Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is sweet, savory and crazy delicious. Classic cherry soda caramelizes and tenderizes this addicting slow cooker pork! An easy to make, crowd pleasing dinner that can be used in so many different ways besides just sandwiches.

dr. pepper pulled pork sandwich on plate with soda in background

Why You’ll Love This Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Recipe

This Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is sure to become a favorite. Add it to your menu for game days, parties and holidays.

  • Easy To Make: All you need is 5 minutes of prep time to get this pork ready to go in your slow cooker.
  • Feeds A Crowd: You can easily serve 10 adults with this recipe, even 12 if you add a few sides.
  • Unique Flavor: The cherry soda used in this pulled pork combined with BBQ sauce and sliced yellow onions results in a delicious, sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Versatile Recipe: Not only can you pile this delicious slow cooker pork onto buns, you can spoon it on top of macaroni and cheese or stuff it into a baked potato.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Bone-In Pork Shoulder: We like the flavor that bone-in meat adds to this pulled pork recipe.
  • Dr. Pepper: Of course you can swap out any brand of cherry soda, but this one is our favorite.
  • Honey BBQ Sauce: Any brand you like.
  • Onions: Sweet yellow onions not only help to flavor the pork, but it acts as a bed for the pork shoulder to sit on as it cooks.
  • Garlic: Smash whole garlic cloves to add flavor and then remove them before shredding the pork.
  • Seasonings: We’re using just a few simple seasonings – kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
ingredients for making slow cooker pulled pork with dr. pepper

How To Make Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

This slow cooker pulled pork recipe is so easy to make, all you need is about 5 minutes of prep time to get it into your slow cooker.

Besides the simple seasonings that we have in this recipe, for a little more depth of flavor you can try our favorite dry rub that we use on our Classic Pulled Pork recipe.

Follow the instructions below the photo for quick reference, but for a full list of instructions head to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Season the pork shoulder with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Make sure to rub the spices in on all sides of the pork.
  • Slice a large yellow onion, smash 4-5 garlic cloves and then place them on the bottom of a large slow cooker. Place the seasoned pork shoulder on top of the garlic and onions.
  • Pour in a cup of Dr. Pepper, cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours.
  • Remove the pork shoulder from the slow cooker and place on a board. Shred the pork with two forks, being careful to remove any bones and large pieces of fat.
  • Drain and reserve about half of the juice and onions from the slow cooker. Add the shredded pork back to the slow cooker and pour on honey barbecue sauce. Toss to combine, adding more reserved juices if needed.
  • Cook for another 30 minutes to let the flavors combine. This step is optional, but it does add a deeper flavor to the pulled pork and allows the sauce to thicken.

Is It Better To Cook Pulled Pork On Low Or High?

Our preference for making slow cooker pulled pork is to use the low heat setting. Cooking the pork low and slow imparts the best flavor into the meat and makes for the most tender pork.

You can make this Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork on high heat as well to speed the process along. You’ll still end up with a super flavorful pulled pork recipe in less time. But if you do have the time, try and use the low and slow method for making this recipe.

dr. pepper pulled pork sandwich with french fries

Oven Instructions

You can also make this pulled pork in the oven. When making this recipe in the oven, we like to take the extra step and brown the outside of the pork shoulder before cooking. This is also something that you can do before adding it to your slow cooker for an extra layer of flavor.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place slices of onion and smashed garlic cloves in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
  • Season the pork shoulder and place on the bed of onions and garlic and then pour in a cup of Dr. Pepper. (Optional: Brown the pork in the dutch oven first before starting)
  • Cover and cook for 3 1/2 hours and then remove from the oven. Baste the pork shoulder with the juices from the pot and then place back into the oven for another 1 1/2 hours (checking at the hour mark) until the pork is fork tender.
  • Remove the pork shoulder to a board and let cool. Shred the pork with meat claws or two large forks and then place back into the pot with the juices. Pour in a cup of honey barbecue sauce and stir to combine.

What Sides Go With Pulled Pork?

Whether you’re serving this Dr. Pepper Puled Pork for a party or just a family dinner at home, you’ve got to have a couple of sides to make the meal complete!

slow cooker bbq pulled pork on a bun

Storing and Reheating

Pulled pork will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep the meat in an air tight container for maximum freshness. You can also freeze pulled pork for up to 4 months, a great way to meal prep or plan for a holiday or party.

The fastest way to reheat pulled pork is in the microwave, and it reheats wonderfully so that’s our go to method. If you’re reheating a larger amount, then transfer the meat to an oven-proof dish and warm in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through.

Here’s Some More Pulled Pork Recipes

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slow cooker bbq pulled pork on a bun

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is sweet, savory and crazy delicious. Classic cherry soda caramelizes and tenderizes this addicting slow cooker pork recipe!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 5 pound bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 45 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper (or cherry flavored soda)
  • 1 cup honey bbq sauce (your favorite brand)

Instructions

  1. Season pork shoulder with the salt, garlic powder and onion powder and black pepper.
  2. Add the sliced onions and garlic cloves to the bottom of a 6-8 quart slow cooker. Place the pork shoulder on top of the onions and garlic.
  3. Pour the Dr. Pepper over the pork shoulder, cover with the lid and cook on on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours. Our preferred method for cooking this pulled pork is on the low heat setting.
  4. Remove the pork shoulder from the slow cooker and place onto a board to cool. We also like to remove the garlic cloves if they are still in tact, if they have broken up just stir them into the pork. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat with meat claws or two large forks. Remove and discard the bones and any large pieces of fat.
  5. Use a ladle to remove about half of the juices from the slow cooker into a bowl and set aside. Do not discard the juices as you may need them for reheating the pork. Add the pulled pork back into the slow cooker with remaining juices and onions. Pour in the barbecue sauce and toss to combine. At this point, if you’d like a more juicy or saucy pulled pork, you can add some of the reserved juices and/or more barbecue sauce to your liking.
  6. Cook the pulled pork for another 30 minutes on the high heat setting and then serve or keep on the warm setting until ready. This is an optional step, but we like the deeper flavor that the additional 30 minutes brings to the meat.

Oven Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the slices of onion and smashed garlic cloves in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
  2. Season the pork shoulder with the salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper and then place on the bed of onions and garlic. Pour the Dr. Pepper over the pork shoulder. (Optional: for extra flavor, sear the pork shoulder on all sides until brown before adding to the pot.)

  3. Cover and cook for 3 1/2 hours and then remove from the oven. Baste the pork shoulder with the juices from the pot and then place back into the oven for another 1 1/2 hours (checking after an hour) until the pork is fork tender.

  4. Remove the pork shoulder to a board and let cool. Shred the pork with meat claws or two large forks (being careful to remove and bones and large pieces of fat) and then place back into the pot with the juices. Pour in a cup of honey barbecue sauce and stir to combine.

Recipe Notes

Store: Store pulled pork in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freeze: Freeze pulled pork in freezer bags with the air pressed out for up to 4 months. Pressing the pork in the bag so that it lays flat is a great way to save space and also allow for faster defrosting.

Reheat: Quickly reheat pulled pork in the microwave, or for larger portions you can add it to a baking dish and place in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed through.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlement, pulled pork recipes, slow cooker pulled pork, dr. pepper pulled pork, easy recipes, party food, pork recipes

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