Flavorful Pulled Pork Loin With Savory Chipotle Dry Rub (1)

Flavorful Pulled Pork Loin With Savory Chipotle Dry Rub

Cooks in 1 Hour 30 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

This easy pulled pork recipe has a savory chipotle BBQ-rub that makes a delicious pork sandwich or entree with a side of Boston baked beans. For best results, we slow roast the pork loin in the oven wrapped in foil. The juices are added back to the pulled pork for added savoriness. Your taste buds will thank you for making this simple recipe. Make it up for your next down-home dinner that the entire family will love. 

When working on a ‘ secret ‘ savory recipe, I was inspired to make this dry rub pork tenderloin. The fun of recipe development is coming up with flavorful ideas like this pulled pork rub. The rub makes a generous blend of spices with brown sugar that thoroughly coats your pork tenderloin, ensuring it is succulent and delicious. You will quickly become a big fan of this dry-rubbed pork. It is so simple. 

The chipotle pepper powder in the rub gives the barbecue a smoky flavor, making for good food. Slow cooking in the oven ensures that your pulled pork is nice and juicy. 

finished pull pork up close (2)

Why you will love this pulled pork tenderloin. 

It’s super easy. All you need is the spicy blend for the rub and some foil with a baking sheet. It’s so simple it practically makes itself. 

Versatility. Pulled pork is an excellent ingredient for pork sandwiches and a tasty dinner idea. It can be used in various ways, making leftovers a bonus for salads, burgers, tacos, or quesadillas. 

It’s lower fat. This pulled pork has less fat because we use a pork tenderloin instead of the standard pork shoulder. Yet the meat is still tender and juicy when we seal the steam with foil.

Let’s get started on the pulled pork rub.

We begin this recipe with a good dry rub. It’s a lot of spice, so you will need a fair bit of the paprika for this recipe as it takes a half cup! We then can add the remaining spices: onion powder, chipotle pepper powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, dry mustard, garlic powder, and chili powder. The last ingredient is the brown sugar. Adding brown sugar to a dry rub for pulled pork contributes to a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and smoky flavors. It also aids in developing a flavorful crust during the cooking process.

Next, you will need to line a baking sheet with tin foil. There has been debate back and forth for years about what side is best to turn inwards. It doesn’t make any difference in this recipe, but you can do what you feel would be the right choice. Lay the pork tenderloin on the tin foil. Using a clean hand, rub the mixed spice blend into the pork. Be sure to coat the sides of the pork as well as the end caps, and don’t worry if some fall off the foil. It will get picked up by the meat juices as it cooks. 

Wrap the pork tightly in the tin foil and leave it on the baking sheet to collect any juice that may escape your excellent wrapping job. Place the tray in a low-moderate preheated oven of 325 degrees Fahrenheit. We let it cook for an hour and a half at this temperature. You will want to open the foil carefully when it’s finished. There’s going to be a lot of trapped steam inside. 

The pork’s internal temperature should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a meat thermometer to test the pork. If you don’t have one, cut the meat open in the thickest portion. There should be little to no pink remaining. If it’s done, transfer it to a cutting board for pulling. 

To pull pork, use two regular forks. One holds the meat in place while you use a dragging action to pull the meat away from itself. Place the pulled pork meat into a heat-resistant container. Carefully lift the foil with the remaining juices from the roasting process and add it back to the meat. Stir the juice into the meat to thoroughly coat it, making it extra juicy. 

This is not a saucy pulled pork recipe, but it does make the best-pulled pork for sandwiches and meals where you are serving other saucy ingredients and sides. 

You may wonder if you can also make this in the slow cooker. Adding apple cider vinegar (one cup) to the pot to keep the meat from sticking while roasting. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours or until the pork is fork-tender and quickly falls apart. You can use apple juice if you don’t have apple cider vinegar. Remember that using apple juice instead of apple cider vinegar will result in less acidity and higher sweetness. Which would work well if you prefer sweeter pulled pork.


Pork Tenderloin: This is a leaner cut of meat that doesn’t have much fat. That makes it easier to dry out. You must ensure the foil is wrapped well to seal in all the juices. 

Paprika: This red powdered spice adds to the color of the finished dish. We use regular red paprika from the grocery aisle. This version of paprika has its own earthy and peppery undertone, adding to the complexity of the rub. 

Brown Sugar: This ingredient serves several purposes in the rub. It adds a little sweetness to the rub and caramelizes the outside of the pork. Brown sugar also helps tenderize the cut, making it incredibly succulent.

Onion Powder contains natural sugars and, when added to the dry rub, contributes a subtle sweetness to the meat. This balances out the rub’s other savory or spicy components, creating a more well-rounded flavor profile.

Chipotle Powder: If you’re unfamiliar with chipotle powder, it’s a spiced powder made from smoked and dried jalapeño peppers. It adds earthiness, smoky flavor, and a little heat to the spice blend. 

Cayenne: It is hot, so we use it moderately in our rub for added heat and to create a well-rounded taste for the finished dish. 

Cumin: Its versatile nature allows it to harmonize with different flavors of the spice blend. It’s been described as having a warm, comforting, and slightly citrusy scent, making the aroma of your pulled pork heavenly. 

Dry Mustard: Works in harmony with the other spices to create a delicious recipe that is both tender and has a depth of flavor that you will love. 

Garlic Powder: Adds a savory and slightly sweet taste that adds depth to the dry rub and enhances the meat’s overall flavor profile. 

