Root Beer Pulled Pork

Root beer pulled pork in tacos with slaw and peppers.
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 9 hrs 12 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins
  • Cook: 9 hrs
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings

This slow cooker root beer pulled pork is incredibly easy, and it cooks to perfection while you go about your day. Root beer is the secret to the remarkable flavor in this slow braised pulled pork, along with your favorite commercial barbecue sauce. There's very little prep required. Simply cut the pork into large chunks and add it to the slow cooker with root beer and seasonings. Once it is ready, drain it, shred it, and add barbecue sauce. That's all there is to it!

Pulled pork is the perfect dish to cook when you are hosting a game day gathering or have extended family visiting. Once the pork is shredded and combined with the barbecue sauce, keep it in the slow cooker on the low or warm setting for serving. Offer split buns, coleslaw, sliced dill pickles, and extra barbecue sauce, and let your guests serve themselves.

For tender, juicy pulled pork choose cuts labeled shoulder, butt, or Boston butt. Despite the name, the butt portion comes from the animal's shoulder. The name comes from the way the shoulders and other less desirable pork cuts were shipped in colonial New England. The barrels used for shipping were called "butts."

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder (boneless)
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups root beer (not diet)
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (plus more for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for root beer pulled pork.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Cut the pork shoulder (aka pork butt or Boston butt) into several large chunks and add it to the slow cooker along with the sliced onion, salt, pepper, and root beer. Place the cover on the slow cooker and cook on the low setting for 8 to 10 hours, or until the pork is very tender. Alternatively, choose the high setting and cook the pork for about 4 to 5 hours.

    Pork in the slow cooker for root beer pulled pork.
    Diana Rattray
  3. When the pork is ready, drain and discard the liquids. Use two forks or a potato masher to shred the pork. Add the barbecue sauce and stir to blend.

    Pulled pork with barbecue sauce in the slow cooker.
    Diana Rattray
  4. For a classic pulled pork sandwich, pile the shredded pork on a bun or hoagie roll and top with sliced dill or sour pickles and coleslaw.

    Slow cooker root beer pulled pork.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Serve pulled pork sandwiches with extra barbecue sauce and coleslaw on the side.

    Root beer pulled pork in sandwiches.
    Diana Rattray
  6. Alternatively, use the shredded pulled pork to make tacos, or serve it as an entree along with mac and cheese, slaw, and biscuits.

    Root beer pulled pork in taco shells with fixings.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Enjoy!

Tips

  • For an extra smoky flavor, add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke to your barbecue sauce.
  • Side Dishes: Macaroni and cheese, potato salad, pasta salad, slaw, and French fries are excellent options.

Recipe Variations