Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Instant Pot pulled pork on buns with all the "fixins."
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 2 pounds
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
722 Calories
43g Fat
26g Carbs
53g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 722
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 56%
Saturated Fat 16g 79%
Cholesterol 195mg 65%
Sodium 1025mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 53g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 934mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pulled pork is one of the best and easiest dishes to make when you're feeding your family or a larger group of people. You can't go wrong with pulled pork sandwiches on game day, and with the Instant Pot pressure cooker, you can even prepare pulled pork at the end of a busy workday. The pork and seasonings take just minutes to throw together, and the Instant Pot cooks the pork in a remarkable 45 minutes!

Serve the pulled pork in split buns with toppings like dill pickle slices, coleslaw, lettuce, jalapeño pepper rings, bell peppers, chopped or sliced red onions. It also works as an entrée with mac and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, and coleslaw. Even if you're only feeding only 2 to 4 people, this pulled pork freezes beautifully. You can reheat the frozen pulled pork any time you need a quick meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, plus more for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot pulled pork.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Dry the pork with paper towels. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, onion powder, cumin, dry mustard, and cayenne. Add the pork chunks to the bowl and toss to coat them thoroughly with the spice mixture.

    Toss the pork cubes with the seasonings.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and add the water and vinegar. Place the seasoned pork on the trivet.

    Seasoned pork in the Instant Pot.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select the pressure cook or manual button (high pressure) and set the timer to 45 minutes.

    Select sealing on the instant pot lid.
    Diana Rattray
  5. When the time is up, allow a natural release for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully turn the steam release valve to the venting position to release the remaining pressure.

    Steam release valve in the venting position.
    Diana Rattray
  6. Drain and discard the liquids. Remove the pork to a bowl and shred it. Add 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce to the pork and stir to blend. Return the pork to the Instant Pot and select the lowest sauté setting. Cook the pork until it is thoroughly heated.

    Shredded pulled pork from the Instant Pot.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Serve and enjoy.

    Southern pulled pork dinner plate with slaw and mac and cheese.
    Diana Rattray

Tips

  • The best cuts for pulled pork come from the shoulder of the animal. The Boston butt or pork butt, despite the name, comes from the shoulder. It's the ideal cut for tender, juicy pulled pork.
  • Pork shoulder shrinks significantly as it cooks. You'll end up with roughly 2 pounds of pulled pork from 4 pounds of meat. Plan on 4 to 6 ounces of shredded pulled pork per person.
  • Leftover pulled pork can be used in a variety of dishes. Add it to pizza, homemade egg rolls, or tacos or burritos, or use canned biscuits to bake pulled pork barbecue cups.

Recipe Variation

Switch from water to another liquid for extra flavor. Stock, cola, hard cider, apple juice, and beer are excellent alternatives.