This Instant Pot Pulled Pork is tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned and so incredibly delicious! Using the Instant Pot has the meat easily falling apart and ready to melt in your mouth in no time! Great for sandwiches, tacos, nachos and more!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Meal
Busy weeknight? No problem. With the Instant Pot you can make deliciously mouthwatering pulled pork with minimal effort and maximum flavor. The custom seasoning rub really sinks into the meat, searing helps lock it all in, and then the pressure cooking in the from scratch bbq sauce sends this recipe over the top!
No more waiting for hours on end for tender pulled pork, the Instant Pot does it in just an hour. Plenty of time to throw together some easy sides so dinner is on the table in a flash.
We Love These Sides
Here are some tasty side dishes to make while the Instant Pot is doing all the work…
Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot: A Family Favorite Recipe
This recipe is sure to be an instant family favorite! Here’s why you’ll love this recipe as much as we do:
- Easy and Convenient. Using a pressure cookies makes this recipe quick and easy to make, allowing people to have a delicious pulled pork instant pot meal on the table in under an hour with just about 10 minutes of prep.
- Bold Flavor. The combination of seasonings and sauce used in this recipe give the pulled pork a delicious, savory flavor that is sure to please. The seasoning mix includes spices like smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, which give the pork a rich, smoky flavor. The sauce, made with tomato sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar, adds a sweetness and tanginess that complements the savory flavors of the pork.
- Versatility. This recipe can be served in a variety of ways. It can be served on brioche buns, with potato chips, pickles, coleslaw, and barbecue sauce (all optional) or serve with mac and cheese or on top of nachos.
- Super customizable. Make your own sauce like I have below, or throw in your favorite store bought BBQ sauce. Switch up your seasonings, make it spicy, make it sweet, or a little of both!
The combination of convenience, delicious flavor, versatility and the ability to adjust to personal taste, make this instant pot bbq pulled pork a winner!
More Instant Pot Recipes To Try
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Ham and Cabbage Soup (Instant Pot)
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
Ingredients for the Best Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe
Tender, juicy, and full of flavor. This Instant Pot Pulled Pork will make dinner a breeze! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
For the Pulled Pork Seasoning:
- brown sugar – Light or dark, packed. I don’t recommend using granulated sugar for this recipe.
- seasonings – I use a lot of seasoning on the pork to really flavor it well. Remember that we are seasoning about 3 pounds of meat so it requires more than you might think! Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, ground black pepper, ground mustard, ground cumin, and optional ground cayenne for a touch of spice.
For the Pork:
- boneless pork shoulder roast – About 3 pounds is perfect. You might need to cut it depending on size and shape. A pork butt will also work for this recipe.
- extra virgin olive oil – Vegetable oil or avocado oil work as well. You just want an oil that has a high smoke point.
- tomato sauce – The tomato sauce acts as the base flavor for the sauce and the seasonings from the pulled pork with mix with it and provide even more flavor.
- dark brown sugar – Adds the sweetness needed for this instant pot bbq pulled pork. I used dark brown sugar for a bit more of a molasses flavor but light brown sugar will also work.
- apple cider vinegar – For a touch of acidity to help balance the flavor of the bbq sauce.
Pulled Pork Garnishes
- optional garnishes – Barbecue sauce, pickles, coleslaw.
- optional for serving – Buns and potato chips, or any side of your choice.
How To Make Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot: A Step-by-Step Recipe
- Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, ground pepper, ground mustard, ground cumin, and ground cayenne (if using) in a small bowl. Mix until combined.
- Cut the pork shoulder into 3 to 4 large chunks and trim off any large pieces of fat.
- Rub the seasoning mix into the pork in an even layer, making sure to cover it completely.
- Heat the olive oil using the sauté function in your instant pot. Sear the pork on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Searing cooks it just long enough to seal in some color and flavor.
- Turn off your instant pot for the time being. Whisk the tomato sauce, dark brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar together in a medium bowl to create the sauce.
