Easy to make Instant Pot Pulled Pork with BBQ sauce is made in less time than pulled pork made in the oven or slow cooker. This is a great recipe for feeding a crowd, for meal prep, backyard BBQs, potlucks and weeknight meals. Made with simple ingredients, this is a very affordable recipe that tastes amazing!
My son tells me this is the best pulled pork recipe and I must say, I agree with him. I used to always make pulled pork in the oven and in the slow cooker. Although it was delicious, it took so many hours to cook, sometimes up to 8 hours if made in the crockpot! This Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork recipe takes a fraction of the time to make, which makes it perfect for hectic weekdays and a great recipe to have when entertaining.
This Instant Pot recipe will make enough BBQ pulled pork to feed a crowd however, if you need to feed just a small number of people, this recipe will give you enough leftovers to freeze for future meals.
If you love to meal prep for weeknight meals, this incredibly tender shredded pork is a great and easy recipe to have handy.
At home we love making this recipe into pulled pork sandwiches topped with crispy coleslaw. This simple meal always gets rave reviews! If you like to live on the edge and give classic coleslaw a different twist, you should try my creamy Cilantro Lime Coleslaw. The flavors of the BBQ pork plus the freshness of the coleslaw and lime go so well together!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Ingredients
- Pork Shoulder
- Olive oil
For the BBQ Pork Dry Rub
- Brown Sugar
- Paprika (not smoked)
- Onion Powder and Garlic Powder
- Ground Cumin
- Chili Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Dry Mustard
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
For the Sauce
- BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought)
- Brown Sugar
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Chicken Broth (I use low sodium)
What Is The Best Cut Of Meat for Insta Pot Pulled Pork?
Pork butt and pork shoulder are the best cuts for the most tender and juicy Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork. Both pork butt and pork shoulder come from the shoulder area of the pig, however pork butt comes from the higher part.
Different locations have different names for these cuts like Boston butt, shoulder roast and picnic roast.
Pork loin (not tenderloin) can also be used. Because the loin is leaner, make sure you do not trim the fat cap.
What Kind Of BBQ Sauce Do You Use For Pulled Pork?
You can use your favorite store bought or homemade barbecue sauce. In the recipe card below, I combine store bought BBQ sauce with other ingredients to create my own pulled pork BBQ sauce. I also add a bit of broth to prevent the pressure cooker from showing a “burn error”. More about this error below.
How to Make Instant Pot BBQ Pork
- Cut the pork into medium size pieces, about 2-inch chunks.
- Make a simple dry rub. No complicated ingredients, just things you probably already have at home.
- If you have time, seal the meat and spices in a resealable bag and let the meat marinate for one hour.
- Next, I mix the wet ingredients – I use store bought barbecue sauce which makes things quicker and a lot easier!
- I set the instapot to “saute” and sear the meat in batches. Browning the meat seals in the flavor. I try not to skip this step, especially since the saute and cooking can all be done in one pot!
- I return all the pork to the instapot and stir in the wet BBQ ingredients.
- I set the pressure cooker to meat and the timer for 90 minutes.
- After the cooking cycle is complete, I let it release naturally. This takes about 15 minutes. Then I use two forks to shred the meat.
I am getting a “burn” error message, what do I do?
Although this has never happened to me when making this recipe, pressure cookers are notorious for having this issue. Apparently some instant pot models are very sensitive and when the little bits of food or seasonings get stuck on the bottom of the pot, the pot detects it as a possible burn issue and displays the error message. Annoying, yes but easy to fix. Here are some things you can do:
- First, If you notice that the meat is getting too brown, too fast while searing it, simply turn the pot off by using the “cancel/warm” button. Wait a couple of minutes so the pot can cool and then go back to “saute” mode. Think of it as turning the heat of your stove all the way down to prevent burning.
- If you get a burn error: When your pot is locked and pressurized, first depressurize the pot – open the valve and release any pressure, then carefully open the lid because any escaping steam can burn you. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to remove any brown bits that are stuck.
What can I do with leftover Instant Pot Pulled Pork?
- You can freeze the leftover BBQ pork. When cool, I transfer the pork into resealable freezer bags.
- Make pulled pork totchos! Tater tots, pulled pork and loads of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese!
- Use the Instant Pot Pulled Pork to top baked potatoes.
- Make, nachos or quesadillas. Top burgers and even cheese pizza.
How Long Do You Cook Pork In The Instant Pot?
To make this BBQ Pulled Pork recipe, 4 pounds of pork shoulder or pork butt are cooked for 90 minutes. That may sound like a long time but keep in mind that cooking pulled pork on the stove top or oven takes a lot longer, usually anywhere between 5 to 8 hours.
Can You Overcook Pulled Pork In Instant the Pot?
Pork can be overcooked in the pressure cooker/Instant Pot just like any other meat however, when overcooked, pork just shreds. If the pork is not cooked long enough, it won’t shred. If you think that you have overcooked your pulled pork, don’t worry! with the addition of BBQ no one will notice.
How To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Microwave
One of the easiest ways to reheat leftover pulled pork is in the microwave. Microwave for a couple of minutes or until heated through.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in Oven
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pork in an oven safe dish. Cover it with aluminum foil. Reheat until warm through.
How To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Slow Cooker
To reheat BBQ pulled pork in a crock pot, place the pulled meat in the slow cooker, add 1/2 cup of apple juice or broth and 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through.
Instapot Pulled Pork Recipe Tips
- You can make this Instant Pot Pulled Pork in a 6-qt. Instant Pot.
- Make BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches and sliders and serve them with coleslaw.
- The pork will be very tender and you will be able to shred it with two forks easily.
What can I serve with Instant Pot Pulled Pork?
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BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces *see notes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Dry Rub
- In a small bowl, combine all the dry rub ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients.
- Season the pork pieces all over with the dry rub.
- Turn the instant pot/pressure cooker to “saute”. Add the oil and allow it to get hot. Add some of the pork to the pot making sure you do not overcrowd the pot. Brown the meat for about 5 minutes, turning the pork to all sides. Transfer the first batch of cooked meat to a plate and continue to brown the rest of the pork.
- Press the keep warm/cancel button on the instant pot. Pour the sauce into the pot and with a wooden spoon scrape any brown bits that may be stuck at the bottom of the pot. Return all the meat to the pot and toss well making sure the meat is well coated. Close the lid. Set the instant pot to meat/stew and set the timer to 90 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally (it should take about 15 minutes). However in a rush, follow instructions for quick release.
- Carefully unlock and remove the the lid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl.
- Switch the instant pot to the “saute” setting. Do not cover the pot. Simmer the sauce while you shred the meat. The sauce will reduce a little bit. Mix the shredded pork with the sauce. Use as much or as little as you want.