pulled pork coca cola
pulled pork coca cola

RECIPE: Main Course – American style pulled pork

There are several techniques to execute this typical American pulled pork coca cola barbecue dish. Here is my way!
First, you have to go get a pork shoulder. In the US, it’s usually called “pork butt”. Note for Quebec: at the supermarket, an “épaule toupie” can do the trick, but a fresh “épaule picnic” will be even better. For France, a “rouelle de porc”, bone-in, or a whole pork shoulder will work perfectly.
Next, the ideal is to have a smoker. Fortunately, my father has one and I am happy to use it as often as possible. It is a smoker of the same type as the Big Green Egg.
That being said, it is possible to make pulled pork coca cola in the oven.
You’ll need lots of salt and lots of cola.
And also a dry rub recipe.


pulled pork coca cola

Pulled Pork Recipe

Continents & Condiments
Pulled pork coca cola : try it and leave your comments!
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 2 days
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 10343 kcal


  • A casserole dish – or pot, or ovenproof dish – large and deep enough to hold the entire piece of pork
  • A resealable plastic ziploc bag large enough to hold the pork
  • Lid
  • Aluminum foil
  • A disposable aluminum roasting pan only if using a smoker
  • Plastic wrap
  • A bowl that can be sealed to hold the dry rub
  • A whisk
  • 45 hours – important tool!



  • 2 kg Pork shoulder with bone – between 1.75kg and 2,5kg will work too

Dry marinade

  • 45 ml brown sugar / demerara
  • 15 ml maple sugar – optional add 15 ml sugar if you do not have maple sugar
  • 10 ml ground black pepper
  • 10 ml salt
  • 5 ml chili powder Quebec/USA: mix bought at the supermarket; France: omit completely
  • 10 ml Hungarian paprika
  • 2.5 ml garlic powder
  • 2,5 ml onion powder
  • 1 ml ground coriander seeds

Barbecue sauce

  • 30 ml butter
  • 100 g onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 250 ml brown sugar / demerara
  • 250 ml apple cider vinegar or red/white wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar, or rice vinegar; but the taste will be different
  • 500 ml ketchup Heinz!
  • 5 ml Hungarian paprika
  • 5 mL yellow mustard powder
  • 5 ml salt
  • 5 ml ground black pepper
  • 5 ml worcestershire sauce optional

For the smoker

  • 33% maple chips
  • 66% hickory chips
  • 1 L apple juice
  • 1 L water

For the brine

  • 6 L cola
  • 60 ml salt




    • Put the cola and salt in the pot and heat the pot. Use a whisk to stir all the salt into the liquid. Make sure to dissolve all the salt. Once done, let the pan and liquid cool to room temperature.
    • Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Rinse the meat. Then use paper towels to dry the meat thoroughly. Place the meat in the plastic bag and the bag in the pot (or the pork directly in the pot if you don’t have a bag). Wash your hands well.
    • If you have a plastic bag, put the meat in it, then pour the brine into it. If not, place the meat in the cooled brine. Cover the pot with the lid and put it in the fridge. Leave to brine for 24 hours.

    The dry marinade

    • 12 hours before you start cooking, remove the meat from its brine. Using paper towels, dry the meat well. (Again, wash your hands! Beware of cross-contamination!)
    • Combine all the dry marinade ingredients in a resealable bowl, then seal and shake to mix the spices.
    • Spread a thin layer of dry marinade evenly over the surface of the meat. Be sure to get it all over, in the holes, crevices, corners!
    • Wash your pan well and dry it.
    • If you have a rack that keeps the meat off the bottom of the pan, put it on. Then put the meat in there covered with dry marinade, put the lid back on and return your meat to the fridge for another 12 hours.

    The smoker

    • (If you don’t have a smoker, skip these steps!)
    • The morning of the meal, turn on your smoker.
      pulled pork coca cola recipe
    • Place the disposable aluminum roasting pan in the bottom of the smoker, under the rack, and pour in the apple juice and water (don’t exceed 50% of the roasting pan’s capacity!)
    • Then turn on your smoker.
    • Next, fill the smoke chip container with the wood chip mixture.
    • Set the temperature between 225ºF/108ºC and 275ºF/135ºC.
    • Once the temperature has stabilized, place the meat on the rack and close the smoker. Keep an eye on the smoker to make sure the temperature remains stable. Leave the meat to smoke for one hour. Use this time to wash your cooker. When the time is up, take the meat out of the smoker and put it in the casserole dish.
      pulled pork coca cola recipe

    The oven

    • (Don’t have a smoker? Start with this step!)
    • Preheat your oven to 275ºF/135ºC.
    • Transfer the meat from the smoker rack to the casserole dish, if applicable.
    • Cover your casserole with plastic wrap. Then cover the plastic wrap with aluminum foil. The purpose of this is to seal the meat in the pot. Don’t worry, the plastic won’t melt: instead, it will stick to the foil and seal the opening perfectly. Put the casserole in the oven.
    • Bake for 8 hours.

    The sauce

    • This gives you plenty of time to make the sauce. Combine all the ingredients, whisk, bring to a boil and adjust the seasoning: more vinegar, more sugar, more salt?
      pulled pork coca cola recipe
    • When the time is up, remove the meat from the oven. Remove the foil and plastic wrap. There may be some meat juices on the bottom. Don’t throw them away!
    • Use barbecue tongs to remove the bones: they should come out, all naked, when you pull them out.
    • Then use two forks to pull the pork directly through the fat and juices – if any – at the bottom of the pan.
      pulled pork coca cola recipe
    • Use the tongs to serve the pulled meat on a large plate. Serve with warm rolls, fries and creamy coleslaw.


    • Delicious on a plate, but even better on a sandwich!
      pulled pork coca cola recipe
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