Crockpot Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders

August 25th, 2010 by katie

When you know there is a busy day coming up, planning a crock-pot meal is a great way to keep yourself out of the drive-thru.  It is also a great way to make a lot of food all at once, which means leftovers for lunches or for freezing and pulling out on a future busy day.  These sliders are a super fun, fast meal that can sit-on hold-in the crock-pot for as long as you need.  I put the meat on before bed the night before I wanted to serve them because I didn’t think I would have enough time to get them on in the morning and it still was moist and tender twenty hours later.  It also would have been a perfect breakfast after only eight hours so feel free to start it the morning of if you like.

You may feel tempted to skip or rush the searing portion of the recipe but this is your only chance to get that delicious, caramelized flavor into your dish.  It also locks the juices into each chunk of pork keeping the meat moist until you are ready to eat.  So give yourself plenty of time to brown each piece completely and to cook the dish on low for at least eight hours. 

Crock-Pot Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders

serves 12, prep 20 min, cook 8+ hours in slow cooker
  • 5 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (12 oz) can Root Beer or Dr. Pepper
  • small buns or dinner rolls
  • your favorite barbecue sauce
  1. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or dutch oven.
  3. Sear pork shoulder pieces a few at a time until all sides are browned and caramelized.
  4. Add pork to a slow cooker as they finish.
  5. Pour soda over pork and turn slow cooker to low and cook 8-20 hours.
  6. To serve, use two fork to slightly shred meat leaving some larger pieces.
  7. Split buns or dinner rolls and lightly toast.
  8. Toss each serving with a little barbecue sauce just to moisten.
  9. Serve tucked into warm rolls with a little broccoli slaw or coleslaw if desired.

I really love the creamy, crunch of fresh slaw with these meaty sandwiches.  To make a quick slaw: toss packaged broccoli slaw or bagged coleslaw with 1/4 cup mayo, 2 tbsp buttermilk or milk, a tablespoon of cider vinegar, lemon, or lime juice and a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper.  Make this at least 30 minutes before you are ready to serve and chill it until dinner time.

By the way, the kids really expected this dish to be sweet and to taste like soda.  It doesn’t.  It is juicy and meaty but the soda is just a braising liquid that helps to tenderize the meat.

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Posted in Easy, Main Dish

12 Responses

  1. Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)

    I love crockpot dinners! This recipe seems really unique and fun, I’d love to try it!

  2. Erin

    Oh wow! This is PERFECT for me!!
    Can’t wait to try!!

  3. Michelle

    Pork shoulder just went on my grocery list. This looks delicious. I like that you used broccoli slaw over traditional cole slaw too.

  4. Lea Ann

    I’m loving these little sliders. Another bookmarked!

  5. LibraryGirl62

    Just the name made me drool a little :)

  6. Tami Lyn

    Oh yummy! I had seen a roast recipe that used soda and there wasn’t a tasting note about how the soda made it taste. Good to know it doesn’t impart A & W to the meat :)

  7. joudie's Mood Food

    This looks so good. i have never had pork this way. Something to try! Looks good!

  8. Mumsie

    I got a version of this recipe a while back and it is truly both easy and delicious; it’s a real crowd pleaser! My recipe was to put pork tenderloins straight into the crockpot with the rootbeer, but I like your idea of using less expensive pork loin and browning the pork chunks first. I’ll do that the next time!

  9. Michelle

    Stopping back to say we had these sliders, complete w/ broccoli slaw, for dinner this week. They’re awesome, and the leftovers were perfect too. : ) So glad you shared!

  10. jane

    8-20 hours?!
    did you mean 8-12 hours?

  11. Charlie

    Browning does nothing to “lock in juices,” and in fact the braising process causes a ton of water loss. Its only benefit is the creation of flavor compounds through the Maillard reaction, which is reason enough to do it.

  12. Brian

    Charlie is exactly right. Searing is for flavor. There is no “sealing in” of juices. Even if such a thing were true, how would that work when you are braising in liquid?

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