Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe

Welcome to an exquisite journey of flavors. This sweet and spicy slow-cooked barbacoa pork is a delightful fusion of sweet, spicy, and savory that will tantalize your taste buds. The succulent pork slowly cooked to perfection and the unique blend of spices make this dish irresistibly delicious. Prepare to have your senses enthralled.

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe
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Photos of Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe

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For this recipe, you might need to pick up some ingredients that are not commonly found in most homes. The most unique would be the chipotle chile in adobo sauce. This can usually be found in the Latin foods section of your supermarket. This gives the dish its spicy kick and unique smoky flavor. Another ingredient to note is Coke Zero. It lends a surprising depth of flavor and sweetness to the pork.

Ingredients for Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork

Pork loin roast: This is the main star of the dish. Choose a cut that's lean yet has some fat to ensure the meat doesn't dry out as it cooks.

Salt and pepper: Essential seasonings to bring out the flavor of the pork.

Garlic powder: Adds a hint of warmth and depth to the marinade.

Coke Zero: This adds unique sweetness and helps tenderize the pork.

Brown sugar: Enhances the sweetness to balance out the spicy elements of the dish.

Green chilies: They give an enticing heat to the barbacoa.

Tomato sauce: This forms the base of the barbacoa sauce, bringing a tangy note.

Chipotle chile in adobo sauce: It provides a smoky spiciness that's key to the flavor profile of barbacoa.

Cumin: Cumin adds a warm and earthy flavor.

Chipotle chili powder: If you want to add an extra smoky heat, this is your ingredient.

One reader, Johann Salas says:

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This sweet and spicy slow-cooked barbacoa pork recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are out of this world, and the meat is so tender and juicy. It's the perfect balance of sweet and heat. I highly recommend trying this recipe - it's a guaranteed hit!

Johann Salas

Techniques Required for Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe

Marinating the pork: In this step, you will season the pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then marinate it in a mixture of Coke Zero and brown sugar for a few hours or overnight. This helps to infuse the meat with flavor and tenderize it.

Shredding the pork: After cooking the marinated pork in the crockpot, you will need to remove it and shred it using two forks. This step is essential for achieving the desired texture and ensuring the meat is easy to mix with the sauce.

Combining the sauce: You will combine Coke Zero, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chile, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, and brown sugar in the crockpot. This step is crucial for creating the sweet and spicy flavor profile of the barbacoa pork.

Adjusting seasoning: After combining the shredded pork with the sauce, it's important to taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. This ensures the dish is perfectly seasoned before the final cooking stage.

How To Make Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe

Marinated with brown sugar, cola, chipotle chilies, green chilies, cumin, and spices, this tasty and tender barbacoa pork is slow-cooked to perfection.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 5 hours
Marinate Time: 2 hours
Total: 7 hours 5 minutes



For the Marinade:

  • 2.5lbspork loin roast,all fat trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 6ozCoke zero
  • ¼cupbrown sugar,unpacked
  • ¼cupwater

For Step Two:

  • 8ozCoke zero
  • 6ozsliced green chilies,(1 can)
  • 8oztomato sauce
  • 1chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • tspgarlic powder
  • tspcumin
  • tspchipotle chili powder,to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • cupbrown sugar,unpacked


  1. Season pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder then place in the crockpot.

  2. Add 6 ounces of coke and ¼ cup of brown sugar. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours or overnight turning meat at least once while marinating.

  3. Remove crock from the refrigerator. Add water, and cook on High for about 3 to 4 hours or until it shreds easily.

  4. Remove pork from crock pot and discard any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with two forks.

  5. In the crockpot, combine 8 ounces of coke, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chile, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, and remaining brown sugar.

  6. Put shredded pork back in the crockpot and combine with sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on High for about 1½ hours.


