Spicy Pulled Pork

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A plateful of BBQ yum…

Now here’s one of the best reasons in the world for owning a slow cooker. Spicy pulled pork may be the perfect “throw it into the crock pot” BBQ meal. A cut of pork butt, a little beer and BBQ sauce, and a handful of common spice rack spices are all you need. Just start early in the day as you’ll need a good six hours all-in before you’re ready to enjoy this deliciousness.

We call for cayenne pepper powder in the recipe, but depending on the BBQ sauce you choose, use your best judgement. If you use a sweet BBQ sauce with no heat (like the traditional Sweet Baby Ray’s), cayenne provides a nice pop to get this recipe to a proper heat to label it “spicy”. If you choose an already spicy BBQ sauce, cayenne may be too much heat to pair with it. If that’s the case, you can opt for a mild paprika to provide a little extra simmer without the sweat. 

Spicy Pulled Pork

Spicy Pulled Pork

3.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 10 minutes


  • 2 pound bone-in pork butt
  • 1 bottle brown ale or bock beer 12 ounces, Newcastle works
  • 1 cup sweet BBQ sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper divided
  • 2 teaspoons cumin divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper divided


  • Using a fork, poke the pork butt on all sides, creating a small amount of holes around the meat. Place the pork butt in the slow cooker.
  • Add the brown ale to the slow cooker, along with a teaspoon of each of the spices (cayenne, cumin, salt, and black pepper).
  • Cover the slow cooker, then turn it on low for approximately 5 to 6 hours. The meat should be tender when done. 
  • Remove the liquid from the slow cooker, keeping one cup of the liquid to the side for later use.
  • Pull the pork using two forks, shredding it completely.
  • Add the sweet BBQ sauce, the cup of liquid, and the remaining cumin, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Taste for spiciness - if more spiciness is desired, add the second teaspoon of cayenne and stir to combine.
  • Cover again and cook on low for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve on buns or simply on a plate with sides.


If the BBQ sauce is already spicy, you can opt for paprika powder instead of cayenne pepper powder in the recipe. 
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on April 24, 2020 to include new content.
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