How To Make Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin


I don’t know why I waited so long to break out the crock pot this year. No wait, that’s not true. The reason is I don’t have enough room in the kitchen to keep it there year-round, so it goes in the basement. The pantry is in the basement, so it’s not like I don’t go downstairs to get stuff for dinner all the time. It’s a mental block that makes no sense and I know it.

Ooh, but the ice cream maker is in the kitchen. I don’t think I’ll be using that for a while. I think I just made room in the kitchen for the crock pot.


081216-145153_Lgpork tenderloin
3 russet potatoes
3 large carrots
1 large onion
3-6 garlic cloves


Lots of slow cooker recipes just list the ingredients and tell you to put it all in the pot. That’ll work, but it leaves out a huge amount of flavor. The secret is browning the meat before putting it in the pot. Season the tenderloins with salt and pepper.

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Melt a few tablespoons of bacon fat in an uncoated pan over high heat. Brown the tenderloin all over.


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While it’s browning, prep the veggies. Cut the onion into large pieces or they’ll cook down to nothing and disappear.

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Cut the carrots and potatoes into uniform size pieces, so they’ll all be equally cooked at the same time.

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When the tenderloin is finished browning, transfer it to the slow cooker. Return the pan to high heat until the drippings start to smoke, then deglaze it with about a cup of water. (My assistant told me the Tigger cup makes it taste better. If you don’t have Tigger, I believe Pooh might work.) Scrape up everything from the bottom of the pan.

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Add the water — with all that delicious flavor in it — into the pot with the tenderloin.


Tuck the onion and garlic in around the meat.

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Then add the potatoes and carrots. Add enough water to come almost to the top of the vegetables.

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Add some salt and pepper on top of the vegetables.

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Put the lid on and turn the cooker on. If you’re leaving it for the day, put the cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Don’t stir. The meat will fall apart.

I started this in the afternoon, so I started the slow cooker on high.

NOTE: Older slow cookers had Lo and Hi (that’s how they spelled them) settings of about 160° and 190°. Some newer ones run at 190° and 240°, so Lo on a new one can be the same as Hi on an old one. And the new ones might not have anything that matches the older Lo setting. I’ve never seen slow cookers that advertise what temperature they cook at, so make sure you know your slow cooker before leaving something on Hi for eight hours.

After about two hours I pulled the pork up on top of the vegetables. They need to get down into the water to finish cooking.


After another hour-and-a-half on high, I checked the meat with my digital thermometer.


Now I’m not going to say government guidelines for cooking meat are too high. I’m not a doctor, so take everything you’re about to read as my unqualified opinion. Whole cuts of pork — not ground pork — are safe to eat if you cook them to 140°. If you routinely go to 160°, which is what you’ll see if you check federal guidelines, you’ll end up with dried out pork. Have you always thought pork was dry? Guess why?

So that 145° you see there was plenty.

Set the meat aside. Not because it needs to rest, like it would if you roasted it. The slow cooker doesn’t get so hot it makes the meat tighten up, so you can actually cut the tenderloin right now and not lose any moisture.


You won’t have this lovely crust if you don’t brown it up first.


The reason you set the meat aside is to scoop all the veggies out of the water. Because my kids don’t like onion I have to separate them out. That’s loads of fun.


Slice the whole tenderloin into pieces about a quarter-inch thick. Place it in the middle of a platter, and surround it with the veg.


And that could be it. But that water in the pot has lots of flavor in it. So transfer it (that’s what food writers say when the mean “dump it”) to a sauce pan and add a couple of tablespoons of flour.


Whisk the daylights out of it so it doesn’t get lumpy. If you want to make sure to avoid lumps, mix the flour into a quarter-cup of cold water first. Then slowly pour it into the hot liquid while stirring.


Add salt and pepper. Optionally add some marjoram, about two teaspoons.


Bring it to a boil, stirring frequently. The flour won’t thicken the gravy if you don’t bring it to a boil.


Keep it at a boil for two or three minutes. Strain it through cheesecloth if you’re obsessive about having perfectly smooth gravy. Otherwise just pour it straight over the pork.


And now, that’s it.

Yes, there were two hunks of pork up in the first couple of pictures, and only one at the end. The other was to go in the pork fried rice that I finally got right, after several failed attempts. Can’t wait to finally show that one. Sign up below to make sure you don’t miss it.

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin


  • pork tenderloin (2-3 pounds)
  • 3 russet potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-6 garlic cloves


Season the tenderloin(s) with salt and pepper. Melt some bacon fat or oil in an uncoated pan over high heat. Brown the tenderloin(s) on all sides. While it is browning, dice all vegetables. Make the potato and carrot uniform bite-sized, onions in large pieces.

