{Tasty + EASY} Root Beer Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork is quick and effortless to throw in the crock pot for an easy, make-ahead, family-pleasing dinner that's also perfect for game day, parties, or potlucks! Drenched in a fantastic homemade BBQ sauce, this pulled pork in root beer can be piled on buns or sliders and topped with a creamy slaw for a meal that everyone will love.

Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork with text overlay.


 

If you enjoy pork, you'll also love Pineapple Pulled Pork Pizza, Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Gravy, or Crock Pot Pork Loin with a tantalizing honey balsamic glaze!

I originally shared the recipe here almost ten years ago, but this Root Beer Pulled Pork has been on the regular menu at my house for as long as I've had kids. It's great as a hands-off, effortless, weeknight dinner...it's great for hosting guests or gatherings...and it just tastes, well, great. And because your crock pot does all the work, it's as easy to make as it is mouth-wateringly delicious!

Ingredients

It only takes a handful of simple ingredients to throw together this succulent Root Beer Pulled Pork:

Labeled ingredients to make pulled pork in root beer.
  • Boneless pork butt. It's not really the "butt" of the pig, though...it's also known as shoulder roast. Cuts of meat can be confusing, so don't hesitate to ask the butcher if you're not sure! A bone-in pork butt will work as well...you just might want to buy a slightly heavier roast to account for later losing the bone. And although it's leaner and more expensive, I sometimes use pork loin instead of pork butt if that's what I already have on hand. As a bonus, pork loin actually ends up being faster to shred because there's very little fat to pick out and discard!
  • Root beer. AKA, the cooking liquid. I prefer using a natural root beer made with cane sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup.
  • Minced garlic. You can either use fresh or it's fine to use the jarred minced garlic in water for this and other crock pot recipes. I find that jarred garlic is quick and easy to toss into crock pot recipes. Plus, since it ends up slow cooking for so long, the end result doesn't taste any different than if I had taken the time to mince fresh garlic cloves myself. On another note, because a long cooking time mellows garlic, I tend to add more garlic than called for when it comes to crock pot recipes.
  • Barbecue sauce. You can absolutely use your favorite brand of store-bought, bottled BBQ sauce in this recipe...I often use half of this one combined with half of this one. Or if you prefer, you can whip up a batch of the very BEST Homemade BBQ Sauce! 😉 But no worries if not...even if you go the bottled route, your Root Beer Pulled Pork will still turn out delicious.

In addition to optionally making a homemade barbecue sauce for this recipe, you can further jazz it up with coleslaw or -- my favorite -- creamy, crunchy Broccoli Slaw, which is shown in these photos. (More info on that below, and the actual recipe can be found in the "Notes" section at the bottom of the recipe card, should you feel so inclined...)

Pulled pork in root beer sandwich.

How to Make Root Beer Pulled Pork

This Root Beer Pulled Pork recipe is so easy to make that I'm almost embarrassed to call it a recipe.

  1. Trim the fat from a pork roast and use a knife to pierce it all over. Place it in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Pork roast to make pulled pork with root beer.
Roast to make pulled pork slow cooker root beer.
  1. Pour root beer over the top of the pork and scatter garlic over the surface, pressing it into the meat. Sprinkle liberally with pepper. 
Aerial view of pulled pork crock pot root beer.
  1. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. (While your pork is cooking, prepare the homemade barbecue sauce and broccoli slaw, if desired.)
Root Beer Crock Pot Pulled Pork.
  1. When the pulled pork in root beer is pull-apart tender, simply drain off the liquid, remove any fat, and shred the meat.
Root Beer Pulled Pork cooked in crock pot.
Root Beer Pulled Pork on cutting board.
Root Beer Pulled Pork cut apart.
Root Beer Pulled Pork shredded on cutting board.
  1. Return the Root Beer Pulled Pork to the crock pot, stir in the barbecue sauce, cover, and allow it to warm back up for a few minutes until heated through.
Shredded meat back in crock pot.
Adding bbq sauce to pulled pork in root beer.
Root Beer Pulled Pork picked up by tongs.
  1. Finally...finally(!!!)...it's time to pile some of your sweet, tangy pork onto tender little Hawaiian rolls (or you can use your favorite slider buns or regular-sized buns) and top with a generous mound of slaw, if you like. Yum, yum, YUM.
Root Beer Pulled Pork on slider buns with slaw.

Timing the BBQ Sauce + Broccoli Slaw

Since your whole day is being freed up by the wonder that is the crock pot, you might decide to go ahead and invest a tad bit of time into making the aforementioned batch of homemade BBQ sauce and/or the yummy Broccoli Slaw to accompany your Root Beer Pulled Pork. And if that's your decision, it's simple to do so!

  1. While your Root Beer Pulled Pork is slow cooking, measure out the BBQ sauce ingredients into a pot and let 'em start bubbling away on the stove.
  2. Next, whip up the dressing for the slaw, which takes a whole two minutes. Stir in some shredded broccoli mix, which you can find sold in a bag in the produce section of many grocery stores. Then cover and chill the slaw in the fridge.
  3. Once your BBQ sauce has simmered long enough, allow it to cool a bit before transferring it into a container and popping it in the fridge to keep the broccoli slaw company.

Now when your pulled pork in root beer is done slow cooking, you'll already have some fantastic homemade BBQ sauce to dress it and a creamy, dreamy broccoli slaw to go on top (or alongside)! I'm telling you, the cumulative 30 minutes of work is so worth the final, delectable results.