  • Calories: 288.69kcal
  • Fat: 14.44g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.98g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6.39g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.59g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.16g
  • Fiber: 1.03g
  • Sugar: 13.70g
  • Protein: 23.25g
  • Cholesterol: 71.44mg
  • Sodium: 501.95mg
  • Calcium: 41.39mg
  • Potassium: 573.33mg
  • Iron: 1.61mg
  • Vitamin A: 61.59µg
  • Vitamin C: 48.48mg

Technique Tip for Making Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork

When shredding the pork, it's best to let it cool slightly before handling to avoid burns. However, don't let it cool completely as warm meat shreds more easily than cold. Using two forks, pull in opposite directions to create thin strands. This technique not only gives the meat a great texture but also allows it to absorb more of the flavorful sauce.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Barbacoa Pork

Prep ahead: Marinate the pork the night before and store it in the refrigerator. This will allow the flavors to develop and save time on the day of cooking.

Use a slow cooker: Utilize a slow cooker to cook the pork. This allows for hands-off cooking and ensures the meat becomes tender and flavorful without needing constant attention.

Shredding shortcuts: Use a stand mixer to quickly shred the cooked pork. Place the cooked pork in the mixer bowl and use the paddle attachment on low speed to shred the meat efficiently.

Double the batch: Make a larger batch and freeze the extra portions for future use. This way, you can have a delicious meal ready to go without the need for extensive preparation.

Substitute Ingredients For Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe

  • pork loin roast - Substitute with beef chuck roast: Beef chuck roast is a suitable substitute for pork loin roast as it has a similar texture and can withstand long, slow cooking times without becoming tough.

  • coke zero - Substitute with root beer: Root beer can be used as a substitute for coke zero to provide a sweet and slightly spicy flavor to the dish.

  • brown sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a substitute for brown sugar to add sweetness and depth of flavor to the marinade.

  • green chilies - Substitute with jalapeños: Jalapeños can be used as a substitute for green chilies to provide a similar level of heat and flavor to the dish.

  • chipotle chile in adobo sauce - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can be used as a substitute for chipotle chile in adobo sauce to provide a smoky and slightly spicy flavor to the dish.

  • cumin - Substitute with coriander: Coriander can be used as a substitute for cumin to provide a similar earthy and slightly citrusy flavor to the dish.

  • chipotle chili powder - Substitute with ancho chili powder: Ancho chili powder can be used as a substitute for chipotle chili powder to provide a mild, smoky flavor to the dish.

Presentation Ideas for Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the barbacoa pork, focus on creating a visually appealing plate. Use fresh herbs and edible flowers as garnishes to add color and freshness to the dish.

  2. Incorporate texture: Add a contrasting element to the dish by serving the barbacoa pork with a side of crispy tortilla strips. This will provide a delightful crunch and elevate the overall dining experience.

  3. Utilize elegant serving ware: Opt for earthenware plates or handcrafted pottery to showcase the rustic and authentic nature of the dish, while also adding a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

  4. Emphasize the sauce: Drizzle the rich and flavorful barbacoa sauce around the plate using a squeeze bottle to create an artistic and appetizing presentation. This will highlight the essence of the dish and entice the diners.

  5. Incorporate height: Consider stacking the shredded barbacoa pork on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes or creamy polenta to create a visually striking presentation that adds dimension to the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Barbacoa Pork

  • Crockpot: A crockpot is a slow cooker that is perfect for slow-cooking the barbacoa pork to tender perfection.
  • Forks: You will need two forks to shred the cooked pork easily.
  • Measuring cups: Measuring cups are essential for accurately measuring the ingredients such as brown sugar, water, and coke.
  • Can opener: A can opener will be needed to open the cans of green chilies and tomato sauce.
  • Knife: A knife will be used for trimming the pork loin roast and chopping the chipotle chile in adobo sauce.
  • Crockpot: A crockpot is a slow cooker that is perfect for slow-cooking the barbacoa pork to tender perfection.
  • Mixing spoon: A mixing spoon will be used to combine the ingredients in the crockpot.
  • Measuring spoons: Measuring spoons are essential for accurately measuring the spices such as garlic powder, cumin, and chipotle chili powder.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board will be used for preparing the pork loin roast and chipotle chile in adobo sauce.
  • Saucepan: A saucepan may be used to reduce the sauce if needed.