Transfer browned pork to crock pot and deglaze pan with a cup of water or stock. Pour water and all drippings into crock pot.

Tuck onion and garlic around the meat, then add potatoes and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Add enough water to almost cover the vegetables. Cover and turn to low for 8-12 hours, or high for 4-6 hours. (New crock pots run much hotter than older ones. Expect that your time will vary widely. You'll need to practice with yours to get used to it.)

DO NOT stir while it is cooking. The meat and vegetables will both get so soft they will fall apart. It is done when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 150°.

For gravy, transfer remaining liquid to a pan. Mix ¼ cup flour with ¼ cup cold water. Add to liquid and bring to a boil. Stir constantly while it boils for 2 minutes. Check seasoning, add salt, pepper and marjoram as needed.


  1. I miss pork. With all this damn LAMB around, we never eat pork or chicken anymore.

    It’s a hard life I lead, I know.

    • Christine says:

      I can not see eating lamb. It would be like throwing my toddler in the grill and eating him. Not judging but it is just bad knowing how the lamb is treated to insure tender meat.

      • I have to say…my children raise lambs for school and then take them to market. They are treated VERY well. Lots of pasture to run and play in, fresh grass and grain at all times.

      • I know how you feel, I was there, too. UNTIL I tasted pan sauteed lamb tips that had been marinated with burgundy wine and peppercorns. Excellent!! I got over my sentimentality about eating lamb after that. (lip smacking)

      • I raise sheep, and I would really like to know how lambs are treated to ensure tender meat. I just leave them with their mothers for 6-8 months or whenever the mothers are tired of them. All the lamb I ve had from those sheep has been just fine.

    • Matt Burkett says:

      This was easy and Effective! Awesome flavor and very simple! Thanks alot

  2. That looks like my Christmas dinner this year. Except I’m doing a beef roast. My husband’s going hog hunting in a few weeks, so I want to get as much beef and chicken before the pork invades the deep freeze.

  3. Tina at Mommy's Kitchen says:

    That looks so good. I love pork in the crockpot. Thanks so much for sharing I have a new meal!

  4. Kristin, I actually sympathize. When I was in a Marine band, we played at all the various units’ Birthday Ball celebrations each year. And they always had prime rib and chicken cordon bleu on the menu. After about the fourth one in a row we’d sneak back into the kitchen before it started and ask if they had any hamburgers they could whip up instead.

    Stephanie, you mean wild boar? I’d love to give that a shot. Factory farmed meat is so bland.

    Tina, check out the pulled pork recipe. I did that one in the crock pot, too.

  5. FoodRenegade says:

    I love that your “helper” insisted Tigger was the way to go. It’s always fun to have kids in the kitchen.

  6. That’s why yours looks so good… browning.

    Reminds me of the time husband spraining his ankle while jumping off a 5-ton. They’d been ambushed by the MC Band. 😉 He’s never really lived that one down.

  7. Renegade, it’s purely selfish. The sooner I can teach them it’s fun to cook, the sooner I can get them to do it for me.

    MedowLark, I’d never let him live it down either. :-) And you reminded me of a story. (Not for the squeamish, you’ve been warned.) I worked with a guy who was missing the ring finger on his left hand. He was jumping down from a 5-ton and holding onto the stake-side for balance. His wedding band got hooked on the rail, and it was still there — with the finger in it — when he hit the ground. He had a prosthetic made, so that the wedding band covered the seam.

    Most people didn’t even know he had a prosthetic finger. He played the saxophone, for Pete’s sake! Then one day as we were getting ready for a gig, someone was giving him a hard time about his premature balding. He pulled the finger off and threw it at the guy. You’d think he threw a live badger at his face, the way the guy jumped.

    So tell your husband a sprained ankle is nothing. Band guys lose whole limbs and joke about it.

  8. LOL… I’ll be sure to relay the message. and related, Husband jumped off the back of the CH46 he was working on and his ring caught… it was pure luck that it un-caught and he fell to the ground, but now with his ring embedded under the flesh of his finger. Had to cut it out to remove it and we still have the pieces somewhere.

  9. MeadowLark, that’s why machine shops tend to forbid rings. A neighbor of mine wears heavy-duty leather gloves at work. He asked why he was told to remove the ring before putting on the gloves. It’s because the ring will wear through the glove faster, and you’ll expose the ring. Especially nasty if you’re handling electrically live gear.

