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Sweet and Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Patricia Reitz

Here's a phenomenal recipe for sweet and smoky pulled pork that's a breeze to make.  All you need to do is toss the ingredients together in a dutch oven and let it braise for 6 hours until the roast is falling apart delish.  You'll have a hard time fighting the crowds away with this one.    

Place sliced onions in the bottom of a 5 1/2-quart dutch oven.

Add a 5 to 7 pound pork shoulder roast (aka Boston butt).

Sprinkle the roast liberally with Kosher salt and pepper.

Next add an entire 7.5 ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

This cool tool is the best thing I've found to scrape all the yummy goodness out of cans and jars.

Next you add two 16-ounce cans of Dr. Pepper.  Trust me, you won't taste it in the end, but it does something magical to this roast.

And 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 whole cloves of peeled garlic.

Cover Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid.

Pop it in a 300F oven for a total of 6 hours, turning the roast over at 2 hours, and again at 4 hours. 

Here's what the roast looks like after 2 hours - time for the first turn.

Here we are a 4 hours (really wish you could smell it!!).  Okay, turn it over again.

Ding! - 6 hours are up.   Feast your eyes on that beauty.  Drooling!!  Now watch what happens when you remove the roast from the dutch oven.

It totally falls apart - oh yeah baby!

Shred the meat with 2 forks, or do like I do and slip on some disposable gloves so you can pull it apart by hand (I use them for all kinds of messy kitchen jobs).  Discard any large globs of fat you come across as you shred the meat.

Remove as much rendered fat from the pan juices as you can.  There will be a lot, and whatever you do, DO NOT pour the rendered fat down your sink drain.  I like to keep empty jars on hand for occasions like this.  I use a funnel to pour the rendered fat into a jar, screw on the lid, let it cool, and then I throw it away (easy peasy and no emergency call to a plumber needed).  

I also like to remove the onions and chipotle peppers from the pan and chop them finely so I can add them back to the pan juices. 

Return the shredded pork to the the pan and serve any way you like.  We like it straight up, but it makes great pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, pizza, panini, mexican lasagna, quesadillas, tequitos, etc.   

Yummo.   Go, make!

Items used to make this recipe:

Sweet and Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Printable Recipe


  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 5 to 7 pound pork shoulder (aka Boston butt roast)

  • Kosher salt and pepper

  • 1 7.5-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled


  1. Preheat oven to 300F.

  2. Place sliced onions in bottom of a 5.5-quart Dutch Oven.

  3. Place roast on onions and sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt and pepper.

  4. Pour chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce on top of the roast.

  5. Pour both cans of Dr. Pepper over the roast.

  6. Place brown sugar and garlic cloves down into the Dr. Pepper.

  7. Cover Dutch oven with tight fitting lid.

  8. Place in oven for a total of 6 hours; turning roast over at 2 hours and 4 hours.

  9. Remove pork from dutch oven and shred meat with 2 forks, discarding large globs of fat.

  10. Remove rendered fat from pan juices; discard (don't put this down your drain!!).

  11. Remove onions and chipotle peppers from pan juices and chop finely; return to juice.

  12. Place shredded pork back in the pan juices and serve.

Note:  I've doubled this recipe in a gigantic 13.25-quart dutch oven (great if you have a huge crowd to feed, but it's very, very heavy so you may need a strong person to lift it in and out of the oven for you).

adapted from The Pioneer Woman.