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Sweet and savory, Dr. Pepper pulled pork is so easy to make with just 10 minutes of prep. The results are tender and delicious, and the pulled pork is perfect for feeding a hungry crowd.
Slow cooker pulled pork is perfect for Sunday dinners, weekend get-togethers, and tailgating parties. With only 10 minutes of prep time, the results are tender, juicy, and delicious.
Using Dr. Pepper to make pulled pork in the slow cooker acts as a tenderizer, keeping the pork moist as it cooks all day. The combination of soda and BBQ sauce together gives the meat a great flavor.
Slow cooker pulled pork is an easy lunch or dinner option that the whole family will love and can easily feed a crowd. Serve it on slider buns, in a taco, on a baked potato, or with macaroni and cheese.
Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Ingredients
- Onion - medium-size sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
- Pork butt - or pork shoulder
- Dr. Pepper - 12 ounce can or 1 ½ cups
- Liquid smoke
- Garlic - fresh minced garlic
- Sugar - light brown sugar, packed
- Onion powder
- Salt - kosher salt
- Paprika - smoked paprika
- Pepper - black pepper
- BBQ sauce - your favorite BBQ sauce
- Hamburger buns - or deli rolls
- Coleslaw - optional
Pork butt or shoulder are the best cuts of meat for pulled pork as they have a lot of marbled fat which keeps the meat tender during the long cooking process. You could also use a pork loin roast. However, tenderloin is much leaner and won’t shred as well.
The recipe may be called Dr. Pepper pulled pork, but any dark soda including Coca-Cola or root beer can work in this recipe. However, you should avoid diet Dr. Pepper and other diet sodas as the sugar substitutes don’t stand up to the heat well. The smoky flavor that adds an authentic barbecue taste and makes the pork taste as if it came from a smoker comes from both the smoked paprika and the liquid smoke.
Shredded pulled pork is incredibly tasty as a topping for baked potatoes as well as a nacho topping. When serving as a topping, if you don’t want the BBQ sauce you can skip adding it. In addition, if you don’t want to shred the pork it can also be sliced and served as a steak with whatever sauce you choose.
How to Make Dr Pepper Pulled Pork
FIRST STEP: Line a 6 to 7-quart slow cooker with aluminum foil or a crockpot liner.
SECOND STEP: Evenly layer the thinly sliced onion in the bottom of the slow cooker.
THIRD STEP: Place the pork on top of the onions, and pour the Dr. Pepper over the pork.
FOURTH STEP: In a small mixing bowl, add the liquid smoke, honey, and minced garlic. Stir to combine the ingredients. Using a basting brush, evenly brush the smoke sauce onto the pork.
FIFTH STEP: In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, onion powder, kosher salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, and cumin.
SIXTH STEP: Evenly sprinkle the dry seasoning on top of the pork.
SEVENTH STEP: Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
EIGHTH STEP: When the pork has finished cooking, either leave the pork in the crockpot or transfer the meat to a large baking dish. Carefully use 2 forks, or a set of tongs, to shred the pork.
NINTH STEP: Pour the BBQ sauce over the top of the shredded pork, and use tongs to toss the pork and sauce.
TENTH STEP: Serve on either hamburger buns or deli rolls, and coleslaw.
Can I use a different soda?
You can use any dark soda, including Coca-Cola or root beer, in this pulled pork recipe. Just avoid using diet sodas as the sugar substitutes don’t stand up to the heat well and can leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
Can I add extra spice to the pulled pork?
If you prefer a spicier pulled pork you can add your favorite hot sauce, a dash of cayenne pepper, or even smokey hot peppers to the slow cooker.
How do you shred the pork?
The fastest way to shred pork is using either a stand mixer or a sturdy hand mixer.
How to Store Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
IN THE FREEZER: Cooled pulled pork can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.
Dr Pepper Pulled Pork
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- 1 medium-size sweet yellow onion (sliced thin 1 ½ cups)
- 4 to 5 pounds pork butt or pork shoulder
- 12 ounces Dr Pepper (1 ½ cups)
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon garlic fresh (minced)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- hamburger buns (or deli rolls)
- 15 ounces coleslaw (optional)
- Line a 6 to 7 quart slow cooker with aluminum foil or a crock pot liner.
- Evenly layer the thinly sliced onion in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Place the pork on top of the onions then pour the Dr Pepper over the pork.
- In a small mixing bowl add the liquid smoke, honey, and minced garlic. Stir to combine the ingredients. Use a basting brush to evenly brush the smoke sauce onto the pork.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, onion powder, kosher salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, and cumin.
- Evenly sprinkle the dry seasoning on top of the pork.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- When the pork has finished cooking, either leave the pork in the crockpot or transfer the meat to a large baking dish. Carefully use 2 forks or a set of tongs to shred the pork.
- Pour the BBQ sauce over the top of the shredded pork. Then use tongs to toss the pork and sauce.
- Serve on either hamburger buns or deli rolls, and coleslaw.