  10. Drew, just wild hog. It’s a nuisance animal here in Texas, so they can be hunted all year long. I still have 10 pounds of venison sausage in my freezer from last year. It’s good, but after a while it’s boring.
    I’m actually busy making cookies this time of year. Look on my blog to see what I made for my son’s class last night.

  11. Stephanie, one of these days I’m going to have to tell the story of the Wild Game Dinner at my uncle’s hunting club. Awesome.

    Oh, and I did decide to write up the story of the cookies. There wasn’t much in the way of “How To” in it, so I put it up on the forum.

  12. After working and commuting for 36 years, I discovered the crockpot. I’ve never “loaded” a meal and left it, but it is convenient, though mine, too, is in the basement and a royal pain to fetch. I love pork loin and will try your recipe this week. I just added it to my shopping list. Love your blog.

  13. Arlene, I know people were raised to always turn off the appliances before leaving the house. But crock pots are nearly foolproof. I love coming home from work and smelling dinner already waiting for me.

  14. My favorite gravy thickener is making a roux with butter and flour… fool proof! No Lumps Ever! And everything is better with a little butter added (lol). Great recipe. Love pork tenderloin. Love pork, period!

  15. I have an even more foolproof way to deal with lumps: I just don’t care about lumps that much.

  16. Drew,

    Funny story regarding crock pots being nearly foolproof. Shortly after my girlfriend and I moved in together I prepped a meal in the morning, turned it on low, left for work, and knew she would be returning later in the day to finish it off. Well, as it turned out, that just happened to be one of the very rare days you lose power during the day. Around 10 am to be exact (could tell from the times the alarm clocks were blinking). She walked into our apartment hours later to the smell of chicken that had cooked for only the first hour or so then proceeded to sit there, room temperature, in our apartment for the rest of the sweltering summer day. :)

    Needless to say I am very thankful that she got home before me to clean up the mess, toss the raw, spoiled chicken, and air the place out before I returned from work.

    Happy New Year!

  17. Another possible gotcha. I’ve found out in the past week or so that new crock pots have a totally different temperature range than old ones. I’ll have an update when I post my next recipe, and put a note at the top of this one pointing to that.

  18. MeadowLark says:

    FYI Drew… I will not buy any new crockpots now that they come with those wimpy new lids. They are quite light and always let out too much moisture. I loved the old, heavy duty lids. Just my two cents. Don’t know if anybody else has noticed it.

    • You’re completely right, I make chicken stock in my new(ish) crock pot, and the water level definitely does down after a day or two on low.

  19. I decided to make this today. It just has that “Sunday Dinner” look about it.

    Everything is prepped and in the crock pot. Should be ready in about 6 hours.

  20. MeadowLark, I just saw one today where the lid snaps on so you can transport it without it falling open. Should work at least as well as a heavy lid.

    Terry, I wish more people still did “Sunday dinner”.

  21. It was excellent! I prepared it exactly as you explained, and added apple sauce and crescent rolls to round out the meal. It certainly hit the spot and pleased the crowd. I hope everyone gives this one a try.

    The pork heated up more quickly than expected, so I did hit the dreaded 160 mark (actually a bit above), but it was still very tender. Thanks for the recipe… this one is a keeper.

  22. Terry, that’s great. But you know, I think I’m going to have to go back and add a note about the cooking temperature on newer slow cookers. Thanks for the feedback.

  23. MeadowLark says:

    Weird. I saw the same thing today (about an hour before I saw your post) and bought it. I read and re-read and triple-read before I bought it to see about cooking with the snaps in place. This morning I was just heading out the door with something in the pot and I glanced at the second page and it says “DO NOT COOK WITH LID CLAMPED IN PLACE”. Sigh… I am hoping the rubber gasket will at least keep the water from pooling outside the crockpot. And thanks for the heads up on the temperatures. Interesting.

  24. Well, so much for that idea. Rubber gasket? That doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that’s going to last and be passed down to your kids, the way I got a bunch of my kitchen stuff. Well, I got it from my wife’s great-aunt, but it was handed down.

  25. Brads Pork Tenderloin says:

    Looks very good!!

    Here is a different spin on a slow cooker pork tenderloin Brads Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin I made this for Christmas dinner and my entire family couldn’t get enough of it…

  26. Brad, that looks really good. I’ve got to find a good recipe for making my own onion soup mix. It keeps showing up in recipes, but I just can’t bring myself to use it after reading the ingredients.

