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Root Beer Pulled Pork – The Best Pulled Pork Recipe Ever!

If you love pulled pork, you are going to fall in love with the flavor of this Root Beer Pulled Pork recipe. It turns a standard pork roast into the most tender, mouth watering pulled pork that you have ever tasted.

In fact, it tastes so good that you don’t even need to add barbecue sauce! Simply pile the meat on a bun or in a tortilla shell and you will have the most amazing sandwich or taco that you have ever tasted!

But what makes this pork so delicious? You probably guessed it from the title of the recipe, root beer! The soda acts as a tenderizer during the cooking process and the meat basically melts in your mouth when it is done cooking.

root beer pulled pork
Moist and juicy pulled pork sandwich that is so good that no barbecue sauce is required!

Although you could use just about any type of soda, I prefer to use root beer. Not only will it make the meat super tender, the flavor of the root beer adds a slightly sweet yet subtle flavor to the pork.

In addition, because the pork is roasted in the oven and not cooked low and slow in a crock pot, the root beer heats up nicely and becomes even sweeter during the cooking process.

The Second Secret To The Best Pulled Pork

But that isn’t the only reason that this pulled pork recipe is my favorite. The pork roast is coated in a dry rub and left to sit overnight before cooking.

Therefore, even before the root beer is added, the pork is being tenderized and flavored even before it is cooked. Although this process requires a little planning, it makes a huge difference in the taste and flavor of the pulled pork.

But before we get started, you must first purchase a pork roast. But which roast is the best one to buy?

What Type of Pork To Buy For Pulled Pork

Once you head to the store, you may be confused at what type of pork roast to purchase. That is understandable because there are so many different types and depending on where you live, they may be labeled differently.

A pork shoulder roast is the ideal roast to purchase for pulled pork. It has an optimum fat to meat ratio that creates tender meat once cooked.

pork shoulder
The best pulled pork is made from a pork shoulder, pork butt or Boston butt.

However, this type of roast may also be labeled as a pork butt or Boston butt. Although both a pork butt and a pork shoulder are cut from the leg of the pig, the pork butt is a cut of meat that comes from a higher section of the leg.

Think of it as a roast that is called pork shoulder being closer to the foot. And a pork butt roast being closer to the spine. Regardless, either one of these type of roasts will make the best pulled pork.

Slow Cooker vs. Roasted Pulled Pork

As much as I love making Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, there are times when I prefer this Root Beer Pulled Pork recipe.

First, the oven roasted method takes less time to cook. And sometimes, that is a huge benefit when you want to serve pulled pork for lunch or for a mid-day tailgate.

In addition, when you cook the pulled pork in the oven, you get a little bit of crust on the exterior surface. This gives you a little more texture and flavor that is similar to that of Smoked Pulled Pork.

Although the true key in making the best pulled pork isn’t just about the cooking process. It has to do with the dry rub and the liquid that you cook it in.

So let me walk you through how I make the most amazing and tender pulled pork in the oven.

pork rub
Make the dry rub and coat the meat. Then refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Root Beer Pulled Pork Recipe

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

Dry Rub Ingredients

  • Brown sugar
  • Chili powder
  • Sea salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

Other Ingredients

  • Boneless pork shoulder, or pork butt
  • Olive oil
  • Root beer
  • Onion

INSTRUCTIONS

Dry Rub Instructions

In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the dry rub. Whisk until it is well mixed.

Then cut the excess fat off the outer portion of the pork if needed. Then cut the pork roast into large cubes.

Pat the meat dry using paper towels. Then coat all sides of the pork cubes with the dry rub and place in a large bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or place the cubes in large, resealable plastic bags. Place the meat in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours.

pork browning
Before you put the pork roast in the oven, brown each side of the meat to add more flavor to your pulled pork.

Root Beer Pulled Pork Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven and place a large Dutch oven or a large, oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and wait until it is hot and shimmering.

Working in batches as needed, add the marinated pork chunks in the pot. You want them to be in a single layer at the bottom of the pot.

Sear the meat until brown on all sides. Then use tongs to remove the pork and place the meat in a large bowl and set aside. Repeat with the remaining meat.

Once all of the pork sections are brown and removed from the pot, add the onions to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Then add the root beer to the pot and deglaze the bottom surface with a wooden spatula. Removing the browned bits from the bottom surface will add more flavor once the pulled pork is cooked.

Place the pork and any juices that are in the bowl back into the pot. Cover and place in the preheated oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the lid and add the remaining can of root beer if more liquid is needed. Place the lid back on and cook for an additional 30-90 minutes or until the pork shreds easily with two forks.

Root beer pulled pork
Once the pork is cooked, it will easily shred with two forks.

Shred The Meat

Remove the pot from the oven and allow the pork to sit for 20 minutes in the liquid. Then remove the Root beer pork roast from the pot and shred and pull the meat apart with two forks.

Place the meat in a large bowl and pour a little of the root beer cooking liquid over top. Toss to coat.

If you want to make barbecue sandwiches add your favorite barbecue sauce to the bowl and coat the shredded pork.

Serve warm for sandwiches, tacos, burritos, nachos and more!

Enjoy! Mary

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Root Beer Pulled Pork

root beer pulled pork

Tender and juicy root beer braised pulled pork cooked in the oven. Serve in tacos, burritos, nachos and more. Or toss in your favorite barbecue sauce to make pulled pork sandwiches.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder

Pulled Pork

  • 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, or pork butt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup Root Beer
  • 1 medium onion, diced

Instructions

Dry Rub

  1. In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the dry rub. Mix well.
  2. Cut the pork into large cubes. Then pat the pork dry using paper towels.
  3. Coat the pork cubes with the dry rub and place in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap or in large resealable plastic bags. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Pulled Pork

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. In a large pot heat the oil until it is hot and shimmering. Working in batches as needed, add the marinated pork chunks in the pot and brown on all sides. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
    Add the onions to the pan and and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the root beer to the pot and deglaze the bottom surface with a wooden spatula.
  3. Place the browned pork and any juices back into the pot. Cover and place in the preheated oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid and add the remaining can of root beer. Place the lid back on and cook for an additional 30-90 minutes or until the pork shreds easily with two forks.
  4. Remove the pot from the oven, allow the meat to sit for 20 minutes. Then remove the pork from the pot and shred with two forks.
    If desired, add your favorite barbecue sauce to coat the shredded pork and toss to coat the pork.
  5. Serve warm for sandwiches, tacos, burritos, nachos and more!

Notes

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 754Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 213mgSodium: 486mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 56g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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