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

Mayank Kansal

Side View: Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - upside down

When it comes down to releasing new products and concepts, there has never been a shortage at Sonic and this year is no different.

It is only February and Sonic has decided to pleasantly surprise their fan base by entering the BBQ realm. In addition to releasing a new cheeseburger, customers will now have the pleasure of trying out Sonic’s new Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich! 

This sandwich will be featuring a large portion of pulled pork which will be covered in Cherrywood-smoke sauce, topped off with a few slices of crinkle cut pickles, all resting in between two wonderfully toasted brioche buns.

I am truly hoping it will taste as good as it looks in the promotional images or at least in my head. 

They say good things never last and that is quite literally the case for here, as this sandwich is only here for a limited time nationwide at participating locations until March 31st, 2024.

So let us go grab one of these for ourselves.

Buying Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich

Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger

The easiest way to get your hands on Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich can be through fast food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats, or simply using Sonic’s mobile app as well. You always have the option of picking up your food yourself at the store. 

If you have read any of my posts regarding Sonic, then you know I prefer to pick up my food in person.

Simultaneously, I am still waiting for the day when I will be able to drive in and out from their kiosk in under 10 minutes for an order I had already placed on their app. 

Last time when I had ordered their Pulled Pork BBQ cheeseburger, I didn’t have the best experience in terms of food quality, so I decided to place and pick up my order from another participating location.

As usual, I arrived at Sonic and pulled up to one of the kiosks, and proceeded to push the dreaded red button.

Sonic's Pulled Pork Sandwich Advertised Image On Their Website

This time I was pleasantly surprised because within five minutes of arriving somebody had already reached out and I waited another two minutes for them to bring the order to me.

The only item I was truly interested in trying today was Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, so in total the sandwich with tax came out to around $4.05.

Seems like my extended wait time inquiry was resolved, so it is only natural I had hoped for positive results on the finished product as well.

So let us see how the sandwich looks visually.

How Does Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich Look Like

Side View: Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - upside down

Once I arrived back at the house, I took the sandwich out of the bag and it was still very warm so that felt like a positive sign. 

As soon as I took the sandwich out of the foil wrapping, I had an immediate head tilting reaction. Something similar to when you are questioning what you are looking at or you are puzzled by what you see. 

The advertised image of Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich makes it look like there was enough meat or pulled pork to be able to go head to head with a quarter pounder beef patty. The reality, however, was that I would need to order maybe three times the amount of pulled pork to match that.

Looking at it from the side, it was almost as if the two buns were touching each other. 

Top View: Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - minimal pulled pork

I understand there are realistically only 3 ingredients that make up the sandwich: the pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and crinkle cut pickles, but visually it leaves a bit more to be desired.

I lifted the top bun to get a Bird’s Eye view of all the contents. The top brioche bun was definitely toasted for too long based on the excessively dark brown color. 

As I mentioned before, the serving of pulled pork to me seemed incredibly small. Maybe it could be that I’ve been spoiled at other burger and sandwich spots where there is a decent amount of meat to bun ratio or perhaps I just need to lower my expectations?

The pulled pork definitely looked dry for the most part and seemed to be glistening in 2 or 3 spots. It felt like that was mostly caused by the barbecue sauce itself as opposed to the meat.

Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - top bun flipped

I also flipped the sandwich to see the other side. I could see the five crinkle cut pickles on top of the pulled pork meat. There was an excessive amount of sauce which resulted in the brioche bun looking soggy. 

Regardless of its lackluster appearance, I was not about to judge this sandwich without getting a bite of the contents. 

I know there are plenty of dishes that might not look the best but can taste incredible. So let us dig in!

How Does Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich Taste Like?

Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - 2 bites in content reveal

As soon as I bit into Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, there definitely were a combination of flavors and textures I would have hoped to avoid in my sandwiches.

The top brioche bun was soft and warm to touch as I bit into it and that was immediately followed by a bitter taste from the over toasted side of the bun. 

Next came the pulled pork which unfortunately did not taste any better than it looked. It was incredibly dry. I mean it was so dry I felt like I was eating pork jerky. Besides it lacking a decent texture, it was also lacking any sort of flavor.  

Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - side view

Biting through the sandwich I could finally taste the crinkle cut pickles which were so crunchy, and had a light hint of tartness and sweetness that went along with it. 

I could taste the sweet and tangy flavors from the sauce and it was absolutely delicious! Normally an excessive sauce can ruin a good burger or sandwich but in this case I feel it actually served to elevate the taste and helped tie the sandwich together as a whole.  

The bottom bun was slightly soggy because of the Cherrywood-smoke sauce, but it was not anything that would ruin the overall taste.

Even after eating half of Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, every bite leading to the halfway point and afterwards tasted basically the same without any notable differences.

How Can Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich Be Improved?

Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - top

Considering there are only 4 components to this sandwich: brioche bun, pulled pork, Cherrywood-smoke sauce, and the crinkle cut pickles, they should consider increasing the portion sizes of items.

Mainly I am referring to the fact that there should be enough pulled pork for the customer to taste in each bite. More importantly there should be some kind of seasoning or flavor profile that is added to the pulled pork so it does not taste bland.

Lastly, make sure not to overcook the pulled pork. 

Could there be a possibility that the overcooked and flavorless meat is only specific to the Sonic location I visited?

It may very well be, but that just means that each regional manager and district managers should work together with staff members to ensure the product being served to customers meets the high expectations. 

A minor fix that can be addressed fairly quickly is to make sure the team members do not over toast the brioche buns.

Overall Thoughts

Sonic's Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich - half eaten

I am definitely a fan of all things involving BBQ as well as Sonic, so the fact that I can order BBQ related items from Sonic is a win-win situation for customers like me. Did they hit a homerun with their attempt at the pulled pork BBQ sandwich? No, but the components are there! I will likely try another Sonic location for a random comparison.

There was one item I honestly thought about adding to my order of Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, and that was onions. I think the chopped onions would add a little more texture to the overall sandwich.

I tried to look at the sandwich from multiple different angles to see what would make it stand out, but nothing really came to my mind and ultimately it was a mediocre experience.

Overall Rating: 3.8

If you are a loyal fan of Sonic or just curious about Sonic’s Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, do not overthink it and go enjoy it for yourself!