Storing and Freezing Barbacoa Pork

  • Allow the barbacoa pork to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and potentially spoiling the meat.

  • For short-term storage, place the cooled barbacoa pork in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  • To freeze the barbacoa pork for longer storage:

    • Divide the cooled meat into portion-sized amounts that you'll likely use in one sitting. This will allow you to thaw only what you need later.
    • Place each portion into a freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag or airtight container. If using bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing to minimize freezer burn.
    • Label the bags or containers with the contents and date frozen for easy identification and to ensure you use the oldest portions first.
    • Lay the bags flat in the freezer to allow them to freeze quickly and evenly. Once frozen, you can stack them to save space.
    • Barbacoa pork can be frozen for up to 3 months without significant loss of quality.
  • To thaw frozen barbacoa pork, transfer the desired portion from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature, as this can promote bacterial growth.

  • Reheat thawed barbacoa pork in a covered dish in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Add a splash of water or broth if needed to maintain moisture.

How To Reheat Barbacoa Pork Leftovers

  • The best way to reheat leftover sweet and spicy slow-cooked barbacoa pork is to use the same method it was originally cooked in - the slow cooker. Place the leftover pork and any remaining sauce into the slow cooker, cover, and heat on low for 1-2 hours, or until heated through. This method will help the pork retain its moisture and prevent it from drying out.

  • Another option is to reheat the barbacoa pork in a covered dish in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), place the pork and sauce in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through. If the sauce appears too thick, you can add a splash of water or broth to help loosen it up.

  • For a quicker option, you can reheat the barbacoa pork in the microwave. Place the desired amount of pork and sauce in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the pork to become tough and dry.

  • If you want to add a crispy texture to your leftover barbacoa pork, you can reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the pork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and slightly crispy on the edges. You can also add some of the leftover sauce to the skillet to help keep the pork moist.

Random Fact about Barbacoa Pork:

Barbacoa pork is a traditional Mexican dish that is typically made with beef, but this recipe uses pork for a unique twist on the classic dish.

Is This Barbacoa Pork Recipe Economical for Home Cooking?

This sweet and spicy slow-cooked barbacoa pork recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The use of affordable ingredients like pork loin roast, coke zero, brown sugar, and canned green chilies makes it budget-friendly. The dish offers a delightful balance of flavors and textures, making it a hit with the family. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it an economical choice for a satisfying meal. Overall Verdict: 9.

Is Barbacoa Pork Healthy or Unhealthy?

This recipe for sweet and spicy slow-cooked barbacoa pork is not particularly healthy due to several factors:

  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of Coke Zero, which, although calorie-free, contains artificial sweeteners that may have negative health effects when consumed in large quantities.
  • Brown sugar is used twice in the recipe, adding to the overall sugar content of the dish.
  • Pork loin, while leaner than other cuts of pork, is still relatively high in saturated fat.
  • The recipe does not include any vegetables or other nutrient-dense ingredients to balance out the meat and sugar-heavy sauce.

To make this recipe healthier, several modifications could be made:

  • Replace the Coke Zero with a natural, low-calorie liquid such as low-sodium chicken broth or water infused with lime juice and spices.
  • Reduce the amount of brown sugar used in the recipe, or substitute it with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
  • Trim any visible fat from the pork loin to reduce the overall fat content of the dish.
  • Add vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and carrots to the slow cooker to increase the nutrient density of the meal.
  • Serve the barbacoa pork with whole grain tortillas or over a bed of brown rice and a side of steamed vegetables to create a more balanced and nutritious plate.

