I’m all about finding new ways to consume Dr. Pepper. I’m not a big soda drinker, but this one is hands down my favorite, and I can’t help but give in to my Dr. Pepper cravings every now and then. And I’m more than excited about cooking with it. Those 23 flavors can do wonders in a slow cooker. This recipe for Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is exhibit A.
This pulled pork is so sweet, juicy and delicious. It cooks down low and slow all day long in a blend of spices, and a whole can of Dr. Pepper. When it’s finished, the meat is fall apart tender. Piled high on a warm bun with barbecue sauce… oh man, there’s nothing better.
I also love that something this delicious and satisfying can be so little effort. A few minutes of prep work, and then everything goes into the slow cooker and you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.
My favorite way to eat pulled pork is just piling on a warm, buttered bun. I’ll add my favorite barbecue sauce, some pickled jalapeños and slaw or potato salad on the side. I made this pulled pork recently with my Bacon Ranch Potato Salad on the side and it was seriously the most amazing, comforting meal.
But this pulled pork would be good in so many different ways. A few other yummy suggestions include:
- Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork nachos topped with shredded jack cheese and drizzled with sour cream, guacamole, and barbecue sauce
- Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork sliders with pineapple slices and pickled jalapeños
- Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork tacos with your favorite fruit salsa
- Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork quesadillas with smoked Gouda and bacon
- Sprinkle Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork all over a homemade pizza, along with pepperoncinis and red onions
- Add some Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork to a green salad with black beans, corn, and tomatoes
- Top a big bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese with Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
- Smother a baked potato in pulled pork and a drizzle of ranch dressing
Clearly I can get carried away here. But this recipe is so good, and so versatile.
Dr. Pepper + Slow Cooker = Magic
For this recipe, I recommend using a 3-4 pound pork shoulder. You should be able to get about 8-10 servings out of that, so this can feed a big family, or make for some great leftovers.
Start by building a spice rub for your pork. Use plenty of salt and pepper, along with some paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and ground mustard. I also like to throw in a pinch of cayenne, but you can leave that out if you want to keep this recipe totally mild. Finally, a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar.
Mix everything in a bowl, and then sprinkle all over the pork. Use your hands to really rub the spice mix in all over all sides of the meat. Then, lay the pork in the slow cooker along with a sliced up red onion.
To finish things off, add a splash of soy sauce to the slow cooker, which will add some deep umami flavor and help balance out the sweetness of the Dr. Pepper. I also like to throw in about a half a cup of my favorite barbecue sauce for some added flavor and thickness.
Finally, the star of the dish. Crack open a can of Dr. Pepper and pour it into the slow cooker all over the meat. Put the lid on, and let the slow cooker do the rest. Depending on how long you have available, you can cook this pulled pork in anywhere from 7 to 10 hours.
Cook on high for 2 hours, and then switch to low for another 4-5 hours. Alternatively, cook the pork on low for 8-10 hours. The pork will be fall apart tender when its done.
After you’ve turned off the slow cooker, use a ladle, or very carefully pour most of the juice out. Leave just a little bit to keep the pork moist (and because there’s just so much darn flavor in that juice). Then use 2 forks to shred up the pork.
I like to finish the pork by adding in another cup of barbecue sauce. However, feel free to skip that step if you want your pork taste a little more savory than sweet.
This pulled pork can be stored in the fridge for up to a week
Let me know if you give this Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
- 1 Red onion Sliced
- 1 3-4lb. Boneless Pork Shoulder
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Pepper
- 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 Tsp Paprika
- 2 Tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 12 oz. can Dr. Pepper
- 1 1/2 Cups Barbecue Sauce of choice divided
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- Add the onion to the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Combine the salt, pepper, all the spices and the brown sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture all over the pork and generously rub on to all sides of the meat. Add pork to slow cooker.
- Add Dr. Pepper, 1/2 cup of the Barbecue Sauce and Soy Sauce to slow cooker and put the lid on.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours. For a faster cook time, cook on high for 2 hours, and then on low for 4-5 hours.
- Remove the lid of the slow cooker and carefully ladle or pour out most of the liquid, leaving a little bit to add flavor. Use 2 forks to shred the pork. Add the rest of the barbecue sauce to the pork and toss to combine.
- Serve as sandwiches on buns with more sauce, or serve on baked potatoes, nachos and more. Can we stored in the fridge for up to a week.