I make this Instant Pot Pulled Pork for nearly every big get together we host at our home. It feeds a lot of people on the cheap. You can use this pulled pork in a myriad of ways – for Instant Pot carnitas, burritos, rice bowls, nachos, salads, gluten-free pulled pork sandwiches, or for whatever else you can imagine.
What cut of pork is best for pulled pork
Pork picnic roast, the cut of pork that comes from the pig’s upper shoulder area, also known as pork shoulder roast or Boston butt, is high in fat and soft connective tissues. This fat and connective tissues is so very tender and juicy when it is cooked low and slow, or pressure cooked. The pork shoulder is said to be the best, most flavorful portion of the pig (aside from bacon… hahaha).
Can I make pulled pork from pork loin
Unlike pork shoulder roast, pork loin roast is lower in fat and soft connective tissues. While you can use it for pulled pork, I personally don’t care for it. It’s mostly white meat, so it has a dryer flavor/texture.
Instant Pot pork roast is affordable
I love hosting parties at our home, but cooking for large amount of people can sometimes be financially challenging. Pork shoulder roast is affordable. I can normally purchase a 9 pound pork shoulder roast for $11-15, and it will serve 12-15 people.
Pulled pork dry rub
Because of the dry rub seasoning, barbeque sauce is not needed (unless you really want it). This pressure cooker pork is very flavorful and incredibly juicy on its own.
In fact, I like this pulled pork rub so much; I use it on other meats, like chicken, ribs, etc. So feel free to experiment!
How to make Instant Pot pulled pork
- Make the dry rub
- Place the pork butt on a large cutting board and blot it with paper towels.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the roast into pieces the size of your fist. If your pork roast is bone-in, remove the meat from the bone, and discard the bone.
- Place the roast pieces in the Instant Pot bowl and add the pulled pork dry rub. Toss to coat the pieces of meat in the rub.
- Add in the water.
- Cook at high pressure for 115 minutes (1 hour and 55 minutes).
- Let the Instant Pot come down from pressure manually. When pressure is released, remove the pork from the Instant Pot bowl and shred.
- Season with additional sea salt to taste.
Pressure Cooker pulled pork cooking time
I call for a much longer cooking time in my Instant Pot pork than some of the other recipes out there. Why? 115 minutes (1 hour and 55 minutes) produces super tender gluten-free pulled pork that shreds easily. A shorter cooking time will create tougher meat – I don’t know about you, but I prefer my pulled pork melt-in-your-mouth tender!
How do you shred pulled pork
Since this easy pulled pork recipe is so tender, you can easily use 2 forks to shred the meat. Simply place both forks into the center of the meat, and pull in opposite directions. This technique will give you long, thin shreds.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
I purchased my first Instant Pot in November 2015, and it’s been true love ever since. I only use my slow cooker now when we have large gatherings, and I need to keep something warm for serving. Really, I’d like to just get rid of it, but it does come in handy for parties!
I have the Instant Pot 7 in 1 model, in both the 6 quart and the 8 quart sizes. My preference the 7 in 1 model over the 6 in 1 because of the “yogurt” function. I make Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt regularly, so that yogurt option is perfect for my family!
The 6 in 1 model Instant Pot does not have the yogurt making option.
Instant Pot vs. crock pot/slow cooker
This recipe will work just fine in an Instant Pot, another brand of pressure cooker, or a slow cooker/crock pot.
I personally find that the Instant Pot keeps meat even more tender and juicy than a crock pot/slow cooker. The Instant Pot locks in the juices during the pressure-cooking, unlike the crock pot/slow cooker, where some of the juices escape and evaporate while cooking.
If you’ve been on the fence about buying an Instant Pot, just do it. I promise you won’t be sorry!
BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe
You can absolutely use this recipe for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. Simply mix the pulled pork meat with your favorite BBQ sauce. My family really likes the Stubbs Hickory Bourbon BBQ Sauce (it’s certified gluten-free) and the O Organics Original BBQ Sauce (found at Carrs/Safeway).