Chili Powder: When you think of chili powder, you likely conjure images of heat-infused bean stew. This spice adds heat to the dish and enhances the rich color of the meat exterior. 

served pulled pork with sides

Substitutions and Add-Ins For The Pork 

Pork Tenderloin: Typically, pulled pork isn’t made with pork tenderloin. If you would rather, you can use boneless pork shoulder, a fattier meat cut. Alternatively, you can use a pork picnic roast, as that cut has a generous amount of fat and connective tissue that renders well for this recipe. If you feel like switching the cut of meat, try using the rub to make a pulled chicken or beef.

Paprika: This spice can be altered with smoked paprika or omitted altogether. If you omit it, remember that it will alter the end flavor. It will also significantly reduce the amount of dry rub created, as it’s the ingredient with the most considerable portion in the mixture. 

Brown Sugar: While this may be the cost-effective sugar, you can substitute it for maple sugar to bring some maple flavor to your smokey pulled pork. If you don’t want to break the bank, another choice would be coconut sugar, which is also brown in color and imparts a caramel-like flavor. Still, trying to think these will work? Try making your pulled pork with date sugar, which is made from dried dates. Remember, each alteration to the rub recipe will change the outcome of the flavor and possibly the cook. 

Onion Powder: This powdered ingredient blends well with the other spices; however, it’s not something everyone has in their pantry. You can add sliced onions to your pork package before cooking. Remove and discard before using the remaining juices in the meat. Or you can use onion salt. Remember that salt draws moisture out, so use it sparingly. 

Chipotle Powder: Try swapping this delicious spice for ancho chili powder from dried poblano peppers. You can also use a dash of liquid smoke in the rub for that smokiness. Remember, when adding wet ingredients to the rub, you will want to be sure they are blended well to avoid overly flavorful hot spots. 

Cayenne Pepper: Aleppo pepper can be substituted for cayenne in this recipe. Other choices include black, white, or crushed red chili flakes. Remember to adjust the quantities of these substitutes based on your taste preferences and the heat level you want in your dry rub.

CuminThis one is hard to replicate, but if you don’t have any, you can use garam masala powder in the rub, which includes cumin in its blend. 

Dry Mustard: This yellow powder adds a uniqueness to the recipe that is hard to replicate. Because the recipe calls for a full tablespoon, I would add a bit of Dijon mustard to the rub as a substitute. Remember, though, that certain dijons are more robust than others and fairly vinegary, making them have their own zest. So, you must experiment to find a suitable amount to add. Going with the idea that less is more is always a good idea. 

Garlic Powder: You can use fresh pressed garlic or dry garlic flakes. Another choice is garlic salt, but like the onion salt, it may want to pull the moisture out of the meat more than you want, so use it sparingly. 

Chili Powder: If you don’t have chili powder, you can use a bit more of the cumin, garlic, and onion powders to bring out the same or similar flavor. Homemade chili powders are often made with those ingredients and paprika. And since we already have enough paprika, we can keep it the same. 

If you want a saucier pulled pork, try it in different ways, like adding some BBQ sauce or an adobo sauce for an added kick. 

Expert Tips and Serving and Storing Suggestions:

Tip #1: Thoroughly coat the meat with the dry rub. That means working it into any folds and being confident the end caps are also covered. This ensures you have well-seasoned the pork and put enough dry rub on to create a good-flavored crust.

Tip #2: Tightly wrap the foil. I mean, no holes allowed. It needs to be sealed well because the tenderloin has little fat, so all the extra juice that comes out must be reserved to add to it when it’s finished cooking. 

Tip #3: Add the juices back into the meat after pulling. The meat is flavorful, but the added juices will help keep it moist. 

Serving this pulled meat in different ways is as simple as pairing it with some baked beans, a side of pickled red onion, and a bread bun. You can also serve it as a pulled pork burger with French fries. If you have any leftovers, make some pork tacos the next day. There are many great leftover pork recipes to explore with your tasty pulled pork. You decide the best way to use it for your family. 

To store unused portions of meat, let it cool thoroughly and put it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to three to four days. Or, if you know you won’t be using the remainder right away, put it in containers in the freezer for two months. 

Disclaimer: Altering the original recipe with any cooking suggestions provided will result in a different outcome.

Flavorful Pulled Pork Loin With Savory Chipotle Dry Rub

Flavorful Pulled Pork Loin With Savory Chipotle Dry Rub

Amber Bondar
This easy pulled pork tenderloin recipe has a savory chipotle dry rub. It's an easy weekday dinner idea that practically makes itself. Full of great flavor the pulled pork can be served on its own as a burger or in a taco. Any way you serve it your family will love the impactful flavor it has.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 8


  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 measuring cup
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 2 Forks
  • Meat Thermometer Optional
  • Cutting board


  • 2 Small Pork Tenderloin Or One Pork Shoulder Roast
  • ½ Cup Paprika
  • Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Dry Mustard
  • ¼ Cup Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder


  • Cover a baking sheet with foil. Lay pork tenderloin on it.
  • Preheat oven to 325℉.
  • In a small bowl measure the dry rub ingredients and blend well.
  • Dump the dry rub onto the pork and work it in well with clean hands.
  • Wrap the tin foil around the pork so that it's not got any open gaps.
  • Place the pork in the preheated oven for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
  • Internal temperature should be 165℉. If unsure cut open thickest portion. Meat should be showing no pink.
  • Remove meat from the packet being careful not to get burned on the steam.
  • On a cutting board use two forks to rip meat apart. One will hold meat in place the other is used in a pulling direction to tear it.
  • Add the pulled pork to a bowl and pour the remaining juices from the foil over it.
  • Stir well to blend the reserved juices in and serve while hot.
Keyword meat entree, pork loin, pork tenderloin, pulled pork, slow roasted

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipe Rating