Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork
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This Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork is the easiest and fastest way to make delicious barbecue pulled pork sandwiches. Instead of smoking or slow cooking all day, this recipe comes together in under 2 hours and is full of the smokey, sweet and savory flavors we all love.
Pulled pork has traditionally been a slow affair to get tender meat, basically all day like with our Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or in a smoker outdoors. Instant Pot pressure cooking has made it so much faster without sacrificing any flavor!
This is the dish to make in a hurry when you’re hosting a party for game day, 4th of July or other celebrations. Serve it as pulled pork sandwiches with hamburger buns and coleslaw and the crowd will love it!
Selecting the Right Cut for Pulled Pork
A pork shoulder roast is an ideal cut for pulled pork because it has the best flavor. Pork shoulder is also called pork butt or Boston butt. Bone-in has slightly better flavor, although boneless will do just fine.
If you can’t find pork shoulder, then you can use pork loin, also called a center cut roast. Some people prefer it as a leaner cut, although it has slightly less flavor and doesn’t shred as easily.
A pork tenderloin should not be used since it is easily overcooked.
You can also easily use a frozen pork roast and get the same result, just plan to cook on the higher end of the time range.
What Size Pork Roast to Buy
While I’ve suggested a 3 lb pork roast, they are often cut in different sizes. It’s no problem to use a larger or smaller roast.
Tips for Larger Roasts
- Increase your other ingredient amounts proportionately
- You can cut the pork into several pieces to fit into the slow cooker
- Add a half hour of extra cooking time for each additional pound.
Count on ¼ lb of pork per serving, so a 3 lb roast will serve about 12 people…
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Soup
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Shrimp
- Instant Pot Pad Thai
How to Make Instant Pot Pulled Pork
There are 3 easy steps for making Instant Pot Pulled Pork:
Step 1: Sauté the Pork: Using the Instant Pot’s Sauté function, brown the meat slightly to develop the flavor. Then add in the onion and garlic to soften slightly.
Step 2: Pressure Cooking: Add the chicken broth, BBQ sauce and paprika to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place and set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, allowing for a natural pressure release at the end.
Step 3: Simmer & Shred: When the cycle is complete, carefully remove the lid. Turn the Instant Pot’s Sauté function back on and simmer the meat in the juices for 15 minutes. Then using two forks or meat shredding claws, shred the meat. Finally season with salt and pepper to taste.
That’s it – you’re ready to serve!
Make Ahead Tips
You can store cooked pulled pork for up to 3 days in the fridge, and then reheat leftovers for 10 minutes using the Sauté function on the Instant Pot.
Pulled pork also freezes really well for up to a month in an airtight container. Reheat for 30 minutes over medium heat either in the Instant Pot or on the stove.
How to Serve Pulled Pork
If you want an incredible meal, serve this pulled pork on hamburger buns with your favorite cole slaw. Your entire family will love it including the kids!
I like using brioche buns or Hawaiian sweet rolls for a treat although regular hamburger buns work well.
To make a complete Southern plate, pair with macaroni and cheese, baked beans, cornbread and some corn.
Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork
- 3 lbs pork shoulder, boneless or bone-in
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 large onion, sliced thin, or 2 tsp onion powder
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed, or 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, or water
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp paprika, or smoked paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
Serving - optional
- 12 hamburger buns
- cole slaw
- Turn the Instant Pot on to Sauté. Wait a moment until hot and add the oil and pork.
- Brown the pork for 4-5 minutes, turning from time to time.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté one minute more.
- Add the broth, BBQ sauce and paprika. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Cover and lock the lid. Turn the setting to Pressure Cook with a timer of 75 minutes.
- When the time is up, let the Instant Pot do a natural release of pressure.
- When finished, open the lid and press Sauté.
- Let the juices simmer for 15 minutes until reduced slightly.
- Shred with two forks or meat shredding claws. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with optional hamburger buns, cole slaw and pickles. Enjoy!
- You can also substitute pork tenderloin for pork shoulder, although it may be less flavorful.
- If you are using a different size piece of pork, you can adjust the other ingredient amounts proportionately.
- A 6-quart Instant Pot is ideal, but any 4-8 quart pressure cooker will work too.
- If you wish to separate out some of the fat after cooking, you can skim with a spoon or pour the liquid into a fat separator.
Please read our nutrition disclaimer.
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