Pulled Pork With Beer (4 Types You Should Consider Using)

Iva Carter
Published by Iva Carter
Last Updated On: June 21, 2024

Pulled pork with beer has a special place in my heart, taking me back to memories of family gatherings and summer barbecues.

It’s one of my favorite slow-cooked recipes, so I was determined to master and perfect it.

I spent years experimenting with different cooking temperatures, spices, and beers until I found the absolute best pulled pork recipe.

Today, I’ll let you in on all my secrets and show you how to cook this pulled pork step-by-step.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours and 20 minutes
  • Number of Servings: 12


  • 1 4-pound pork butt roast
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz beer
  • 12 oz barbecue sauce


pulled pork with beer
  1. Make your own BBQ rub by mixing kosher salt, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  2. Trim excess fat from the pork shoulder.
  3. Chop the onion and place it at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  4. Pour the beer and barbecue sauce over the top.
  5. Season the pork shoulder on all sides and place it in the slow cooker. Add leftover seasonings to the crock pot.
  6. Cook for around eight hours on low heat.
  7. Once the pork butt is cooked, transfer it from the slow cooker to a cutting board. Shred the pork roast using two forks.
  8. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and cook for around ten minutes on medium to medium-high heat until it reduces in half.
  9. Return the slow cooker beer pulled pork into the cooker and add the liquid. Let the slow cooker beer pulled pork sit in the pot for a few minutes in a warm setting to soak up the juices.
  10. Serve with buns with BBA sauce, coleslaw, or potato salad.

Recipe Notes

Pulled pork

Here’s what to keep in mind when making slow-cooker pulled pork:

  • Technically, pork is cooked when it reaches 165 degrees [1]. However, you should continue cooking until the pork reaches 195 to 200 degrees. This way, it’ll be tender enough to shred with a fork.
  • The longer you cook shredded pork, the more tender it’ll be. However, don’t overcook it, or it’ll turn mushy.
  • Store beer pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in a zip-loc bag in the freezer for up to five months.
  • Try root beer, apple juice, or water if you don't want to use beer. You can even use water in slow cooker recipes.
  • Use boneless pork shoulder for this perfect pork recipe. You can also try bone-in, but it’ll cook longer.
  • Make a homemade BBQ sauce if you’re out of bottled BBQ sauce. Make the sauce by combining rice wine vinegar, mustard, dark brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.

Also Read: Ways to Prepare Pork Knuckles

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 269
  • Total Carbs: 11 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Net Carbs: 0

Which Beer to Use for Pulled Pork Recipe?

Beers in a row

Use dark ales or lagers brewed with roasted malt for pulled pork recipes.

These beers have complex flavors that work well with crock pot pulled pork.

Here’s a breakdown of the best beers for this recipe:

  • Brown and amber ales - These have caramel and nutty tones and balance the pork well. They give shredded pork some sweetness and a richer flavor together with the barbecue sauce.
  • Stout or porter - These dark and robust beers give this slow cooker recipe rich and malty sweetness. They complement the pork’s savory flavor. If you’re using Irish stout, increase the amount of brown sugar in the boneless pork butt recipe to counter the bitterness of the barley in the spout.
  • India Pale Ale (IPA) - Provides bitterness and citrusy undertones that work well with pork’s rich flavor.
  • Lager - Try light lager if you want a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the pork. This is also a good choice if you want to make leftover pulled pork sandwiches with other ingredients.

Overall, the choice of beer depends on your preference and your favorite flavor profile.

Experiment with different beers to find which beer pulled pork works best for you. Also, try root beer pork if you don’t want any alcohol.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Beer Pulled Pork

Pulled pork

How long it takes to cook beer pulled pork depends on the size and weight of your pork and the crock pot temperature setting.

Here are general guidelines on how long to cook 5-pound pork with a beer in a crock pot.

  • On low setting - Cook between eight to twelve hours.
  • On high setting - Cook between four to six hours.

You’ll know your meat is done when it easily falls apart when you pull it with a fork.

Also, leave the meat in the crock pot on warm for a few minutes, even when it’s done cooking. This lets it absorb the juices.

“The slower you cook it, the juicier it is. And it’s great for big parties because you just get your fork and shred it.”

- Gordon Ramsey, Chef, Dabl YouTube Channel

Related Articles:

How Much Pork Shoulder Do You Need Per Person

cooked pork shoulder

You need 1/3 of a pound of cooked pork shoulder per person. This amounts to about five to six oz of meat per person.

Keep in mind, unlike pork tenderloin, which loses about 25% of meat when cooked, pork shoulder and pork butt lose about half of their weight during slow cooking.

This especially goes if you get a bone-in cut. Boneless cut will lose about 40%.

Follow this formula to calculate how much meat you need per person:

  • Determine the number of people to be served.
  • Multiply the number of people by the recommended serving size per person (5.5 oz).
  • Apply the multiplier of 1.5 to get the total ounces of raw pork shoulder needed.

Let’s say you’re serving five people.

This is what the formula looks like:

5 x 5.5 oz=27 oz

27 oz x 1.5=41.25 oz of raw pork shoulder

When you convert this into pounds, you need about 2.5 to 3 pounds of meat.


Can I Use Beer Instead of Cider in Pulled Pork?

Yes, you can use beer instead of cider in pulled pork. Beer has malt and hops, which help tenderize the meat.

What Is the Secret to Tender Pulled Pork?

The secret to tender pulled pork is making pulled pork low and slow. For extra flavor, cook it with root beer, extra barbecue sauce, and seasonings.


  1. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2011/05/25/cooking-meat-check-new-recommended
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About the author

Iva Carter
Associate Editor
Iva Carter is a FBP certified foodie and influencer who loves to share delicious yet quick dinner recipes. When she's not in the kitchen concocting meaty delights, you'll find her playing with her dog, Sylvie.
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