Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Smoky Pulled Pork Chili

I think the bugs are in cahoots with one another. I think they’re on a mission to scare the living bejeezus out of me. Remember the stink bug that tried to kill me? Well, the other day I had a spider try to do the very same thing. Maybe I’m giving off some pheromone that bugs like. I dunno!

Mr. Spider picked the worst time to scare me. He showed up unannounced in my truck as I was driving to get some lunch the other day. There I was rockin’ out to Awolnation when all of a sudden I see something move in my periphery. I look over and there’s a fury spider crawling on the lip of the door.

That was it, I couldn’t take my eye off of it. I feared it would crawl off of the door and attack me with its spider teeth. I’m sorry, fangs. Spiders have fangs (I looked it up), which, now that I think about it,  sounds more ominous than teeth. I scooted as far way from the thing as I could. By the time I was done scooting, I was smooshed up against the center console with my arms angled across my body so I could continue to drive. I kept one eye on the spider and one eye on the road so I wouldn’t hit the powder blue car in front of me.

What made it worse was the fact that the spider had acrobatic abilities. It could jump! I’m sure you know the breed I’m referring to. They’re the spiders that can bounce in the air like a Jack Russel terrior. Weird!

The smart thing would have been to pull over, but, being on a time constraint, I kept going until I arrived at my lunch destination. By this time, the spider was on my door handle. “Come on! How am I supposed to get out,” I yelled at the spider. Meanwhile, the lucky poor guy parked next to me was staring at me with a puzzled look on his face. “Okay, you win!” I exclaimed, defeated. I did the only thing left to do… I crawled over the center console and let myself out through the passenger side door.

I couldn’t let the spider win, so I walked over to the driver side, opened the door from the outside, and flicked the spider to the ground with the corner of my CD case. “Ha! You lose!”

Are you a chili lover?

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Me, I can take it or leave it. Squirrel, on the other hand, loves it. He starts putting in his request for chili as soon as the weather starts to cool down, and he continues up until the weather starts to warm up.

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I was eating a pulled pork sandwich the other day and said to Squirrel, “You know what would be really good?”

“Huh,” he responds, only half listening as he shovels food into his mouth.

“Pulled pork chili! I’m not a huge fan of chili, but I would eat the heck out of some chili with pulled pork mixed in.”

The mention of pulled pork got his attention. “That sounds really good. You should make that.”

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This chili is no joke! It’s loaded with tender pulled pork that I cooked to juicy perfection in the slow-cooker, smoky chipotle peppers, hearty chunks of onions, green bell peppers, jalapeños, and a melange of smoky spices.

I even added a touch of spicy BBQ sauce. You can’t have pulled pork without it, right? It sounds odd, but it adds a nice contrasting sweetness to the heat. It’s good!

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This is a really simple chili. The slow-cooker does all of the work cooking the pulled pork, so all you have to do is throw everything in a pot and let the mixture simmer for a bit to allow the flavors to come together.

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Smoky Pulled Pork Chili

Yield: 8 servings

Total Time: 5 hours 50 minutes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours 30 minutes


Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 (2.5 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup spicy barbecue sauce (your favorite)
  • 2 tablespoon chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper


Pulled Pork

  1. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper. Place the pork in the bowl of your slow-cooker. Add the chicken stock; cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Cool the pork slightly before shredding. Use two forks to shred the tenderloin. Chop into bite-size pieces, about 1-inch.
  3. Sieve the pork drippings. Set aside.


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, add the red pepper flakes, green pepper, onion, and jalapeños. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, BBQ sauce, chipotle in adobo, and pork drippings. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cayenne worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce.
  4. Cover the mixture and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the shredded pork. Place the lid on the pot, leaving it cracked a bit, and allow to simmer for another hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheddar cheese.
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45 Responses to “Smoky Pulled Pork Chili”

  1. #
    CCU — April 22, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Awwww yuck, I hope this curry also had an insect repellant! And tastes good too :D

    Choc Chip Uru


  2. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — April 22, 2013 at 6:36 am

    *shudder* spiders.
    You showed him.


    • Jennie replied April 22nd, 2013 at 11:47 am



  3. #
    [email protected] & Trinkets — April 22, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Oh my poor Jennie! Spiders are little a-holes. I don’t believe it when people say they’re more afraid of us. I think they’re attracted to fear. They feed on it.

    I’m with Squirrel. I love chili. And this version sound soooooooooo good.


    • Jennie replied April 22nd, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Please, they have fangs. All I have are teeth. More afraid of us–psht! Thanks!


  4. #
    Renee — April 22, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I probably would have wrecked the car. I’m terrified of insects, especially spiders.
    Great idea for the pulled pork chili! I’m always wondering what to do with the extra pulled pork. And both of us love chili. Yum!


    • Jennie replied April 22nd, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Renee, I’m surprised I didn’t. Stupid spider! Thanks.