  27. Brads Pork Tenderloin says:

    Drew your absolutely right! the ingredients are a little intimidating unfortunately I cannot ignore all the great recipes using it…. If you find a decent alternative PLEASE let me know :)

  28. Oh, I will. And it can’t start with “three beef bouillon cubes”. That’s the exact same stiff, just pressed into a little square.

  29. I don’t usually like pork, but I made this for my husband…I ate nearly a whole loin by myself!! The pork was so tender and the gravy kicked butt! Thanks for the recipe and I’ve already passed the link around!

  30. Evy, glad you liked it. I hope you left some of it for your husband. :-)

  31. well, that night I think he did eat ‘some’ (he works late)but by the next day, it was gone…I even ate the leftovers. I told him, “You should have eaten more!” LOL

  32. Anonymous says:

    I don’t eat meat, but my stepsons don’t think it’s a meal without meat. So, I bought pork tenderloins on sale and then went to the web to figure out what to do with them. The instructions were easy to follow and my family loved the recipe. Thanks!

  33. I’m glad it worked. For me just about the hardest thing to do is make something that I don’t like for people who do.

  34. I stumbled across your site this past weekend when I was scouring the Interweb for slow cooker recipes to try out on a behemoth pork tenderloin my mother so kindly gave me. As soon as I read yours, I knew I’d lit on the one for me–simple ingredient list full of things that either grew in the ground or wandered about on their own legs, and not the slightest mention of any “mix,” “seasoning packet,” or “Cream of —- Soup.” Needless to say and no doubt owing to your excellent instructions, my attempt at your recipe turned out perfectly.

    Thanks and keep the good food coming!

  35. David, I think you just gave me a new phrase for what I cook with: “It grew on the ground or wandered around.” I’m going to start using that.

  36. ChriSpenceRachel says:

    This sounds fantastic!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  37. Mr. Kime,

    Considering a crock pot/slow cooker with two pieces (the internal one in which you place your foodstuffs and an exterior one which does the heating), can I follow your prep directions right up until you turn on the slow cooker, and just place the internal piece in the fridge (covered, of course) overnight? I ask because all that prep work in the morning before going to work/school seems like a bit much–for my mornings, anyways!

    A second question if I may: I'm considering buying a slow cooker with a built-in meat probe. The design is such that when the cooker probe has reached your pre-programmed temperature (either on low or high), it will automatically switch to a "warming" setting. What is your opinion of such a crock pot? It seems to me optimal for a recipe such as this, but I'm terribly unawares and would like your expert and seasoned opinion.

    Thank you much for your blog, and especially for your time.

  38. Prepping it the night before is a great idea. I know what you mean about having busy mornings.

    As for the crock pot with the meat probe, I've never seen that but it sounds like a great idea. It's also interesting that it has a lower "warming" setting. I've mentioned before how they "Hi" and "Low" settings on newer pots are much higher than they used to be. I'd love to get one with a really low "low" setting.

  39. Have you ever made this with just the pork & onions, no potatoes? I would like to make a different potato recipe.

  40. I just did one with carrots and onions, but no potatoes. It came out fine.

  41. Cookware comes in cast iron pans, tetsubin, Dutch ovens, fryers, plates and grills Potjie carrier and woks.
    People with iron deficiency may not even benefit from this. These kitchen utensils are also recommended for people with anemia, but risky for those diagnosed with problems of excess iron.

  42. I have two “crock’ style slow cookers but for dishes like this I use an enameled cast iron dutch oven sitting on an electric skillet as a heat source. That lets me to the browning, etc. on the stovetop then move the dutch oven onto the skillet, which I set to Simmer. I have a Zojirushi like this and use a 6 qt. round dutch oven but any combo that fits should work. I got this idea from the new slow cookers that use metal cooking vessels so you can brown in them. Before I tried it I suspected that the way this setup heats the dutch oven only at the base while the sides are surrounded by room air might result in too much heat loss but it works great. Also, the heavy iron lid does a good job of trapping moisture inside (although sometimes I use a sheet of foil between the base and lid, which works even better. Obviously, the whole dutch oven/lid will reach about 200 degrees so care is advised if you have small kids (or tend to grab things without thinking).

  43. Jeff, I agree that the Dutch might produce a slightly better result, but the crock pot is super convenient. I hadn’t thought of putting it on an electric skillet though. I’ll have to borrow my father-in-law’s the next time I make this and give that a try. Thanks for the tip.

