This slow-cooker meal is so easy to throw together. The balsamic sauce is simple but oh so flavorful. Originally published October 27, 2013.

sliced brown sugar balsamic pork tenderloin on a silicone baking mat.
Table of Contents
  1. You will love this Crockpot Pork Tenderloin
  2. Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin ingredients
  3. Crockpot Pork Tenderloin substitutions and additions
  4. How to cook Pork Tenderloin in a Crock Pot 
  5. How to serve Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
  6. How to store Crockpot Tenderloin
  7. Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin in Crock Pot FAQs
  8. Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin (Crockpot Recipe) Recipe

Have you ever dumped dirty dishwater all over your kitchen floor because you forgot to empty out the cup that you were trying to place upside down in the dishwasher? Yeah. Me neither. I never do that at least once a week.

I have carpet in my kitchen. It’s blue. We just moved into this house a couple months ago, and when I would tell people about it I would say, “We love it! It’s awesome! Except there is carpet in the kitchen. Guess you can’t have everything.”

WRONG.

brown sugar balsamic pork tenderloin on a white serving platter with a fork.

The 70s were onto something, people. Carpet in the kitchen is a lazy person’s dream. You can’t see anything. I’m not claiming that it is cleaner; quite the contrary. The splatter from the bacon you’re frying just seeps right into that carpet. But hey, you don’t have to clean it up, so it’s like it never happened right? I’m sure you are all just dying to come over and eat in my grease-splattered kitchen now.

Let me tell you the best part though: I can walk in my socks and they never get wet. Hugest winter pet peeve. Never again!

tender brown sugar balsamic pork on a baking mat.

Of course, this is me talking before I’ve had an Incident. You know, when Charlotte spills an entire cup of milk someday. Or when I drop an entire casserole. Or when my freezer dies and an entire half gallon of melted chocolate ice cream spills onto the carpet. (That happened to my mom when she was a kid. Needless to say, she’s never had carpet in her kitchen as an adult.)

Lately though, I’m mourning my lack of linoleum because of potty training. (It’s happening. Soon. She is ready. I just don’t know if I’m ready.) There is literally no place in my house where an accident will not have carpet clean-up involved, which totally sucks.

You will love this Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

On that lovely note, let’s talk about today’s recipe. It’s a goodie. It’s been making the internet rounds, so you may have seen it, but there is a reason it’s everywhere. It’s freakishly good, and even freakishlier easy. Rub pork with some spices. Throw it in the crock pot. Make a 5 ingredient glaze, then broil a couple minutes. Make sure you don’t broil the meat for too long, otherwise it will dry out. This is a perfect weeknight meal. We ate this with a simple salad and some oven roasted potatoes, but I bet it would be good on some buns with coleslaw, or even in some tacos.

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin ingredients

Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!

  • Pork tenderloin (2 lbs.)
  • Rubbed sage
  • Garlic
  • Brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Soy sauce

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin substitutions and additions

If you don’t have rubbed sage on hand, you can just leave it out. The crock pot pork is pretty basic and the balsamic glaze gives it all the flavor it needs. And if you’ve run out of soy sauce, you can use a little worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, or teriyaki sauce instead. 

Looking for something a little different? The other version of this recipe is my Asian Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze. It uses the same technique of cooking the pork in the crockpot before finishing it off in the oven. Just a few simple Asian pantry ingredients transform it into the perfect dish to serve with jasmine rice and some stir fried veggies. 

How to cook Pork Tenderloin in a Crock Pot 

Here’s a quick overview of how to make this recipe. Full instructions can be found in the recipe card below!

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Place the tenderloin in the slow cooker and rub the seasonings over the pork.
  2. Pour ½ cup water in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, 
  3. Preheat your broiler. While the roast is finishing up in the slow cooker and your broiler heats up, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan: brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce.
  4. Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil, or use a silpat. Remove the pork from the crock pot and place on the lined baking sheet. Brush a generous amount of the glaze on the pork. Put your oven rack as high as it will go, and broil the pork for 1 or 2 minutes, until bubbly and caramelized. Don’t walk away! Repeat 2 to 3 more times until it is as crusty as you want it.

