Gluten Free Cherry Cola Pulled Pork Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on June 19, 2013

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Gluten Free Cherry Cola Pulled Pork Recipe

Summer means barbecue, but it is often just too hot to barbecue here in Florida. Ok, maybe I am a little bit of a priss when it comes to sweat pouring down my face and back and being bitten by mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds but at least I don’t pass out from heat stroke or suffer malaria making dinner.

I leave the real grilling to my son; Mr. Smoking Hot Gluten-Free (go to page 53). He grills, smokes, and barbecues like a pro, over fire and coal in the hot sun. I on the other hand prefer the cool comfort of my kitchen and the easy breeziness of my slow cooker.

In my opinion, there is not much better than pork marinated or cooked in Coke, unless it is pork cooked in Coke with a bit of cherry and chipotle. To make this easy and fabulous Gluten Free Cherry Cola Pulled Pork recipe, I simply cooked the pork in a bottle of Coke along with a jar of maraschino cherries – (I used the natural kind with no artificial dyes or flavorings) which I pureed in the blender – for about 10 hours in the slow cooker. I then shredded the pork, which was so easy because it was already falling off the bone, made a quick sauce from the cooking liquid, toasted up some gluten free buns and there you have it – deliciousness on a bun!

Personally, I like to top my pulled pork with coleslaw but our family is pretty divided on this issue. We have some coleslaw haters in our clan. Apparently no one thought to check their credentials before letting them into the family. But they are here now and we are stuck with them. If you are not a coleslaw hater, then by all means pile on the crispy cold coleslaw of your choice on top of the hot pork and grilled bun and take a little bite out of heaven!

Gluten Free Cherry Cola Pulled Pork

Gluten Free Cherry Cola Pulled Pork Recipe


3 – 4 pounds pork butt (can be called pork butt, pork shoulder or Boston butt) bone in or out
Kosher salt and black pepper
Gluten free, non-stick cooking spray
1 (20-ounce) bottle of Coca Cola, not diet
1 (14-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, stems removed, liquid reserved
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
*½ – 2 tablespoons chipotle puree, or to taste – optional
8 gluten free hamburger buns
4 tablespoons butter or dairy free butter, melted

*to make chipotle puree, blend a can of chipotle in adobo sauce in the blended until pureed. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator and use as desired.


Season the pork butt generously with salt and pepper. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray and pour in the Coke. Puree the stemmed maraschino cherries with their liquid in the blender until smooth. Add to the Coke and stir to combine. Add the pork butt and cook on low for 9 – 10 hours.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and pour the cooking liquid into a large sauce pan. Add the ketchup, mustard and chipotle puree to the cooking liquid, stir to combine and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil until the liquid has reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.

While the sauce is boiling, shred the pork with two forks and discard bone if there is one. Add the pork to the pot with the sauce and toss to coat. Keep warm.

Brush the cut sides of the hamburger buns with melted butter and cook on a hot skillet for a minute or two until toasted. Serve the hot pork on top of the toasted buns.


This Gluten Free Cherry Cola Pulled Pork recipe serves 8

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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Categories:    Entertaining, Main Dishes

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

John Ward June 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Just found your blog as my wife is also Gluten Free. Pork is one of my favorite dishes and thank for the lovely recipe above.

Love your tip: “*to make chipotle puree, blend a can of chipotle in adobo sauce in the blended until pureed. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator and use as desired.”



Carol Kicinski July 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

Thank you John, I always keep a jar of pureed chipotle in my fridge. I use it in all kinds of things. It is my flavor secret weapon! Enjoy the pork.


Liz June 22, 2013 at 8:49 am

This sounds great. Thank you and have a great weekend, Carole!


Primož July 3, 2013 at 12:10 am

This must be delicious. 10 hours is a bit too much for me now, but I’m sure there will be a time to test this recipe. It would be perfect to start cooking before going to work. That way I could have a meal almost ready when I got back home.


CarolKicinski July 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

That is exactly what I do – then dinner is almost ready as soon as I get home. Enjoy!


Jodi Garner Haggard July 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

Are you using a special cola? because cola has caramel coloring and it is not considered gluten free. I am just curious. Thanks.


CarolKicinski July 24, 2013 at 9:49 am

I use Coca-Cola. The caramel color they use does not have gluten in it. I can not attest to all colas. According to the Coca-Cola Co., the following Coke-branded products are considered gluten-free to 20ppm in the U.S.: Coca-Cola, caffeine-free Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero, Cherry, Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Cherry Coke Zero, Vanilla Coke, Vanilla Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Coke Plus, caffeine-free Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Splenda, and Diet Coke with Lime.

Note that in Canada, the Cherry Coke products, the Vanilla Coke products and Diet Coke Plus do not appear on the gluten-free list


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