This Pulled Pork Instant Pot recipe results in tender and flavorful shredded pork shoulder. It takes minutes to prepare the dry rub then the Instant Pot does the rest. Shred the succulent pork then toss it with barbecue sauce and enjoy it piled high on toasted rolls with your favorite toppings.
Easy Pulled Pork Instant Pot Recipe
Instant Pots are modern pressure cookers that our Mom’s and Grandma’s cooked with to churn out the most tender and flavorful meats. They’re all the rave and have the bonus of being able to turn cheap cuts of meats into a delicious busy day supper in less time. That’s a kitchen win!
How to Make the Best Pulled Pork Instant Pot Recipe
The terms pork butt and pork shoulder are often used interchangeably. Both cuts do come from the shoulder of the pig but pork butt is from the upper portion while pork shoulder comes from the lower section. Both cuts are extremely flavorful and lend themselves to low and slow cooking. They can be cooked in an Instant Pot, as demonstrated in this recipe or smoked, roasted, braised or made in a crockpot. When cooked right, they result in tender succulent meat perfect for BBQ.
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Pulled Pork: 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder, seasoned salt, paprika, chili powder, granulated garlic, onion powder, black pepper, apple juice or chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce plus kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, cole slaw and pickles for serving.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: Instant Pot, cutting board and sharp knife, measuring spoons and cups, large mixing bowl, tongs, large dish or platter and two forks to shred the pork.
- The best barbecue sauce to use is one that you already enjoy. I’ve used my own Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce recipe as well as prepared barbecue sauces purchased at the grocery store. If you like it, you can’t go wrong!
- The best way to store cooked pulled pork? Store the pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- What is another variation I can make? Another variation of this recipe could be to make BBQ pulled pork tacos or carnitas instead of sandwiches. Simply serve the pulled pork in a warm taco shell or warm tortilla with toppings like shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo and additional barbecue sauce.
- If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can substitute using the same amount of white vinegar, balsamic vinegar or even rice wine vinegar in a pinch.
- If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can substitute it using soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.
- Can I freeze pulled pork? Yes, you can make pulled pork and freeze it. Cool it completely then store in an airtight container in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, thaw shredded pork in the refrigerator overnight and heat in a saucepan or microwave just until warmed through.
- If you don’t have an Instant Pot see how to make Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Barbecue here.
More Barbecue Recipes to Make
Living in North Carolina we’re famous for pork barbecue. Depending on the part of the state you’re from, it can either be served with a tangy Eastern North Carolina vinegar based sauce or Western North Carolina sweet tomato based sauce. Either way, it makes a Southern style meal that everyone always loves. More barbecue recipes you may also like to try:
- Slow Cooked Dr Pepper Barbecue Beef simmers low and slow in your crockpot.
- These Bacon Wrapped Barbecue Chicken Breasts come together in no time flat.
- Slow Cooked Country Ribs and Barbecue Beans are delicious ladled over hot buttered cornbread.
- Barbecue and Bacon French Bread Pizza can be served as an appetizer or casual meal with the family.
- Barbecue Beef Tater Tot Casserole is a one dish meal.
- Finger licking good Honey Barbecue Chicken Wings.
- Braised BBQ Beef Brisket from Beef It’s What’s for Dinner.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Pulled Pork Instant Pot
- 3-4 lb pork shoulder or pork butt (Boston butt)
- Dry Rub:
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- 1 16 oz bottle barbecue sauce (your favorite)
- Toasted kaiser rolls or buns plus coleslaw and pickles for serving
- Trim excess fat from the pork shoulder. Cut into large, 2-3 inch chunks. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place pork chunks into a large mixing bowl. Toss with brown sugar, seasoned salt, paprika, chili powder, granulated garlic, onion powder and black pepper. Combine until the pork pieces are covered with the seasoning rubbing into the meat with your hands.
- Place the seasoned pork chunks into the instant pot and pour apple juice, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce and sprinkle brown sugar on top.
- Close and seal the lid of the Instant Pot. Set the pressure cooking time to 90 minutes on high pressure.
- After 90 minutes, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10-15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure manually.
- Use tongs to remove to a dish then shred with two forks to your desired texture. Mix 1/4 cup of cooking liquid with 1 cup barbecue sauce. Add to pork, gently stir to coat. Repeat adjusting to your taste.
- Serve immediately on toasted kaiser rolls or buns, topped with additional BBQ sauce coleslaw and pickles, if desired.