This Coca Cola pulled pork is sweet, savory, and impossible to resist!
Whether you serve it as an appetizer, a side dish, or as a main entrée, pulled pork will make your dinner extra special.
After all, how can you say no to sweet, smoky, and melt-in-your-mouth pork?
Best of all, pulled pork could not be easier to make! Just place all the ingredients in the Crockpot, and your part is done.
Yes, it takes several hours of waiting, but every minute is worth it.
This Coca Cola pulled pork recipe is perfect for summer barbecues, or for cozy winter nights at home!
Coca Cola Pulled Pork
Ever wonder why Coca Cola or any other type of soda tastes great in pulled pork?
It’s because the sugars in the soda caramelize while slow-cooking, giving the pork that beautiful, sweet flavor.
Together with the barbecue sauce and liquid smoke, it makes the pork unbelievable.
- Pork Roast (shoulder or butt) – The star of this dish is the pork, so you’ll want to make sure you get the right kind. The cut of pork can make or break this dish, so listen up!
The best cut for pulled pork is, hands down, the shoulder. It’s the moistest cut of pork, which will give you that lovely, melt-in-your-mouth barbecue.
In second place is pork butt, which will also yield a super tender dish.
Try to avoid pork tenderloin. It’s leaner, which means you’ll get dryer meat. But you can use it in a pinch. Just load it with barbecue sauce to give it moisture.
You’ll also want to pick a boneless cut so that it’s much easier to shred once cooked.
- Garlic and Onion – For flavor.
- Black and Cayenne Peppers – For a kick of spice.
- Liquid Smoke – To add smokiness to the barbecue.
- Coca Cola – It caramelizes as it cooks, giving the pork a wonderful sweet flavor.
- Barbecue Sauce – For that sweet and smoky barbecue flavor. Pick your favorite brand!
Tips for the Best Pulled Pork
- Can’t get all the barbecue sauce out of its bottle? Here’s a hack for ya: pour some of the Coke into the bottle and give it a good shake. Once the sauce has thinned out, it will be a lot easier to pour.
- Apart from Coca Cola, you can also use other types of soda to flavor pulled pork. Try Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, or Cream Soda! Each of them will give the meat a different flavor, so feel free to experiment.
- Do not over-crowd the slow cooker, otherwise, you’ll need to cook the meat even longer.
- Trim the fat off the meat post-cooking. Pork shoulder has a thick layer of fat that you won’t want in your dish.
Trim off anything over a quarter of an inch. The remaining fat will give you just the right amount of umami goodness.
- Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature of perfectly cooked pulled pork is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For an even saucier, juicier pulled pork, reduce the remaining liquid in the Crockpot into a thick sauce. Just cook it on the stove over medium-low heat and stir constantly until thick. Pour it over the pulled pork, and voila!
- Pulled pork is so ridiculously tender that you can easily shred it with two forks or a pair of meat claws.
But you know what will make the whole process much, much faster? Use an electric mixer!
Use a flat beater paddle and set the mixer to medium speed and beat for 30 seconds.
- Store leftover pulled pork in a sealable container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Place it in a freezer-safe bag, remove excess air, and seal.
What To Do With Leftover Pulled Pork
I think the question should be, what can’t you do with leftover pulled pork?
Pulled pork is such a versatile dish you can do absolutely whatever you want with it. Here are some ideas:
- Use it in a sandwich! Or, stuff it in a burrito, quesadilla, taco, enchilada, or any tortilla wrapped dish you can come up with.
- Top it on pizza, nachos, or crackers.
- Add it to a salad.
- Eat it with rice.
- Or, you can just eat it on its own!
Sides to Go With Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is already fantastic on its own, but what will take it to the next level are the sides. Here are a few side dishes that pair wonderfully with pulled pork.
Let’s start with the most basic – burger buns. Pulled pork has such an intense barbecue flavor that you’ll want something starchy to dial it down a bit.
Burger buns, or any type of bread or roll, for that matter, gets the job done. You can also use the bread to sop up all that excess sauce on your plate!
Next up is another classic – coleslaw. It’s crisp, cool, and creamy, while pulled pork is tender, hot, and sweet. Together, they create the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
If you want to give a southern flair to your barbecue, you can’t go wrong with jalapeno cornbread. This savory cornbread complements the sweetness and smokiness of the pork beautifully.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, a big bowl of rice is what you’ll need! Top the pulled pork on the rice and have a hearty, delectable meal.
Here’s another side that goes well with pulled pork: potatoes. Whether mashed, fried, roasted, or baked, it doesn’t matter! Any kind of potato dish tastes amazing with pulled pork.
Want something a little lighter? Pair your pulled pork with a crisp, refreshing salad. I like using a creamy dressing to contrast the sweetness of the pork, but you can also use vinaigrette.
Last but not least, my absolute favorite: mac and cheese. Along with pulled pork, it makes the ultimate comfort food!
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