There are a lot of different ways you can cook meat but I had never heard of slow-cooking it in a pumpkin. But actually, it makes sense and sounded extremely delicious…so we decided to give it a try after being inspired by the internet. Pumpkins are also quite abundant in Michigan, which makes it very budget-friendly.
I always try to sear meat before slow-cooking to lock in flavor and juices. We have a pretty great set of cast iron pans that are perfect for grilling and frying meat. I also decided to roast the tenderloins in the oven first, mostly to speed up the process. The one downfall of slow-cooking meat is how long you have to wait while salivating over it. I also was unsure of how the pumpkins would hold up over the fire for an extended period (larger pumpkins may actually work better for this reason…?)
As far as the campfire goes, you want to have a good base of coals going before placing your pumpkins atop the grate – you don’t want the food to burn.
This was pretty tasty, I love a good pork tenderloin. As a bonus, we had leftover pumpkin for doggie treats and pumpkin seeds that I ended up baking with my own seasoning mix (sugar, cinnamon, salt, chili powder).
- 6 small pumpkins, or 1-2 large ones
- 2 pork tenderloins
- Seasonings: brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper
- BBQ sauce
- 1/2 stick of butter
- Season pork tenderloins to taste (I used brown sugar, chili pepper, salt, and pepper)
- Sear the pork on all sides in a large pan over medium-high heat
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and transfer pork into roasting pan
- Bake the tenderloins for at least an hour and a half, about 25 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees
- Cut the tops off of each pumpkin – we used ‘mini’ pumpkins due to cost and availability
- Slather butter liberally on the inside of each pumpkin
- Season the insides of the pumpkins – we used brown sugar, chili pepper, and salt
- Place pork into each pumpkin evenly and smother with BBQ sauce
- Place lids back onto pumpkins and cook over a low-burning campfire for atleast another hour
- Serve pork pulled with a side of pumpkin