This Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe is the answer to all of your BBQ needs. Make a perfectly tender pork shoulder in your pressure cooker in less than an hour.

homemade Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Usually a perfectly tender pulled pork takes hours of low, slow cooking but using an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker you can make this recipe in less than an hour.

When the meat comes out of the Instant Pot (or Ninja Foodie, etc. whatever pressure cooker you use) it is tender and juicy and pulls apart easily with a fork. Mix it with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve it with some Instant Pot Collard Greens, Instant Pot Baked Beans, Keto Avocado Coleslaw, or my personal favorite a little cowboy caviar.

This easy recipe is great for summer parties, game day parties, and pot lucks. Make a big batch, grab a bag of slider buns, and you’re ready to feed a crowd.

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Instant Pot Pulled Pork and BBQ sauce

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Pork Shoulder – This is my preferred cut of meat for this dish It has a bit more fat which breaks down in the Instant Pot to give you tender, juicy, pork every time. If you can’t find pork shoulder I have a few other options listed below.
  • Spices – I like to rub my pork with a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, and salt before starting to help give it a little extra boost of flavor.
  • BBQ sauce – Choose your favorite sauce or make a delicious homemade BBQ sauce. If you want this recipe to be keto all you have to do is choose a keto-friendly BBQ sauce and you’re good to go.

We used a 6 quart Instant Pot to make this recipe.

plate with Instant Pot Pulled Pork and BBQ sauce

New to using an Instant Pot? Make sure you read our beginner’s guide on “How to Use an Instant Pot” to get started!

Instructions

Step 1 – Prepare the pork. Cut pork shoulder in half so you have two 1 pound pieces. Mix all of the spices together and rub them on to the pork.

Step 2 – Cook. Place pork into the pressure cooker and add BBQ sauce and water. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to HIGH pressure for 40 minutes 

When the timer goes off let the pressure cooker do a natural release for 10 minutes. Then turn valve to VENTING and release any remaining pressure before removing the lid. 

Step 3 – Pull Pork. Remove the meat from the pressure cooker, leaving behind the liquid, and shred the pork. Add more BBQ sauce to the meat if desired.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork with sauce on top
Do I Have To Sear The Pork?

The short answer is no.

The purpose of searing meat before cooking is to lock in flavor and moisture. When cooking food in a pressure cooker, you get that simply because of the way it’s cooked. You’ll notice when you start using your pressure cooker to cook food tastes even better than normal. So, it’s entirely up to you if you want to sear or not. I am usually in a hurry, and I don’t feel like it’s necessary. 

If you want to take the time to sear the pork shoulder, then feel free. You can turn the pressure cooker to the saute setting and sear until it’s the color you like then follow the rest of the directions. 

What’s The Best Way To Shred or “Pull” Pork?

There are many methods people use and they all work well. Try them all out and see what fits your likes and needs the best and stick with that method. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Forks – This is the most traditional method. You simply take two forks and twist the to shred apart. This is a very inexpensive way to do it, and you don’t need any special tools. 

Shredder Claws – You can buy some claws that are specifically made for shredding all sorts of meat. You literally just have to twist them, and next thing you know, you have perfectly shredded meat!

Stand Mixer – I know it might sound a little crazy, but if you put the meat in the stand mixer, you can turn it on to low speed for a few seconds to a minute, and it will shred FAST! 

Food Processor – Using your slicer blade, you can efficiently shred the meat by giving it a few pulses. It will be a fabulous texture and will look great too. 

As you can see, there are several methods and there is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you are happy. We have used several methods, and they all work great.

If you opt to use a different cut of meat like a pork loin or tenderloin, using the stand mixer or food processor is the way to go. Since they are a little denser, you need a stronger shredding option to get it pulled apart well. 

What other cuts of pork can I use?

You can easily swap out the pork shoulder for your favorite cut of pork. Many people use pork butt, which is essentially the same as shoulder. The main difference is that the pork butt is a little bit higher up on the pig. Otherwise, they are pretty much the same in flavor and texture. 

You can also use boneless pork country-style ribs in place of pork shoulder. They are actually cut from the shoulder meat so they have the same great flavor and they cook beautifully in the Instant Pot.

How to Store It

To refrigerate it, let it cool down all the way. Then place it in an airtight container, and it will easily last 3 – 4 days. This is ideal if you are wanting to make it ahead of time for a party or event. Plus, it’s awesome if you are working on meal planning too. 

You can easily add it to all sorts of other dishes to get the most use out of it and have a variety of flavors. Think barbecue pulled pork nachos! Yum! 

Anyway, it makes fantastic leftovers and should be added to your recipe rotation. Especially in the summer months when it’s hot, and you don’t want to spend so much time in the kitchen. 

Can You Freeze It?

Yes, you can freeze the leftover (if you have any!). After it has cooled all the way, you can add it to freezer-safe bags or a container of your choice and put it in the freezer. If we make an especially large batch, we will stick it in multiple containers so we can have it to eat for several meals. 

It will last up to 3 months in the freezer. To serve, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave. It’s that easy! Then you will have a no-fuss meal on hand any time you need it. 

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Make BBQ pulled pork in half the time with this easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cut pork shoulder in half so you have two 1 pound pieces.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together and rub them on to the pork.
  • Place pork into the pressure cooker and add BBQ sauce and water.
  • Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to HIGH pressure for 40 minutes 
  • When the timer goes off let the pressure cooker do a natural release for 10 minutes. Then turn valve to VENTING and release any remaining pressure before removing the lid. 
  • Remove the meat from the pressure cooker, leaving behind the liquid, and shred the pork. Add more BBQ sauce to the meat if desired.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Note: Nutritional information will vary based on the BBQ sauce you choose to use. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 842mg, Potassium: 437mg, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 1.1mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1.9mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant pot pulled pork, pork shoulder instant pot, pressure cooker pulled pork