These Gluten Free Hamburger Buns make the BEST sandwich rolls for gluten-free pulled pork sandwiches! They are soft and fluffy, and will quickly become a family favorite!
How to use your pressure cooker pulled pork
- Pulled pork sandwiches
- Rice bowls
- Add it to salads
- Serve it over baked potatoes
- Eat it with eggs and homemade kimchi for a quick high-protein breakfast
What to serve with pulled pork Instant Pot
While coleslaw and potato salad are the obvious choices to serve with pulled pork, I’ll often serve other things too.
Gluten-Free Pasta Salad
Raw Beet Salad
Sesame Zucchini Noodles
Instant Pot Refried Beans
Dairy-Free Macaroni and Cheese
Freeze your leftovers
When I don’t make this Instant Pot bbq pork for a party, I’ll often freeze half of it; it freezes and thaws very well for simple and quick meals.
To package leftover pork for freezing, I either Foodsaver it, put it in an airtight glass container, or use a plastic resealable freezer bag.
Time saving tips
Costco will sometimes have 2 pork butt roasts packaged together and sold for cheap. I’ll have my husband cut them up for me and I’ll mix them with the dry rub. Then I’ll foodsaver each roast – cut up, in its own Foodsaver bag. This way it’s going straight into the freezer already cut and seasoned, so when I thaw it, all I have to do is pop it in the Instant Pot to cook.
I hope your family enjoys this pulled pork pressure cooker recipe as much as we do!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe:
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
I make this Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe for nearly every big get together we host at our home. It feeds a lot of people on the cheap and tastes amazing! Use it for carnitas, burritos, rice bowls, nachos, salads, pulled pork sandwiches, or for whatever your heart desires.
- 6 lbs. boneless pork butt (or 9 lbs. bone-in)
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons or fine ground Celtic sea salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- To make the dry rub, whisk together the coconut sugar, kosher salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, dried oregano, and cayenne in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the pork butt on a large cutting board and blot with paper towels. Using a sharp knife (my favorite knife for cutting meat is this Global chef's knife), trim the excess fat from the meat (you don’t have to get it all, just the larger pieces of it). For bone-in, remove the meat from the bone, and discard the bone (unless you can freeze and use it for something else, like bone broth).
- Cut the meat up into even pieces, about the size of your fist, and then place it into the Instant Pot bowl (If you have a few pieces that are smaller than the others, it’s okay. This will most likely happen if your pork butt was a bone-in one.).
- Pour the dry rub into the bowl and toss to coat the pieces of meat in the rub.
- Add the water to the bowl, and then set the bowl inside the Instant Pot. Check the ring on the Instant Pot lid to make sure it’s in the proper place, then click the lid into place on the Instant Pot. Set the vent to seal.
- Cook at high pressure for 115 minutes (or 1 hour and 55 minutes). When the Instant Pot is done cooking, it will come down from pressure naturally, about 40 minutes (I do not recommend using quick release with this recipe. Natural release ensures tender, juicy meat.).
- When the pressure is released, open the lid of the Instant Pot and use a large slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a large bowl. Use 2 forks to shred the meat (it will be very tender and shred easily). Season with additional salt to taste.
TO MAKE THIS RECIPE IN A SLOW COOKER:
Place the pork pieces in the bowl of a slow cooker. Poor in the dry rub and then toss the meat to thoroughly coat in the rub. Cook on high for 3-5 hours, or cook on low for 4-7 hours.
If you have the time to let the pork marinate in the dry rub, I highly recommend letting it sit 2-3 hours in the refrigerator before pressure cooking the meat. If you don't have the time though (I often don't), go ahead and skip this step.
You can either discard the cooking juices, or use it to spoon onto the cooked pulled pork. I normally spoon some of the juice back onto the meat, but discard the remaining.
