This Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork recipe is sweet, tangy, and completely delicious. It’s perfect for entertaining, and the root beer barbecue sauce alone is worth the make!
Labor Day weekend is just a few short days away, and this week I want to share with you a couple of recipes that will make your long weekend festivities a success! Yesterday I shared with you my thick and saucy Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans recipe, and today I’m sharing my Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork recipe!
Sometimes pulled pork made with Dr.Pepper, Coke, or Root Beer can be way too sweet. To balance out the sweet soda and brown sugar in most recipes, I adapted my favorite Carolina barbecue sauce recipe, that’s a bit tangy, to make it into a spectacular root beer barbecue sauce! It’s sweet and tangy with just the right touch of root beer flavor!
Cook’s Note – Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork:
- Leftover root beer pulled pork can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To heat up leftover root beer pulled pork, add 1 tablespoon of water for every cup of pulled pork and heat in the microwave on high until warmed through.
- If you have not used a spice rub before, don’t be intimidated by the amount of spices in the rub. You’re working with a large cut of meat that will be cooked over an expended period of time. The spices will penetrate the meat to heighten its flavor, not overpower it.
- I DO NOT reccommend cooking this root beer pulled pork on high heat. Who it’s cooked on high heat it’s actually being boiled and it alters the texture of the meat. Trust me, it’s no bueno.
- I like to add a teaspoon of root beer concentrate to the root beer barbecue sauce to heighten the root beer flavor without adding more sugar. You can leave this out and it will be every bit as delicious!
Cook’s Tools – Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork:
- slow cooker
- cookie sheet
- fine mesh strainer
- large saucepan
- large measuring cup
- liquid smoke
- root beer concentrate (I can sometimes find this at Walmart, but most of the time I buy it online.)
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- SPICE RUB:
- 4 Tablespoons paprika
- 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 boneless pork butt (Boston butt), 5 to 6 pounds, cut into 3 even pieces
- 2 cups root beer
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup root beer
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper
- FOR SERVING:
- 10-12 Kaiser or hamburger buns
- FOR SPICE RUB: In small bowl add all rub ingredients and stir to combine; set aside.
- FOR PORK: Coat each pork piece with spice rub. Place pork pieces into slow cooker insert, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove plastic wrap and place slow cooker insert onto base. Pour root beer over pork, cover, and cook on LOW until pork is tender, 8-10 hours.
- Carefully move pork to foil-lined cookie sheet. Using forks shred pork into large chunks and discard extra fat. Cool pork while you make root beer barbecue sauce.
- FOR ROOT BEER BARBECUE SAUCE: While pork cools, set strainer over large saucepan. Pour cooking liquid through strainer, and skim excess fat from surface (you should have 5-6 cups of liquid). Bring liquid to boil over medium-high and continue to cook to reduce liquid to 1 cup, 30-40 minutes.
- While cooking liquid boils, in large liquid measuring cup whisk together vinegar, root beer (be careful because it will foam - that’s why you need a large measuring cup and pour slowly!), ketchup, and brown sugar.
- Once cooking liquid is reduced to 1 cup, pour in vinegar mixture and simmer for 5-6 minutes to thicken slightly. Off heat stir in liquid smoke and root beer concentrate (optional). You should have about 3 cups of sauce.
- TO FINISH: Pour half of sauce over pork, and use tongs to toss to combine. Let pork sit to absorb sauce, about 10 minutes. Season pork with salt and pepper. Serve with the extra root beer barbecue sauce standing by!
Round out the Meal:
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