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Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

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posted: 09/11/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is an easy slow cooker recipe that your family will adore. Made with simple ingredients and the best homemade BBQ sauce, this is a home run!

Photo of Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork sandwich garnished with slaw.

Whether you are feeding a hungry crowd or you are just making dinner on a busy weeknight, there is not much that is better than a pulled pork sandwich. They are so easy to make, and with just a few ingredients they are bursting with flavor.

In this Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork recipe we are using a combo of some seasonings, my homemade BBQ sauce (or your favorite brand), and Dr. Pepper for a unique and totally delicious sandwich.

How to Make Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

This is a brief overview of how to make this crock pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork. For the full recipe with all of the measurements and detailed instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Prepare the slow cooker. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray, and add a little bit of BBQ sauce to the bottom.
  2. Make the sauce. Combine the remaining BBQ sauce, the Dr. Pepper, and the seasonings in a bowl. Read below for how to kick this recipe up a notch.
  3. Put it all together in the slow cooker. Add the red onions to the slow cooker. Then add the pork shoulder, and pour the prepared sauce over the top. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Shred the pork. At the end of the cook time, discard any large pieces of fat. Then shred the pork. Serve on buns and enjoy!
Overhead photo of Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork recipe in a crockpot.

Kicking Pulled Pork Up a Notch

If you have a spare 10 minutes the night before you plan on making this recipe, I would urge you to consider adding a rub to the pork. This is a method we use in my Slow Cooker Ribs recipe and it is phenomenal.

Simply take the spices called for here (3 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt) and combine them in a small bowl. This is the recipe for my pork rub, and it is awesome.

Rub the seasoning mix all over the pork shoulder, ensuring that you cover all of the sides. Then cover it back up and refrigerate overnight. In the morning proceed with the recipe as written, skipping adding these ingredients to the BBQ sauce and Dr. Pepper.

Adding Coleslaw to Pulled Pork

I think that pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw go together like peanut butter and jelly. The coleslaw balances the often sweet BBQ sauce and adds a little crunch and texture to the sandwich. We loved these with my coleslaw recipe. I switched it up a little; I left out the carrots and did half green cabbage and half red cabbage.

Coleslaw Recipe

This Coleslaw is going to be your new go to. Not only is it easy to make, but it has that classic taste that is exactly what you want in a good coleslaw recipe.
overhead bowl of coleslaw recipe in a big serving bowl

Cooking Pork Shoulder on Low

As you have heard me mention so many times, big pieces of meat like pork shoulder are much better when they are cooked low and slow. This is why I highly recommend cooking this recipe on low for eight hours versus on high for four hours. The meat will be much more tender.

Photo of Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork sandwich garnished with slaw.

Making Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Ahead

If you would like to make this recipe the day before, that will work with this slow cooker Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork. After the recipe has finished cooking, shred it and allow it to cool a little. Then cover it and put the base of your slow cooker in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve, turn it on low for about an hour for it to heat through.

Please note that if you follow this method, any leftovers should be discarded. Generally speaking, leftovers should not be warmed up more than once, which is what is happening in this make-ahead method.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Leftovers of this recipe should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. To reheat leftovers, remove just the amount you want to eat and heat it, covered, in the microwave at half power. Alternatively, heat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring often. For best results, reheat meat with plenty of the sauce added to it. As with all recipes, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers.

Overhead photo of Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork recipe in a crock pot.

What to Serve with Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

If you are looking for some great sides to go with this recipe, I have a few suggestions.

If you make this Crock Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Photo of Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork sandwich garnished with slaw.
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Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Serves: 8 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes
Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is an easy slow cooker recipe that your family will adore. Made with simple ingredients and the best homemade BBQ sauce, this is a home run!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (try our homemade recipe!)
  • 12 ounces Dr. Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder

Instructions

  • Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour a small amount of BBQ sauce into the base of the slow cooker. Set aside. (See notes for how to kick this recipe up a notch.)
  • In a small bowl, combine the rest of the BBQ sauce, the Dr. Pepper, paprika, brown sugar, black pepper, and kosher salt.
  • Add the sliced onions to the slow cooker. Then add the pork shoulder. Pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the top.
  • Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Read here about why I prefer to cook pork shoulder on low.
  • At the end of the cook time, remove the pork from the slow cooker. Using two forks, shred the meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the crock pot to keep warm, or make sandwiches right away, topping them with more BBQ sauce from the crockpot.

Notes

To kick this recipe up a notch, combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl the night before you want to make this. Rub the pork shoulder with it, and place it (covered) in the refrigerator overnight. The following morning, proceed with the recipe, skipping the use of these seasonings in the sauce.
Please note that the nutritional information reflects the pork only and not the bun or the coleslaw.
Serving: 1cup Calories: 252kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 24g (8%) Protein: 21g (42%) Fat: 8g (12%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 70mg (23%) Sodium: 747mg (32%) Potassium: 472mg (13%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 20g (22%) Vitamin A: 197IU (4%) Vitamin C: 7mg (8%) Calcium: 34mg (3%) Iron: 2mg (11%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Photo of Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork sandwich garnished with slaw.

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Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Bonnie says

    Hi Lisa….I love seeing your recipes ! have tried a few and am really pleased ! Keep up the good work !

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying my recipes, Bonnie!

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