posted November 30, 2023
Cherry Cola Pulled Pork
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rest. Once the pork hits 200 degrees F, remove it from the smoker. Rest the meat for 30 minutes.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Cider Brined Pulled Pork
- Bourbon Brown Sugar Pulled Pork
- Carolina Pulled Pork
- Smoked Pulled Pork Nachos
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
- 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.
Cherry Cola BBQ Sauce: https://heygrillhey.com/cherry-cola-bbq-sauce
This post was originally published in February 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
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