A year or so ago, Papa Bear found a recipe for a rub and said he wanted to try it with pork shoulder cooked in the crock pot.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it has turned out to be one of our family's favorite meals--even the girls like it!  

Papa Bear doesn't shy away from new recipes and new ways of doing things.  I have to say that I was a bit hesitant when he said he was using soda in the crock pot, but the rub and slow cooking makes the pork shoulder tender and delicious!

Spicy Chili Rub
Note:  This recipe makes 1 cup of rub seasoning.

Supplies Needed: measuring spoons, Ziploc bag or jar with a lid, slow cooker, cutting board, meat thermometer, fork


For the rub:
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground oregano
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper

For the pork:
  • 1 pork shoulder
  • 1/2 - 1 Liter of Ginger ale or Root Beer (depends on the size of your crock pot)
  • 1/4 cup of Spicy Chili Rub Seasoning Mix

What to do:
  1. Measure all of the ingredients for the rub into a Ziploc bag or jar and shake to mix.
  2. Unwrap the pork. 
  3. Use 1/4 cup of the rub and generously cover it all over with the spice mixture, rubbing it in as you go.  
  4. Place pork into a cold crock pot, fat side down.
  5. Pour Ginger ale in the crock pot around the pork until it is liquid just about covers the pork shoulder.
  6. Turn the crock pot on low for 4-6 hours.
  7. When the pork is done (always test with a meat thermometer) take it out to rest on a cutting board.
  8. After the pork has rested, shred it and serve it.

There are many ways to serve this pork:
  • As a sandwich on buns with your favorite BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
  • By itself on plate with mashed potatoes and use the juices in the crock pot as gravy.
  • Make pork tacos or burritos.

*This pork is so yummy that I have forgotten to take pictures every time Papa Bear has made it!  We dive right in so fast that there's no time to photograph it!

Even though this is called a spicy chili rub, it's not really that spicy at all--at least when the pork is cooked in the crock pot.  The girls love it and call it "pork on a fork."  I was actually surprised how much the girls enjoyed it just plain with some of the cooking juices on it.  We have used the meat in a variety of ways and usually have plenty left over for lunches and to freeze for future meals.

  1. Children can help with this recipe by helping to measure the ingredients and by rubbing the spice mixture onto the pork.  Sweet Girl thought it was so neat that she got to rub the spices in!
  2. I like that the spices are not overwhelming and that you can use the meat in a variety of ways.
  3. Make sure you place the pork fat side down so the fat will cook better and add flavor to the juices in the crock pot.
  4. We tried root beer this last time and preferred the flavor the ginger ale gives the meat and juices.  It didn't taste bad, we just thought the ginger ale taste better.
  5. Be prepared to shred all of the pork and divide it up the night you cook it.  I put it in smaller portions in the freezer so it will defrost quicker.
  6. Of course, if you want it more spicy, you can increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add your own spicy seasonings.  I think this recipe has a good balance though.
  7. This rub could be used on other meats.  We haven't tried it yet, but I bet this rub on chicken or pork chops cooked on the grill would be delicious!

**All photos and text are property of Angela Pounders and can not be distributed without permission.  

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