  5. #
    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen — April 22, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Spiders, ugh. I can’t stand them. I probably would have done the same thing, but with an open window so he had the option to jump out.
    On the other hand, I’m not a HUGE fan of chili, but this sounds really good! I like the added bbq sauce!


    • Jennie replied April 22nd, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Thanks for visiting, Faith. I feared opening the window and having him blow right onto my lap, or something.


  6. #
    Julia — April 22, 2013 at 8:54 am

    You’re a crack up, bugs are no fun at all and now we’re entering gnarly bug season. Your pulled pork chili looks ammmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing and I love your pretty chili pot! I’d like one of my own pretty chili pots with pulled pork chili in it every day of the week! :)


    • Jennie replied April 22nd, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Thanks, Julia! I bought the chili pot from Home Goods. Man, do I love that place. Bugs–ew!


  7. #
    Dan from Plater Talk — April 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Pulled pork chili? – YUM! I can even put up with a pesky bug or two if this is the reward. Love this idea and your blog. Thanks for posting!


    • Jennie replied April 22nd, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Hi Dan! Thanks so much for visiting, and thank you for your lovely comments. Yeah, I suppose enduring a bug or two was worth it :)


  8. #
    Nicole @ Daily Dish Recipes — April 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Oooh! That looks so good and is making me crave Chili. I love that you used pulled pork! Yum!
    P.S. I hate bugs too – not a fan. And I do feel like they are after me… some sort of bug/insect conspiracy ;) lol


    • Jennie replied April 22nd, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Thanks, Nicole! Bugs are not my cup of tea. Yuck!


  9. #
    Kelly H. — April 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    The chili looks delicious! I sympathize with you about the bugs! Especially spiders (unless they’re cute animated ones named Charlotte). Speaking of bugs, we have a 17 year cycle of cicadas hatching soon. (I’m in Northern Virginia, so I’m guessing you might get them in Baltimore too.) This I’m not looking forward to! Chili, however is a different story! I always look forward to chili! : )


  10. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — April 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Ahhh! I hate spiders. So much! But I do love chili! :) And pulled pork! This is a recipe win-win right here for me.


  11. #
    Laura Dembowski — April 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    That is my worst nightmare. I am terrified of all bugs. And this spider could jump?!????? OMG! I don’t know how you didn’t drive off the road. I definitely would have pulled over. The only thing worse is a bee in the car. Flying around, seemingly aiming it’s stinger right at you. It’s the only thing I don’t like about summer. Although, I find bugs in the house year round.


  12. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — April 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I loooove chili and yours looks SO good – awesome pictures! And I’m a spider-hater so your story totally made me shudder, ha!


  13. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Oh my goodness… when spiders come crawlin’ I go hollering into the other room to find my husband! Totally terrified of the little critters. This chili could make me forget about all my fears though!


  14. #
    Terra — April 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    You crack me up! I had a spider crawl out on my visor mirror as I pulled it down for me……..oh my word I screamed so loud, then smashed it….YUCK! This chili sounds AWESOME! I know hubby and I would devour this delicious recipe:-) Hugs, Terra


  15. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — April 22, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Ack!! I would have to pull over and then not ever get in my car again! A big bowl of this chili is a must for recovering from a trauma like this!


  16. #
    Anita at Hungry Couple — April 23, 2013 at 1:23 am

    You’re cracking me up with your killer insect stories. I have serious bug-a-phobia so I totally understand. During warm weather, Brian has learned to live with a certain amount of screaming. :)


  17. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — April 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Your tale of terror scared me! I am the same way. The other day a ladybug tried to attack my eye while on a walk with my dog. Yes, a ladybug is not as scary, but still not awesome. I definitely looked like a crazy person while I was swatting at my face and shouting as I tried to walk my dog. Anyways, I never thought to try a pulled pork chili, genius! It is like these flavors were meant to be together!


    • Kelly H. replied April 23rd, 2013 at 9:34 am

      I like ladybugs, but if one went for my eye I would freak out too! : )


  18. #
    Jenn and Seth — April 23, 2013 at 9:56 am

    i’m madly in love with this pulled pork chili – it sounds absolutely wonderful Jennie!


  19. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — April 23, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I am totally freaking out about the impending cicadas. I’ve never dealt with them as a home owner and those ^!!%$*^&$ better stay outside.

    But anyway, pulled pork! Yes! Love!


  20. #
    Amber @ Mamas Blissful Bites — April 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Love pulled pork but your spider story had me laughing. Thank you!


  21. #
    Susan — April 24, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Spiders freak me out. When we moved into our new apartment there were dead bugs everywhere because no one had lived there for a few months. Open a cabinet, dead bug. Even now occasionally a bug appears. That’s what the dog is for, he eats anything. :-) I can take or leave chili mostly because I don’t like beans. I think I can do this without beans because I love pulled pork and I want this.