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Foodsaver V4400 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine with Automatic Bag Detection and Starter Kit | Safety Certified | Black & Silver
Fine Ground Celtic Sea Salt – (1) 16 Ounce Resealable Bag of Nutritious, Classic Sea Salt, Great for Cooking, Baking, Pickling, Finishing and More, Pantry-Friendly, Gluten-Free
Nutiva Organic, Steam Refined Coconut Oil from non-GMO, Sustainably Farmed Coconuts, 15 Fluid Ounces
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
Global 7-inch Stainless Steel Chef's Knife
Don’t forget to snap a pic of your pressure cooker pulled pork and tag me on Instagram @allergyfreeak and #allergyfreealaska
Thank you for your Instant Pot recipes. I love the pulled pork and White chicken chili recipes especially. I just got my instant pot and am so excited to use it, especially with recipes that I don’t have to make a lot of adaptions to for food allergies. I always look forward to your recipes!
Anita Pruitt says
The salsa verde chicken recipe is our families favorite and has a few adaptations for either just the chicken for tacos or chili or the casserole that is sooooo awesome. Look it up and try it. I looked forward to trying this one today!
So many uses for this! Thank you!
Lora @savoringitaly says
I don’t have an Instant Pot, but would totally make this in the slow cooker this weekend. I also love the look of your white bean chicken chili…total comfort food!!
Don’t have a IP ? Shame on you. LOL
Des @ Life's Ambrosia says
Pulled pork is one of my favorite recipes to make because you can use it in so many different things. I have yet to try it in my Instant Pot. That needs to change!
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says
This pulled pork looks crazy delicious! Love that it’s made in the Instant Pot.
I just made a pork roast in the Crock-Pot today, but I really, really want an Instant Pot. This looks amazing, and I love that it’s so quick!
Ill have to try this recipe out. I recently moved to Anchorage and I’m having trouble finding grocery stores that have a wide selection of gluten free/paleo foods. I have a high sensitivity to dairy and corn products so I prefer all my meats to be organic/grass fed. Do you have any recommendations where to shop?
I order a lot of my dry goods online via Amazon or Vitacost.com (they are a flat shipping rate of $10, so I just make sure my order is big enough to justify the shipping cost). Natural Pantry has many GF items, but I rarely shop there because they are so expensive. My family doesn’t eat all organic/grass fed – not that I don’t want to, simply because of the cost. I know there are places you can cow-share, or pig share – I’m just not sure of the names of the farms that offer that. You might try Mike’s Quality Meats in Eagle River. I’ve heard they are good. If they don’t have what you need, I’m sure they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
I think that I need to invest in a instant pot! I keep hearing amazing things about it!
Catalina @ Peas & Peonies says
I’m always looking for quick and healthy dinner ideas. And I love recipes that can be used in so many ways.
Michelle Goth says
I have not done a dive into the world of Instant Pot yet. However, when I see recipes like this, it seriously kills me that I don’t own one. Love this!
Is it ok to leave it in the pot without opening it after NPR? I won’t be home in time to take it out and shred it. Thanks!
I guess it depends on how long you plan to leave it in there for? I wouldn’t leave it more than 1.5-2 hours, max.
Have you tried this recipe with beef or chicken? Any changes needed (time, water, seasonings, etc.) if doing beef or chicken? Finally used my Instant Pot for the first time and I love it! ?
Can you put the pork directly in the instant pot instead of in the bowl??
No! You need to put the pork in the bowl of the Instant Pot, not directly into it without the bowl (you can/will ruin your IP this way).
Do you cook on high pressure or low pressure?
High pressure. When you push manual, then adjust the time up or down, the IP defaults to high pressure. 😉
How long for 2 pounds of meat?
I suggest the same amount of time.
Came out amazing, thanks for the recipe!
Absolutely! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Jenn! 🙂
Priya Voleti says
Hi – if I am only cooking about 2 pounds – would I adjust the cooking time? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!
I would try about 50 minutes!
I’m using a 3 quart pot and I don’t have any extra bowls that came with it do I just add the water to the meet?
Yes, you add the water to the meat.
Hi! I’m an IP newbie and was wondering if I should use a trivet for the meat? I’m still not sure exactly when or not to use it and wanted to double check.
No, no trivet! 😉
Thanks. That is the question I had.
