How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker: A Delicious and Easy Recipe Guide

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker?

To cook pork tenderloin in a slow cooker, start by seasoning and searing the meat to enhance flavors.

Then, place the pork tenderloin in the slow cooker and add various flavorings like chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and Italian seasoning to create a tasty gravy.

Cook the pork tenderloin on low heat for an average of 2 hours per 1 pound.

Optional steps include searing the pork before slow cooking for more complex flavors and coating it in flour to thicken the sauce.

At the end of the cooking time, thicken the gravy using cornstarch and butter.

Serve the slow-cooked pork tenderloin with bread or salad.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Key Points:

  • Season and sear the pork tenderloin before placing in the slow cooker for enhanced flavors
  • Add various flavorings like chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and Italian seasoning to create a tasty gravy
  • Cook the pork tenderloin on low heat for 2 hours per 1 pound
  • Optional: Sear the pork before slow cooking for more complex flavors, and coat in flour to thicken the sauce
  • Thicken the gravy using cornstarch and butter at the end of the cooking time
  • Serve with bread or salad, and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days

Did You Know?

1. The slow cooker, also known as a Crock-Pot, was invented by Irving Naxon in the 1940s after being inspired by his grandmother’s traditional bean stew cooked in a slow oven.
2. Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest cuts of meat, containing less fat than chicken breasts and turkey breast.
3. Slow cooking pork tenderloin helps to break down the connective tissue, resulting in a tender and succulent texture.
4. Though it is commonly marinated or seasoned, pork tenderloin can also be cooked using a variety of non-traditional flavors such as honey and Dijon mustard, soy sauce and ginger, or even apricot preserves.
5. The USDA recommends cooking pork tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) followed by a three-minute rest time, ensuring juicy and safe-to-eat pork.

Ingredients For Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Recipe

When it comes to cooking pork tenderloin in a slow cooker, gather the right ingredients to ensure a flavorful and succulent dish.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Pork tenderloin: Choose a high-quality cut of pork tenderloin, preferably around 2 pounds in weight. The tenderloin is a lean and tender cut that will cook perfectly in a slow cooker.
  • Olive oil: Use a generous amount of olive oil to help brown the pork and enhance its flavor.
  • Salt and pepper: Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste, enhancing the natural flavors of the meat.
  • Italian seasoning: Sprinkle Italian seasoning over the pork for a burst of aromatic herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme.
  • Chicken broth: This adds moisture and richness to the dish, creating a flavorful base for the tenderloin.
  • Soy sauce: Adding soy sauce to the mix will bring a depth of savory flavor to the dish.
  • Balsamic vinegar: The tangy sweetness of balsamic vinegar complements the pork and adds a touch of acidity.
  • Brown sugar: Sprinkle some brown sugar over the pork to balance out the flavors and create a delicious caramelized crust.
  • Garlic: A few cloves of minced garlic will infuse the pork with a delightful aroma and taste.
  • Cornstarch: This will be used later to thicken the sauce, giving it a silky texture.
  • Butter: Adding a pat of butter to the sauce will enrich its flavor and give it a velvety smoothness.
  • Parsley: A sprinkle of fresh parsley at the end will add a vibrant color and a fresh, herbal note.
  • Dry onion soup mix: This adds a savory and flavorful punch to the dish.
  • Water: A little water will be used to help loosen the sauce and prevent it from becoming too thick.
  • Red wine: If you want to add an extra layer of complexity to your sauce, a splash of red wine will do the trick.
  • Fresh garlic: In addition to the minced garlic, you can also add some whole cloves for a more intense garlic flavor.
  • Black pepper: Ground black pepper will lend a subtle kick to the dish.
Related Post:  How Long to Cook Pork and Sauerkraut in Slow Cooker for Deliciously Tender Results

Steps To Cook Pork Tenderloin In Slow Cooker

Now that we have all our ingredients ready, let’s walk through the steps to cook a mouthwatering pork tenderloin in a slow cooker:

  1. Season and sear the meat: Start by generously seasoning the pork tenderloin with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sear the pork on all sides until it forms a beautiful golden crust.

  2. Place in slow cooker: Transfer the seared pork tenderloin to a slow cooker and place it in the center.

  3. Create the flavor base: In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, and dry onion soup mix. Pour this mixture over the pork in the slow cooker.

  4. Cook on low heat: Cover the slow cooker and cook the pork on low heat for the recommended cooking time, which is an average of 2 hours per 1 pound of pork tenderloin. This slow and gentle cooking process will ensure that the meat becomes tender and absorbs all the delicious flavors.

  5. Thicken the gravy: In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and set it aside. Add the slurry to the liquid in the slow cooker, stirring well to combine. Return the pork to the slow cooker and cook for an additional 15 minutes on high heat to thicken the gravy.

  6. Finish with butter and parsley: Stir in a knob of butter and sprinkle fresh parsley over the dish to add richness and freshness.

  7. Remember to season the pork tenderloin before searing.

  8. Allow enough time for the meat to cook on low heat to achieve tenderness.
  9. Creating a slurry with cornstarch and water will help thicken the gravy.
  10. Finishing the dish with butter and parsley will add a delicious touch.

