Create juicy, tender, and flavorful pulled pork in the slow cooker by using Dr. Pepper. You only need a handful of additional ingredients. Serve on hoagie rolls or slider buns for an easy meal.
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This recipe will make the best pulled pork recipe if you ask me. We call it Dr Pepper Pulled pork because it uses Dr. Pepper of course! Some refer to as Pioneer Woman Pulled Pork but whatever you call it, it's juicy and tender shredded pork that is well seasoned and perfect to serve on sandwiches as pork sliders, pork tacos, pork nachos or a variety of other ways.
With any recipe there are a variety of ways to make and cook. I'll share my secret using a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker and make sure to check out the recipe card below for Instant Pot Directions too. For now, Dr Pepper pulled pork slow cooker is a winning recipe. Let me explain.
Why you will love Pulled Pork with Dr Pepper
There are days when I leave the house early and don't get home until just before dinner. With a house full of boys, everyone is HUNGRY as they walk in the door. So I plan an extra 15 mins in the morning to get this recipe thrown into the Crock Pot and set it to low.
Now I have a beautiful meal ready to enjoy for dinner. It's truly that simple. Let's break it down a bit more with exactly what I do. Okay?
I love the pork roasts I find at Costco. They come in a 4 pack each weighing about 2 pounds. They are so tender when cooked this way and fall apart for an easy pulled sandwich. You can also ask your local butcher for a recommendation on the type of pork roast.
There is so much flavor cooked into this recipe it will feed the whole family or even a hungry crowd. It's a viewer favorite go-to recipe to make shredded meat.
Ingredients for Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
Pork Roast: Boneless Pork Butt or Pork Shoulder Roast
Favorite Barbecue Sauce: Homemade BBQ Sauce or try Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
Fresh Ingredients: Onion and Garlic
Dr Pepper Soda: Dr Pepper, Diet Dr Pepper, or other dark soda like Root Beer, Coke (coca cola), Pepsi. *Diet sodas can be substituted
Dry Rub: Paprika, Chili Powder, Dry Mustard, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt and Black Pepper. Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Types of Pork Roast
When making slow cooker pork look for a good roast with some fat marbling. They can be called by a variety of names so look for a Boston Butt Roast, Picnic Butt, Pork Butt, Pork Shoulder or a Shoulder Roast. Ask your local butcher to help you find the perfect roast at any local grocery stores. A bone in roast might take a little bit longer to cook. For simplicity I prefer to use a boneless roast.
Pork Tenderloin is a very lean cut and although delicious not ideal for slow cooker dr pepper recipe. A tenderloin tends to dry out even with all the liquid and falls apart.
How to make Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork in Crock Pot
In a bowl I mix together seasonings for a delicious rub. The measurements are down below in the recipe card, but I use Chili Powder, Paprika, Dry Mustard, Salt and Pepper and mix it together. You can also add a dash of cayenne pepper too if you want some heat.
Then I rub the seasoning blend over the pork roast. Dice up an onion and place on the bottom of the Slow Cooker and place the seasoned pork roast on top with the fat side down.
Pour a can of Dr Pepper on top. Set it to low and walk out the door. Let this baby cook, slow and low for 8 hours. There will be plenty of juices from the roast.
After cooking all day, remove the roast and shred with 2 forks. It will fall apart. You can add it right back into all the juices if you wish, OR you can pull out about 1 cup of juices and add to the pork.
This is what I prefer. Then add BBQ Sauce. I love Sweet Baby Rays, but if truth be told I also really enjoy making my own BBQ Sauce too.
With only minutes of prep you can now mix it together and you are ready to enjoy the best Pulled Pork Sandwiches ever.
How to Serve this Pulled Pork with Dr Pepper Recipe
I've got many pulled pork ideas for you. Do you love Coleslaw? Well let me tell you, adding a scoop of coleslaw to the top of this sandwich is ah-ma-zing.
Something about the sauce and the crunch from cabbage is delicious with the hot sweet pork. Some also love to serve on top of a delicious Homemade Macaroni and Cheese or even over a Baked Potato. Doesn't that sound delicious?
You might even try this fun recipe of adding pulled pork on a tostada with red onion and pineapple. Trust me here, it's fantastic! It's a great use of Leftover pulled pork.
And believe it or not a favorite way to enjoy a quick snack is to serve with tortilla chips and just dip right in.
How long to cook Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
In this recipe I use a 3-4 pound pork roast and use the following guide as a measurement for cooking times. But keep in mind you can always cut the roast into smaller chunks to help speed up the cooking process.
- Low 6-8 Hours
- High 3-4 Hours
The roast should literally fall apart making it easy to shred and pull apart. If it doesn't, cook it a bit longer until it falls apart and it's absolutely delicious. Make sure to remove excess fat when shredding. It will be the best BBQ Pulled Pork you've tasted.
Variations and Substitutions
We all love to add our own flare to recipes, so let me tell you a few tricks we enjoy.
Sweetness: Adding a bit of brown sugar will sweeten up the recipe. You can add directly to the BBQ Sauce and add at the end. OR you can sprinkle on top of the roast before cooking and after you've added the seasoning rub. It's Yummy.