- Pour the sauce over your pork. Replace the lid and seal the instant pot.
- Cook the pork using the meat/stew function for an hour. The pork should easily pull apart.
- Release the steam using the quick release function. Transfer the pork to a plate or cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat.
- Toss the pulled pork in the leftover sauce, or a bbq sauce of your choice.
- Serve on buns with your favorite garnishes and enjoy!
This pulled pork instant pot recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To store in the refrigerator, let the pulled pork cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Make sure to press out any excess air before sealing the container, as this will help to prevent spoilage.
To store in the freezer, put the pulled pork in a freezer-safe container or a resealable plastic bag, again, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
When reheating the pulled pork, it is best to reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, or in a slow cooker on low. This will help to prevent the pork from drying out. If you are reheating from frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge first before reheating. This recipe reheats really well and is perfect for leftover sandwiches, tacos, nachos, and the like!
Pulled Pork Instant Pot FAQs
The best cut of pork to use in this recipe is a boneless pork shoulder roast, also known as a pork butt or Boston butt. This cut of pork is well-marbled and has a good balance of meat and fat, which makes it ideal for slow cooking and shredding. It has a good amount of collagen, which when cooked low and slow, turns into gelatin, making the meat tender and juicy.
Another cut of pork that can be used is a pork picnic roast. This cut is similar to the pork shoulder roast, but it has a bone in it, which can add more flavor to the dish.
This style of meat is so versatile! It’s great on a sandwich with a little coleslaw and baked beans on the side, as a taco, on nachos, mixed in with mac and cheese to create a fun bowl, or even on its own next to some potato skins! There are tons of possibilities and because it reheats so well, you’ve got plenty of options for leftovers!
Trish’s Tips and Tricks: A Guide to Making the Best Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Feel free to swap in your favorite BBQ sauce for the tomato sauce mixture to save time. Or try making your own with my Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe.
- Don’t skip searing the meat. This step will really lock in the juices and flavors in the meat.
- Add a little chicken broth to your sauce for extra juicy meat.
- It’s much easier to shred the pork outside of the instant pot, so I prefer transferring it to a cutting board before shredding.
- If you prefer your pulled pork to be sweeter, you can adjust the amount of brown sugar used in the seasoning and sauce to your liking.
- If you like your pulled pork to have a bit more heat, simply increase the amount of cayenne pepper used in the seasoning.
- It’s a good idea to use a meat thermometer to check that the pork has reached the safe internal temperature of 145°F before shredding it.
- You can also try adding some diced onions and chopped garlic when you sauté the pork for a savory and delicious addition!
- You can also add some liquid smoke or Worcestershire sauce to the sauce for extra smoky flavor.
Even More Dinner Time Favorites
How To Make Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil or avocado oil
Pulled Pork Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne optional
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ½ cup dark brown sugar packed
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce optional
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke optional
- brioche buns optional
- potato chips optional
- pickles optional
- coleslaw optional
- barbecue sauce optional
- Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the pork into 3 to 4 large pieces and trim off any large pieces of fat.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mix all over the pieces of pork and rub it in making sure it is evenly distributed on all sides of the meat.
- Turn on the Instant Pot to the sauté function and add oil. Once hot, add the pork and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until a crust has formed. Repeat with remaining pork if needed.
- While the pork is sauteeing, whisk together the tomato sauce, dark brown sugar and apple cider vinegar in a medium bowl.
- Turn off the instant pot. Pour the sauce over the pork and then place the lid on the instant pot and lock it into place.
- Cook the pork using the meat/stew function for 60 minutes or until the pork easily pulls apart with two forks.
- Once the pork has finished cooking, release the steam using the quick release valve to manually release the pressure.
- Transfer the pork to a large plate and shred using two forks. Toss the pulled pork with some of the sauce in the instant pot and/or toss with your favorite BBQ sauce.
- Serve on buns with coleslaw and bbq sauce, optional.