Trying my own rub which I think is similar to yours but I add cinnamon for a bit of a different flavor.
Oh my goodness, this was delicious, it was moist and fall apart tender, and as a bonus, made my house smell fabulous. I used chicken broth instead of water, but made no other changes. Perfect. Hubby loved it as well.
So happy to hear it, Milady!! 😉 Thanks for coming back and leaving me a comment!
If I am doubling recipe, should I add more water in my IP?
DO NOT DOUBLE THE RECIPE!!! Well, at least if you have the 6 quart IP. I have the 6 quart IP and doubling the recipe would be WAY too much for the IP bowl.
I have an 8Qt. It worked fine 🙂
OH GOOD! Phew! You really had me panicking there for a minute, Jackie! Ha! 😉
How late my did you cook for double batch?
If you can safely fit a double batch into your IP, I’d cook it for 125 mins.
Chelsea Gray says
This looks amazing!! Making it this weekend! If doing it in the slow cooker, should you still add the water?? Or just the meat and dry rub? Wasn’t sure if it was a instant pot requirement! Thank you!!
Yes, still add the water. 😉
Why the mixing bowl inside the IP instead of just putting it in the stainless liner?
Hi Joe, I like to use a bigger bowl because I can’t seem to toss the raw pork in the rub without getting the IP bowl completely messy (the IP bowl is too narrow for my liking). 😉 But you do whatever works best for you!
Could I drop a whole shoulder in, with the bone in? I mean, assuming it all fits in the bowl?
It’s doubtful it will fit, but you really want to cut it up into pieces so it cooks evenly.
This looks delicious! I was wondering if it’s sweet at all, or do the other spices balance the sugar out? My husband doesn’t like sweet flavors with meat. Thanks!
No, it’s a very small amount of sugar to a large amount of meat. You can’t detect the sugar when you taste it.
Can I use a boneless center cut pork loin instead of pork butt?
Yes, but it’s a different cut of meat, so it might not shred and be quite as tender as the pork butt.
I make a bar-b-que pork (with sauce) in the crock pot and use the loin and it shreds beautifully.
We tried this recipe on our pork butt trimmed from bone weighing 7.5 lbs afterwards. We added just a little more of all the ingredients to balance the extra meat and used 1.1/2cups of water..we cooked on high pressure for the same time..110 minutes and then low pressure for 40 minutes..released the pressure and removed lid. It turned out absolutely delicious!! I would certainly try this one again..it beats the crazy amount of time it takes to smoke or slow cook or bake.. instant pot is awesome!!
😉 So happy you enjoyed it, Donna! I just actually made this recipe again today too! We love this pork!
Your recipe for pork was my first one out of the gate with my new Instapot. It was amazing & very moist.
Followed your directions to the letter. Perfection.
Awesome! Thanks for coming back and leaving a review, FrankieLee! I appreciate it! 😉
Im making 3lbs but it’s pork shoulder steak… Do you think that would be ok at manual high for 70 minutes with a NPR?
Hi Samm, I think I would be more apt to do 90 minutes with NPR.
I was worried because they are much thinner pieces than the fist-sized chunks and I’m only cooking half the amount. Thanks, Megan! I will try 90 with NPR.
Kathryn Pendergrass says
I’m doing this tonight with a 4.5 lb bone in roast. How would I adjust the time for it?
I would still cook it for the same time.
I have an 8quart Instant Pot. If I double this recipe, do I also double the water? Also, is the cook time the same or should that be increased? If time increases, about how many minutes should I try? Thank you.
For starters, I wouldn’t fill the IP up with pork more than 3/4 of the way full. Just FYI. I would keep the water the same, and increase the cooking time to 120 mins.
Quick question: I have a 6qt duo IP. I bought a 4-5 pound boneless pork butt and put my own dry rub on it. Do I need to do the pot in pot method and use the trivit? Or can I put it straight into the pot.
Also, how much water and how long does it need to cook?
I am new to the IP world.
I would just follow the same directions as above. Same time, water, etc. 😉 Happy IP-ing!