How long to cook Pork Tenderloin in Crock Pot

Pork tenderloin can dry out if you overcook it. It’s a little easier to dry out than other meats because it’s a very lean cut. I recommend temping the meat at 6 hours; if it has reached 145, then you’re good to go. If you’re not ready to eat yet, you can turn your crockpot to warm until you are ready to glaze and broil it. 

How to serve Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

This balsamic pork tenderloin is the perfect main dish. I like to serve it with some cauliflower rice and a salad and call it done. Here are some more sides to pair it with!

Sauteed Carrots and Shallots with Thyme << busy day? You can make these ahead of time and reheat them when you’re ready to eat.

Easy Roasted Broccoli Recipe << this broccoli is my absolute favorite.

Marinated Asian Cucumber Salad with Rice Vinegar << light, fresh, and super easy.

How to Make Instant Pot Brown Rice << if you have an instant pot this is just too fast!

Slow Cooker Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes << a second slow cooker? You’ll basically feel like a superhero making your entire dinner ahead of time.  

a white serving platter with glazed slow cooker pork tenderloin.

How to store Crockpot Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days. The crust won’t stay crispy but it’s still got tons of flavor. It is a good one for meal prepping with some rice and frozen veggies (like in the big bag in the freezer section at Costco). 

I don’t recommend freezing this pork, though you technically can and it will be safe to eat. It’s just that you won’t get to experience that amazing crispy crust and the pork won’t maintain the ideal texture. 

Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin in Crock Pot FAQs

Why is my pork loin dry in the crock pot?

When you’re cooking pork tenderloin in the crockpot, you want to avoid overcooking it. Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat. After you’ve cooked it for 6 hours, you may want to temp it to make sure you’re not going way overboard. Once the pork hits 145 degrees, you’re done! Cooking it for a longer time is not going to benefit it. 

Should I flip a pork loin in the crock pot?

No, you don’t need to flip a pork tenderloin when you’re cooking it in the crockpot. The crock pot will cook the pork evenly. The purpose of flipping meat is generally to make sure that all sides are properly browned. In this recipe, we’re simply adding a glaze to the cooked pork and broiling it for a crispy top. 

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

Yes, but just a little. Meat never needs to be covered in liquid in the slow cooker. The heat is low enough that the juices from the meat you’re cooking will keep it from burning. We’re adding a small amount of liquid here (½ cup) because the pork tenderloin is very, very lean and doesn’t release as much fat or liquid as other meats.

More pork recipes to love!

Asian Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze (Slow Cooker) << this is a very similar recipe but with Asian flavors!

Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork (Lechon Asado) << one of the most popular recipes on my blog!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut-Lime Sauce << another Asian inspired pork tenderloin!

BBQ Pork Tenderloin Wraps << ready so fast, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Easy Pork Ramen Recipe (Slow Cooker) << a takeout favorite without leaving home.

Pulled Pork Recipe (Slow Cooker or Oven Roasted) << the best pulled pork ever!

Shredded Pork Pan Fried Noodles from The Woks of Life

Filipino Pork Barbecue from Kawaling Pinoy

Air Fryer Pork Chops from Savory Nothings

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Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin (Crockpot Recipe)

4.77 from 13 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 hours 10 minutes
Total: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
This slow-cooker meal is so easy to throw together. The balsamic sauce is simple but oh so flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup water

For the Glaze:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic.
  • Place the tenderloin in the slow cooker. Rub the seasonings over the pork.
  • Pour ½ cup water in the slow cooker, on the edge so that you don’t wash off all the spices you just rubbed on.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, the preheat your broiler.
  • While the roast is finishing up in the slow cooker and your broiler heats up, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan: brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce.
  • Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil, or use a silpat. Remove the pork from the crock pot and place on the lined baking sheet. Brush a generous amount of the glaze on the pork. Put your oven rack as high as it will go, and broil the pork for 1 or 2 minutes, until bubbly and caramelized. Don’t walk away! Repeat 2 to 3 more times until it is as crusty as you want it. I wouldn’t go many more times than this though, or your pork will dry out.
  • Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Notes

Source: Laura’s Sweet Spot, which is now The Green Forks

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 617mg | Potassium: 647mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 270
Keyword: Balsamic, Brown Sugar, Crockpot, pork, pork tenderloin, slow cooker
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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Comments

  1. This is the best pork tenderloin I have EVER made!  I adapted the recipe for my instant pot and I had dinner prepared in less than 25 minutes including the broiling step!  Passed this on to my co-workers and they are all raving about it.  Keep up the great work Karen!!!

