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Sweet, spicy, juicy instant pot pulled pork is so good! This recipe uses an instant pot for maximum speed but tender, mouthwatering results.
This is one to make over and over!
Update: This recipe was originally published in December of 2017. It was republished with updated photos in December of 2020.
Did you get an Instant Pot (aka Electric Pressure Cooker) for Christmas? Join the club! Lots of people I know received one in their stocking (must have been a huge stocking), and are now clamoring for recipes.
I’ve put a few instant pot recipes on this site in the last few months (check them out here), but EVERYONE loves pulled pork, don’t they?
I use mine regularly – making mashed potatoes, boiling eggs, even making a quick weeknight instant pot spaghetti!
This recipe doesn’t require anything fancy – just basic pantry staples (simple ingredients) that you probably already have!
Folks, I’m going to get real with you. Pulled pork is not very pretty to look at. Or to watch others eat. This is not something you’d serve when you have important company over for dinner.
While they will be impressed by the flavors, they might not be able to get over seeing you elbow deep in a sandwich with barbecue sauce running down your chin.
Consider yourself warned.
This IS, however, perfect to bring to a family reunion, picnic in the park, or for any old day that you want a great tasting meal!
I still make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, of course. But sometimes I just don’t have all day to wait. Being able to pressure cook this great recipe means I can start this as soon as I get home, and be ready to eat 90 minutes later.
What cut of meat do you use for pulled pork?
I find pork shoulder works PERFECTLY especially when we are using a pressure cooker, but pork butt can also be used if that’s what you have.
How long do you cook pork in instant pot?
For pulled pork, I use a basic guide. 15-20 minutes at high pressure per pound of pork. So, for a 4lb pork shoulder, or butt – between 60 and 80 minutes. I usually stick with 75 minutes, and it comes out perfect!
Kylee’s Notes & FAQs
How to store Pulled Pork
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat to piping hot!
Freeze in sandwich-sized zip bags and reheat to make just one sandwich as needed
Additions & Substitutions
Add some cumin and/or garlic powder to the cooking sauce for a deeper flavor.
Allow people to sweeten or spice it up – use a spicy barbecue sauce, or a sweet one or make Homemade BBQ Sauce (from Dash of Herbs)!
What to serve with Pulled Pork?
Buy or make (!) several different types of rolls for people to choose from. My favorite is my Homemade Hamburger Buns
Serve with fresh coleslaw, some potato chips and plenty of napkins.
Make Pulled Pork Nachos!
INSTANT POT COOKING TERMS EXPLAINED
What is Natural Pressure Release – aka NPR?
A natural pressure release happens when the cooking time is over and the valve is left closed. The pressure decreases without doing anything. Your Instant Pot will automatically switch to the Keep Warm setting.
As soon as it switches to Keep Warm the pressure will begin to drop and will release the pressure by itself. You’ll know it’s done when the pin drops!
What is Quick Release?
Quick Release: this means to let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for a few minutes. After the time has elapsed, switch the valve to “venting” to quickly release any remaining pressure. The pressure will release to a point where the pin drops, and you can open the lid.
Full, printable recipe below – just scroll down to the recipe card!
- Pork Shoulder – I use bone out pork shoulder, you can buy this already cut, or you can cut your own!
- Bbq Sauce – pick your favorite brand, any kind that you love will do.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – this helps give the sauce a tang!
- Chicken Stock – make your own or use a store-bought one. If you opt for a lower sodium variety, be sure to taste test your dinner and adjust seasoning to make sure it works!
- Brown Sugar – light brown is what I usually use, but you can easily sub for dark brown. It won’t be an issue.
- Mustard – I use spicy brown mustard, we like things to have a kick! Yellow or Dijon mustard also works well.
- Worcestershire Sauce– this is a great way to add a salty, savory flavor to the sauce.
- Smoked Paprika – This will add a smoky flavor to the sauce
- Chili Powder – this is pure chili powder, not prepared chili powder that is a blend of spices. I like chipotle in this, but feel free to use prepared chili powder in place of the Chipotle if you like.
- Onions – diced onions, you could sub onion powder if you wish.
- Garlic– freshly minced, you could sub garlic powder if you wish!
- Dried Thyme – this can be subbed for fresh thyme, but you will need more than you would if you used dried.
How to make Pulled Pork in an Instant Pot:
Full, printable recipe below – just scroll down to the recipe card!
Cut your pork shoulder into smaller pieces (around 2-3 inch cubes work best).
Combine all sauce ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended.
Pour a little of the mixture into the pressure cooker, then add the pork.
Pour remaining sauce mixture over the pork.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn the vent to Seal – and cook on manual for 75 minutes (high pressure).
When cooking is complete, allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes, then open.
Remove the pork and place in a large bowl. Shred the pork using two forks.
Add the remaining sauce from the instant pot until you have the consistency you prefer.
Serve with hot buttered rolls and coleslaw.
More Instant Pot Recipes?
Instant Pot Ribs – sweet, spicy and fall-apart tender – in a fraction of the usual time!
Instant Pot Beef Stew – Red wine and rosemary feature in this inviting, tasty and tummy-warming Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe- perfect for a cold day.
Creamy Chicken Stew with Quinoa – A hearty and warming stew, pure comfort food! A delightful riff on chicken noodle soup!
Thai Butternut Squash Soup – A velvety smooth and dreamy soup with a kick of Thai heat, balanced by creamy coconut cream.
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Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Extra barbeque sauce
- Cut your pork shoulder into smaller pieces (around 2-3 inch cubes works best).
- Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mixed until well blended.
- Pour a little of the mixture into the instant pot, then add the pork.
- Pour remaining sauce mixture over the pork.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn the vent to Seal – and cook on manual for 75 minutes (high pressure).
- When cooking is complete, allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes, then open the pot.
- Remove the pork and place in a large bowl. Shred the meat using two forks.
- Add the remaining sauce from the instant pot until you have the consistency you prefer.
- Serve with hot buttered rolls and coleslaw.
Tips & Notes:
- Add some cumin to the cooking sauce for a deeper flavor.
- Buy or make (!) several different types of rolls for people to choose from. My favorite is my Homemade Hamburger Buns.
- Allow people to sweeten or spice it up – use a spicy barbecue sauce, or a sweet one or make Homemade BBQ Sauce (from Dash of Herbs)!
- Serve with fresh coleslaw, some potato chips and plenty of napkins.
Recipes written and produced on Kylee Cooks are for informational purposes only. Kylee is not a certified nutritionist. Nutritional data provided on Kylee Cooks has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration.