Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is the perfect way to serve a crowd.  It’s easy, tender, delicious and everyone always loves it!

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pulled Pork! This is one of our absolute favorite slow cooker recipes!! This works with root beer too!! <3 YUM!

How to Make Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

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This is a family favorite that is super simple to put together!  If you’re a fan of slow cooker pulled pork, you’ll really love this recipe made with Dr Pepper! It’s amazing that just a few simple ingredients can create a dish that is so rich and delicious.

The best part about this dish is that it cooks in slow cooker and is ready when you are, which means it’s super easy to make.  If you are serving a crowd, you can easily turn it onto low to keep it warm until guests are ready to eat.  We just set out a basket of rolls and a bowl of slaw and our guests can create their own sandwiches!

For an alternative, you can try this recipe with diet soda or root beer and it still tastes just as wonderful!

 Items you’ll need for this recipe :

*slow cooker *Dr Pepper *Pork Shoulder*


Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is the perfect way to serve a crowd.  It’s easy, tender, delicious and everyone always loves it!

Did you make this recipe?


  • 1 pork butt/pork shoulder roast (4-5lbs)
  • salt, pepper & garlic powder
  • 1 onion sliced (optional)
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce (or to taste)
  • Rolls & coleslaw for serving


  1. Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Rub the outside of the roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Pour the Dr. Pepper over the pork and cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 7-8 hours.
  3. The meat will be very tender. Using 2 forks, shred the pork and place back in the juices.
  4. Add barbecue sauce to taste. Allow to cook an additional 30-60 minutes if desired.
  5. Serve on crusty rolls with coleslaw if desired.


If your pork produces a lot of juice you might like to remove some before adding the shredded pork back into the mixture.

For a “saucier” pulled pork, add more barbecue sauce.

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Here are a few more recipes you’ll love

*Pulled Pork Sandwiches With Zesty Slaw *Slow Cooker Cheesesteak *Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteak*

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork! This is one of our absolute favorite slow cooker recipes!! This works with root beer too!! <3 YUM!

Holly Nilsson

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

161 comments on “Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe”

  1. The only thing I would do different is to sear the meat first, get that good crusty carmelization going! Sounds delish, will try it the next time I catch a sale on the pork! Or may even try it with beef brisket!

    • what about people who are allergic to caffeine? they better have an ingredient disclosure attached.

      • I hope you won’t make this recipe if you are allergic to caffeine! You could use something caffeine free as well.

      • Dr Pepper does offer a caffeine free version. I’m sure it’s the carbonation of the beverage that breaks down the meat to make it fall off so easily, but it’s the 23-flavors (sorry for the shameless plug) that give it the unique flavor,

        • it does work with other sodas.. i have used sierra mist. The dr. pepper is just the better flavor.

          • Whole Foods makes a caffeine free version (also uses sugar instead of corn syrup) called Dr. Snap. I have never seen a caffeine free version of Dr. Pepper unfortunately.

          • Wonder if cola cola’s-cherry coke would be alright to try,let’s hope cuz it’s in my slow cooker as I write this lol… has anyone tried same 

      • An ingredient disclosure?!? Seriously? The name of the recipe wasn’t enough!? Some ppl!
        Sounds yummy :)

      • Dr.Pepper has a Diet or Caffeine Free Version you can use if you are worried.

      • Wow I think if you’re making it, you’d know what’s in Dr. Pepper or read labels yourself. Don’t be lazy and make the poster list them for you.

      • Then you would need an ingredient disclosure on all recipes. I can’t have caffeine and know to read ingredients on all soft drinks. Sadly my favorites have caffeine, like dr pepper, Mountain Dew and good old regular coke. :(

      • A disclosure? What if you just used common sense? There’s a thought! If I’m allergic to chocolate I wouldn’t eat a chocolate cake…duh.

      • I’m allergic to onions, but I’m pretty sure the poster will forgive me for leaving it out and not asking her to add a disclosure.

      • Maybe if you know you’re sensitive to caffeine, then you’d know to avoid items that contain caffeine…kind of like….Dr Pepper has caffeine so why would you make something that has caffeine in it…also coffee has caffeine – but you don’t expect to see caffeine listed as an ingredient here in that case – common sense.

      • if you’re allergic to something and elect to follow a recipe containing your allergen, that’s natural selection as far as i’m concerned.

      • If your allergic to caffeine, simple don’t use anything with caffeine. Simple isn’t it? Common sense is a great thing to use. Be responsible for yourself.

      • Then use caffeine free, if you are mature enough to make this then i would hope you are able to figure out if soda has caffeine or not.

