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Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My husband is a huge fan of pulled pork sandwiches, so my sister shared this incredibly easy recipe with me. At potlucks and family dinners, nobody can get enough of this root beer-braised version. —Carolyn Palm, Radcliff, Kentucky
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 8-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) root beer or cola
  • 1 bottle (18 ounces) barbecue sauce
  • 12 kaiser rolls, split


  • Place roast in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Add root beer; cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 8-10 hours.
  • Remove roast; cool slightly. Discard cooking juices. Shred pork with two forks; return to slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce. Cook, covered, until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve on rolls.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary.

Test Kitchen Tip
  • Root Beer Pulled Pork makes a standout nacho topper. Pile tortilla chips on a plate, and top with hot pork, shredded cheese and sliced jalapenos.
  • Pork shoulder is a flavorful cut with plenty of fatty marbling throughout. Trim any excess fat before cooking. The meat needs a long cook time to become tender.
  • Check out 60 of our best barbecue recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 sandwich: 453 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 907mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Brian
      Oct 1, 2020

      Needs tweaking, about 6 to 7 hours in the slow cooker. Add a rub onto the pork. I used cajun spice, salt, pepper and a bit of tumeric. Tastes pretty good but you have to add flavor that isn't just sweet to the dish

    • Sandi
      May 18, 2020

      I’ve never made this before, but our family loves pulled pork sandwiches. It was AMAZING! So happy I tried it, and unbelievable EASY:-). My husband raved about it! Added a couple beef bullion cubes. A must make recipe! ( I personally used slow cooker, for about 6 hrs)

    • tammycookblogsbooks
      Jan 2, 2020

      I added the root beer to the pork and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. I then put the pork, root beer, and my homemade barbecue sauce all together in the crock pot to cook. The flavor turned out good.

    • Sherri Duran
      Apr 12, 2019

      I loved this with the modification of one of your reviewers in adding garlic salt etc. I think you may have removed the review though.

    • Nate
      Jan 5, 2019

      Great recipe! I ended up seasoning the pork shoulder with salt, smoked paprika and chili powder then seared it before placing it in the crock pot. After it was cooked and shredded I took 1cup of the juice I strained and put aside and mixed it with 1cup of bbq sauce then mixed it in with the pork. Delicious!!

    • LIZ
      Jun 15, 2018

      dont waste your time on this recipe. i followed the directions and got nothing but a tasteless piece of meat. it was also difficult to chew and i had to spit it out. even the bbq sauce could save it. ten bucks down the drain.

    • Nicole
      Apr 9, 2018

      When I make this, I mix a Tablespoon each of salt and chili powder, rub the pork with it, and sear it on all sides before putting it in the crockpot. I would highly recommend this step. I didn't do it one time, thinking it wouldn't make that much difference, but it sure does! I also use just 1 C. of barbeque sauce.

    • WisconsinG
      Aug 29, 2017

      The pork turned out nice and tender- very tasty! I did add some beef broth for a little more moisture but otherwise very good!

    • sport58
      Jul 12, 2017

      Very tender. Definitely need the barbecue sauce for flavoring.

    • Karla
      May 24, 2017

      The Best Pulled Pork Ever! My husband isn't usually a fan, but absolutely loved this! I used the cheap Walmart Root Beer. I tossed all the juices & removed the fat. It tore apart nicely! I used our Favorite BBQ sauce that could make the difference for the ones who like spice. I used Head Country, Original. Warmed it & just used Sesame Seed Hamburger buns. Served with Cole Slaw. Total perfection! I will make often & for guests!