Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork

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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!

257 CALORIES16g CARBS4g FAT37g PROTEIN
9 Comments

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!

Crockpot spicy pulled pork in a bowl with spicy barbecue sauce with sandwiches on the side.

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.

Making pulled pork sandwiches? Serve them with some crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries or Butternut Squash Fries.

Spicy pulled pork sandwich on a sesame seed bun with lettuce.

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.

Crockpot pulled pork in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce in a bowl with buns on the side.
The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork

PREP TIME: 5 Min
COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 5 Min
9 Comments
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Ingredients

USMETRICS
  • 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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Instructions

(Hide Photos)
1

Mix together all of the spices and rub over the pork tenderloin.

Pork tenderloin being coated in a spice rub.
2

Add the onions, garlic, and whole jalapenos to the slow cooker. Place the pork on top. Mix together the barbecue sauce and chicken broth. Pour over the pork.

Onions, jalapenos, pork, and barbecue sauce in a slow cooker to make pulled pork.
3

Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred with two forks and let pork rest in sauce for 30 minutes with the slow cooker open and on low for the sauce to thicken.

Shredded spicy pulled pork in a slow cooker.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 257
Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 111mg
37%
Sodium 969mg
42%
Total Carbohydrate 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 9g
Protein 37g

* 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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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
9 Comments
On Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork
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Victoria
October 16, 2021 - 06:01
Add a Rating:
4
I don't use sugar products so what can I use as replacement for the barbeque sauce?
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Brittany
January 14, 2020 - 10:41
Can you cook this for less time on high and it still be good?
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Rae
February 3, 2020 - 06:38
I did high for 4.5 hrs. 4 hours to cook, 30 mins to sit in the sauce. SUPER GOOD. I also used Chipotle BBQ sauce on this - YUM.
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Victoria
October 16, 2021 - 09:58
Thanks for this info.... I found some chipotle thick salsa w/ no sugar and the time you posted is perfect for me today. Rae, I appreciated seeing I could cook this on high.
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Dean symons
March 22, 2019 - 11:11
Add a Rating:
5
Do you have to cut the fat off before placing in slow cooker?
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Sara G
March 2, 2017 - 07:45
Add a Rating:
5
I made this tonight, and I nailed it, it was amazing. I altered the recipe slightly by adding Frank's Red Hot sauce to the bbq mixture as well, I like things spicy! I highly recommend this recipe. It's lush!
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bert
February 19, 2021 - 18:02
How much Frank's sauce and BBQ sauce in total?
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August 22, 2016 - 10:20
It's definitely a grandma bowl :) I love it too!
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August 22, 2016 - 10:20
Honestly I switch up the brand I buy a lot depending on what's on sale. I really like Dinosaur Barbecue Sauce if you can find it because it is the lowest in terms of calories, sugar, and carbs that I have found - plus it tastes great. I also like Annie's Naturals and the Trader Joe's Bold and Smoky sauce. And the Bone Suckin' Original Barbecue Sauce is a good option as well.
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