    1. Ooh I’ll have to try this in my instant pot next time, great idea Jackie! Thanks for sharing my blog with your co workers! :)

  2. Made this for Sunday night dinner.  Trying to make a new dish or two each week lately to mix things up and saw this in my email feed and it sounded easy and tasty… and I was not disappointed.   My 17 yo son, who is pretty picky and normally doesn’t like pork, LOVED it.  My hubby also thought it was very tasty.  The sauce makes it all come together.  I made a double batch which I felt was a great idea… still probably could have made a bit more.  Having this as a slow cooker meal was great because it’s super hot right now in San Diego and this didn’t heat up the kitchen… and was super no fuss cooking.  Thanks for this recipe… it’ll be rotated into what we eat from now on.  Now I gotta try some of your other recipes!

    1. I’m totally with you Julie, Slow cooking in the summer is a great idea! Way better than heating up the whole house. I’m so glad that the family loved the pork! Thanks so much for your review!

  3. Would it be done in the same amount of time using a frozen tenderloin?! I’m thinking to make this tonight. Yay for having all the ingredients!

    1. Hey Carla! I love it when I have all the ingredients! You know I haven’t tested this frozen. I would plan for it to take a little longer, a couple hours at least for it to thaw out. Let me know how it goes!

      1. So I ended up defrosting it before I put it in the crockpot. I was just nervous putting it in frozen as opposed to not. And my husband said to make sure I thank you for this recipe as he REALLY loved it. Actually both of us did so THANK YOU! and one more question, were you supposed to shred the meat? I did to get more glaze on more meat and because the highest my oven rack could go was right up against the broiler (no room for the whole tenderloin)

  4. Karen,
    I just Mande this and we love it! Yes u know I thought no the sage s what makes the park so good and when it’s combined with the balsamic glaze it’s goes all gourmet on your arse!
    Thanks for sharing! Now I have your twists and this recipe for some new tasty treats up in here.
    C

      1. “all gourmet on your arse” I really hope that wasn’t part of your typo Christine, I’ll laughing my arse off over here. haha!! I’m glad you liked it!

  5. I’m making this tomorrow and we looooove balsamic vinegar! I am going dream about about pork tenderloins tonight. Wait… ha!

  6. Your recipe calls for sage,,,,,,,I am thinking the measurement is for dried sage as opposed to fresh….correct?

    Thank You for sharing

  7. Am I the only one commenting about the carpet? I have to tell you I suffered from oh so many comments about kitchen carpet. I can tell you, it might be seen as old fashioned but I had it for 48 years before giving in to everyone and getting it replaced with expensive up-to-date flooring. Which is HARD, COLD, AND MUCH HARDER TO KEEP CLEAN than carpet (flat, tight and easily shampooed when necessary). I loved walking on it barefoot, And in the mid-west winter it was warm and cozy. We kept it for 2 or 3 carpet changes (pattern etc. to keep up with style. I would go back to it in a second. Hang in there.

    1. Haha! I love that you loved your carpet Annabelle! That was a rental that we lived in, but we moved last year to a new home. And we tore out all the carpet in the dining and living room and put in a nice hardwood-looking laminate :) I do live in California, so cold floors aren’t as much of an issue. I will say though, that was one of the perks of having carpet in the kitchen :)

  8. I made this yesterday and was super impressed with myself! (Or you, really – ha!) I’ll definitely be putting this into the dinner rotation. =)

    1. Haha isn’t that the best feeling Kristen? When you get a recipe right and you’re just like, yeah, I’m awesome. :) So glad you liked it!

  9. This is probably a ridiculously silly question, but… 6-8 hours in the crockpot – how will I know if it’s done after 6 hours or after 8 hours? Or 7!?!?! Or 7 1/2!?! Ahhhhhh!!!!

    HELP!!!