  44. I don’t know that it’s any better Drew; it’s just a little more convenient to brown in the same vessel and one less pot to clean. And, if you’re making gravy you can finish it on the stovetop in the dutch oven so it’s two less pots to clean. I also like the heat characteristics of iron but I have to admit that the typical heavy slow cooker crock does a good job, too. BTW, I realized after I hit Post Comment that I should have said this only works with regular cast iron and enameled cast iron dutch ovens, not the “camp” style. I haven’t tried it with one of the “camp” style ovens but I’m pretty sure those little feet won’t transfer heat very effectively. One other slight advantage to this setup is the ability to control the heat setting more precisely than the Hi/Lo or Hi/Med/Lo most slow cookers offer. That said, this is probably not a real advantage, just something else the “engineer as cook” can fiddle with (and possibly ruin the food). :-)

    • Do your instructions mean that I should cook the pork for 6-8 hours on the old Lo setting of 160 or the new Low setting of 190? Im actually cooking it as we speak. I guess I should have posed this question before! Thanks for any reply.

  45. Stephen, different slow cookers vary by so much that any times are really a general suggestion. You’ve just got to learn how yours does it. And it depends on how full you make it, too, because most of them don’t have a thermostat. Which means Lo is a certain number of watts, and Hi is a different number of watts. It’s not like your oven where you set a temperature and that’s what it goes to. Put less in a slow cooker and it will get hotter.

  46. Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m going to try it, tonight…I have a hungry Marine in the house who might appreciate this when he gets home from work. We just got stationed over here in Okinawa and are realizing that, without all the easy access to fast food, we *gasp* really need to start cooking! Not to mention how unhealthy all that stuff is…

    I come from a long line of excellent hillbilly cooks — all of which I’ve learned nothing from because I had no interest in cooking forever. I’m ready to learn now that I have a hungry family of my own. Thanks for giving me a head start with something quick and easy that I think not only the husband will love, but the kids, too. I’m excited to give it a try…but nervous. I’m one of those people that can screw up the simplest of recipes…Yikes.

  47. Kelly, I hear that all the time, that people didn’t think they wanted to cook until they were taking care of their own family. I plan on teaching my girls that they can pick what we have for dinner any night they want to make it. You want steak and asparagus? I’ll buy it, you grill it. (And yes, that’s what they’ll probably be asking for.)

  48. Since this was one of the recipes included in this month’s (inaugural!) recipe card mailing, I tried this for the first time tonight. It was delicious. And, unfortunately, I inadvertently cooked it far past the temperature you recommended, but it was still very moist and good.

    I also appreciate the easy gravy instructions. I’ve made many pan sauces, but I’ve never been able to make a good gravy from roast drippings – until tonight. Thank you for your clear instructions; they were easy to follow and the gravy was very good.

    ‘Can’t wait to try the other recipes for this month!

  49. You know a recipe is good when you’ve been getting comments (and responding to them!) for a year and a half. I already had my loin browned and in the crockpot last night, ready to throw in the cooker this morning, when I thought I would look for some ideas to make it a little different this time. Turns out we do a lot of the same things.
    I always cut a big onion thickly and lay on the bottom, and I always brown first also. I make a rub that I sprinkle on before browning and dump the rest in the pot with some water to cook in. I don’t measure exactly, just dump some paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cumin, thyme and rosemary in a ziploc bag and shake it to mix.
    I never added potatoes because I thought they would be beyond mush after cooking for 8 hours, I will have to try that.
    And I’m definitely making the gravy this time! Thanks for the suggestion.

  50. Shyla, I’d never measure anything if I weren’t going to publish the recipe. Which means I’m almost never starting from a recipe, but rather doing it on-the-fly and keeping track of what I did.

  51. I stumbled upon this recipe yesterday and I made it today. My family LOVED it! We ate it all!!! Thank you for sharing :)

  52. Sandy Phelps says:

    Please e-mail your pork fried rice receipe. I would like to try it this weekend.
    Thank you.

  53. Wow! this was so great! I loved the clear instuctions and pictures!! The gravy at the end is a MUST it was the best gravy I have ever had!
    Thanks so much! I purchased the port without knowing what to do with it, so this was a lifesaver!
    I did this on a Sunday but feel confident to just leave it and go to work in the week too now.

  54. I tried out this recipe today. I just wanted to say that it was Amazing.
    I made it for my family, and my parents and siblings as well. I have a family full of picky eaters and after eating this meal they were in agreement that it was “Heaven on a plate”
    I did do things just a little bit differently however. I used Celery in place of carrots because I have carrot allergies. I cooked the roast on high for 1 hour and then low for 4 hours and it was falling apart!!
    Thanks for this amazing recipe. I look forward to trying out more recipes from you!

