Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Recipe



  • 4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder (also called pork butt)


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)


  • 2 (12-ounce) cans Dr. Pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)


  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce (for optional extra sauciness at the end)


  • Prep the pork: Trim excess fat off the pork shoulder. Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and rub the mixture all over the pork.
  • Slow Cooker Setup: Place the sliced onions in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the seasoned pork shoulder on top of the onions. Pour the Dr. Pepper and apple cider vinegar around the pork.
  • Cook: Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 5-6 hours, until the pork is very tender and easily shreds with a fork.
  • Shred the pork: Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the pork into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large chunks of fat.
  • Make the sauce: While the pork is resting, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and hot sauce (if using). Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Combine pork and sauce: Carefully skim off excess fat from the liquid in the slow cooker. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, add the sauce, and stir to combine. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  • Serve: Serve the pulled pork warm on hamburger buns, slider rolls, or with your favorite sides like coleslaw, potato salad, or baked beans. Add extra BBQ sauce for those who like it extra saucy!


  • Searing Option: For extra flavor, sear the pork in a hot pan with oil for a few minutes per side before placing it in the slow cooker.
  • Oven Method: Bake in a 275°F (135°C) oven, covered, for 3-4 hours until tender.
  • Liquid Variation: You can substitute one of the cans of Dr. Pepper with root beer for a slightly different flavor profile.


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