      • there is a recipe for a root beer and root beer has no caffeine

        • Barq’s root beer is loaded with caffeine so be careful about root beer too; if allergic to something always read ingredients and don’t assume just because its root beer that it’s caffeine free

          • I didn’t realize Barq’s root beer has caffeine. I never even thought to check. Thank you for sharing this. :) I’m not sensitive to caffeine, but this is good to know.

  2. I would think that if you are allergic to caffeine, you won’t make this!

  3. Exactly! If you knew you were allergic to nuts you wouldn’t make a dish with nuts in it!

  4. What size pork butt roast? How many pounds??

  5. I just bought a 9lb center cut pork loin. How would I adapt this recipe for that

    • For a 9lb roast, use 3 onions and pour enough dr pepper on the roast to cover it. I never use cans, only 2 liters so as long as you cover the meat, you’ll be fine.

  6. I have a chicken recipe that is similar (not the same) and I am sure you could adapt it to use chicken (and eliminate the bacon). :)


  7. We just love this Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork and it is great to cook it in the Slow Cooker. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. Dr. pepper pulled pork! Say what!!! Thanks for linking up to the Weekend Wind-Down Party! :)

  9. I have had pulled pork made this way, but with Root Beer instead of Dr. Pepper. (Root Beer has no caffeine and you can also get Diet Root Beer if you want.. ) The pork is Delicious made this way.

    • Wow thanks for the tip! We bought some root beer BBQ sauce and it was out of this world. Now I feel I can make my own with your tip.

    • I use root beer too. Also just plain beer with about two tablespoons of brown works too! And before anyone gets their panties in a knot….the alcohol cooks out.

  10. I have heard of this recipe and I know it will be a great one. I am going to try this for Sunday dinner.

  11. Moxie works too!

  12. how many people will it feed?

  13. Forgive what may seem a stupid question. At step 3 when you say ‘shred the pork and place back in the juices’ you don’t mean back in the Dr Pepper juice do you?. Do you mean put it back with any juices that has seeped out during the shredding process?. Thanks.

  14. it works great with Black cherry and Root beer Too

  15. I used a can of cider because I forgot to get Dr Pepper and it was delicious.

  16. Has anyone tried with Mt dew? That’s all i have soda wise right now..
    How much does it differ from dark sofas if at all?

  17. Lol ignore the spell check spelling…of course i meant soda not sofa!;):)

  18. I made this with chicken its so tender!

  19. I made this yesterday for dinner and all I have to say is, it’s my new favorite meal to make! It turned out so tender and yummy! I used Open Pit Brown Sugar & Bourbon BBQ sauce and it ended up perfect! :)

  20. Hi, on the Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, do you have to cut all the fat off before putting it in the crock pot? How do you handle the fat issue? I also make a dish similar with Coke and Ketchup and chicken breast. It’s delish!


    • I don’t generally cut off the fat. If you find the juices to have a lot of fat floating on top, you can skim the juices before returning the shredded beef to the slow cooker! (And I’d love to find your Cola/Ketchup chicken breasts, I think my kids would love it!).

  21. The Cola Ketchup Chicken is so easy= KetchACola Chicken
    put 4 or 5 chicken breast in a 5 quart pot. Add 2 cups of ketchup, 2 liters of Coke (not diet) stir and bring to a boil. Simmer down until it becomes thickened like a bbq sauce consistency, a couple of hours. That simple!
    Of course I complicate it by adding 1 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder. Then I take it out and shred it.

    I hope you try it and like it!

    • Yummy! I have a very similar recipe but I haven’t shredded the chicken with it before but I love that idea! I’m definitely going to try shredding it!
      Thank you for sharing!

  22. With a 6 pound roast how long do you think it would take to cook on high?

  23. This looks so good. I have heard of Dr. Pepper recipes before but have never been inspired to try one…until now!

  24. I have used Root Beer, but it was too sweet for my taste.

  25. Delicious, Love that you used dr pepper instead of beer, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. Pinning it.

  26. I am making this now and just added the shredded pork back into the juices and added barbecue sauce but it seems runny. Will the liquid thicken on cooking and additional hour

  27. About how many servings would this feed? Thanks!

  28. So i am planning on making this for dinner tomorrow since I’ve had it pinned forever & am trying new stuff. My question is probably a duh, but does it matter if I defrost the meat first or can I throw it in frozen. Just thinking frozen will make it too juicy instead of that thick sauce for pulled pork.

  29. The only thing that I don’t like about this recipe is that there are no amounts for the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Especially for spices that are fairly potent and flavorful, amounts are important.

  30. I have an 8 pound pork butt…. should I use 2 cans of Dr . Pepper? Also how much longer about? (High or low?

    • I would cook it 8-10 hours on low or until fork tender. You could use a little bit extra Dr. Pepper but I don’t think you’d need 2 full cans.