By making these adjustments, the sweet and spicy slow-cooked barbacoa pork can be transformed into a healthier, more well-rounded meal that still delivers on flavor.

Editor's Thoughts on This Barbacoa Pork Recipe

This sweet and spicy slow-cooked barbacoa pork recipe is a tantalizing blend of flavors. The marinade infuses the pork with a perfect balance of sweetness and heat, while the slow cooking process ensures a tender and succulent result. The addition of coke zero and chipotle chilies adds depth and complexity to the dish, making it a delightful and satisfying meal. This recipe is a wonderful fusion of sweet and spicy flavors, and the slow cooking process allows the pork to absorb all the delicious elements, resulting in a truly mouthwatering dish.

Enhance Your Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Try roasting some sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey for a sweet and savory side dish.
Grilled Pineapple: Grill some pineapple slices for a refreshing and tangy accompaniment to the barbacoa pork.
Cilantro Lime Rice: Whip up a batch of cilantro lime rice to serve alongside the sweet and spicy barbacoa pork for a burst of fresh flavor.
Mango Salsa: Create a zesty mango salsa with diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice to add a tropical twist to the dish.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Barbacoa Pork

Spicy Korean Beef Stir-Fry: This dish is a flavorful and spicy stir-fry that combines tender beef with a variety of vegetables and a delicious Korean-inspired sauce.
Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon: This recipe features succulent salmon fillets glazed with a sweet and savory honey garlic sauce, perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Indulge in a creamy and tropical dessert with this mango coconut chia pudding, made with fresh mango, coconut milk, and chia seeds for a healthy and satisfying treat.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe

Spicy Buffalo Wings: These spicy buffalo wings are the perfect way to kick off any meal. The combination of heat and tangy flavors will leave your guests wanting more. Serve with a side of cool ranch or blue cheese dressing for the ultimate appetizer experience.
Crispy Bruschetta: Crispy bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer that never fails to impress. The combination of crunchy bread, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil is a surefire way to whet your guests' appetites. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for an extra burst of flavor.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy Decadent Chocolate Mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Tangy Lemon Tart: Savor the zesty and refreshing Tangy Lemon Tart, with a buttery and flaky crust that perfectly complements the tangy lemon filling. Each bite is a burst of citrusy goodness that will brighten up your day.

Why trust this Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe:

This recipe uses high-quality pork loin roast and a flavorful marinade featuring coke zero and brown sugar. The slow-cooking process ensures the meat becomes tender and succulent, allowing the flavors to meld perfectly. The addition of green chilies, tomato sauce, and chipotle chile in adobo sauce creates a sweet and spicy profile that elevates the dish. The careful seasoning with garlic powder, cumin, and chipotle chili powder guarantees a well-balanced and delicious result. Trust in the combination of these ingredients to deliver a mouthwatering barbacoa pork experience.

Want to share your thoughts on this Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Pork Recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and join the discussion!
Can I use a different cut of pork for this recipe?
Yes, you can use other cuts of pork such as pork shoulder or pork butt for this recipe. These cuts are also great for slow cooking and will result in tender and flavorful barbacoa pork.
Can I substitute the coke zero with regular coke?
Yes, you can substitute coke zero with regular coke if you prefer. The sweetness of the coke adds a nice flavor to the pork, so feel free to use the one you have on hand.
Can I make this recipe in an Instant Pot instead of a slow cooker?
Absolutely! You can definitely make this recipe in an Instant Pot. Simply follow the same steps for marinating the pork, then cook it in the Instant Pot on high pressure for about 60-70 minutes, followed by a natural release.
Can I adjust the level of spiciness in the barbacoa pork?
Of course! You can adjust the spiciness by adding more or less chipotle chili powder and adjusting the amount of chipotle chile in adobo sauce to suit your preference.
Can I freeze the leftover barbacoa pork?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover barbacoa pork. Allow it to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container or freezer bag. It can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat when you're ready to enjoy it again.

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