Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger Review: How Does It Taste?

Mayank Kansal

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger - side view

It is only February and Sonic is charging full speed ahead with yet another new item to offer their customers. This time they are diving into the realm of BBQ with the release of their Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger!

This new burger is supposed to offer a delicious portion of smoked pulled pork placed right above their delicious 100% pure beef patty, signature Cherrywood-smoke sauce, crinkle cut pickles, single slice of American cheese, all of which is encapsulated within a toasted brioche bun.

I kind of feel introducing a BBQ related item is a daring first of a kind move by Sonic, especially given how many other fast food restaurants offer BBQ related burgers and sandwiches.

However as the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” This will be a perfect opportunity for Sonic to welcome not only existing customers but also new customers looking forward to trying this new delicacy.

One key thing to remember is that this item is only here for a limited time, so if you are curious about its taste or someone that loves all things Sonic, then you need to go grab one for yourself as soon as possible!

Buying Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger

You can get your hands on Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger through a variety of methods such as ordering from the fast food delivery apps like DoorDash or you can order directly on Sonic’s mobile app as well.

Most of the time I prefer to pick up the food in person directly at the restaurant to ensure it would be warm and fresh upon my arrival.

This time I was having to stay over at my job a bit longer than anticipated, so I went ahead and placed an order on Sonic’s mobile app.

Unfortunately by the time I actually left work, I realized I would be arriving almost an hour after the pick up time I had listed in Sonic’s mobile app.

I did not want to have my food just sitting around after it’s been made, so I decided to call Sonic and see if it was possible for another person to pick up my mobile order.

The representative that answered the phone was quite nice and polite, and they did confirm since the order was placed on Sonic’s mobile app and it is already paid, that whoever came to pick up the order just needs to mention the name on the order and which kiosk they will park in. 

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger - Top view

Luckily for me it seems I still had the chance of still receiving my food while it’s hot and fresh. I asked my wife if she could drive by the sonic close to our house to pick up the order.

My past experiences while picking up anything at Sonic have been filled with exaggerated wait times, even after arriving at their kiosk. I informed my wife to head down to Sonic in 15 minutes even though the order would be ready already. 

This would ensure that she would arrive 10 minutes after the scheduled pick up time I had set. Upon arriving, she parked at one of the kiosks and pushed the red button which was followed by the usual and long awkward silence.

This is the part I have never understood as to why it only happens with Sonic and no other fast food chain in the drive-through or pick up stations. After about 7 to 8 minutes somebody finally answered the intercom and proceeded to bring the food to her at the gate she was on.

This time I was only interested in trying their pulled pork burger, so the total for my order with tax came out to $6.48.

How Does Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger Look Like

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger - side view

Honestly, based on the promotional images that Sonic used to display their brand new pulled pork BBQ cheeseburger, I was really looking forward to the vibrant flavors and enjoying the cheeseburger as a whole.

When I first unwrapped it from the foil, I immediately thought It looked subpar and even then I am being quite generous.

The brioche buns were a bit bruised. It did smell great, thanks to the signature Cherrywood-smoke sauce they had used in the cheeseburger.

It might have been the only item they were most generous with as the sauce was just going everywhere outside of the burger. Looking at the cheeseburger from the front or even the side view, the only item that was really apparent was the beef patty.

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger - bottom bun removed - cheese slice, pulled pork, Beef patty

In order to get a better visual, I decided to lift open the top brioche bun and staring back at me was an incredibly sad serving of BBQ pulled pork.

Visually it looked incredibly dry so I was not looking too forward to actually tasting it, but I did hope that my previous observation was wrong. 

I flipped the Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger and noticed the brioche bun was also squished on this side as well. There was an excessive amount of the sauce covering the surface of the beef patty with the pickles just kinda swimming around in the sauce.

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger - top bun removed - pickles, BBQ sauce, Beef patty

The edges of the beef patty looked a lot darker as if they were overcooked. As with any cheeseburger, there was a delicious looking slightly melted American cheese. 

I’m going to do a side-by-side display of what the promotional image was compared to what I received, and you do not have to be a food critic to see the night and day differences between the two items.

At the end of the day, the appearance is like only seeing one side of the entire picture. While it may not have looked visually appetizing, I still was in high hopes that it would taste really good.

How Does Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger Taste Like

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger - first bite

Right as I was going in for the first bite, I was mentally envisioning my taste buds experiencing a burst of flavors from tartness of the pickles, some sweetness and spiciness from the Cherrywood-smoked sauce, and eventually into the pulled pork and beef patty.

I do not know the last time I had such a quick reality check. 

The brioche buns had a slightly bitter taste as if they were overdone. The pickles were nice and tart, and while the sauce was excessive and a bit overbearing, I could still appreciate the overall flavor by trying to tie the whole cheeseburger together. 

It turns out that the biggest star of this sandwich, the pulled pork, was incredibly dry which was quite a disappointment. 

I mean there was literally no ounce of moisture in that meat.

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger

I was hoping maybe the beef patty could make up for the flavor loss, but it turns out my observation earlier regarding the beef patty was correct as it too was left on the grill too long and as result it was a bit dry. 

That was the first time I realized maybe I should have gotten a beverage as well. 

By the time I was halfway done eating the sandwich, there were a few bites here and there in which the beef patty was not as dry and the pulled pork tasted a little better. 

If there was any kind of redeeming quality in terms of flavor in Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger, it would be the smoked Cherrywood-smokes sauce.

As with any decent cheeseburger, it is always nice to get some melted American cheese for some additional flavor.

How Can Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger Be Improved

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger - bottom bun removed - cheese slice, pulled pork, Beef patty

Maybe it was just my experience, but the most crucial thing would be to not overcook the meat. Just because there will be BBQ sauce that helps the cheeseburger as a whole, should not result in customers feeling like they are a piece of jerky. 

Also if you are going to provide the promotional item which has pulled pork, maybe consider increasing the serving size added per cheeseburger.

Without the two spoonful of pulled pork in that burger…there is absolutely nothing different between it and a standard cheeseburger. 

Visually when this burger is being constructed, it would make such a difference if the brioche buns are not pressed in and more importantly making sure they are not over toasted. 

Customers are going to expect the tangy, spicy, tart, and smoky flavors when they bite the pulled pork BBQ cheeseburger, but the burnt taste could ultimately ruin the experience.

Overall Thoughts

It is indeed an exciting time as Sonic is trying to get into the BBQ game, but I think they need to make sure each ticket is executed and produced properly.

Also it would not hurt to add maybe 2 additional tablespoons of the pulled pork meat so the star of the promotion actually stands out! I think I will revisit another Sonic and see if the presentation is any different.

Just remember this item is only here for a limited time, so make sure to give them a try if they are curious or even on the fence.

Overall Rating: 4.0

Are you going to check out Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger?