Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Pulled Pork

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A hamburger bun is filled with tender, amber colored cola pulled pork and creamy coleslaw. The sandwich is on a white plate served with thinly sliced fresh onion, dill pickle slices and a serving a crispy potato chips.

Smoking large cuts of meat such as pork or beef roasts outdoors is a long and laborious process to do it right. While the flavors of properly smoked meats can be rave-worthy, somedays committing to the often day-long cooking process to achieve all that smoky goodness is just not for us.

We are a ridiculously busy bunch around here most of the time and even on our days “off” we have to be reminded to sit down for a spell! Never mind focusing on an hours-long, hands-on cooking process that involves real fire that we’ll likely for get about. 🔥🔥 My husband used to love to grill and fire up the smoker, but somehow it was easier to do when the kids were smaller. We were just home more back then, had a more regular schedule and chauffeuring kids around was less of a thing. Maybe one day we’ll have all that extra time to kill again, y’all.

That being said, I love a smoky pulled pork sandwich on a toasted bun (when bun toasting is available!), it’s one of my favorite menu items to order if we eat at a barbecue joint. A good pulled or shredded meat sandwich topped with thinly sliced fresh onions, tangy dill pickles, pickled jalapeños and a good serving of cool, creamy coleslaw is simply one the best Southern comfort food combos on the planet!

This Slow Cooker Coca Cola Pulled Pork is one of my favorite recipes for those times when we’re craving barbecue for supper, but we don’t have the time or the energy to do all the actual barbecue and meat smoking things. This simple slow cooked pork always turns out remarkably tender and satisfyingly flavorful. It’s so good that the fussy 11-year-old girl likes the meat and bread separately and she usually asks for a second helping!!

Yes, please and thank you!

How to make Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Pulled Pork

I typically use a three to four pound pork roast for this recipe and I’ll choose a boneless shoulder or butt roast depending on the meat quality and price at the time I’m shopping. I have also used bone-in roasts for this recipe, and of course, that works just fine too. I’ll typically take a few minutes to trim away any excessive fat that might be resting on the surface of the roast, on a pork roast there will be a large fat cap on at least one side. Trimming the fat from meat isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s a personal preference to prevent the end product from being overly fatty or greasy.

After seasoning the meat, I like to brown it all sides in olive or avocado oil for extra color and flavor before adding it to the slow cooker crock.

The meat then cooks for four to five hours in a flavorful combination of convenient ingredients. You’ll need a good barbecue spice rub of your choosing (I recommend some of my personal favorite at the bottom of this post), a bottle smoky barbecue sauce, a medium bell pepper, one small onion, one can of cola. I almost always use classic Coca-Cola, but Dr. Pepper works well too. I don’t recommend using diet soda for this recipe.

Lately, I’ve been adding in one large, seeded, and chopped jalapeño when I make this slow cooker supper. Adding in just a tiny bit of heat from the spicy pepper has been a change up we’ve enjoyed a bunch.

A pulled pork sandwich is topped with classic, creamy coleslaw and served with potato chips, pickle slices and fresh onion slices.

This is a crock pot meal we honestly make all year round, and it’s a delicious meal that we find very comforting when we do. My kids love to pair this fork-tender meat up with tater tots, fries or crisp kettle chips and of course, those easy side choices round this meal out in a snap.

However, pasta salad, potato salad, this delicious Corn and Black Bean Salad, or this flavorful Southwestern Brown Rice Salad are super tasty sides for a bbq supper too!

This is also an easy recipe to make for entertaining, it’s always a crowd pleaser!

Stay cool and happy crocking, y’all!! 🍲🔥

Check out one of my latest cooking videos! Subscribe to my YouTube channel for even more easy recipes and cooking live streams!

Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Pulled Pork

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6-8

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

4-5

hours

This easy, Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Pulled Pork is our favorite way to feed our barbecue craving without lighting up a grill! Serve this slow cooker shredded pork with crispy kettle potato chips, fries or tater tots for a simple, but complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 lb pork roast (shoulder or butt)

  • your favorite barbecue rub for pork

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper (large chunks are okay)

  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional) (**see notes below)

  • 1 can (12 oz) regular Coca-Cola

  • 1 bottle (18 oz) of your favorite barbecue sauce (I used HEB Memphis-style sauce)

Directions

  •  Season the meat generously with the barbecue rub of your choice (recommendations within post). Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the pork roast on all sides (I use tongs and a fork to maneuver the roast). Transfer the browned meat to the crock of your slow cooker. (*See notes below for Instant Pot instructions) 
  • Lightly sprinkle the top of the browned meat with barbecue seasoning again and then place the chopped pepper and onion pieces in on top of the browned meat. Pour the full bottle of barbecue sauce into the crock over the meat. Next, pour the full can of soda into the crock. 
  • Without stirring, cover the crock and allow the pork roast to cook on high for 4.5 – 6 hours or until the meat is fork tender. I usually flip the meat over at least once at around the 3 hour mark.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meat to a large mixing bowl leaving all of the liquid in the crock. Use two forks or a handheld mixer to shred the cooked pork. Return the shredded meat to the crock with the liquid. 
  • Serve on the shredded Coca-Cola Pulled Pork on toasted hamburger buns and top with sliced dill pickles, thin slices of fresh sweet onion or pickled onions as well as some creamy coleslaw, as you prefer. Enjoy! 

Recipe Video

Notes

  • *If you are using a multi-function pressure cooker, use the brown function to brown the meat and then switch the machine into slow-cook mode for 4.5 – 6 hours .
  • **In the video, I do not use a jalapeno pepper, it is an optional ingredient. Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t!
  • If you do not eat pork, 3 – 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be substituted into the recipe.
  • Recipe from A Little Fish in the Kitchen blog at www.alittlefishinthekitchen.com. All content is owned by Marcelle G. Bolton. Please contact the author for permission to republish

10 Comments

  1. My aunt used to talk all the time about a recipe she heard about in which you would make ham in Coca-Cola. Now that I see your recipe, I wonder if it was talking about a fresh ham and therefore a pork butt/shoulder. I was never able to find her the recipe before she died, but I know she would love this! And I will too.

    • Thank you, David!! We thinks it’s so tasty. Sometimes Evan and I just eat it on it’s own with a side of potato salad, pasta salad or cole slaw and skip the bun. I hope y’all enjoy it if you make it!!

  2. I knew that you can use coca cola as a tenderizer for meat, but I’ve never done that myself. Intriguing. And needless to say this meat looks incredible!

  3. Marcelle, I remember well the days of chauffeuring kids around, and having one day just blend into the next, as a blur. During those hectic days, I used my slow cooker a lot. Pulled Pork was a favorite. I love your recipe tad sweet, and then a little heat kick with jalapeño.

  4. my husband would devour this!

    • Hey Angie, thank you so much! 🙂 We think it’s a fun recipe, hope y’all love it if you try it. ❤️

  5. I first saw Nigella Lawson use Coke to flavour her Christmas ham! Of course all those spices and whatever they put into Coke would add interesting flavours to a dish. CLever.
    cheers
    sherry

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