Great! Thanks. I can put everything straight into the IP pot, not a pot in the IP pot?
Put everything directly into the stainless steel Instant Pot bowl. No need to use another bowl inside of that bowl.
Made this tonight with less heat (my guests aren’t fans of anything the least bit spicy). It was incredible! This is definitely going into the frequent meal rotation. (I also gave it a 5 star rating on Yummly.)
Thank you, Theresa! Glad you enjoyed it!
Is your cooking time ! hour and 10 minutes or is it 110 minutes total which would be an 1 hour and 50 minutes. Thanks!
110 minutes total, so I hour and 50 mins. 😉
I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks amazing. I’m still new at this, but I can’t wait to start making all sorts of wonderful meals with this pot. The Instant Pot I bought last year doesn’t have a “Manual” button. It just has Pressure high or pressure low and lots of pre-programmed cooking settings. I can adjust the time. What setting should I cook this on?
Yes, it sounds like they’ve made some adjustments to the newer IP models. You want to use Pressure High. 😉
How long do I slow
Release 2lbs cooked on high pressure for 50 minutes?
I would suggest cooking it for the full amount of time, not 50 minutes. Natural pressure release is best.
Diana Knox says
I emailed it to myself, it comes back to the same site but I cannot find the link to print it off, can you help me?
Try THIS, Diana.
I put the timer to 110 for 6lbs and there was a lot of water. Should I put it back on for 40 more minutes?
A lot of water? Or do you mean a lot of liquid? The pork will produce quite a bit of broth as it cooks. You can either keep this broth or discard it (I save a little for the pork, to keep it moist, but then discard the rest).
How much water do you add?
1 1/4 cup is what’s listed above in the recipes.
Susan Parnell says
I just found your website, and this pork recipe.is just what I am looking for. I am new at the Instant Pot and am loving it. I have a 7-lb pork shoulder that I plan to cook today. Is there any rule-of-thumb on how many minutes/per to pressure cook different cuts of meat? Thanks for your help, and I look forward to following your blog!
Hi Susan, I always cook meat longer than suggested in the IP manual. It’s hard to give you specific times without knowing what kind of meat, how many pounds, etc.
I am not able to have sugar. Is this an ingredient I can leave out and it still taste okay?
Hi Casey, I haven’t made this recipe without the sugar before, so I really can’t say for certain, but I think it would be fine.
Made this tonight w a 1kg pork loin cut into 6 chunks.
Skipped the sugar as we’re on keto and it was absolutely the best roast I’ve done in the instant pot. Excellent blend of spices!!!! 45 mins to perfection.
Hi April, So glad you were able to modify it to suit Keto! I’m happy you enjoyed it! 😉 Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment!
Ok, so the roast is obvi not frozen. Have you done one that’s partially frozen, not quite thawed? Thoughts??
I haven’t done one that’s partially frozen. If you want to give it a go , I definitely recommend still cutting it into chunks, and then upping the cooking time to 125 minutes. Just to make sure everything is completely tender. I would not recommend cooking a roast that is completely frozen.
Thanks for sharing this EASY and DELICIOUS meal. I made it for a crowd tonight and it was a hit. ??
You are absolutely welcome! I’m so happy to hear it was a hit and everyone loved it!
Made this tonight with a 7 pound pork shoulder roast (bone removed). It was absolutely delicious. I think I upped the cook time to 125 minutes. Great recipe, thank you.
Very happy to hear you enjoyed it! Thank you for letting me know you did!
Tracy J Smith says
I made this today for lunch for my family. THEY LOVED IT!!! It was sooooo tender! I only had a small bone in roast (a little over 3 lbs) so I cooked it for half the time you said above. It came out perfect!! I am making another one tomorrow for supper! Absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this!
Douglas Vincent says
We made it. 6 lb pork but, deboned. We added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to the cup of water. The result was excellent. Very tender. The pork was flavorful but not spicy. Add your favorite BBQ sauce, get a bun and enjoy.
