Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork is made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot. Flavored with beer and sweet barbecue sauce, this dish is the ultimate comfort food.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork
Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork is one of the most frequent meals I make in my Instant Pot. First, it’s super easy to make, full of flavor and it can be served in so many ways. I love a juicy and tender pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw. This recipe has been perfected to be your go-to when you need a delicious pulled pork sandwich.
Seasoned with garlic, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, and chili powder, this pulled pork has the right balance of sweet, savory with just a touch of heat. So good, I just can’t have only one sandwich! This is the perfect recipe to make if you are short on time, but want the same delicious flavor of slow-cooked pulled pork.
Why make Pulled Pork using your Instant Pot?
This Instant Pot Pulled Pork is juicy and flavorful and if you want to add some heat just add more chili powder when you cook it, or some Sriracha sauce at the end.
- Making Pulled Pork in the pressure cooker will take you only a few hours, a fraction of the time actually from what would take you to use your crockpot, oven or smoker. The pulled pork is ready to serve in under 2 hours.
- It is a great alternative if you don’t own a smoker or crockpot.
- Perfect for an emergency situation and satisfying a pulled pork craving whenever it hits.
- Dirtying one pot only, super easy to prep and clean.
What Kind of Meat to Use to make Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork?
Use good quality meat, preferably organic boneless pork shoulder. It has a little more fat to it and is also inexpensive. When cooked under pressure you end up with succulent, moist, and very flavorful meat. You can also try my IP Kalua Park, it’s to die for!
Also, sometimes I used pork loin. It’s not as fatty, but if you are looking for a leaner version it works well. Hence, it won’t be as tender and “melt in your mouth”, as its a leaner cut of meat.
How to make the best Instant Pot Pulled Pork?
This is a super easy recipe to make. For the best results, follow the below steps. Also, I have included the recipe video in the post to make it easier for you guys to understand.
- Prepare the Sauce: Start by combining all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Then, stir well till properly combined.
- Cook the Meat: Add the pork shoulder pieces to the pressure cooker. Then, pour the sauce over it. Close the lid, and cook.
- Pull the pork: Once the cooking time is over, open the lid, and carefully remove the chunks of pork from the IP. Place the meat in a larger plate or bowl. The pieces may fall apart and that’s just fine. Next, simply use two forks to shred the pieces into desired sizes.
- Serve: Enjoy it warm right away on buns, and topped with your favorite BBQ sauce, or coleslaw.
Recommended Pressure Cooking Time:
The cooking time might vary based on how thick the pork shoulder pieces are cut. In my opinion, it’s better to “undercook” the meat than overcooking as you can add additional cooking time later. Below you can find the general cooking time:
- Meat cut into 8 pieces: roughly 55 – 60 minutes pressure cooking time.
- If it’s cut into 4 pieces: roughly 60 – 70 minutes pressure cooking time.
- If it’s cut into 2 pieces: roughly 70 – 80 minutes pressure cooking time.
Should you Brown the Pork?
This is totally up to you. If I have extra time, I would brown the pieces. This bumps the flavor up a bit. However, if you are short on time, simply skip this step. The end product will be just as delicious. Also, when cooking frozen meat, you’ll want to skip browning it, as frozen meat does not brown well.
How to Cook frozen pork in the Pressure Cooker?
Cooking frozen meat in the Instant Pot is very practical. I have a few recipes where I show in details how to cook frozen pork tenderloin or frozen chicken breasts in the IP. Simply follow the recipe card steps below, and add 5 minutes per pound of meat if cooked frozen. In addition, please note that it will take longer to come to pressure.
How to make Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker?
This recipe works great in the crockpot as well. With the slow cooker, the cooking time will be much longer. However, you will end up with a super moist, juicy, and flavorful dish. Please check out the slow cooker version of this recipe by clicking here.
How long would pulled pork last in the fridge?
Leftover pulled pork according to the US Department of Agriculture’s food safety guidelines, can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days if properly stored in an airtight container and at a constant temperature.
Can you freeze pulled pork?
Yes, you can. First, fully cool it off, after adding it to freezer-safe ziplock bags. Flatten the bags and freeze. If properly stored in the freezer at 0 F degrees or less, the pork will last up to 6 months, however, I prefer to store mine only for about 3 months, after that it changes its texture.
How do you heat up frozen pulled pork?
- You can place it in the fridge and thaw it before heating it up, that will reduce the heating uptime, but it is not mandatory.
- Add the pulled pork to a large saucepan over medium heat, and heat it up, stirring occasionally, if needed add more bbq sauce or scoop up extra liquid if there is too much. Stir well to combine to make sure it heats up uniformly.
Tips to make the best Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe:
- You don’t have to brown the pork for this recipe. But for extra flavor, I recommend you brown it on each side for a few minutes. Use the Sauté function of the Instant Pot to do this.
- Use your favorite barbecue sauce, I usually choose a honey-based barbecue sauce or bourbon, the latest is by far my favorite.
- Molasses can be added to the pork. It gives a nice, subtle deep caramel flavor, that goes really well with the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.
- Also, I don’t like using water when I cook pork. Usually, I add beer and here again, you can use your favorite. My go-to is a beer like Yuengling’s.
- If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can replace the beer with soda. Something like Coke or Dr. Pepper works well. Water and beef broth also work nicely.
- Always save some cooking liquid, and store the pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge. I always top it with some cooking liquid to keep it moist.
Tools/Ingredients I used to make this Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe:
- Instant Pot – I love mine, it’s truly a lifesaver, and it has so many functions you can sauté the meat and veggies directly into it, so no need to dirty another pot or skillet. Also, it has a slow cooker function, and also a steam function that I use a lot!
- Molasses – great not only in sweet recipes but a little also goes a long way and it adds such a nice flavor to many savory dishes.
- BBQ Sauce – oh my, I buy it in bulk, I use it in many recipes, for wings, for pulled pork and chicken and also just as a dipping sauce.
- Dry Ground Mustard
- Smoked Paprika – do not replace with regular paprika, the smoked one is what adds great flavor.
- Cayenne Pepper Powder – you can add more or less, depends how spicy you want the pork.
- Brown Sugar – to balance the heat from the pepper.
- Cinnamon – a little goes a long way, but this addition will add some depth to the other flavors.
- Liquid Smoke
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes Total time: 1 hr 40 mins
- 3-4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder (cut into 3-4 pieces)
Sauce for Pressure Cooking:
- 2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1 1/2 cups beer of choice (Coke, Dr. Pepper or water/ beef broth)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (use more for a spicier pulled pork)
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
After Pressure Cooking:
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 leftover cooking sauce
- 6 Sesame seed buns
Combine all the Sauce ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to fully combine.
Add the pork pieces to the Instant Pot and pour the sauce on top of them.
Lock the lid, make sure the valve points to seal. Select High Pressure and cook for 60 minutes. When the pork is done the cooking and you hear the beeping sound, do a 10-20 min natural pressure release. Release manually the remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.
Gently remove the pork from the pressure cooker, add it to a large, dip dish and shred it using two forks.
Strain the cooking liquid and reserve about 2 cups.
Select Sauté and add the shredded pork back to the cooking pot, add the remaining 1 cup of barbecue sauce and ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, stirring and tossing frequently. If needed add another ½ cup of cooking liquid.
Serve pulled pork immediately on buns, if desired top with coleslaw and more barbecue sauce.
Store in the refrigerator the remaining 1 cup of cooking liquid, you can use it to reheat the pulled pork, in case it needs more liquid.
Store pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.