Cherry Cola Pulled Pork

8 reviews

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This Cherry Cola Pulled Pork is bursting with cherry cola flavor from the inside out. Injected and spritzed with cherry flavored cola, and slathered in a sweet cherry cola BBQ sauce, this smoked pulled pork is beyond delicious.

Pulled pork sandwiches on a serving platter with text overlay - Cherry Cola Pulled Pork.

Cherry Cola Pulled Pork

The method for making this pulled pork is pretty traditional, but I’ve added a few twists to really bump up the cherry cola flavor profile. If you’ve never smoked a pork butt or pork shoulder before then check out my post for Simple Smoked Pulled Pork for an in-depth post on smoking pulled pork.

To tie all of the flavors together at the end, I served this cherry cola smoked pork butt with some homemade Cherry Cola BBQ Sauce. Honestly, the smoked pork butt itself is incredibly juicy and tender, so the sauce isn’t totally necessary. But the flavors are so good the sauce is the perfect finishing touch for this cherry cola pulled pork.

Pork butt being injected with cola.

Ingredients for Cherry Cola Pulled Pork

This pulled pork will take a bit of time to cook, so be sure you have set aside a day to dedicate to this little food baby. Once you are ready to smoke this cherry cola pulled pork, here’s what you’ll need to grab (or make) prior to sticking the meat on the smoker.

  • 8-10 pound bone-in pork butt. Definitely go with the bone-in pork butt for this recipe. If you cannot find bone-in pork butt, then boneless will do.
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Rub. My Sweet Rub is a Hey Grill Hey cornerstone, and I always recommend having some on hand for a handful of our recipes. You can make this using my recipe for Sweet Pork Rub or you can purchase a bottle from the Hey Grill Hey Store.
  • 3 cups cherry cola. One cup of cherry cola will be used for the injection, one for the spritz while the meat is on the smoker, and one cup for the braising liquid.
  • Cherry Cola BBQ Sauce. This sauce has been a popular sauce here on Hey Grill Hey. It’s sweet and tangy and tastes great on more than just pulled pork. You can check out the full recipe on my post for Cherry Cola BBQ Sauce.

Pork butt being seasoned with Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub.

How Long to Smoke Pork Butt for Pulled Pork

It will take approximately 10-14 hours to fully smoke this pork butt. The total cook time will vary greatly depending on the size of your pork butt, the consistency of the heat on your smoker, and a variety of other factors.

Rather than stare at the clock while you cook this cherry cola pulled pork, pay attention to temperature. The goal for this pulled pork is 200 degrees F.

Once the pork crosses that 200 degrees F internal temperature, you’ll know that the tight connective tissues inside the pork shoulder will have broken down and the smoked pork butt will easily shred apart. I recommend using this instant meat thermometer to track your temperature during the cooking process.

Pork butt in a cherry cola braise with a meat thermometer reading 200 degrees F.

How to Make Pulled Pork

Now that you have all your ingredients assembled, it’s time to smoke up some dinner. Here’s how to make cherry cola pulled pork.

  1. Preheat. Head on into the backyard and fire up your favorite smoker. I recommend using cherry wood for this pulled pork, and preheat until the temperature is holding steady at 225 degrees F.
  2. Inject and season. Using a meat injector, inject 1 cup of cherry cola all around the pork butt. Next, season on all sides with Sweet Rub.
  3. Smoke. Smoke the pork butt directly on the grill grates of the smoker until the internal temperature of the smoked pork butt reaches 165 degrees F.
  4. Braise. Place the smoked pork butt in an aluminum pan with one cup of cherry cola. Wrap it tightly with aluminum foil, and return the pan to the smoker. Continue to smoke until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F.
  5. Rest. Once the pork hits 200 degrees F, remove it from the smoker. Rest the meat for 30 minutes.
  6. Shred and serve. Remove the bone from the meat and discard any gristle and large chunks of fat. Next, shred the meat with some meat shredder claws. Serve as-is or piled high on a bun with Homemade Coleslaw and Cherry Cola BBQ Sauce.

Pork being shredded with meat shredder claws.

Tips for Cherry Cola Smoked Pulled Pork

You can eat this sweet, juicy pulled pork right off the shredding tray and you’re going to love it, but let me help you take it over the top. Here are some tips for making this awesome meat.

  • Try a different cola. Not only is this recipe great with cherry cola, but you can also feel free to experiment with your favorite cola and brand.
  • Make the sauce ahead of time. While you can make the BBQ sauce the day you are smoking the meat, I always recommend making it the day before and storing it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  • Make pulled pork sandwiches. Listen, I’m sure there are better ways to enjoy this juicy, delicious meat than by making a pulled pork sandwich. But I can’t think of many.
  • Serve with Candied Jalapeños. Now hear me out. These candied jalapeños are little slices of BBQ heaven, and they are so incredible on pulled pork sandwiches, I’m not sure I can ever eat one without them.

