Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chili

by Erin

Take your favorite classic chili recipe and add some BBQ pork. This slightly sweet and tangy slow cooker BBQ pork chili has everything you love about chili with a little flair.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chili 2
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“Where are you from?” is always a loaded question for me. While I was born in Texas, I grew up in upstate NY and would therefore seem like the obvious answer to said question. However since graduating from highschool and leaving for college, I have not lived in upstate New York for the past 12 years. First I went to college in Ohio, grad school in Tennessee (for the better part of a decade), and then serendipitously returned to Ohio. As a result I don’t exactly feel like I’m from Rochester, NY anymore. Although I don’t feel like I’m from Tennessee or Ohio either, leaving me with an identity crisis at times. They all have been home to me and have definitely shaped who I am.

Take my eating habits for example, they can be correlated to where I have lived over the years. Growing up I was incredibly picky: just meat and cheese tacos, no cheese on my burgers and ketchup only, pasta sauce on the side, and virtually no green foods of any kind. Then I went to college and after a year of eating the same things over and over I became bored and finally started eating salad and broccoli (GASP). But my diet still consisted heavily of pasta with meat sauce and a side of vegetables, or stir frys. Then I went to grad school and started following blogs, getting more into cooking, and subsequently starting my own blog. And then the flood gates opened.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chili 1

To this day it still amazes my parents at times the things I will eat, spanning to things that they themselves would not eat (mostly spicy foods) or at least have not thought of before. Granted I still avoid seafood and don’t like mushrooms or pickles, but I’ve come a long way. To commemorate this journey I took a recipe that I have loved my entire life, my dad’s chili, and jazzed it up with something new. Namely BBQ pork chili in honor of the last place I lived which was Tennessee in all it’s BBQ gloriousness.

In all honesty I didn’t really change much from the original recipe but those small changes are definitely apparent. Instead of steak I used pork loin which was seasoning with BBQ dry rub, slow cooked in root beer, and then added a little bit of BBQ sauce to the chili itself earning the name of BBQ pork chili. And that gooey wonderfulness sitting on the plate beside the bowl of chili? That’s pumpkin corn spoon bread!

Have your taste buds evolved over the years? What foods did you used to hate but now love?

Best Chili Recipes

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chili 3

One year ago: Bagel Quiche

Two years ago: Easy Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge

Three years ago: Guacamole Seasoning

Four years ago: Breakfast Quesadillas


Yield: 8 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 3 lb. lean cut of pork shoulder, butt, or loin, fat trimmed
  • 3 Tbsp dry rub BBQ seasoning
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle beer (or root beer for a slightly sweeter taste)
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans chili beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, plus more for topping if desired
  • Favorite toppings


  1. Rub pork with BBQ rub on all sides. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Lightly coat the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick spray and place the onions inside and top with the pork. Cover with beer (may need to add a little water) and cook on low for 4-6 hours *.
  3. Once cooked strain out the solids, cut the pork into small cubes, and return onion and pork to the slow cooker.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except beans, pepper and cheese. Thoroughly mix and continue to cook on low, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours or until meat almost falls apart and mixture is thick.
  5. Add beans, pepper and cheese. Cook for another 15 minutes. Serve with additional cheese on top or your favorite toppings.


* Time may vary depending on the size of your slow cooker. I used a 2 quart and it took 4 hours.

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Source: Adapted from my dad’s chili and my Cherry Chipotle BBQ Pork Nachos.

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Zainab October 22, 2015 - 6:04 am

I feel you…I have lived everywhere (including three continents) the past 12 years and it is hard to say where “home” is. OK…slow cooker got me here and the BBQ is just to seal the deal. I’ll have to try this with chicken though since I can’t eat pork.

spiffycookie October 22, 2015 - 7:58 am

Wow three continents!? And sad day about no pork. Beef or chicken would still taste great I am sure (I definitely know beef will since that’s what I normally use in this recipe without BBQ).

Susan October 19, 2015 - 7:29 pm

This sounds really intriguing – except for the tomato soup. I just don’t do canned soup any more (probably some kind of heresy, but I don’t). So I’d probably just add more tomatoes, and perhaps some plain Greek yogurt in place of the soup.

spiffycookie October 20, 2015 - 7:59 am

Fair enough, you could definitely try adding some tomato puree and Greek yogurt in place of the soup. I would add a tiny but of honey or some sweetener since soup tends to have a little sweetness.

Susan October 20, 2015 - 10:25 am

Thanks for the heads up about the honey. The minute I read that I realized you were right, I remembered the sweet taste of the soup.


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