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Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

This tender Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is cooked in the crock pot all day and tossed with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. It’s a recipe that combines 3 favorites of mine: pulled pork, Dr. Pepper, and my crock pot.

Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork on a bun with coleslaw.

Make that 4. There’s enough for leftovers.  🙂

Y’all, I’ve been 3 weeks without my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper. It’s something that I’ve consumed daily for the past 20 years. I hate to think about how much of it I have drank over the years. It could probably fill up a large swimming pool. The first day without it, I felt like my head was going to split open. Now the physical desire is good, but I’m truly recognizing what an emotional crutch it was for me.

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork made in a crock pot.

Anxiety rising? Nerves fringed? Just a little of that sweet bubbly liquid going down my throat does wonders.

But since me and my friend Diet DP can no longer be together, I thought I would make a Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce, you know, for old times sake.

Pulled Pork in a slow cooker.

Originally posted February 12, 2015.

I’ve made once before and used it on Hot Dogs and Oven Barbecued Chicken. But his time I used a different recipe, from Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook: More than 1,000 of the world’s best recipes for today’s kitchen, and combined it with pulled pork made in the crock pot. The pork is also cooked in Dr. Pepper for double the fun.

Dr. Pepper is an excellent addition to recipes and gives plenty of sweet flavor along with that indescribable kick that Dr. Pepper has. I also love it in chili.

Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork on a bun with coleslaw.


Leftover pulled pork can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days or they can be frozen in a ziptop freezer bag for 2 months.

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork in a slow cooker.

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Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

This tender pulled pork is cooked in the crock pot all day and tossed with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. It’s a recipe that combines 3 favorites of mine: pulled pork, Dr. Pepper, and my crock pot.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 8 hours
TOTAL: 8 hours 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder, ok to use one with bone but should be about 5 pounds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 (12-ounce) can Dr. Pepper


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) can Dr. Pepper


  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Place in pan and cook to brown all sides.
  • Mix together dark brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Place sliced onion in bottom of a crock pot.
  • Place pork on top of onions and coat with brown sugar mixture. Pour can of Dr. Pepper around the sides of 6-quart crock pot. Place lid on crock pot and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or on high 5 to 6 hours.
  • To make sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan . Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • When pork is done, remove it from crock pot and shred with 2 forks. Discard liquid in crock pot. Return pork to crock pot and add 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce. Mix in with pork. Cover crock pot and cook on LOW for 1 hour.


To add some extra heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to this recipe.


Calories: 519kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: pork, slow cooker

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Recipe Source: adapted from Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook: More than 1,000 of the world’s best recipes for today’s kitchen

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16 thoughts on “Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork”

  1. Sue kirchner

    I’ve made pulled pork a few times. This recipe is the best one I ever eaten, other than the one I ate in NC at a reunion. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ sauce. I put 2 teas. dried chopped onion on the top because I forgot fresh onion at the beginning. It was still excellent!

  2. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    I’ve never made pulled pork – let alone pulled pork flavoured with dr. pepper before. I can imagine though that it really kicks up the flavour. Looks delicious Christin!

  3. I’ll bet the Dr. Pepper gives this the best flavor! I’ve used root beer, but looks like Dr. Pepper needs to be next. 🙂

  4. Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel

    Looks amazing! I love cooking pork in the Crock Pot… always comes out JUST RIGHT!

  5. Melissa @ Bits of Umami

    Love finding new crock pot recipes. And I’m a huge pork fan. Oink oink. Must try this!

  6. Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    This HAS to be most delicious. I love pulled pork. The pictures are beyond tantalizing.

  7. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This pork looks fantastic, Christin! I always make pulled porn in my slow cooker too, but with root beer. I’ll have to try it out with dr. pepper! Pinned!

  8. Amy @ Elephant Eats

    Since going back to work after maternity leave (and having to be gone 12 hrs), I’ve been on the search for good slow-cooker recipes…esp those that can cook for at least 10 hrs and stay warm for a while. I bet this could stay warm all day without overcooking. I’m totally checking out your pinterest board. If you know of any other good all-day cooker recipes, please let me know!!! Unfortunately my husband dislikes to two meats that are best for all-day cooking, beef and pork, but I think i could get him to at least eat pork.

  9. This pulled pork looks incredible, Christin! I can just imagine how flavorful it must be with the Dr. Pepper!

  10. Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    This is my perfect pork! Love using soda to help to sweeten things up a bit. Photos turned out gorgeous!

    Happy Valentine’s day friend!

  11. Ruby Red Apron

    Bbq sauce with Dr. Pepper sounds delicious! I can just imagine how flavorful this pulled pork must be!

  12. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I love the idea of using Dr. Pepper in a pulled pork recipe! This looks so warm and comforting. I should try it before the snowstorm this weekend. :O 🙂

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