Awesome – very happy you enjoyed it, Douglas! Thank you for coming back and letting me know you tried it!
This is my absolute favorite pulled pork recipe. I have made it over a dozen times. Thank you for this delicious recipe!
Thank you so much, Pristine! I’m glad you love it!
Thanks for sharing such a clear and easy-to-follow recipe for a large cut of meat with what looks like a tasty rub. I so look forward to trying this!
Absolutely! I hope you enjoy it, Carmen!
My whole family enjoys this recipe. It’s the first one we made in my Instant Pot and it’s become a go-to recipe at least once a month!
I typically buy the multi-pack of pork sirloin tip roasts from Costco. I’ll put one or two of them in there (two is better). I usually follow Megan’s directions exactly, with great success.
Tonight I was very late getting it started. I had 1 of the pork roasts from that Costco multi-pack so maybe about 3-4 lbs. – I just stuck it in whole – didn’t cut it at all, and it didn’t need trimmed as those are lean, poured the water on, whisked up this seasoning and just dumped it on top and set mine on High pressure for 1 hr 30 minutes. Let it natural release for 12 minutes, then did quick release because everyone was hungry! It was perfect as usual!!
I like to put the shredded pork on a gluten-free hoagie bun with some bbq sauce, but my guys like to just dig in to the pile of shredded pork, with a little bbq sauce on the side. We’ve also mixed the leftovers with rice for a rice bowl, put over chips and cheese for pulled pork nachos, or added to salads for some extra protein.
Thanks Megan for this recipe! I’d say it’s virtually fail-proof!
I have had my IP almost two years and have used it many times with great success. I have never done pulled pork before but have volunteered to make it for a family get together this weekend (15 people). I have an 8 pound pork butt and am worried it will be too much for my 6 quart IP. Should I do it in two batches or do you think it will be ok and how long should I cook it?
Oohh… that’s a good question, Chris. It’s been a while since I’ve made this recipe in a 6 quart – I have an 8 quart now. You might be cutting it kind of close with 8 pounds. I wouldn’t fill the stainless steel bowl up more than 3/4 of the way up. Otherwise, if it goes over that, you might need to divide it up into 2 different batches.
Jenni Shuman says
This is the easiest and BEST pulled pork recipe I’ve ever made! I’ve tried it in my dutch oven, crock pot, and pellet smoker. This is so much more tender than any of those, and it’s so EASY and quick. I used McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon as a dry rub to make it even quicker. I’ll try yours one day though! I’m sure it’s great and probably healthier and cheaper 😉 Thank you!!
That’s awesome news, Jenni! Thanks for coming back here and letting me know you tried it and loved it. I appreciate that!
Wow! I was compelled to leave a comment. This meat is ridiculously good. It falls apart effortlessly and the dry rub is perfect. I will make this over and over. Super easy and very well explained recipe. .
Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment, Kristen! I’m happy you enjoyed it and found the recipe clear.
I plan on making this recipe….but don’t have Coconut Sugar…What can I substitute?
You can sub brown sugar in its place.
Michelle Chapman says
Delicious, as usual!! I finally got an instant pot and it did not disappoint. I had to drop a big piece with the bone still in because it was still slightly frozen and I could not cut it out. I added 10 minutes extra since they were not completely thawed and it turned out great! Thanks again Mēgan! I love your recipes ?
Thank you so much for coming back to leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on this recipe! Happy you enjoyed it!
I’ve made this recipe numerous times and it’s a favorite around here! My only note is that I never cook it for 1 hour and 55 minutes. I have a different brand of pressure cooker that only goes up to 1 hour, and the pork is always done at the 1 hour mark. My mom has an instant pot and she also only does 1 hour.
Oh interesting. Thank you for sharing that. I know with my Instant Pot it definitely wouldn’t be done at 1 hour (hence the 1 hour and 55 minute cook time).
Gary Monaco says
Great recipe! Not sure if this was mentioned in all your comments, but I include the bone from the Picnic Roast when cooking.
Thanks Gary – and thanks for the tip about the bone!