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Hot and Spicy: The Best Sauces for Pulled Pork Lovers

spicy sauces for pulled pork

Pulled pork is a beloved dish that has become a staple in American cuisine. This classic dish is made by slow-cooking pork shoulder at low temperatures, making it incredibly tender and easy to shred. Originating in the southern United States, it has since become a favorite dish all over the United States.

One of the best ways to take your pulled pork to the next level is by adding a good BBQ sauce. From spicy to sweet, there are countless sauce options to choose from that can enhance the flavors of the pork and complement the dish.

So today we're going to share some of the best hot and spicy sauces to try on your pulled pork. But first, let's briefly talk about why it's a GREAT idea to incorporate sauces into your pulled pork.

Why Use Sauces in Your Pulled Pork

Sauces are one of the best ways to add flavor and moisture to not only pulled pork but many other dishes as well. Without a sauce, pulled pork can often be dry and lacking in flavor depending on how it was cooked. A good sauce can make all the difference between a decent pulled pork sandwich to an outstanding one.

pouring spicy bbq sauce on pulled pork

In addition to adding some amazing flavors and moisture, sauces also provide more variety to the dish. With so many different styles and types of BBQ sauce options available, it is easy to create a pulled pork sandwich that is unique to your taste preferences.

Another benefit of using a sauce in your pulled pork is that it can balance the flavors of the meat. For example, if you have a sweet pulled pork, a sauce with a hint of spiciness can help cut through the sweetness and create a perfect combination.

Overall, using a sauce is an essential part of the pulled pork experience. It not only adds flavor, moisture, and variety but also enhances the dish and makes for a more enjoyable meal.

Now, before we share the best sauces to try with your pulled pork, let's explore the different styles of pulled pork sauces available!

Different Styles of Pulled Pork Sauces

There are many different styles of pulled pork sauces to choose from that can enhance the flavors of your dish. Here we're going to explain 5 of the main types of sauces you'll typically see and hear about.

1. Texas Style - Traditional Style

Regular or traditional Texas-style BBQ sauces are mainly tomato-based sauces. They can range from both sweet and spicy depending on a variety of ingredients.

You'll often find that they have plenty of sugar and hints of smokiness.

These are the typical style sauces you see the majority of people use on all kinds of meats. They're often used as marinades for both grilled and smoked meats as well.

2. Alabama Style

White Alabama-style sauces are usually a mayonnaise base. As you've probably guessed, it originated in Alabama.

You'll also often find that they are made with vinegar, lemon, and horseradish. So they tend to have a tangy flavor and a more creamy texture.

Which is an excellent complement to pulled pork!

spicy sauce and pulled pork dish

3. Carolina Mustard Style

Coming out of South Carolina, the Carolina Mustard style of BBQ sauce is typically a yellow mustard-based sauce.

They'll usually include vinegar, sugar, and a variety of different spices depending on the intended flavors.

It's a good combination of tangy and sweet... making it a good pairing with pulled pork dishes.

4. Pacific Northwest (PNW) Style

Pacific Northwest BBQ-style sauces are quite delicious. The PNW has tons of wood... so respectively, they like to include that into their sauces with smokey flavors such as cherry and apple.

If you like aroma-filled smokey flavors, then the PNW-style sauces are going to be your new go-to!

5. Kansas City Style

Kansas City-style BBQ sauce typically features a tomato-based sauce that is both sweet and smoky, perfect for those who prefer a flavorful and slightly savory BBQ sauce.

Think ketchup meets brown sugar and molasses

The nice thing about Kansas-style sauces, much like the other styles we just discussed, you can pretty much use them on any type of BBQ meat. Personally, we recommend using these sauces for burnt ends, briskets, and pulled pork.

The Best Spicy Pulled Pork Sauces

Here are a few fantastic spicy pulled pork sauces that can elevate your dish to a whole new level.

Reverse Sear -Traditional Texas Style

reverse sear texas style bbq sauce for pulled pork

This is a very in your face kind of BBQ sauce. It's packed full of flavor but also some serious heat.

Reverse Sear is made with both the 7-pot primo and Carolina Reaper peppers. Which are both quite hot!

Pear Burner - Kansas Style

pear burner kansas style bbq sauce for pulled pork

As you might have guessed, this sauce comes with hints of pear and prickly pear. Making it a slightly sweet sauce.

However, that sweetness in the Pear Burner is quickly met head-on with the heat of the scorpion pepper. Sweet and spicy, you'll want to use this on your pulled pork and burnt ends.

White Wraith - Alabama Style

white wraith alabama style bbq sauce for pulled pork

Made with ghost peppers, White Wraith is a fairly hot BBQ sauce that is as some people say... incredibly addictive!

This kind of sauce is traditionally used for things such as dunking chicken, however, it adds some incredible flavors when added to your pulled pork!

Reaper Gold - Carolina Mustard Style

reaper gold carolina mustard style bbq sauce for pulled pork

Made with the hottest pepper in the world, Reaper Gold is flavorful and HOT.

It's a mustard-based BBQ sauce that you can essentially put on just about any meat you can think of! We like to think of it as liquid gold.

Fatal Mango

fatal mango texas style bbq style sauce for pulled pork

If you're looking for a versatile sauce, Fatal Mango is our top pick. Made with mangoes and fatalii peppers, it's full of citrus flavors.

The heat level is slightly hotter than habaneros, however, the flavor is the real attraction of this sauce.

What Complements Pulled Pork Dishes

Pulled pork is a classic dish that is both versatile and delicious. Whether you're craving a traditional or non-traditional pairing, there are plenty of options to choose from to complement the flavors of your pulled pork.

Classic sides

  • Coleslaw

  • Mac and cheese

  • Potato salad

  • Cornbread

  • Baked beans

  • Greens (collard, kale, etc.)

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes

Non-traditional pairings

  • Hawaiian rolls

  • Guacamole and salsa

  • Seasonal fruits like peaches or pineapples

  • Fruit salad

Whether you go with a classic side or venture into the unknown with non-traditional pairings, there's no shortage of complementary flavors for pulled pork.

pulled pork with spicy sauce on it

Finding the Right Sauces & Flavors

Pulled pork is a timeless dish that has evolved over the years to offer several delicious sauces to enhance the flavor of the meat. From Texas-style Reverse Sear to Kansas City-style Pear Burner, there are many unique options to consider when you want to add spiciness to your pulled pork.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the different styles of spicy sauces for pulled pork available and how to match them with complementary dishes.

Let us know what your favorite BBQ sauce is for pulled pork down below!


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