This is a pulled pork that combines barbeque sauce with Big Red Soda. It’s a classic way of making pulled pork. If you don’t live in the Southern United States you might not have access to Big Red; you can use something like Dr. Pepper instead.
For the pork:
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (6-pound) skinless, boneless pork shoulder roast (pork butt or Boston butt)
- 1 cup Big Red soda
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce (not too sweet)
- For the Big Red barbecue sauce:
- 1 cup store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce (not too sweet)
- 2 tablespoons (or more) Big Red soda
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper (optional)
For the sandwiches (optional):
- Hamburger buns, sliced pickles, and vinegar-based cabbage slaw (for serving)
- A large slow-cooker (at least 6 quarts)
Cook the pork:
Mix salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub all over pork.
Stir soda and barbecue sauce in slow cooker. Place pork in slow cooker, cover, and cook on low, spooning juices over top of pork or turning occasionally, until meat is very tender and falls apart when shredded with 2 forks, about 8 hours.
Transfer pork to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool slightly. Shred pork with 2 forks. Discard large pieces of unrendered fat or gristle.
Make the Big Red barbecue sauce:
Stir barbecue sauce and 2 Tbsp. soda in a medium bowl. Taste and add up to 1 Tbsp. Big Red, depending on sweetness of barbecue sauce. Toss shredded pork in desired amount of sauce and drizzle more sauce over. You can also spoon some cooking liquid over pork for extra flavor. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve pork with Big Red sauce alongside, or make sandwiches with buns, pork, slaw, pickles, and an extra drizzle of sauce, if desired.