Heat: Try adding Cayenne Pepper to the Rub, ½ teaspoon will work great. Or add diced green chilies and choose the heat level you love. Green Chilies and Cayenne Pepper can also be added at the end when meat is shredded.
Soda: Root Beer, Coke, Pepsi, or any Diet Variations of these sodas work great as a substitution.
BBQ Sauce: Sweet Baby Rays is a BBQ Sauce of choice because it's thick and has great flavor. Homemade BBQ Sauce or your favorite store brand is a great option too.
Liquid Smoke: Liquid Smoke as a depth of flavor and variation to this recipe. A little goes a long way. Don't add to much!
Types of Crock Pots / Slow Cookers
Crock Pots are a brand name. There are many types of Crock Pots and slow cookers that will do great jobs at slow cooking recipes. Regardless of the brand and how many functions they have, Slow Cookers and Crock Pots have one things in common. They cook recipes low and slow.
If you are looking for a slow cooker that has muti function buttons and presets try this Hamilton Beach Portable 6qt. But, if you want less of the gizmos and gadget functions and just a good solid Crock Pot with basic features then I suggest this 8qt Crock Pot
Storage and Freezing
Store leftover pork in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Leftovers can easily be reheated on the stove or in the microwave in a small bowl for an easy lunch.
Try Freezing in a sealed container for up to 3 months. I prefer to store in smaller portions that are easy to enjoy served on hamburger buns with minimal effort.
Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Recipe FAQ
The results from cooking with soda pop are juicy and tender as the combination of the sugary drink and carbonization works together to create delicious results.
Besides patience, cooking a pork roast over low heat for a long time makes all the difference in how the pork will shred. That's why the phrase 'Low and Slow' is common among pulled meat recipes.
Although the flavor of Dr Pepper is extremely popular it isn't the only reason why people love to cook with this sugary carbonated drink. It actually acts as a tenderizer breaking down the tough fibers of the roast to a delicate juicy and tender meat.
It's always easiest to shred pork roasts while hot. As the roast cools it becomes more dense making it more difficult to shred the thick fibers apart. To get the thinly pulled pork you are going for, make sure shred while hot using forks.
Welcome to our #NationalSlowCookerMonth Celebration!
January is National Slow Cooker Month and this week we are celebrating all things slow cooker! We have delicious recipes from across the country to fill your meal plans with delicious slow cooker recipes!
- Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon and Rice Soup from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken from Jen Around the World
- Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatsfrom Magical Ingredients
- Easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings from Daily Dish Recipes
- Slow Cooker Ham and White Bean Soup from Blogghetti
- Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos from The Spiffy Cookie
- Slow Cooker Goulash from Palatable Pastime
- Slow Cooked Asian Chicken from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Crockpot London Broil from The Fresh Cooky
- Pan de Elote/Slow Cooker Corn Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup from Life Love and Good Food
- Dr Pepper Pulled Pork from Devour Dinner
- Slow Cooker Salmon from Our Good Life
Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Recipe
- 3-4 lb Pork Roast - Pork Butt, Pork Shoulder Roast
- ½ cup onion
- 1 tbl garlic - minced
- 8-12 ounces Dr. Pepper
- 1 cup BBQ Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
- In a small bowl combine Paprika, Chili Powder, Dry Mustard, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper. Mix to combine
- How to cook Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
How to cook Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Dice Onion and place in the bottom on Slow Cooker / Crock Pot
- Rub Seasonings on a 3 to 4 pound pork roast making sure to cover all sides.
- Place roast in Crock Pot on onions and pour 8 to 12 ounces of Dr. Pepper over roast.
- Set Crock Pot to low and cook for 6-8 hours. Roast is ready when it falls apart with a fork.
- Remove roast from juices and reserve a cup to cup and a half
- Shred pork and add reserved juices. Stir in 1 cup of BBQ Sauce.
- Serve on bun with coleslaw for a delicious meal.
Instant Pot Cooking Directions
- Follow above directions for prepping and seasoning pork roast and place ingredients into Instant Pot liner. Pour Dr. Pepper over top of roast.
- Pressure Cook on High for 75 minutes allowing for a 25 minute Natural Pressure Release
- Reserve a cup to a cup and a half of liquid
- Remove roast and shred with forks. Add 1 cup of BBQ Sauce and reserved liquid.
- Serve on Buns with Coleslaw.
- TIP: If using a larger roast cut into 2 or 3 chunks to pressure cook.
Types of Pork RoastWhen making slow cooker pork look for a good roast. They called be called by a variety of names so look for a Boston Butt Roast, Picnic Butt, Pork Butt, Pork Shoulder or a Shoulder Roast. I prefer a boneless roast but you can use a bone-in roast too.
How long to cook Pulled Pork Crock Pot RecipeIn this recipe I use a 3-4 pound pork roast and use the following guide as a measurement for cooking times. But keep in mind you can always cut the roast into smaller chunks to help speed up the cooking process.
- Low 6-8 Hours
- High 3-4 Hours
All nutrition values are approximate and calculated by a plugin and are provided as a courtesy. Adding or subtracting ingredients will change the nutritional value.