Instant Pot Pulled Pork

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Instant Pot Pulled Pork is a quick and easy way to enjoy a crowd favorite. Pork shoulder is cooked in the Instant Pot until fork tender, pulled and mixed with our favorite sauce.

Pile high on a crusty roll with a scoop of slaw.

Instant pot pulled pork in a sandwich on a plate

Pork for Instant Pot Pulled Pork

The best cut of pork for making Instant Pot pulled pork is the pork butt, which actually comes from the shoulder part of the animal (I use this in all of my pulled pork recipes).

Pork shoulder or pork loin are other options, it’s a bit leaner though. (You can find info on pork cuts at pork checkoff).

This cut of meat becomes flavorful, buttery and fork tender in a pressure cooker. You can use pork tenderloin although that cut is best reserved for a different method of cooking.

Can You Use Frozen Pork?

Yes, frozen pork can go right into the Instant Pot and cooks perfectly! Skip the browning step if using frozen pork.

Cut before freezing: Cooking large cuts of meat in the pressure cooker is not recommended, so be sure to cut the pork into 4-inch cubes before freezing.

Be aware that if going the frozen meat route, the Instant Pot will take longer to come up to pressure!

Other Ingredients

Seasonings: I create a simple rub using my favorite spices. If you have a bbq rub you love, go ahead and use that instead!

Liquid: This pulled pork calls for pressure cooking the meat in root beer. Just like with Dr. Pepper pulled pork, the beverage helps to tenderize the meat. You can sub with broth or even water if you prefer.

Sauce: This pork produces a lot of liquid and you’ll use a portion of it in the sauce (but  not all of it). Next I add in BBQ sauce.

Raw meat on a cutting board with a knife and instant pot pulled pork in an instant pot

Cooking Pork in an Instant Pot

You won’t believe how easy it is to make tender pulled pork in the Instant Pot:

  1. SEAR: With Instant Pot set to sear, brown edges of pork cubes in oil.
  2. DEGLAZE: Deglaze the pan very well to avoid getting a burn notice. Add a bit of broth and scrape with a spatula or spoon.
  3. COOK: Add the pork and all ingredients to the pot and set to high pressure.

How Long to Cook Pulled Pork in an Instant Pot  Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 45 minutes. Keep in mind you need to allow extra time to brown the meat, for it to come to pressure and to naturally release for 15 minutes.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork without sauce and with

To Serve Pulled Pork

Shred with two forks and mix with bbq sauce and juices from the Instant Pot. Place in a dish and allow your guests to serve themselves.

It’s great on rolls piled high with coleslaw or red cabbage slaw, served with a side of cabbage salad, or spooned over Baked Mac and Cheese. For a fresh twist, try topping with cilantro jicama slaw!

Other Sides

Leftover pulled pork can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to four months.

More Instant Pot Favorites

Did you love this Instant Pot Pulled Pork? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!

Instant pot pulled pork in a sandwich on a plate
4.92 from 12 votes
Review Recipe

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Natural Release 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Holly Nilsson
Juicy, succulent heaps of pulled pork piled on a bun or plate is a recipe for good eating at its best.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 can root beer or Dr. Pepper or cola
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons pork rub or use rub recipe below

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Instructions

  • Cut pork into large cubes, about 4" each and season with pork rub.
  • Turn Instant Pot onto sear and add 2 tablespoons oil. Brown pork in batches until browned (or in a pan).
  • Add ½ cup water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and be sure to scrape all of the brown bits off (to avoid a burn notice). Add garlic and root beer.
  • Add pork and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes (according to your product manual). Natural release for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pork from the Instant Pot and using two forks, shred the meat. Add ¼ cup juices from the Instant Pot (discard remaining juices). Stir in BBQ sauce.
  • Serve on toasted rolls with coleslaw.

Recipe Notes

Pork Rub
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, black pepper

Nutrition Information

Calories: 370, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 817mg, Potassium: 688mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 691IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Instant Pot pulled Pork
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Instant Pot Pulled Pork with writing
Instant Pot Pulled Pork with a title
Instant Pot Pulled Pork on a plate and in a dish with writing
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Comments

  1. First time, I made pulled pork in Crockpot. Then a few days ago my mom sent me this recipe and omg…. We love it!!! Still got some left, will be adding it to brown rice tomorrow.5 stars

  2. Really simple and came out great. I used diet root beer because that’s what was on hand. Hubby had no idea (he hates diet anything) and went back for seconds. Will make this again and again.4 stars

  3. Normally I like to do pork butt on the smoker and it always turns out great. However this recipe is awesome and at a fraction of the time. Great job. Will be doing this many times over the cold winter days.5 stars

  4. This was my first time working with pork (I’m Jewish), my first time using my Instant Pot (it’s been living in the garage since my sweet husband gave it to me years ago), and my first time making a traditional BBQ sauce. Everything turned out beautifully. Your recipes are so easy to follow and are so good! I’ve been steering my daughter toward your recipes ever since she moved into her own apartment because you have so many great staple recipes. We have never been disappointed. This pulled pork turned out tender and flavorful. I used your basic BBQ sauce recipe (using Dr. Pepper, great excuse for buying some) and when added I added it to the pulled pork it was like magic. I will make your red cabbage slaw tomorrow when we have this for dinner. Your pork rub was also easy and delicious! Thanks so much!5 stars

    1. Thank you for sharing Rachel! It makes my day hearing that everything turned out so well for you. You are so welcome!!

  5. Could I make this amount in my Mini Duo (3 qt Instant Pot)? Or should I scale back the recipe by 1/3? 1/2? – thanks.

    1. The recipe should work just fine in a smaller IP, I would suggest that you check the manual for the quantities to see how much to scale back. Let us know how it goes!