    – Heidi (who needs help)

    1. Hey Heidi! That’s the beauty of slow cookers. If you’re hungry at 6 hours, eat up! If you’re hungry at 8 hours, eat then! So forgiving. It may be a little more tender the longer you leave it in, but it’s safe to eat at the lowest cook time provided. Enjoy!

  10. My oven has two broiler settings-high and low. Do you know which one to use? I assume high, but don’t want to over cook it!

    1. Hey Brooke! I always use the high setting! Honestly I have no idea what the low setting is for! I should google that. :) Enjoy!

  11. i just came across your blog today via pinterest, and i have bookmarked several recipes to try already, thanks! (i love pinterest but the truth is that 99% of what i pin i completely forget about roughly ten minutes later, haha.)

    anyway, i know this is an old post but i had to laugh – we moved into this apartment about a year and a half ago, and you know what we say about it? we love it, oh, except for the blue carpet in the kitchen. true story! (it actually continues into our bathroom, but somewhere along the way someone stuck vinyl “tile” stickers to it…voila! not.) you are so right though – it does hide almost everything. probably because it absorbs everything, which is flippin’ gross, yet somehow dirty carpet is a little better than dirty LOOKING carpet, right? lol.

    of course, having to drag out the vacuum each time i spill rice or get grated cheese all over the floor (which really you have to let dry before you can clean it up otherwise it just gets mooshed in) is not fun…but i have also dropped RAW EGGS on that carpet…TWICE. yes, really. i scraped up what i could with a butter knife and paper towel, and then took a sponge to it. and then a few days later… stain mysteriously disappears. (i.e. soaks fully into carpet.) horrible! but…good? haha. suffice it to say i feel your pain. maybe by now you’ve finally got “real” kitchen floors! i will continue to drop hints to my landlord. (the rest of our apartment is actually beautiful hardwoods, which kind of makes the old gross carpet stand out even more!)

    1. YOU FEEL MY PAIN Stephanie!!! Finally someone who gets it!! Haha. I am cracking up thinking about you scooping up that stupid egg. I so did that. We moved again a few months ago so no more carpet in the kitchen. But we bought an old lady’s house. And she has WHITE CARPET in the DINING ROOM. Because the carpet gods hate me I guess. Fortunately this time we bought the house so we are ripping it out. Literally, this week. (I just posted a “before” picture on instagram check it out!) I’m beyond excited! Thanks for stopping by!

      PS that is horribly ironic that the rest of your apartment is hardwood. WTH??? and vinyl tile stickers??? NOOOO

      1. omg…WHITE? i saw your pic and like another commenter i can’t believe it looks as good as it does – i think just by nature of it existing i’d probably drop a glass of cranberry juice on it day 1. but yay home owning! definite perks and good luck with the upgrade, i can’t wait to see! (i bet you can’t either, haha.)

        & yeah, my landlord actually used to live in our unit, and he refinished the other floors by hand – like, literally by hand, not with a machine, and he’s not super into the idea of taking on the rest of the project i guess. plus, the blue carpet is like…that industrial stuff? and i think it’s glued to the floor underneath so you can’t just rip it out. but he said if we stayed more than a year he would “think about it.” and yes, the bathroom is extra hilarious (not) because there’s a clawfoot tub in there…and no one could get under it so that half is still carpet. to delineate between the stickers-over-carpet and just-plain-carpet, a piece of plastic vinyl trim was nailgunned to the floor. a masterpiece!

  12. This was amazing! My two kids loved it and so did my husband and I. The broiler step is key, it is worth the extra work and really is not difficult. Thanks for great recipe!

    1. Hey Jenny! I just found this when I googled, “Ground sage is made by grinding the entire leaf into a fine powder like any powdered herb. Rubbed sage is made by rubbing dried whole sage leaves to create a light and fluffy mix. Rubbed sage is lighter and less concentrated so a teaspoon of rubbed sage will be less intense than a teaspoon of ground sage.” Honestly though, any kind of sage you add to this recipe is going to be good. If you like sage, add a lot. If you’re not a huge fan, don’t add a ton :) Enjoy!

    1. Hey Jessica! My favorite thing to serve with this is roasted potatoes! Or mashed would be good. Then I usually do a green salad and/or a green veggie like asparagus or green beans. Enjoy!!

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