  55. I know some of you don’t care if your gravy has lumps, but one solution to thickening up broth to make gravy w/o lumps is to use dried potatoes. Works great and no lumps! Thanks for the recipe and all the other insights!

  56. Linda Edelmann says:

    I really enjoyed this recipe. It was well written and photographed and I also enjoyed her humor! I’m an old fashioned cook but I have a slow cooker, just afraid to leave it on while I’m at work. I have two puppies, I know they can’t reach it but so afraid the house will catch on fire with them in it. How stupid, huh???? My slow cooker is new and the best. Has all the settings, keep warm, turn off, etc. I need to step outside the box and try it on the weekend when I’m home! Thanks for the great idea, I always thought pork tenderloin had to be done on the grill! :) Linda from Florida

  57. I have a pork loin here, have never made one before so I did a quick Google search which led me straight to you. This is *exactly* what I needed for a busy holiday weekend! My crockpot is happily doing it’s job and I’m headed out to the beach with my family, looking forward to dinner being ready when we return.

    Thanks so much!

  58. Thanks for this wonderful recipe, fun-t0-read blog, and great pictures! I make a delicious beef pot roast fairly often that my family loves, but I wanted to try something different so I bought a pork loin and found this recipe right away. It’s cooking as I type and I can’t wait to serve it to my family tonight!

  59. Thank you! Yours was the first link – after doing a Google search. Starting my pork loin right now. I am usually a dumper (aka put the meat straight into the crock pot) – but for you and for today, I will brown it first! =)

  60. Thanks so much for this! It is my ‘go to’ crockpot pork recipe and I have cooked it many times now. This was my first try at a pan gravy and I was amazed at how good it was!

  61. How does your assailant feel about tweety?

  62. What a fabulous site! Yes, move the ice cream maker and bring out the crock pot. I use mine constantly, even in summer. Your roast looks beautiful! Love the site Drew. Nice to see a man in the kitchen for a change! :)
    My brother always says men cook better than women. Well, he can cook better than me, as can my husband, so I’m outnumbered here!
    Keep cooking! Looks great.

  63. A little late on this, but why not put the onions in the crockpot, wrapped up in cheesecloth? You can do it with herbs in slow cooking stocks, etc & that’ll save you time with picky kids 😀

    • Hey, that’s not a bad idea. But I’m still trying to convince the kids they actually do like onions — they eat them in stuff all the time, so they clearly like the flavor, they just think they don’t like them.

  64. Sarah Honeyman says:

    Drew — I’ve never heard of you before, but I happened upon this recipe as I looked for a great dish for my husband during football later today. I’ve never actually LAUGHED OUT LOUD while reading a recipe before. You’re a flippin genius and just my style, and you can bet I’ll be buying your book, AND telling my 50 closest fellow-mom friends about how funny you are.

    PS. this recipe also looks incredibly delicious and fun. That’s – perhaps – the most important point. Thanks for making my day and I’m truly looking forward to searching your expertise more.

    PPS. — plus, your pics are gorgeous, — hard to do with food!

    Signed, Sarah

  65. I was wondering what the size of each tenderloin. I have one that is 4.5 lbs and I was wondering if that changed the cooking times.

    • The magic of a crock pot is that you can leave it on low for a really long time before anything gets overcooked. The first time you try a new recipe, get it in early so you can turn it down if it’s done. Start late and you can’t do much to speed it up if it’s not done when you want it.

  66. Hi Drew. Just a question, If I am cooking on low how long should I cook for 8 or 10 hours?? Also when would I bring the pork up to the top of the veggies.. after how long?

    I super excited to make this….

    • np, you could go for 8 or 10 and I expect it would be pretty close to the same either way. Just make sure you leave the lid on so you don’t keep losing steam and drying it out.

      Leave the pork on the bottom long enough to flavor the water — a couple of hours — then pull it up so the veggies can get down in it and cook.

  67. I made this for tonight’s dinner! I’m very excited about it, it smells great! The only thing I changed was using some olive oil instead of bacon fat because I didn’t have any and then to deglaze the pan I used 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup water. Can’t wait for it to finish cooking!

