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.
This recipe has been tested in my favorite Instant Pot DUO 6qt.
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 in many different ways.
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?
- Pork shoulder makes the BEST pulled pork.
A whole pork shoulder usually weighs 12-16lbs, and it consists of two parts: Boston butt and picnic roast. Each of these cuts can be sold separately in stores.
Either of these cuts works 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:
- Step 1: Prepare the meat: carve out the bone, if needed, trim the top fat and cut the meat into big chunks. And rub the pork with your favorite dry rub, or use ours. It’s a good one!
- Step 2: Add liquid: Pour beef broth into the inner pot of Instant Pot. Feel free to use different kinds of liquid, like coke or dr. pepper instead of beef broth.
- Step 3. Cook: Add the prepared pork in and set the Instant Pot.
- Step 4: Serve: Using a pair of kitchen tongs, remove the meat and discard the liquid. Using two forks, shred the meat.
TIP: I used 6qt IP. If you’re using 8qt IP, add 1.5 cups of broth.
NOTE: I’m using 6qt IP, and it easily fits 6lbs of pork.
To make a barbecue pulled pork:
Mix in your favorite bbq sauce and broil it for a 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 YOU OVERCOOK PULLED PORK?
In Instant Pot, it’s really unlikely that you’d overcook pulled pork, because the liquid doesn’t evaporate in Instant Pot, and the meat is still submerged in liquid, keeping it nice and moist.
- That being said, please make sure to allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for at least 15 minutes. If you do quick pressure release when cooking meat, the meat comes out dry. This rule applies to any meat!
CAN I FREEZE LEFTOVER INSTANT POT PULLED PORK?
- Absolutely. Portion leftover pulled pork into a freezer-safe container (I love these meal prep containers) and freeze for up to 6 months.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH PULLED PORK?
Pulled pork is such a versatile entree and you have endless choices for a side dish. Here’re my favorites:
- Fresh Sweet Corn Fritters
- Crispy Baked Steak Fries
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Grilled Mixed Vegetables
- Instant Pot Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes
- 10-Minute Creamed Corn
- Air-Fryer Honey Glazed Carrots
- Homemade Dinner Rolls
5 EASY WAYS TO USE LEFTOVER INSTANT POT PULLED PORK:
Here are 5 easy ways to use leftover pulled pork:
- Pulled pork nachos are amazing. Here’s how to make best nachos recipe.
- BBQ pulled pork sandwiches are our first choice topped with creamy coleslaw, of course.
- Serve it in a lettuce wrap for a quick lunch.
- Leftover pulled pork flautas are the best comfort food!
- Pulled pork pizza topped with pineapple? Yes, please!
This recipe was originally published on April 16th, 2019, and last updated on July 2, 2020.