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The BEST Pulled Pork- Instant Pot Recipe

The BEST Pulled Pork- Instant Pot Recipe

Perfectly tender and juicy pulled pork quickly and efficiently in the INSTANT POT with an easy homemade BBQ sauce and quick coleslaw. An instant crowd pleaser!

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Pulled pork can be a little intimidating. It’s one of those recipes that resides in the BBQ pit boss domain, which is a place that many people revere but few dare to enter. Under the assumption that a pulled pork requires hours and hours of oven roasting or grilling over a meticulously kept low and slow coal, pulled pork may not be the way you choose to spend your Saturday and most definitely not your typical weekday.

But I’m here to tell you that all these misconceptions are the logic of the past. Yet again the INSTANT POT rolls into our kitchens like a damn knight in shining armor, saving our day, dinner, and most importantly protecting our precious hours while delivering a deeply succulent, sinfully shreddable, and truly delicious BBQ style dinner any day or season of the year!

What Cut of Pork Should I Use?

Pork Butt (AKA Boston Roast) or Pork Shoulder (AKA picnic roast) is the way to go for Pulled Pork! Pork butt and pork shoulder both come from the same area of the pig but are very different cuts of meat. Pork butt comes from the meat above the shoulder blades, while pork shoulder meat extends down to the pig’s front hoofs. The pork butt is fatter with more marbling as it sits just above the shoulder blade and it is not as developed of a muscle as the shoulder. Many would say that the Butt is the best way to go for pulled pork. However, I have tested this recipe numerous times over the past few months and I’m able to declare that I prefer the bone-in pork shoulder cut. But either cut is going to get you a damn good pulled pork, so go with your gut, experience, or whichever one is readily available to you at your local market.

How to make Instant Pot pulled pork?

Prepare Pork and apply a dry Rub

The preparation of the pork is going to depend on which cut you chose. If you went with a boneless pork butt, there won’t be too much trimming involve. You will just want to cut the meat into about 4 inch or so cubes, to lend better to cooking in an instant pot.

For a bone-in shoulder or picnic roast, you may need to trim off the skin first. You can cut it all off or leave just a portion on. If you do decide to leave any portion of the skin on, make sure that you score it to allow the rub to penetrate into the meat that lies below. After trimming, or not trimming, excess fat and/or skin, you will need to cut the shoulder into smaller pieces just as you would do with the pork butt. If you are working with a bone-in shoulder, one of those pieces will contain the bone.

After the meat has been prepared, generously apply the homemade dry rub and let it sit out on the counter at room temperature from anywhere from 30-60 minutes. You just want to let the rub do its magic on the meat and take the chill off. Meat that is cold will not sear well.

Sear the Meat

Using the Saute feature on your Instant Pot, heat about 1-2 tbsp of canola oil (or other high smoke point oil) and begin to sear the meat in batches. As always the holy trinity of tips for searing are:

  1. Meat should be dry
  2. Meat shouldn’t be cold
  3. Give it space in pan, no over crowding

So with that in mind, you will probably need to repeat the searing in 2-3 different rounds. Just set the seared meat to the side as you work in batches.

When searing is complete, turn off saute and add your beer to deglaze, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Then, return all seared pork to the instant pot. Try to arrange in a single layer, all nestled together. Meat should have enough liquid to cover just a little over halfway. Add a bit of water, if you need more liquid.

instant pot pulled pork

Seal lid and press pressure cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. When the time has completed, let pressure natural release for 15 minutes then quick release to remove the lid.

Transfer meat to cutting board and shred with a fork, it should be so tender it’s like cutting warm butter- {drooling}! Discard bone (if used) and large chunks of fat without any meat.

shredded pulled pork on cutting board

Easy Homemade BBQ sauce

While your pork is cooking you can use that time to whip up a homemade BBQ sauce! Simply combine ketchup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and Worchester sauce! Using the measurement of the recipe below you will have a BBQ sauce that is savory, tangy with just enough sweetness. If you prefer sweeter, just add more brown sugar, if you want more tang- add a little more mustard. It’s your world!

homemade bbq sauce for instant pot pulled pork

super quick coleslaw

Now if you are making this INSTANT POT PULLED PORK recipe for pulled pork sandwiches, you may want some coleslaw to go with it! Very simple as well, just combine: shredded cabbage (you can even buy a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix), mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and celery seed (this is a dried spice found in any grocery store).

image of homemade coleslaw for pulled pork sandwiches in glass bowl

what should i use my instant pot pulled pork for?

Well, the obvious answer is PULLED PORK SANDWICHES! But you could use this tender shredded meat in a variety of meals:

  • Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese
  • Pulled Pork Tacos
  • Pulled Pork Enchiladas
  • Pulled Pork Nachos
  • Pulled Pork Shepards Pie
  • Pulled Pork Pizza
  • Pulled Pork and Sweet Potato Hash
  • Pulled Pork Chili
  • Pulled Pork Burritos
  • Pulled Pork Rice Bowls

You get the idea! Hey if you have any other suggestions… let me know in the comments! You guys have some pretty awesome ideas too!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Please let me know below with a recipe rating!!!

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The BEST Pulled Pork- Instant Pot Recipe

Brenda Lanzilli
Perfectly tender and juicy pulled pork quickly and efficiently in the INSTANT POT with an easy homemade BBQ sauce and quick coleslaw. An instant crowd pleaser!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 527 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pulled Pork

  • 5 lb pork shoulder, bone in or 2-3 lbs, boneless
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground mustard powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 12 oz beer I use Modelo
  • ½ cup water enough to 3/4 submerge the meat

BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • cup dijion mustard taste, add more if preferred
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

Coleslaw

  • cup shredded cabbage
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp pepper
  • tsp celery seed

Instructions
 

Pulled Pork

  • Combine brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, ground mustard powder and black pepper. This will be your spice rub for meat. Set aside.
  • Trim some of the fat or skin (if still attached) Cut pork shoulder into large cubes, about 4-5 inch. Generoulsy season meat with spice rub. Leave on cutting board at room temp for 30-60 minutes. (Meat will sear better without the chill from fridge)
  • Add 2 tbs canola oil to Instant Pot and set to saute. Add 2 or 3 pieces of the pork, no overcrowding. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes each. Remove pork and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining pork pieces.
  • Press cancel, then while pot is still hot, deglaze by adding beer and scrape off all the bits with a wooden spoon. Return all seared pork to the instant pot. Try to arrange in a singe layer, all nestled together. Meat should have enough liquid to cover just a little over halfway. Add a bit of water, if you need more liquid.
  • Seal lid and press pressure cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Natrual release for 15 minutes then quick release to remove lid.
  • Remove pork and shred. Cover with BBQ sauce and serve.

BBQ Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to serve with pulled pork.

Quick Coleslaw

  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Reserve until ready to add to pulled pork sandwiches.

Notes

To make in advance: Keep prepared pulled pork in the fridge for up to 3 days. Save about 1/2 cup of cooking liquid from instant pot on the side to add moisture when reheating. 
Reheat: Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooking liquid to pulled pork in an oven-safe pan. This will maintain moisture while reheating.  Cover and bake at 300 for 20 min, until heated through. Add additional BBQ sauce if desired. 

Nutrition

Calories: 527kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 47gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 1282mgPotassium: 1105mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 1221IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 4mg
Keyword BBQ, coleslaw, instant pot, instapot, pork, pulled pork, sandwiches
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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