Instant Pot All-Purpose Pulled Pork
Melt-in-your-mouth tender, smoky and surprisingly quick, this all-purpose pulled pork comes together in just 90 minutes!!! All you need to do is cut the meat into smaller pieces, mix with a dry rub, and let your Instant Pot do all the magic. To get that nice smoky flavor, we’re using a little bit of liquid smoke. And for different variations, feel free to use coke, or Dr Pepper instead of beef broth.
For dry rub:
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 7 lbs bone-in Boston butt* (or 6 lbs boneless) (Note 1)
- 1-1 ½ cup beef stock/broth (Note 2)
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- To prepare dry rub, combine all the rub ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended.
- To prepare pork, carve out the bone, if needed, trim the top fat and cut the meat into big chunks.
- Rub the pork with prepared dry rub.
- Pour beef broth into the inner pot of Instant Pot. (I used 6qt IP. If you’re using 8qt IP, add 1.5 cups of broth.)
- Add pork into the pot.
- Cover and make sure the valve is set to sealing.
- Set the Instant Pot to Meat setting for 45 minutes on high. (NOTE: It took 16 minutes for my IP to come to pressure.)
- Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes, and then carefully turn the valve to venting. Once the pin drops, carefully open the lid.
- Using a pair of kitchen tongs, remove the meat and discard the liquid.
- Using two forks, shred the meat.
- To make BBQ pulled pork, mix in your favorite BBQ sauce, spread it over a baking pan and broil for 2-3 minutes.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
Note 1: Boston butt is a top part of front shoulder. In stores, you may also find pork shoulder, which is a larger cut of pork which consists of Boston butt (top part of pork shoulder) and picnic roast. Pork shoulder weighs about 12lbs and is also great for pulled pork.
Note 2: Feel free to use coke, or dr. pepper instead of beef stock for different variations.
One of my secrets to quickly serve a delicious home-cooked dinner on a chaotic weeknight is to have some leftovers in the fridge or in the freezer!
We love leftovers around here. And pulled pork is an ideal “cook once – eat twice” kind of meal! Because you can cook a big batch, and then serve it many different ways.
Here are just 5 easy ways to use leftover pulled pork:
- BBQ pulled pork sandwiches are our first choice topped with creamy coleslaw, of course.
- Serve it in a lettuce wrap for a quick lunch.
- Buttery pasta with pulled pork is also fabulous option for a quick meal.
- Leftover pulled pork flautas are the best comfort food!
- Pulled pork pizza topped with pineapple? Yes, please!
Besides leftovers, pulled pork makes a fantastic crowd food. If you need to feed an army, make pulled pork. In charge of main dish for a potluck? Bring a big batch of pulled pork! Pulled pork is always an answer, because you can make it ahead and it’s easy to dress it up with all kinds of condiments. Yes, pulled pork is a true crowd-pleaser!
And today I’m sharing my favorite Instant Pot pulled pork that comes together in less than 90 minutes!
But first, let’s talk about the right cut of meat to make the BEST PULLED PORK!
What cut of pork should I use for pulled pork?
For BEST pulled pork, you want a whole pork shoulder, which weighs about 12-16lbs. This cut of pork consists of two parts, Boston butt and picnic roast, and can be sold separately in stores. Either of these cuts work beautifully for pulled pork. But Boston butt is more marbled and thus yields the most flavorful and tender pulled pork.
How to Make Quick and Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork?
Now sit back and scroll down for step-by-step photos to walk you through the process.
Ta-da! Melt in your mouth tender pork ready to be shredded.
To make a barbecue pulled pork, mix in your favorite bbq sauce and broil it for couple of minutes to crisp up around the edges. This step is optional, but I love it because the sauce caramelizes and it’s just tastier that way.
Can I freeze leftover Instant Pot pulled pork?
Absolutely. Portion leftover pulled pork into freezer-safe container (I love these meal prep containers) and freeze for up to 6 months.