  22. #
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie — April 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Omg, I would have totally freaked out! Good thing you were smart and got to your destination safely. Chili? Yes, I love it and your recipe sounds terrific! I love that you added chipotle for a fantastic smoky taste. Your little blue containers are beautiful, thanks for sharing!


  23. #
    shannon @ a periodic table — April 26, 2013 at 7:21 am

    okay…furry spiders are the WORST. and they jump and have fangs? OF COURSE THEY DO, because they obviously need something to make them more terrifying than just having fur and being regular terrifying. You handled much better than i would have, trust me.
    pulled pork in chili! what a brilliant combination (and honestly, so many people that like one also like the other, so putting them together is perfect.) sounds awesome! now it just needs to be cold out and I can make this.


  24. #
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen — April 26, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Your spider story reminds me of a movie where someone (I think it was sandra bullock) drives to the vet with a parrot stuck to her head. You´re hilarious! And this chili is the best idea in a long time. Pulled pork and chili? Fantastic Jennie!


  25. #
    Debbie — September 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I’m not a bug person either but how about the chili? How does it taste is it good or what??


  26. #
    Nooch — January 28, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    This was great, just won a contest at work with a few tweaks to this recipe. More peppers, and pork butt smoked with a good mustard and rub.

    I need a food truck.


  27. #
    Phil R — March 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I am a HUGE fan of this recipe… I have a pellet grill (smoker), and love to smoke the pork shoulder for 10-12 hours, with a generous coating of spices a day or two before I make the chili. I had the same idea about making chili out of pulled pork, and found your recipe. It is absolutely amazing, and easily scalable to reduce the heat. The smokiness of the spices and peppers can not be beat!


    • Jennie replied March 22nd, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Phil!

      I’m totally jealous of your smoker. The thought of that pork shoulder has me drooling. I’m so happy to hear that you loved the recipe. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!


    • Kevin Kinsey replied February 8th, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Wish I’d read this comment a *tad* sooner … I think it might’ve been more popular with diners with maybe one less jalapeno, or leaving that in but skipping the hot sauce … no complaints for the judges, though!  And I am actually liking it *bunches* too!  (going to lunch with me every day this week until it’s gone!!)


  28. #
    Kerry — January 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    The pork was too tough to pull.


    • Jennie replied January 18th, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Kerry! I’m sorry to hear that your pork was tough. Did you cook it on low in the slow cooker for 6 hours? It should have practically fallen apart. 


  29. #
    Kerry — January 18, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I cooked the pork on low for 4 hours, which is what the recipe stated before you edited the recope just now. How can the pork cook for 6 hours when the cooking time still states 5h 50m? Lame.


    • Jennie replied January 18th, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Kerry, I apologize for my error. I’ve been transferring old recipes over to my new recipe template and confused the times. Did you use a pork tenderloin that was larger than what the recipe indicated? I’ve never had an issue with the meat not “pulling” after it cooks. I know some people confuse a tenderloin with a pork loin. That could also be the issue. Let me know. Thanks!


      • Kevin Kinsey replied February 8th, 2016 at 11:43 pm

        The *real* pulled pork is a shoulder/butt roast, held in a “low & slow” smoker for 8 or more hours until the internal temperature is at least 195 degrees (and some people go past 200 with it).  It can sometimes take a LOT more time than that (and it has lots of fat on top and in it that keeps it from drying out — I know someone who’s done one for 20 hours and it was still great).

        A tenderloin is just *part* of the loin, and is quite tender but I think the fat content is lower.  At any rate, unless the internal temp gets up near the figures I quoted above, you’re not gonna get anything like “pullable” … unless you add some liquid.  That would be the reason that Jennie has you put the tenderloin in a crock pot with chicken stock … it’s a “shortcut” method for getting pullable pork without a smoker an all day to get the temp to 195 or greater … :-)

  30. #
    Kevin Kinsey — February 8, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Thanks so much for the recipe, Jennie!   You’re a great gift to the culinary arts (and to Squirrel, too, many thanks).

    1st of 11 chilis and Grand Champion (incl soups, chilis, & desserts) at the “Souper Bowl”, First Baptist Church Oronogo MO, 2/7/2016!


  31. #
    Fred — January 16, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I have made this with the crock pot method and now with my primo grill/smoker using Boston Butt. I love spicy food but have found that the combination of the jalapenos, cayenne, hot sauce and chipotles is taking away from some of the flavor and makes this too spicy. You cannot taste the flavor of the pork and the other spices. I use fire roasted tomatoes as well. In the end I have added a couple of cups of water with tomato paste and another can of tomatoes. I think on my next batch I will cut out the hot sauce, and jalapenos and maybe the cayenne and just use the chipotles. You can always add a little heat later if needed.

    Thanks for the recipe!



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