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Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

This Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is made with pork shoulder, pork butt, or pork roast and with apple cider vinegar and homemade BBQ sauce. Add this to your cookout menu and serve with sandwiches if you wish!

instant pot pulled pork on a plate with cabbage and pickles

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This post was originally published in 2019. It has since been updated.

FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

vanilla, spices. sugar, eggs, and sweetener in separate bowls
chopped onions, chicken broth, brown sugar, and garlic

I live in Kansas City, Missouri. Home of the best BBQ! I can eat BBQ any time of the year! Thanks to my Instant Pot and even my air fryer, I do just that! No matter the weather.

What’s the Best Cut of Pork to Use for Pulled Pork?

You will want to purchase a pork shoulder or pork butt. Bone-in or boneless will work just fine. You will need to slice the pork into smaller chunks. This is easier to do with boneless pork. If using bone-in, cut around the bone.

raw pork shoulder butt on a cutting board

Is Pork Butt the Same as Pork Shoulder?

Yes. The term butt is used to describe a wide area of the pig. The widest area of the pig is its shoulder. Read more about Cuts of Pork here.

bbq sauce, raw pork shoulder butt on a cutting board, and garlic and onions sauteed in an Instant Pot

How to Make Instant Pot Pulled Pork

  1. Season the pork.
  2. Sear the pork in the Instant Pot with olive oil. Remove the pork.
  3. Add garlic and onions to the pot and deglaze.
  4. Add chicken broth, BBQ sauce, and the pork back to the pot.
  5. Pressure cook.
  6. Remove the pork from the pot and shred with forks.
raw pork shoulder in an instant pot with chicken broth and bbq sauce

Cook Time/How Long to Cook it

I cook the pulled pork for 45 minutes on Manual > High-Pressure Cooking. I allow the steam to release naturally for 15 minutes as opposed to quick release. I rarely quick release meat. Allowing the natural release will result in juicy, tender pork.

instant pot pulled pork on a cutting board

What Type of BBQ Sauce to Use

If you plan to drizzle this pork in BBQ sauce, use your favorite! You can’t go wrong with that.

I love the unsweetened BBQ sauce from Primal Kitchen. It’s a personal favorite.

instant pot pulled pork on a plate with cabbage and pickles

Can You Make a Frozen Roast?

Yes, you will need to add an additional 30 minutes of cook time.

instant pot pulled pork on a white plate

Freezer Tips for Leftovers

Yes. Store the pork in sealable plastic bags for up to 3 months. I like to defrost in the fridge overnight, as opposed to the microwave.

instant pot pulled pork on a plate with cabbage and pickles

Recipe Tips

  • I trim the fat off of the pork after it has cooked. You can trim the fat first prior to cooking if you wish.
  • Searing the pork beforehand is optional and adds additional flavor to the pork. You can still cook the pork without searing it first.
  • You can use any BBQ sauce you like in this recipe.
  • If you like your sauce and pork to be on the sweeter side, add additional brown sugar or sweetener.
  • If you prefer more of a vinegar based sauce, add more apple cider vinegar.
  • The best way to test and adjust for flavor is after the meat has been cooked. Taste repeatedly and adjust with more seasonings and ingredients as necessary.
  • Liquid smoke is used in this recipe for added flavor and for the pork to taste like it’s from the grill.

Side Dishes to Pair

Southern Coleslaw
Southern Homemade Cornbread

Southern Baked Beans
Easy Spaghetti Salad
Southern Macaroni Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Southern Mustard Greens
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob

More BBQ Main Dishes

Instant Pot Ribs
Instant Pot Brisket
Air Fryer Ribs
Instant Pot Pulled Chicken

instant pot pulled pork on a plate with cabbage and pickles
Print Pin
5 from 6 votes

Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

This Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is made with pork shoulder, pork butt, or pork roast and with apple cider vinegar and homemade BBQ sauce. Add this to your cookout menu and serve with sandwiches if you wish!
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot bbq pork, instant pot pulled pork
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
natural release of steam 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 493kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Combine 1 cup of BBQ sauce, the liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar or sweetener in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
  • Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the Instant Pot on the Saute function. Add the oil.
  • Sear both sides of each of the chunks of pork shoulder. Remove the pork shoulder chunks and set aside.
  • Add half of the chicken broth to the pot and deglaze the pot by scooping up all of the brown bits on the pot. This is loaded with flavor.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the remaining chicken broth to the pot. Next add the seared pork shoulder.
  • Drizzle the BBQ Sauce and brown sugar mixture over the top of the pork shoulder.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and Seal. Cook for 45 minutes on Manual > High-Pressure Cooking.
  • When the pot indicates it has finished, allow steam to release naturally for 10 minutes instead of quick release.
  • Open the pot and remove the pork. Shred with forks or knives. 
  • Drizzle the remaining 1 cup of BBQ sauce onto the pork and serve.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Combine 1 cup of BBQ sauce, the liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, and brown sweetener in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
  • Sear the pork on all sides in a skillet on medium-high heat with the olive oil.
  • Add the pork to the slow-cooker with the remaining ingredients and BBQ sauce mixture.
  • Cook on High for 4-6 hours or on Low for 10-12 hours.
  • Remove the pork. Shred with forks or knives.
  • Drizzle the remaining 1 cup of BBQ sauce onto the pork and serve.

Video

Notes

  • I trim the fat off of the pork after it has cooked. You can trim the fat first prior to cooking if you wish.
  • Searing the pork beforehand is optional and adds additional flavor to the pork. You can still cook the pork without searing it first.
  • You can use any BBQ sauce you like in this recipe.
  • If you like your sauce and pork to be on the sweeter side, add additional brown sugar or sweetener.
  • If you prefer more of a vinegar-based sauce, add more apple cider vinegar.
  • The best way to test and adjust for flavor is after the meat has been cooked. Taste repeatedly and adjust with more seasonings and ingredients as necessary.
  • Liquid smoke is used in this recipe for added flavor and for the pork to taste like it’s from the grill.
  • Macros assume zero-calorie brown sweetener is used. Feel free to perform your own calculation taking into account what you use.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 18g
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Recipe Rating




Emily

Thursday 18th of March 2021

This recipe is so great and easy I made it twice in 2 weeks! Super nice to throw it in the instant pot. Served it the second time with Brandi's easy southern fried cabbage recipe!

staysnatched

Friday 19th of March 2021

Wonderful! What a great pairing.

Trista

Thursday 14th of May 2020

This recipe is perfect for anything you can think to eat pulled pork on. Being from Memphis, that's everything. I have used this pulled pork recipe to make omelets, sandwiches, quesadillas, and I'll crisp up the meat in a frying pan to use for tacos.

staysnatched

Friday 15th of May 2020

I love all of these ideas!

suzette

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

C if i cook a 5lb pork loin roast in instapot for dinner, could i put the pork roast left overs back in insta pot to make shredded pork?

staysnatched

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I haven't tried this. If you test it out, let me know how it goes!

Darla Paulsen

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019

How many Carb in this pulled pork recipe? And the creamed spinach recipe? Pulled pork was awesome!

staysnatched

Saturday 14th of September 2019

Hi there, macros are noted at the top of the post.

Rosemary

Monday 18th of March 2019

I love pulled pork, I made it on the weekend and everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for the recipe.