    • Stumbled on your site while looking for recipes for crock pot pork tenderloin and what a great recipe! No exotic ingredients-just good food and I’m a “make from scratch” cook as well and probably old enough to be everyone’s “grandma.” (The good one, not the scary one.) Since I didn’t have any bacon grease, I just fried up a few slices. I deglazed the pot after browning with water and some Pinot and ….it smelled great while cooking. (I put the bacon pieces in the pot.) Thanks for your tips….I use to “cheat” by using Gravy Master/Kitchen Bouquet to make the meat look, well, more “presentable” before putting it in the crock pot.
      Never again. (Wag finger!) Your observations regarding crock pot temperatures/timing is right on-use a thermometer….no more over-cooked pork: It’s tender, not falling apart. Also thanks for your tip regarding herbs/spices: I think that’s why my younger friends aren’t impressed with the flavor as they add their herbs/spices immediately when placing the meat/veggies in the crock pot-and then wonder why they can’t taste the subtle flavor of the seasonings. I put a bay leaf in while cooking and added my additional herbs in the pot in the last half to hr. and some additional in the gravy-which, BTW is perfect as long as you follow the directions. Who gives a shyte about a few lumps as long as the “lumps” are cooked thoroughly? Let’s not get all OCD about gravy. (Yeah, mine’s smooth, but I’ve been making gravy from scratch forever….you learn to “eyeball” it after awhile.)
      Great recipe, great pictures, common sense and excellent results! Thanks from an old grandma.
      “Real Food For Real People.” I’ll be visiting your site now as my primary “go-to” for recipes when I’m looking for something a bit different and just as good if not better than this old grandma’s… well as “cooking tips.” Again, many thanks!

  68. Oh indeed. You “got it right.” The biggest challenge I have is showing my younger friends how to make something/anything because I don’t have an “exact” recipe or a particular technique that works every time. Sometimes you have to improvise. So I’ve learned to have them come over and watch/participate while I’m cooking/baking whether it’s a pie or a soup. They’ll say, “HOW did you make this?” and I try to explain and they want to know “How much of this or that?” I dunno. Cooking/baking is a participatory experience and learning to overcome your fear seems to be a major factor. I understand this-food isn’t cheap and our tastes are as unique as we are.
    It seems to me we have to be absolutely fearless and inquisitive when we have a “disaster.” Just like life in general, it teaches us something. “Lumpy” gravy isn’t the end of the world-I’ll show you how to “rehabilitate” it. Our food is a reflection of “us” (apparently) but just like food, some days are better than others. We learn by our mistakes and “disasters” whether they’re in the kitchen or life in general. :) When we learn how NOT to take it all so seriously and know we’re gonna have many opportunities to “Get It Right,” we see the kitchen as an opportunity, not a “room of oppression/fear/anxiety” etc. Cooking is not analogous to standing in line waiting for our turn in prostration at the “guillotine:” It’s an adventure to be exploited, not an exercise in self-beration/anxiety or “Getting It Right” the first time or the “x” time.
    No wonder so many people buy the stuff in boxes etc. I get not having time and the innate convenience. But it never tastes the same and it really doesn’t take a whole bunch of effort to peel a potato. Or buy some herbs/spices. Maybe not all at once but a little at a time-money’s tight.
    OK, I’ll take my soap box and leave you all in peace.
    Again, many thanks. Convenience food surely has a place in our busy lives. But a crock pot is a great example of an appliance that allows us to cook like grandma while we’re at work, taking care of our busy families etc.-without a whole lot of effort or “stuff” (ingredients) that we can’t even pronounce never mind comprehend.

  69. Cheryl West says:

    I love love love this recipe! Thank you for sharing. As much as I love the recipe, I love your sense of humor! If you have not published a cook book yet, you must!

  70. Cheryl West says:

    PS, I pinned this to my Pinterest so you will get a million hits on this I’m sure! ♥

  71. Thanks for the great recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  72. Chelsea says:

    So I kind of made the abridged version of this recipe… just browned the pork with salt and pepper, deglazed the pan with chicken broth, and added more broth to the crock pot (plus some garlic, of course!).
    It’s sitting in there on low for x-hours, and will hopefully be an easy meal for my kitchen-illiterate boyfriend to serve up to my picky toddlers. I figure he can microwave one of those steam-ready bags of veggies to go with it. I’m going to try to leave him instructions for the gravy… we’ll see how it goes :)
    Some day, when I’ll have time to put more effort into the prep-process, I’ll follow the recipe better. Either way, thank you for letting me know that tenderloin can be done in the crock pot! I always do it in the oven, but with the 80 degree days we’ve been having… I think that’d be considered child abuse.

  73. I’m making this recipe again. My hubby loved it so much last time and we had enough left overs to make Cuban ham and pork loin sandwhiches for lunch the next day. We had a smaller Pork Loin, and only one so I cooked it for 3 hours to perfection!! This was a few months back and we are doing it again today. Thanks for the recipe.

  74. Drew,
    I don’t want to sound like a lush here, but could you substitute white wine for some of the water in this recipe?

