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Root Beer Is The Secret To Unbeatable Pulled Pork

Pulled pork sandwich on board
Pulled pork sandwich on board - Kajakiki/Getty Images

Pulled pork is a filling, delicious dish that takes almost no effort to make. You can cook it to tender, fall-apart status just by popping it in a slow cooker with a few other ingredients to add flavor. Pulled pork needs moisture to help it reach peak tenderness without drying up, and water is an easy solution. But if you're interested in adding a hint of sweetness to complement that savory meat, then you need to try root beer.

Root beer's elements play a few different roles in making the perfect pulled pork. It's sweet, which adds balance to the fatty pork, but it's also acidic, helping to tenderize the meat by wearing down those meat fibers during the cooking process. If you don't want to cook the pulled pork entirely in root beer, you can also mix root beer with water. Either way, it's an incredibly easy recipe to pull off -- and no, it doesn't make the pulled pork taste like root beer.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Root Beer Is Pulled Pork's Secret Ingredient

Mug of root beer
Mug of root beer - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

While sugar might get a bad rap health-wise, it's a useful ingredient when it comes to cooking meat. It acts to naturally add flavor and break the meat down. So, when working in tandem with acidity, the sugar helps you get a root beer pulled pork with caramelized notes that shreds with ease, and melts in your mouth.

Pulled pork can be made in a few ways, but slow cooking is a common method. When making pulled pork, you should use either pork shoulder or pork butt. If you can choose between the two, go for the latter, as it has more marbled fat to break down, making it the better option for low-and-slow cooking. After adding the pork to the slow cooker, you can pour the root beer in right around the pork. You'll need about 12 ounces. Once the meat has cooked on high for four hours, or low for six to eight hours (it's done when it easily shreds with a fork) coat it in your favorite barbecue sauce and cook for a little longer.

Other Ways To Add Root Beer To Pulled Pork

Pulled pork on wooden dish
Pulled pork on wooden dish - FoodAndPhoto/Shutterstock

If you prefer a milder sweetness, you don't have to add all 12 ounces of soda to your slow cooker root beer pulled pork recipe. Try a half-and-half mixture of water and soda instead. If you're looking for even more sweetness in this dish, you can also add the root beer into the barbecue sauce. Whether making it homemade or using a store-bought sauce, add the sauce to a pan and heat it until it's warm, then whisk in about 2 tablespoons of soda for every cup of barbecue sauce; you can add more soda to taste.

Once cooked, pulled pork will keep at its best quality in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze the pork in a well-sealed container to ensure no air or moisture gets in. It will maintain its quality for about three months, after that, the taste will begin to deteriorate.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.