Pulled pork sandwiches on a serving platter.

More Pulled Pork Recipes

This cherry cola pulled pork isn’t the only pulled pork that is unique or full of awesome flavor. Check out even more of the yummy pulled pork recipes from Hey Grill Hey that have their own amazing flavors you’ve gotta try.

Cherry Cola Pulled Pork Recipe

Ready to become the master of pulled pork? Join my members-only group The Grill Squad to access my Pulled Pork Masterclass (and so much more) to increase your confidence of all things BBQ.

And don’t forget to check out all my pulled pork recipes in the Hey Grill Hey app. Let me help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero.

Cherry Cola Pulled Pork

By: Susie Bulloch
5 from 8 votes
This Cherry Cola Pulled Pork is injected with cherry cola and then slathered in a cherry cola BBQ sauce for a sweet and savory pork delight.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time12 hours
Total Time12 hours 10 minutes
Servings10 people


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  • 1 8-10 pound bone in pork butt
  • ¼ cup Sweet Rub link in recipe notes
  • 1 cup cherry cola for the injection
  • 1 cup cherry cola for the spritz
  • 1 cup cherry cola for the braising liquid

Cherry Cola BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup cherry cola
  • ½ cup pitted sweet cherries
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Sweet Rub


  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F with cherry wood.
  • Inject and season. Inject the bone-in pork butt with 1 cup of cherry cola. Season on all sides with Sweet Rub.
    1 8-10 pound bone in pork butt, 1 cup cherry cola, ¼ cup Sweet Rub
  • Smoke. Smoke the pork butt until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. This typically takes around 8 hours. Spritz the pork butt with cherry cola every hour during this step. Make your cherry cola BBQ sauce during this time.
    1 cup cherry cola, 1 cup ketchup, 1 cup cherry cola, ½ cup pitted sweet cherries, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 Tablespoons molasses, 2 Tablespoons Sweet Rub
  • Braise. Transfer the pork butt to an aluminum pan. Pour 1 cup of cherry cola over the pork butt in the pan and then cover tightly with foil. Return the covered pork butt to the smoker and cook at 225 degrees F until the internal temperature of the pork butt reaches 200 degrees F. This step usually takes anywhere between 3 and 4 hours.
    1 cup cherry cola
  • Rest, shred, and serve. Remove the cherry cola pulled pork from the smoker and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before shredding. Remove the bone and any gristle or excess fat. Moisten the pulled pork with the braising liquid from the pan before serving and serve with cherry cola BBQ sauce. Enjoy.


Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

This post was originally published in February 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.



Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

52 Reviews

  1. Arturo Vazquez says:

    i made a few times every one love it . The last time i made it it was for a church function it was 17 lbs i have to thank you because you made a hero out of me they all love it . Any that was left over i saw them putting it plastic containers and taking it home, Keep it up i love all your rubs and sauces

  2. art vazquez says:

    made it twice great stuff good recipe

  3. Gary Captol says:

    Can this recipe be used on your Quick Pulled Pork Recipe where the Pork Butt is cut in half ? I don’t see why not. I did the Quick Pork Butt and it worked out great. My son wouldn’t tell me is was good but he told my wife. Go Figure !

  4. BRIAN SWITALA says:

    Just made this last night. Incredible flavor. Everyone loved it. I will definitely be making this again.

  5. Andrew says:

    Just curious, is it worth doing a dry brine before cooking the pork shoulder? Or will the injected cherry soda essentially take care of that?

  6. John says:

    Can one pre-inject and pre rub the night before for an early morning put on the grill situation? Ok, I’ll admit, that sounds, LOL!

  7. John says:

    What’s the best way to reheat the pork after keeping it cool in the fridge?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Covered in the oven on the lowest setting works well!

  8. Gabe says:

    Excellent recipe, used cherry Dr Pepper but everything’s else is the same. My new go to pulled pork! Thanks!

  9. Randy de Neui says:

    When should u inject the pork butt just before u cook or how many hours before

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Just before you cook is fine.

  10. Davinia Savy says:

    Going to make this and the meat i have is 14 lbs. What would you say cook time would be for that. Your recipe says 8 hrs then 3-4 more to hit the 200 mark but yours also was and 8-10 lb peice of meat.

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      A good rule of thumb is 1.5-2hrs per pound of meat. That should give you plenty of extra time and if it gets done early you can wrap it up in some towels and rest it up to 4 hours in a cooler or longer in a low temperature oven.