  75. Dan Bielski says:

    Trying this for the first time today. Just found this site and already love it! I have a smaller, round crock pot though, not the full size oval one, so I had to go with a single center cut pork loin filet. Good thing I keep plenty of bacon fat around! Thanks for the recipe!

  76. I read this recipe and fell in love!! I have mine in the crock pot now! I know its going to be wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  77. Wow! A web site that actually shows you just how cook one of these things, and there’s no room for error! Although I personally feel that adding that little bit of water works much better with my great grandson’s blue sippy cup! Again, thanks so much.

  78. I only have one small tenderloin (1-2lbs max). Can I still use this recipe or is it too small and will shrivel up or dry out?


  79. Thanks for a recipe that does not involve an “envelope of dry onion soup mix”. Doesn’t cut it when your guests have food allergies. Real ingredients are much easier to deal with.

  80. im 21 and mother of 3. i love cooking(especially old fashion cooking) and I did this recipe….followed it all the way through. turn out fantastic! The pictures were a big help…

  81. I made this today and came home from work smelling it. It was so delicious!! My family loved it!! Thanks for sharing!

  82. I’m going to give this a go today. Fortunately, I have that very same Tigger mug so I’m in luck! The only change ill make is to keep it Gluten free! Thanks!!!

  83. Lisa Macha says:

    Thanks for the great recipe. I omitted the onions because my kids don’t like them either. Instead, I deglazed the pan with sweet white wine, reduced it to burn off the alcohol, and then added water. In the crock pot I added fresh Thyme and Rosemary. With the carrots, my changes gave it enough sweet and herb kick without the onions. The ju was fine just reduced and strained without adding flour.

  84. I am so trying this tonight! It sounds amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! Also, I pinned you to my page as well =) I hope more people stumble upon this one!

  85. I found your site while looking for a crockpot recipe for pork tenderloin. I am not a cook, and meat especially intimidates me.

    This was easy to prepare and is cooking as I type. Already smells wonderful!

    Thanks for the great post which pretty much makes it foolproof. If the gravy turns out well, my husband is going to be very impressed!

  86. Just read this recipe and it looks delicious. Just wondering…if you did cut up the onions really small and they “melted” into the broth, then maybe you wouldn’t have to separate them out for your kids?
    All the best!

  87. Hi from Canada. It’s -22 Celsius today (-6 Fahrenheit ) and I’m going to prepare this recipe. I also disregarded a website that suggested using a pack of onion soup mix. After working all day it will be great to come home to a ready made supper. I look forward to getting to know this cooking site better. I’ll be back.

  88. Thank you! I’m trying this tomorrow:)

  89. I was looking for a pork tenderloin recipe that was simple but good, I’m so glad I found your site. I made this yesterday and it was delicious and the gravy turned out perfect. I really liked how you did the step by step with pictures instructions that was great. Thank you :)

  90. Hi
    I have read your steps to cook the pork..Have a question. If i cook it on low do i still pull the pork on top of the vegetables and if so at what time.( like after 5 hours or 6 hours ) And with it cooking on low do i still add enough water to almost the top of the vegetables. thanks for the step by step very informative. liz

    • Slow cookers don’t require a ton of precision. The important thing is not what happens with the meat, really; it’s that the veggies need to be in the water for a couple of hours. Which means yes to the amount of water being the same. For the timing? Like I said, make sure they have a few hours to finish.

  91. I was perusing the web trying to find a recipe that my autistic, meat hating son would try. I was at it for 3 hours then he saw this one. He said his mouth started watering. I just want to thank you for actually having a step by step process that includes pictures. My son likes to help cook and he really likes to have pictures showing him what to do. I also wanted to thank you for not using an envelope mix.

    • Two things keep surprising me:

      1. What it is that’s going to interest a kid.

      2. The fact that so many parents never think that cooking might be one of those things.

  92. Drew, I stumbled across your recipe today while looking for one I’d seen somewhere else; yours looks yummy, so I’m trying it now.

    Cover me, I’m goin’ in!!

  93. Gabrielle Rodriques says:

    Hi! My name is Gabrielle and I’m 9 and I made this dish with my mom before church today. We over cooked it .And the gravy was a little bland so we add stuff .So Maybe next time we will put it on low .maybe next time we will make someone check it .But it won’t be easy.

    • Gabrielle,

      I’m sorry to hear it didn’t turn out right on your first try.

      Adding stuff to the gravy was exactly the right thing to do, though. A recipe is just a suggestion for how to start, you can always change it so that you like it better.

      I hope your next try comes out just the way you like it. Don’t give up!


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