Deliciously tender Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled pork made with a homemade spice rub, your favorite barbecue sauce, and jalapenos. A great spin on classic pulled pork sandwiches with some added heat!
If you are a big fan of BBQ pork, then this recipe will wake up your taste buds! Spicy pulled pork, slow-cooked for hours in the crockpot, topped with bbq sauce and jalapenos- talk about yum! This pork recipe is perfect on buns or in a crunchy lettuce wrap.
Pulled pork is one of my favorite comfort foods and a dish I love to make during the summer to feed a crowd. Paired with some healthy slaw, corn on the cob, and watermelon slices - it's easily one of my favorite ways to cook pork!
Recently to mix things up, I have been making a spicy version of pulled pork using whole jalapenos. Adding them whole to the slow cooker will impart a subtle spicy flavor to the sauce without becoming overly spicy.
If you love spice like me, you can add some of the cooked jalapenos to your dish to kick up the heat. If you love a smokey flavor and spice, you could use chipotle peppers in this recipe instead of the jalapenos. But, be careful because they pack a lot more heat!
Key Ingredients For Spicy Pulled Pork
When you use whole ingredients and your own combination of spices, you might be surprised how much better your pulled pork tastes. Here is some more information about what I used to make this spicy pulled pork.
- Pork Tenderloin: You can use either a pork tenderloin or a pork loin. Pork loins tend to be larger, so they will feed more people.
- Onion: Use either white, yellow, or red onion. You don't need to cut it up very small, just in quarters.
- Garlic Cloves: Use as much garlic as you like. For me, it was about 4 garlic cloves. Just slice them, you don't have to mince or press them.
- Jalapenos: The more jalapenos you use, the spicier it will be. You don't have to slice them, just throw them in the slow cooker whole.
- Spices: I created my own combination of spices. For this pulled pork, I used paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin, and pepper. If you don't really like the taste of garlic, you can leave the garlic powder out.
- Barbecue Sauce: If you are trying to minimize how much sugar you eat, you can use sugar-free BBQ sauce. Just use your favorite flavor.
- Chicken Broth: Low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock is the best choice since all the other spices have so much flavor - you don't need the extra salt.
Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make this spicy pulled pork, take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Recipe Tips And Ideas
Follow these tips to make sure that this pulled pork turns out tender and spicy every single time!
- Rub the spices into the pork before you place it in the slow cooker. This will help them really seep into the meat.
- After it is fully cooked, shred the pulled pork with two forks. To speed up the shredding process, you can use an electric mixer instead.
- Let the pork rest in the slow cooker with the lid off after you shred it. This will help the sauce to thicken up.
What To Serve With Pulled Pork
This is a classic recipe that you can just place on some rolls and serve for dinner. It will taste amazing with vegetable pasta salad. That salad recipe will also feed a crowd with minimal effort. Another side salad that will taste perfect with the spicy pork is this southwest quinoa salad. It has black beans, corn, and avocado!
One of my favorite finger foods to serve at BBQs is crispy baked zucchini. It's crispy and so fun to munch on. This is also delicious with some easy grilled onions, corn on the cob, or roasted potatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers...
The best way to store leftover pulled pork is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to cover it with plenty of sauce since the pork tends to dry out in the fridge. It will stay fresh for about 5 days.
If you want to make it milder, I suggest using fewer jalapenos. On the flip side, if you want it to be spicier, use more jalapenos, or add some habaneros into the slow cooker with it.
Yes, this is the perfect recipe to use as a freezer meal. Just cook and shred the pulled pork and then let cool down completely. Put all the meat in a freezer-safe food storage bag. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you reheat it, you might have to add a little more chicken broth and/or BBQ sauce.
Yes, you can use a different kind of meat besides pork for this recipe. Try it with some chicken breast and make shredded chicken, or use a beef roast and make shredded beef.
However, please note that chicken breast will cook a lot faster than the pork, and the beef might take longer to cook.
Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork
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- 3 lbs. lean pork tenderloin
- 1 onion, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 4 jalapenos, whole
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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