Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe
Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe

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My husband is a huge fan of pulled pork sandwiches, so my sister shared this incredibly easy recipe with me. At potlucks and family dinners, nobody can get enough of this root beer-braised version. —Carolyn Palm, Radcliff, Kentucky
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 8-1/2 hours
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 8-1/2 hours
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) root beer or cola
  • 1 bottle (18 ounces) barbecue sauce
  • 12 kaiser rolls, split

Nutritional Facts

1 sandwich: 453 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 907mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein.


  1. Place roast in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Add root beer; cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 8-10 hours.
  2. Remove roast; cool slightly. Discard cooking juices. Shred pork with two forks; return to slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce. Cook, covered, until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve on rolls.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary.
    Yield: 12 servings.
Test Kitchen Tips:
  • The Root Beer Pulled Pork makes a great nacho topper. Grab some tortilla chips, top with pulled pork, some shredded cheese and sliced jalapenos.
  • Originally published as Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches in Simple & Delicious June/July 2015

    Blush Wine

    Enjoy this recipe with a blush wine such as White Zinfandel or a Rosé.

    Reviews for Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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    Karla User ID: 6545515 266304
    Reviewed May. 24, 2017

    "The Best Pulled pork Ever! My husband isn't usually a fan, but absolutely loved this! I used the cheap Walmart Root Beer. I tossed all the juices & removed the fat. It tore apart nicely! I used our Favorite BBQ sauce that could make the difference for the ones who like spice. I used Head Country, Original. Warmed it & just used Sesame Seed Hamburger buns. Served with Cole Slaw. Total perfection! I will make often & for guests!"

    bigray610 User ID: 4549162 266267
    Reviewed May. 24, 2017

    "Sorry, not for my family. Way too sweet, we like it with some spice"

    MizL User ID: 7093378 266218
    Reviewed May. 22, 2017

    "what a waste of money for a 4-pound pork roast. this was disgusting in flavor. it was not moist at all"

    amehart User ID: 1464390 264806
    Reviewed Apr. 18, 2017

    "Could not have been easier to make this and the pork was so moist. Just add your favorite sauce and you are ready for a delicious meal! I did keep some pork, and some of the juice, out to use another day in carnitas and that worked beautifully too - added seasonings and put in soft corn tortillas with our favorite toppings - wonderful!"

    amsm User ID: 8302234 263929
    Reviewed Mar. 26, 2017

    "I couldn't taste the root beer at all, and it didn't do anything special for my roast like make it extra moist. Good thing this has barbecue sauce or else it would be flavorless!"

    Tiffanie User ID: 6260656 263388
    Reviewed Mar. 12, 2017

    "This was so easy to make and I was surprised at how moist and tender the pork was. I used Sweet Baby Rays BBQ and also added a chopped onion during the last hour. Both of my kids & my husband loved it it so will definitely be making this again!"

    ejshellabarger User ID: 3870843 261680
    Reviewed Feb. 22, 2017

    "Good recipe although the Root Beer flavor wasn't as strong as I would've liked."

    Bill User ID: 9049071 260119
    Reviewed Jan. 23, 2017

    "I have been making Root Beer pulled pork for years. Cheaper cuts of meat work great and, of course, save you money. I usually use a cheaper brand of Root Beer as well. I look for one with a strong Root Beer flavor. Dad's Root Beer works well, but WalMart's generic brand also works quite well. I love A&W, but don't use it for Root Beer Pulled pork since it has a much milder flavor.

    I will take a 5 or 6 pound pork Shoulder (Boston pork Butt or whatever else regional name applies.... it doesn't come from the pork butt, however that is the name some use for it). I use 1/2 gallon or more of the Root Beer and the cooking time is quite variable depending on the temp setting of your slow cooker, but go with the lowest setting. I sometimes use a Rice Cooker on Low, but since it's "Low" is much higher than my Crock Pot I only cook it for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours tops in the Rice Cooker as opposed to 6 to 8 hours in the Crock Pot. I will sometimes add some ground Sage, Black Pepper, Powdered Garlic and Cajun Seasoning to the Root Beer.. but you don't have to add anything to the Root Beer.
    One Big CHANGE: Save 1/4 to 1/3d of the broth after the initial cooking and set it aside, dispose of the rest of the broth from the first cooking then place the pork on a cutting board and pull the pork by shredding it with 2 forks and cut out the fat and dispose of the fat at the same time. Place the pulled pork back into the now empty Crock Pot, add the 1/4 to 1/3d cup of reserved broth and your favorite BBQ sauce AND optionally add some chopped onions and cook on high for another 30 to 45 minutes then it is ready to serve. You could, if you wanted to, add some of the same spices you optionally added in the first cooking to this final cooking as well... especially the powdered garlic and black pepper.
    You may find, as many do, that it isn't even necessary to add the BBQ sauce since this stuff tastes terrific even without the BBQ sauce. You won't believe me on that point and neither did I until I cooked this up for my first time so I don't expect you to believe me until you try it. You might serve it that way and just have the BBQ sauce on the table so anyone can add it as they wish. Whether you add BBQ sauce or not on the final cooking I strongly advise that you taste the meat BEFORE you add the BBQ sauce and then come to a decision regarding adding or not adding BBQ sauce. You may be quite surprised. A little Root Beer does marvelous things to this pork.
    If you do add the BBQ sauce on the final cooking then you may find out that a single 18 ounce bottle is not enough to give you the final taste you are looking for so don't hesitate to add more BBQ sauce. Your choice of BBQ sauce can make or break this recipe should you decide to add the BBQ sauce to your final cooking so be extra careful and go with something you are familiar with and enjoy. You could always divide up the meat into 2 equal parts on the final cooking and use a different BBQ sauce for each of the 2 equal parts.
    I have been known on occasion to add a tablespoon or two of Cherry or Black Cherry extract to the final cooking for a little bit different flavor. Not something for everyone's taste.
    This is a great "Guy Thing" type recipe to make up for watching ball games on the Tube. Recipes don't get much easier than this one. My only cautions would be that if you don't add enough liquid (Root Beer) initially then you run the risk of burning the bottom side of the meat during the cooking and if you add too much liquid on the second cooking then you have to keep cooking on that final cook until the liquid has reduced down.
    You can try the same thing with cola drinks, Dr. Pepper or Pepsi..... but it won't taste near as good..... just my opinion. I have tried them all.
    Try this recipe. The predominant response after the first time someone makes Root Beer Pulled pork is: "This is the easiest and BEST pulled pork I have ever made"."

    JCV4 User ID: 628113 254058
    Reviewed Sep. 13, 2016

    "I agree with everyone else - this was super easy and had a nice flavor. I used regular hickory BBQ sauce and everyone loved it!"

    ahmom User ID: 3426126 253358
    Reviewed Aug. 29, 2016


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