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Brown Sugar & Root Beer Pulled Pork Slow Cooker Recipe

It took me forever to have pulled pork for the first time – as in, I’m pretty sure I was 27 or 28 by the time I took my first bite of a pulled pork sandwich. It really was love at first bite, as they say, and from that point on I’ve been a pulled pork convert, making this recipe in my slow cooker ever since.

I’ve played around with a few recipes and then really settled on how I like to make pulled pork. It all comes down to the toppings. I like a spicy topping – like those super spicy pickles from Trader Joe’s, jalapenos, a little touch of siracha. So because I like a lot of heat on top of my sandwich, I like to make the pork sweet. Balance, right?

To make this recipe, you can definitely leave out the sugar, and you can use a lower carb BBQ sauce if you want, and really just take the method and make this your own – who am I if not one to give you a you do you boo recipe basically every day? I place the pork shoulder in the crock pot and rub it down with salt, pepper, 1/3 c brown sugar, oregano and a little red chili pepper flake. Then I top it with 3/4 a bottle of bbq sauce and 1 bottle of root beer. The result, a delicious, sweet pulled pork ready to serve up on football Sunday!

For the bread, my go-to lately has been the Hawaiian King Bread original mini buns. They’re not pre-sliced so give yourself a little prep time to cut them. I take the buns and toast them up in a pan with a little butter allowing them to cool before serving. If you cool them completely and then wrap them up in saran or a ziploc bag, you can prep them ahead of time!

To serve, I will put out:

  • Extra BBQ sauce
  • Hot sauce, such as siracha
  • Spicy sliced pickles, sweet sliced pickles (we have more than one spice-hatin’ friend!)
  • Pickled onions
  • Coleslaw (I’ve been known to sneak a poblano pepper or sliced jalapeno in my coleslaw)
  • Jalapenos

And for a little pro tip: this works really well with chicken, too! I just use 1/4 cup brown sugar instead of 1/3 cup!

Brown Sugar & Root Beer Pulled Pork

This sweet pulled pork recipe is perfect for game day and compliments all the spicy toppings you love on a pulled pork sandwich! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq, crock pot, pulled pork, slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 9 lb bone in pork shoulder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili flake
  • 1 bottle bbq sauce
  • 1 bottle root beer
  • 45-60 mini slider rolls
  • butter for toasting rolls optional
  • toppings, such as jalapenos, coleslaw, pickles, etc.

Instructions

  • Spray crock pot with cooking spray; place pork shoulder in the slow cooker with the meatiest side up.
  • Combine sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, chili flake in a bowl; stir to combine.
  • Rub the pork shoulder with the seasoning mixture.
  • To the crock pot, add 3/4 bottle of bbq sauce and the bottle of root beer. 
  • Set on low for 8 hours. 
  • Once finished cooking, skim any fat off the top, shred the pork and remove the bone. Leave on warm for serving. 
  • Toast buns with a little butter in a pan. If making ahead, toast the buns with butter, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container or ziploc bag until ready to serve.

 

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