      • Do you pour in enough dr.pepper to submerge the roast? I’m making a 8 lb. Roast with the turkey and I have one of those long oval crocks, to put the roast in. And you mentioned about 8-10 hours on low.

        • No, the roast is not submerged. The liquid usually just comes up about 1-2″ depending on the size of your slow cooker.

          • Did a 9 lb and used 1 and half cans of Dr Pepper. Cooked for 10 hours on low. Probably only needed the 1 can as there was a lot of juice left over to the point I removed a least a cup before adding the shredded meat back in.

            Big hit over the holidays so thanks for the recipe. This one will be made many more times in the future.

          • SO glad you enjoyed it Greg!

  31. This works great with root beer also, as well as Vernor’s ginger ale

  32. Used this recipe for a luncheon and the pulled pork was a hit. I didn’t add the BBQ sauce but place some in a bowl to spoon on; also included coleslaw as an add on. Will definitely use this recipe again. Thanks for sharing.

  33. My daughter turned me on to this recipe. I don’t drink Dr Pepper but my kids and grandkids do so I always have it on hand. This was a super good recipe. YUM I did skim off the fat when I took the pork out and removed all the fat I could before shredding. As I said this is a keeper.

  34. When you say place the onion in the bottom of the cooker, do I dice the onion at all or literally just put the whole onion in… sorry if that’s a dumb question!

  35. OK, I am totally trusting all you guys! Making this for the first time tonight for my friends and a new guy I am seeing… **biting my nails** Hope it’s as great as everyone says! I am using 2 pork tenderloins instead of a pork roast. Wish me luck!!

    • Pork tenderloin is much leaner than a butt/shoulder roast. You may need to adjust cooking time so it doesn’t dry out! Let us know how it works out for you! :)

      • I had the tenderloins in my crockpot on high for 3 1/2 hrs turning them once half way through. It was amazingly tender when I shredded it. Put the shredded meat back into the crock pot with the BBQ sauce and had it on low for an additional 1 1/2 hrs. It was perfect! Exactly how I had hoped for it to turn out! Thanks so much for such a simple and great recipe. My guests LOVED it!

  36. I am attempting to make this for the first time, I will be using around 7-8lbs of pork shoulder. Should I use enough dr. Pepper to almost cover the pork or stick to the 1 can recipe?

  37. I love this! We do Root Beer pulled pork all the time. I bet the Dr Pepper gives such a good flavor too!

  38. What’s the lbs of the pork you used?

  39. Tried this and it was sooo good! I used the onions in the bottom to give it some flavor. Then I made homemade onion rings to add to my pulled pork sandwich to give it a little extra crunch. I also buttered and toasted the bun. It was a huge hit everyone loved the onion ring addition!

  40. I’m guessing that one would not want to use any diet sodas as the bit of sugar in the Dr Pepper, Root Beer etc would be an important addition? I’m sure everybody but me knows this but I couldn’t find any boneless pork butt at my best market so was going to go elsewhere when the butcher asked if he could help. He took the bone out and weigh the pork afterwards. I was impressed It just didn’t occur to me to ask!

  41. Dr. Pepper and pulled pork? Sure, why not! My mother, who is Korean, makes a type of Korean barbecue meat which she marinades in Coca-Cola so I see no reason why this can’t be as awesome as it looks and sounds.

  42. I’m having a memorial day party at 12. Can I cook it extra long? Maybe put in in from 11pm tonight till 12 tomorrow? If so then which setting? Thanks

  43. Omg tried this food the first time last night. It was so good definitely going to use again for family get togethers.I used pork loin since that’s all they had at the store but it still turned out so amazing. My mom thought I was crazy for wanting to try it but I bet if she ate some she’d love it. Definitely keeping this recipe

  44. My roast isn’t fully submerged, is that okay? Or do I need to add something else?

  45. Bone In or boneless pork shoulder? Or is a pork butt roast, which winco has boneless, better?

  46. Will this work for a frozen pork? Thank you

  47. How many does this feed?

  48. Smelling delicious! It’s been in the crock pot since 4 a.m., and it’s now 7.

  49. I used diet Dr Pepper, caffien free Dr pepper and regular Dr pepper 4 oz of each to equal 1 can and it turned out great and keeps everyone happy

  50. I just cooked this and the pork is not shredding. It is a pork butt/shoulder. Does that just mean it hasn’t cooked long enough or is it possible I bought the wrong meat?

