instant pot pulled pork on a plate with cabbage and pickles

Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is a quick and easy healthy pressure cooker recipe that is also keto and low-carb. This dish is made with pork shoulder, pork butt, or pork roast and with apple cider vinegar and homemade BBQ sauce. You can use Sweet Baby Rays for a non-low-carb option. The post includes a guide for how to make pulled pork and how long to cook pulled pork in the Instant Pot and cooking time.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
natural release of steam 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 417kcal
Author Brandi Crawford


  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 cups unsweetened BBQ sauce (divided) See below for link to Low Carb Homemade BBQ Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sweetener I used Swerve
  • 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder or pork butt cut into 3 chunks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


WATCH THE RECIPE VIDEO BELOW for full illustration.

    Instant Pot Instructions

    • Get the recipe for Homemade BBQ Sauce here.
    • Combine 1 cup of BBQ sauce, the liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, and brown 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.



    Instant Pot Pulled Pork 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. For a low carb version, I have provided suggestions.
    • If you like your sauce and pork to be on the sweeter side, add additional brown 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.

    Can Your Freeze Pulled Pork 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.

    Can You Put A Frozen Roast in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker?

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


    Calories: 417kcal