Close-up of Root Beer Pulled Pork.

How to Serve Root Beer Pulled Pork

My favorite way to eat Root Beer Pulled Pork is on regular ol' buns or as heavenly little sliders, as demonstated in this post. Good gracious do I love them!

However, this pulled pork is also delicious in numerous other applications, whether the first night or as leftovers! A few of my favorite ideas:

What other ways can you come up with to enjoy leftover Root Beer Pulled Pork?

Pulled pork root beer with slaw.

What to Serve with Root Beer Pulled Pork

As for other side dish ideas to accompany your pulled pork (in addition to coleslaw or Broccoli Slaw), here are a few suggestions:

When to Enjoy Root Beer Pulled Pork

This recipe would make a fabulous, family-pleasing dinner on an ordinary, busy weeknight. However, Root Beer Pulled Pork sandwiches or sliders particularly shine when feeding a large group or hosting a party, since a crock pot full of pork goes a long way and everyone can assemble their sandwiches to their liking.

As an added bonus, this recipe is beautifully make-ahead. You can make it a day (or several days) ahead of time and then simply reheat it at lunch/dinner/party time.

I don't know about you, but getting as much cooking out of the way ahead of time helps make hosting folks or throwing a party less stressful and more enjoyable for this easily frazzled hostess.

Root Beer Pulled Pork sliders on plate.

My friends, I implore you to try this effortless, tasty Root Beer Pulled Pork recipe!

I think you will be especially pleased with the results if you take the time to make the easy, homemade barbecue sauce and whip up the yummy slaw to top your sandwiches.

But even made with bottled BBQ sauce and served with no adornments, Root Beer Pulled Pork is so easy and delicious that I guarantee you'll turn to this easy slow cooker recipe time and time again. 🙂

Root Beer Pulled Pork with broccoli slaw.

More Sandwiches for Supper

Root Beer Pulled Pork recipe served on buns with slaw.

{Tasty + EASY} Root Beer Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork is quick and effortless to throw in the crock pot for an easy, make-ahead, family-pleasing dinner that's also perfect for game day, parties, or potlucks!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 147kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 4 pound boneless pork butt (shoulder roast)
  • 12 ounces root beer, preferably made with real sugar
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups Best Ever Barbecue Sauce, OR 1 (16-ounce) bottle of your favorite store-bought brand
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Hawaiian rolls, small slider buns, or regular-sized buns

Instructions

  • Trim fat from pork and pierce all over surface with a knife. Place pork in slow cooker, pour root beer over top, and scatter garlic over surface, pressing into meat. Sprinkle liberally with pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or until fall-apart tender.
  • OPTIONAL: While the pork is slow cooking, prepare the homemade barbecue sauce and the Broccoli Slaw (recipe below in NOTES).
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Discard fat, cut meat into chunks with a knife, and then shred the chunks with two forks. Drain the liquid from the slow cooker and add the shredded meat back to the crock pot. Stir in 2 cups barbecue sauce (or more, if desired). You may also add a splash of water if the sauce seems too thick. Heat on LOW for 30 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve pulled pork on slider or regular buns topped with optional Broccoli Slaw.

Video

Notes

  • Although it's leaner and more expensive, I sometimes use pork loin instead of pork shoulder if that's what I have on hand.
  • I prefer using natural root beer made with cane sugar (as opposed to high fructose corn syrup).
  • For slow cooker recipes, I usually use the type of fresh minced garlic that you buy in a big jar and store in the refrigerator. It's quick to toss into crock pot recipes and since it ends up cooking for so long, I don't notice the end result being any different than if I took the time to mince fresh garlic cloves myself. I also tend to add more garlic than called for when it comes to crock pot recipes.
  • Cooking on LOW is recommended for pork that turns out juicy and tender. If you don't have 9 to 10 hours to cook this recipe on LOW, however, you may cook it in about half the time on HIGH, understanding that it may dry out a bit. If doing so, be sure to reduce the heat to LOW when stirring in the BBQ sauce and reheating at the end.
  • Depending on how much meat you put on each bun, this recipe should yield between 2 and 3 dozen sliders.
TO MAKE THE OPTIONAL BROCCOLI SLAW:
In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup plain yogurt (OR sour cream), 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon celery salt. Stir in 20 ounces broccoli slaw until well coated. Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 10g | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Originally published on January 20, 2014, and updated on October 2, 2020, and June 27, 2023.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This root beer pulled pork was easy to make and had great flavor. I've added it to our family's weeknight meal rotation!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I'm originally from North Carolina and we love nothing more than pulled pork. I also love root beer so the addition of that flavor with barbecue sauce was amazing.

  3. I will be trying your pulled pork recipe. I've tried many slow cooker pulled pork recipes and have yet to find a great go-to recipe. I'll also be making the slaw. Great recipes. Thanks

  4. Great job! This is the perfect menu plan for a Dinner we're having for family retiring from the Military! Thank You! Love all the pictures!

    1. I hope this recipe is a hit at your dinner, Cathleen! And thanks so much to your family members for their service. It takes true dedication to retire from the military, and I'm so appreciative of those who serve our country for any length of time...much less make a career out of it!

  5. What a fantastic post! The recipe looks delish, I can't wait to give it a try. The slaw adds some crunch and I like that.