  51. This sounds delicious I was wondering any suggestions on a good BBQ sauce?

  52. I made this today for a superbowl family dinner. I had a 5.5 lb bone in pork butt. I cut the bone out and seared it before putting in the crock pot. I cooked it on high for 6 hours. I pulled the pork out and shredded it. I poured the juices from the crockpot through a colander and added back all the onions etc. to the pork. I added Sweet Baby Rays to taste – way more than 3/4 cup so you need to go by your own tastes. I also added back liquid about a 1/4 cup at a time. I think I only added back about a 1/2 cup of the juices. I saved the rest for another day’s gravy. I put it all back in the crock pot on low to reheat. It was delicious!!!! Thanks for the great recipe.

  53. Pork is a cheap meat right now this a quick and easy meal to make

  54. Did you use diet or sugar free products? It could also be the brand of barbecue sauce you used.
    The sauce will be a little bit runny. Once the meat is shredded and put back into it it should soak up some of the sauce and seem thicker.

  55. Can you give me a general idea of how much salt, pepper, and garlic powder to use? Thanks.

  56. I made this and it was really soupy and my family didn’t like it at all..My husband didn’t even try it..soo I won’t be making it again…

  57. Hi there Holly! Thanks for this great recipe. My dad gave me a beautiful organic pork shoulder roast from his farm that he raised and took to a butcher I froze it and it’s been a few months I forgot about it so I pulled it out yesterday hoping it’d be defrosted in 2 days to put in the crock for a family dinner but I just realized there’s a bone in it.. Can I not use it for this recipe now? I was so sad when I realized that lol darn I hope it’s ok but If not that’s ok too.
    Thanks again and hope you can awnser my question.
    Hugs * Sarah! :)

    • Hi Sarah! So lucky to have a lovely bone in shoulder roast!! I have only made this with boneless but I’m sure that this recipe would be great with bone in as well, so much flavor!! You may need to alter the cooking time (as I haven’t cooked a bone in shoulder in the slow cooker before) but should be fine to still follow the basic recipe. I would love to hear how it works out for you!

  58. This also works great using root beer!

  59. I need to feed 9 people – what size roast do you recommend?

    • I would suggest about 6-7lbs raw boneless pork shoulder. This will cook down to about just over 3lbs = 1/3lb finished per person. If you’d like extra or leftovers you might like to go with 8lbs. Enjoy!

  60. I’d say that if you’re allergic to caffine, would wouldn’t be searching for Dr Pepper pulled pork… like seriously? What is wrong with people…. buzz off and stop making the author read your bad attitude.

    Amazing recipe!

  61. Can I add ketchup to this? Has anyone tried it before and how did it turn out?

  62. how many people does this typically serve?

    • It will depend on the size of your roast. You will lose about 50% in volume after cooking so you will need about 1/2 lb uncooked per serving (which will give you about 1/4lb per serving). A 4lb roast will give you 6-8 servings. Hope that helps.

  63. Can this be made with sugar free soda?

  64. What if it’s a leftovers pork roast

  65. Mine came out tough. I even left it in for 14 hours,what is wrong? Shredded great,but tough

  66. I’m going to make this tomorrow! I’m so excited my store has 50% off pork right now. I got a 3 1/2 pound pork butt for like 6 bucks. I made some coleslaw today and it’s in the fridge. I’m gonna put it in tomorrow morning at 5:30am. I think I’m going to make some roasted potatoes for a side dish too :)

  67. Hi Holly,
    I apologise in advance for the dumb question- I can’t find Dr Pepper in my country unfortunately, what do you reckon I could substitute for it?
    Do you think plain Coke would work?
    I have never actually tasted Dr Pepper so I don’t know if it’s needed for its particular flavour, or just any carbonated, sweet drink would do.
    Thank you so much in advance!


  68. Used this for country style pork ribs. It was delicious! Thank you

  69. I see some pulled pork recipes call for liquid smoke, would I want to add any to this recipe when I put in the Dr. Pepper? Also, any feed back for searing the pork first? It sounds good in theory, but has anyone tried it?

    • I have only made it as written, so I don’t know what it would be like with the liquid smoke. I think searing the pork would be fine and give good flavor.

  70. Help! I’m planning on making this for my daughters birthday party on Sunday! We have 26 adults (13 men), 2 elementary school kids and 5 toddlers. How much pork shoulder or butt should I buy?! I have multiple crock pots to use so I won’t be trying to squeeze it all in one lol.

    • You would generally account for 1/4lb per person and pork will lose about 30-40% when cooked. I would suggest about 12-14lbs of pork butt.

  71. Have you tried this with Chuck Roast? Just curious because I have that on hand.  Thank you

    • I haven’t tried this with Chuck Roast however this cut of meat does very well in the slow cooker. If you try it, please let me know how it works out for you!

  72. Can you cook this in advance? 

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