Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

"Pork is rubbed with spices, slow cooked in ale until tender and tossed with a tangy sauce."

The best pulled pork, in my humble opinion, is a perfect balance between sweet, spicy and tangy. You need that hint of sweet to balance the tang and you need spice to keep things interesting. This spicy slow cookerpulled pork satisfies those hankerings for me. It requires simple ingredients and the best part about it, there's very little hands-on time! A definite win-win for those who are time-strapped.

 Pork shoulder and pork loin roast require a low and slow cook before becoming perfectly tender. Slow cooking is a great way to tenderize lean or tough meats. Using these cuts of pork can mean less fat and cholesterol and as an added bonus, they usually cost less. The slow cooker also allows flavors to meld and harmonize. That's why the spice rub on this pork is so important, and with a long cooking time that involves a good soaking in beer, the pork will be so jam-packed with flavor that you won't want to wait the full 8 hours for it to be done.

Food Safety Tip: You will be handling raw pork in this recipe, so remember to keep your kitchen safe. Use a separate cutting board  for the raw pork. After handling raw pork, wash your hands thoroughly in hot, soapy water. And don't forget those countertops! They also need a hot, soapy scrub when you're done. 

Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Recipe by Sara Haas, RDN, LDN


  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 12 fl oz. beer
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 12 whole-wheat rolls
  • 1 jalapeño, washed, sliced
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, mustard, salt and pepper. Rub mixture all over the pork.
  2. Place sliced onions in the bottom of a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Place pork on top of onions. Pour beer into the bottom of the slow cooker, around the sides of the pork. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Serve on rolls with fresh cilantro leaves and slices of jalapeño.
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Sara Haas
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and co-author of the Fertility Foods Cookbook. Read her blog, The Cooking RD, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.