lbs, I would keep everything the same except halve the spices that you coat the tenderloin with (after you cut it in half). You really need the ~1 cup of liquid (water and vinegar) to come to pressure. And the cooking time is more than enough to cook the tenderloin since time is added to make it easily pulled; if you find it’s not easy to pull it, you could always add 5 minutes. Then use as much barbecue sauce as you like.
We made this for dinner tonight. Everyone in my family loved this and that’s a huge compliment because I have the pickiest bunch of eaters. The entire batch was gone at the end of dinner. That never happens. Great recipe!!!
Thank you for taking the time to comment! Yes, for one of my recipes to be kid-approved by OTHER people’s kids is indeed a spectacular compliment!