Instant pot pulled pork makes the best, most juicy and fall apart tender pork quicker and better than all other cooking methods. Use this pulled pork recipe for tacos, salads, enchiladas, burrito bowls, quesadillas, pulled pork sandwiches, and whatever else you love pulled pork for.
You are going to love how quick and easy it is!
The pressure cooker is by no means a new invention. They have been around for ages, but pre-instant pot, they have always made me feel a little nervous. Hearing stories of lids exploding off into the ceiling made me think twice about getting one, even though I knew that they could be a handy tool in the kitchen.
But since I was convinced to get an instant pot and tried it out, I’ve never looked back. I guess since they are electric, digital, can be set to turn off at a certain time, and they won’t work if the lid isn’t on correctly, they make me feel pretty safe.
Plus, the fact that they can cook food quickly that would usually take hours, or even days, and do it better than slow cookers, stove top or oven methods, is a huge selling factor for me. Pulled pork usually takes at least 3 to 4 hours in the oven or on the stove in a dutch oven, or 8 hours in a slow cooker, but it only takes 1.5 – 1.7 hours in the instant pot. And it is WAY more fall apart tender than any of the other methods. The same is true for beef short ribs, pork ribs, and pot roast to name a few. Instant pot bone broth is done in 4 hours and its super gelatinous.
Have I convinced you yet?!
This instant pot pulled pork comes out so tender that it is literally falling apart when you go to lift it out of the pot. I often have to fish around for lost pieces that have fallen beneath the juices. That kind of problem is a good one to have!
What kind of meat do you use for pulled pork?
You want to use the shoulder cut for pulled pork. It’s called a pork butt roast or sometimes a Boston butt. It can be boneless or bone in, either is good. You want it to have plenty of fat. Because of the fat marbling, pork shoulder doesn’t dry as quickly as other pieces of meat. During the cooking process, much of the fat melts away, but leaves behind moist and tender meat.
Please don’t use a tenderloin cut for pulled pork. Its way too lean to give you the juicy meat that you are looking for in a pulled pork.
How to make instant pot pulled pork recipe – step by step:
- Rub salt, pepper, and any spices all over the pork roast. Be generous.
- Select “Saute” on your instant pot and brown the pork in the instant pot on all sides.
- Add onions, herbs, garlic and water, beer or broth to the instant pot.
- Put the lid on. Make sure the vent is set to “sealing” and select “manual” and then add 110 mins on high pressure. (I didn’t grab a picture for 6 mins as you can see!)
- Wait till the time on the instant pot has counted down to zero. It’s best to let the steam/pressure release slowly but if you are in a hurry, you can release it quickly by pressing the release valve (with a long tool. Do not use your finger!)
- Remove the pulled pork from the instant pot and shred it with two forks. Discard all the fat, and the veggies.
- If you want to keep the drippings, strain the juices and let the fat come to the top. Put the juices in the fridge so the fat hardens then scoop it off into the trash. Or use a handy fat separator. We have this one and it works awesome! – You can use the juices to pour over the shredded meat to add a little extra flavor and moisture especially if you are keeping it in the fridge for a while.
What can you make with instant pot pulled pork?
Use your pulled pork for making:
- pulled pork tacos
- burrito bowls
- pulled pork sandwiches
- pulled pork rice bowls
- carnitas tacos
- salads or lettuce wraps
- or anything else that you need delicious, tender, juicy pulled pork for!
Whenever I make pulled pork, I always make more than I need for one recipe and plan my meals accordingly that week. It’s super handy to have cooked and ready to go meat in the fridge when I come home from work and I have to feed my family.
Can you freeze pulled pork?
Absolutely! Store any unused pulled pork in the freezer for later use. I like to use these handy glass containers to store my meat in the freezer. That way when I thaw it in the fridge, it doesn’t leak like some ziplock bags do, they stack nicely, and they can even go straight into the oven (not the lid) when I want to re-heat the meat. They can go into the microwave as well.
Side Note about Meat for this instant pot pulled pork:
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Tools you need to make this instant pot pulled pork:
- DUO80 8Qt 7-in-1 Instant Pot – There are many versions and any of them will work, but this one that both Debbie and I have and we love it. Its the biggest one that they have which makes it perfect for bigger roasts, ribs, and bone broth.
- Ultra 8Qt 10-in-1 Instant Pot – This is the newest version. To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me that it can do 3 more functions, but what does matter is that with the Ultra version, you can adjust the pressure more, pressure cook for 6 hours (the other one does 4 hours), it has a really nice new display, it has a sterilizing function that would be helpful for baby bottles and such, and quite a few other nifty upgrades. It’s a little more $$ but that might be ok if it you would use the extra functions.
- Silicone Tongs – you will need some of these to get your hot meat out of the instant pot when its done. They are also pretty handy for holding onto the pulled pork while you shred it too. This is a set of 3 different sizes.
If you’ve tried this instant pot pulled pork recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below. We love hearing from you!
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Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Instant pot pulled pork is insanely quick and makes the best, most juicy and fall apart tender pork of all other cooking methods. Use this instant pot pulled pork recipe for tacos, enchiladas, burrito bowls, quesadillas, pulled pork sandwiches, and whatever else you love pulled pork for.
- 1- 2 kgs pork butt roast
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 2 tbsp your favorite herbs or spices for a rub
- 1 large onion cut in quarters
- 5 cloves garlic unpeeled but smashed
- 1 handful fresh or dried thyme sprigs
- 1 cup water or other liquid like beer or chicken broth
Rub salt, pepper, and any spices of your choice all over the pork roast. Be generous. Select "Saute" on your instant pot, wait for it to get nice and hot, then brown the pork in the instant pot on all sides. Flipping to a different side every couple of mins.
Add onions, herbs, garlic and water (or beer or broth, whatever you want to use) to the instant pot. When its all browned, put the lid on. Make sure the lid is in the locked position. Then make sure the vent is set to "sealing" and select "manual" and then add 110 mins on high pressure. Let it do its thing!
Wait till the time on the instant pot has counted down to zero. Then let it sit for a bit while it releases the pressure slowly. This could take up to 30 mins. It's best to let the steam/pressure release slowly but if you are in a hurry, you can release it quickly by pressing the release valve (with a long tool. Do not use your finger!)
Remove the pulled pork from the instant pot and shred it with two forks. Discard all the fat, and the veggies. If you want to keep the drippings, strain the juices and let the fat come to the top. Put the juices in the fridge so the fat hardens then scoop it off into the trash. Or use a fat separator. We have this one and it works awesome! When the fat has been discarded. Pour a little of the juices all over the meat and use it in your favorite pulled pork recipe. Or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
For the pork spice rub, use a pre-made spice if you like. We like a Cajun or Mediterranean one, but whatever you choose, make sure it doesn't have salt or make sure to reduce the amount of salt you put on separately.
If you want to make your own, we find a blend of chili powder, brown sugar, and cumin works really well for a flavorful rub with a bit of a kick.
You can also use herbs and minced garlic.