Tender, juicy, savory, and sweet — this Dr. Pepper pulled pork is an easy lunch or dinner option that you can make in the Crock Pot or in a Dutch oven. Served on sandwich buns with a side of coleslaw, it’s the best pulled pork recipe that you’ll ever sink your teeth into!
Close up side shot of dr pepper barbecue pulled pork in a bowl
TABLE OF CONTENTS
If you love pulled pork recipes as much as we do, be sure to try this Crock Pot pulled pork, this Mississippi pulled pork, and this cider braised pork shoulder roast, too!
Why You’ll Love this Dr Pepper BBQ Pulled Pork
Make it in the Dutch oven or in the Crock Pot. Pick whichever method suits your schedule best! This flavorful Dr. Pepper pulled pork is ideal for busy days when you don’t have the time or attention to tend to a more high-maintenance smoker or grill.
Affordable. A pork shoulder or pork butt is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat, so this is a budget-friendly meal to feed a larger group.
Easy. With just a few minutes of prep, you can have a big batch of tender, juicy meat to use in tacos, sandwiches, wraps or salads all week long. The oven or the slow cooker does most of the work!
Great flavor. You’ll love the taste of the sweet and zesty bbq rub, the crispy seared pork, and the richly flavored Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce!
The Best Cut of Meat for Pulled Pork
The best cut of meat for pulled pork is called a “pork butt” or a “Boston butt.” Some grocery stores often label this as a “pork shoulder.” Boston butt comes from high on the hog, above the shoulder blade. It has a lot of juicy, marbled fat, which lends itself well to juicy, slow-cooked meat.
Horizontal shot of a tray full of homemade bbq rub for ribs and chicken
Can I use a boneless pork butt?
Yes! Using a bone-in pork butt adds even more flavor to your meat; however, you can certainly use a boneless pork butt instead. In general, a boneless pork butt will require slightly less cooking time than a bone-in piece of meat, so keep an eye on it and adjust accordingly.
Can I use pork tenderloin for pulled pork?
Yes, you can — but it’s not ideal. Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat, which does best when cooked quickly at a higher temperature (like this grilled pork tenderloin with bbq rub). It doesn’t lend itself as well to the low-and-slow cooking process, and instead has a tendency to become dry or tough when it’s cooked for too long.
That said, if you’re looking for a leaner cut of meat for pulled pork, then slow cooker pork tenderloin just might be your answer! It will have a different taste and texture than the pork shoulder (since it’s a different cut with less fat), but if you cook it in the Crock Pot for about 8 hours on LOW, it should stay fairly moist.
Pepper Pulled Pork
closeup of a bowl of dr pepper pulled pork with bbq sauce on it
Pepper Pulled Pork, the ultimate comfort food! Ideal for sandwiches & tacos, this easy recipe blends soda, brown sugar & spices in your slow cooker.
PREP TIME:10minutes minutes
COOK TIME:9hours hours
TOTAL TIME:9hours hours 10minutes minutes
- 5 -7 pound pork shoulder or boston butt with the bone
- 1 can of Dr Pepper 12 ounces
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 cup BBQ sauce plus extra for serving
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- hamburger buns for serving
Prepare the pork by trimming any excess fat from the pork should or pork butt.
In the bottom of the slow cooker add the chopped onion and minced garlic.
Put the pork into the slow cooker on top of the onions and garlic.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and paprika.
Add the spice rub mixture to the pork and try cover it in the spices as much as possible. Pour in one can of Dr. Pepper and cover with the lid.
Cook the pork on low heat for 9 – 10 hours or high heat for 6 -7 hours.
Once cooked, remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board or a baking sheet. Shred it with two forks. Remove all of the juices from the slow cooker, but reserve 1 cup of juices.
Place the shredded pork back in the empty slow cooker then add the the BBQ sauce and 1⁄2 – 1 cup of the reserved juices. Mix together. Add additional sauce and juices, enough liquid to make the pork as juicy as you prefer. Serve from the slow cooker or from a large bowl. Serve the pulled pork immediately with your favorite buns.
If using a smaller pork roast, you may be able to cook for a smaller amount of time. Check pork with a fork to ensure that it is tender. It may need additional cooking time if it not tender.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 -5 days.
Store in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 days before reheating and serving it.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the pork serving 20 people, with 1 serving being 1/20 of the pork (enough for a small sandwich).
Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**
Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.4mg