“Cooking a pork tenderloin in a slow cooker yields a tender and flavorful result.”

Tips For Perfectly Cooked Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

To ensure perfect slow cooker pork tenderloin, consider the following valuable tips:

  • Choose pork tenderloin, not pork loin: Pork tenderloin, being a narrower and smaller cut of meat, cooks more evenly and quickly in the slow cooker. Avoid using pork loin, as it can easily become tough if overcooked.

  • Serve with bread or salad: Slow-cooked pork tenderloin pairs well with crusty bread to soak up the delicious gravy, or a fresh salad to balance out the richness of the dish.

  • Store leftovers properly: Any cooked pork tenderloin leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Alternatively, freeze it for up to 3 months. Just ensure it cools completely before packaging.

Related Post:  How Long to Cook Brats in Slow Cooker for Deliciously Tender Results

Other Cooking Methods For Pork Tenderloin

While slow cooker pork tenderloin is undoubtedly delicious and convenient, there are alternative cooking methods that you can explore to add variety to your meals. Here are a few options:

  • Pan-searing: Quickly sear the pork tenderloin in a hot skillet to create a caramelized crust on the outside while leaving the inside tender. Finish it off by roasting it in the oven until cooked to perfection.
  • Air frying: Utilize the benefits of air frying to cook pork tenderloin, achieving a crispy exterior without excessive oil.
  • Grilling: Fire up the grill and cook the pork tenderloin over direct heat, giving it a smoky and charred flavor.
  • Roasting: Place the pork tenderloin in the oven at a high temperature, allowing it to roast to perfection, creating a juicy interior and a crispy exterior.

Customizing Flavors For Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

One of the great advantages of cooking pork tenderloin in a slow cooker is the versatility to customize flavors according to your preferences. By adding additional spices, herbs, or vegetables, you can impart unique flavors to your dish. Consider experimenting with some of these options:

  • Spices: Try incorporating smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper to add a kick to your slow cooker pork tenderloin.
  • Herbs: Experiment with fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, or even a touch of tarragon to elevate the flavors.
  • Vegetables: Enhance the aroma and texture of your dish by adding chopped onions, bell peppers, carrots, or potatoes to the slow cooker. These vegetables will absorb the flavors of the cooking liquid and add a lovely depth to the overall dish.

Storage And Serving Suggestions For Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

When it comes to storage and serving suggestions for your slow cooker pork tenderloin, keep these tips in mind:

  • Store cooked pork tenderloin in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To ensure freshness, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil.
  • Frozen cooked pork tenderloin can be stored for up to 3 months. To prevent freezer burn, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • When serving your slow cooker pork tenderloin, you can accompany it with a variety of side dishes. Rice, mashed potatoes, or roasted vegetables would all make fantastic choices, providing contrasting flavors and textures.
  • Consider incorporating the leftover pork in other recipes. It can be used in sandwiches, tacos, stir-fries, or even on top of salads, giving you the opportunity to create completely new dishes from your cooked pork.

With these valuable tips and detailed recipe, you’ll be able to prepare a delicious and tender pork tenderloin dish using a slow cooker.

  • Enjoy the process and savor the flavors of this easy and enjoyable recipe!
Related Post:  How Long to Cook Bone Broth in Slow Cooker: Achieve Perfect Consistency and Maximum Nutrients

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to cook pork tenderloin fast or slow?

When it comes to cooking pork tenderloin, a quick and high heat method is recommended. Unlike other cuts that benefit from slow and low cooking, the lean composition of pork tenderloin makes it prone to becoming tough and dry if overcooked. By searing it quickly at a high temperature, you can ensure a juicy and tender result while preserving its delicate texture.

Take care not to overcook pork tenderloin, as doing so can jeopardize its succulence. The high heat method allows for a beautiful sear and a speedy cooking time that ensures the meat remains moist and flavorful. By opting for this approach, you’ll be rewarded with a tender and delicious pork tenderloin that is anything but chalky or chewy.

Can you cook raw pork in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can definitely cook raw pork in a slow cooker. To ensure a delicious result, start by seasoning the pork with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium to high heat and brown the pork shoulder on all sides. Once the pork is nicely browned, transfer it into the slow cooker. Add all of the other ingredients, cover, and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours. The slow cooking process will make the meat incredibly tender and it will easily pull apart when pressed with two forks. This method guarantees a flavorful and succulent pork dish.

Do you need to add water to slow cooker for pork?

While it is not necessary to add water to a slow cooker for pork, it is advised to include some form of liquid to ensure optimal moisture throughout the cooking process. Although the meat itself releases its own juices, adding liquid such as broth, stock, or even a bit of vinegar can help maintain the tenderness and juiciness of the pork. Furthermore, the addition of liquid infuses the meat with additional flavors, enhancing the overall taste and succulence of the pulled pork.

Does slow cooker pork need liquid?

Slow cooker pork does not necessarily need liquid, but it is important to be mindful of the moisture level in your recipe. Unlike cooking on the stovetop, the moisture in a slow cooker does not evaporate. To prevent dryness, it is advisable to slightly adjust your recipes by reducing the amount of liquid used, with a general rule of halving the liquid. This allows the pork to cook in its own juices, resulting in tender and flavorful meat without becoming overly wet.