Everyone ranted and raved about this Cherry Doctor Pepper pulled pork. It was so incredibly tender and juicy, it melted in our mouths. I have smoked a lot of pulled pork, but I can honestly say this was at least as good as the best I’ve ever made. It does not have a strong cherry flavor, just a hint. The Dr. Pepper adds a nice flavor and a lot of moisture. The overnight rub is also important.
I opted to foil the pork at the end of the cook. This is not something I normally do, as the pork tends to not get much of a thick ‘bark’. But the Cherry Doctor Pepper pulled pork really came out fantastic anyways. You can skip the foiling if you wish, but expect a longer cook time.
Don’t forget to make a big batch of Cherry Doctor Pepper BBQ sauce to go with the pork. I served ours up on toasted onion buns, with the sauce and fresh-made slaw on the side. It was the perfect dinner basket!
I prefer to use fruit or nut woods when I smoke unless I want a heavier smoke flavor. Pecan, apple or cherry are my favorites. I used apple for this pork.
Cherry Doctor Pepper Pulled Pork
- Place each butt on a large piece of aluminum foil. Squirt all sides of each with yellow mustard. Do not be shy with it.
- Sprinkle all sides with the rub. Again, don’t be shy with it.
- Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on all sides and rub in. This step is optional if you are using a sweet rub.
- Pour a bit of Dr. Pepper into a spray bottle and lightly spritz all sides of the pork.
- Tightly wrap the meat in the foil and place on large sheet pans in the fridge overnight.
- Fire up your smoker or grill for cooking 225 F to 250 F. Add a bit of fruit wood once it is fully lit.
- While waiting for the smoker to come up to temperature, inject each butt with more Dr. Pepper. Again, don’t be shy with it.
- Place pork onto the smoker fat-side up.
- Mist the pork with additional Dr. Pepper every two hours. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound or until the pork reaches 175 F when tested in multiple places with an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove pork from the smoker and place into aluminum half pans. Add 1 cup of Cherry Dr. Pepper to each pan. Cover with foil and return to smoker until meat temperature reaches 205 F.
- Drain any fat and excess liquid from the pans and uncover and cook a bit longer, until temperature returns to 205 F.
- Remove butts and cover in foil and let rest 30-45 minutes.
- Shred pork as desired and serve with the BBQ sauce on the side.
Nutritional values are approximate.