Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): Sweet, juicy, moist pulled pork is deliciously satisfying to eat!

Make this sweet & juicy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork)! Kid-friendly, easy & deliciously satisfying flavors made with simple ingredients.

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4.96 from 21 votes

When you need to feed a crowd, Pulled Pork is definitely a winning answer. It’s a crowd-pleasing party favorite that is versatileeasy to make!

Instead of taking hours with the Slow & Low method to make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, why not speed up the process with the Fast & High method – Instant Pot Pulled Pork? ?

Yes!! You can make deliciously tender & moist pulled pork in just an hour and a half!

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): Sweet, juicy, moist pulled pork is deliciously satisfying to eat!

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We’re in love with our BBQ Pulled Pork, but as an alternative, we created a simple yummy Maple Dijon Sauce to complement the Instant Pot Pulled Pork for a change.

You’ll Enjoy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Because:

  • An alternative to the usual BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Pork (we still love our BBQ Pulled Pork! :P)
  • The whole family will enjoy this deliciously sweet, juicy & moist pulled pork
  • Made with simple ingredients – you probably already have in your pantry!
  • Easy to make & done in ~95 mins

Instant Pot Pulled Pork is Great for:

  • Burgers, wraps, lettuce wraps, sliders, tacos, over rice…
  • Outings, Picnics, Potlucks…
  • Game Days, Football Parties, Superbowl Parties, Men’s/Ladies’ Night, Taco Bar Parties…
  • Holidays, Dinner Parties, Gatherings…

Ingredients for Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe


Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork) Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ pounds (~1475g) pork shoulder (pork butt meat), cut into 2 – 2 ¼ inches cubes
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly sliced
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon(s) peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste

Chicken Stock Mixture

Thickener

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) cornstarch + 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water

Tools for Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe


  • Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
  • Pyrex glass measuring cup
  • Fat separator – This is such a handy tool to have. Instead of scooping the fatty oil a little at a time with a ladle or spoon, you can quickly separate the fat/oil from the sauce with this fat separator.
  • Optional Fun Tool: BEAR PAWS Shredder Claws – If you’re a fan of pulled pork or a Wolverine-wannabe ;), get these claws to shred your meat! It makes pulling pork easier and FUN. Some users use them to pick up hot food too.

Instructions for Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe


Step 1
Prepare Pressure Cooker

Tool

Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

Heat up your pressure cooker.

  • Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker: press “Sauté” button and click “Adjust” button to go to Sauté More function.

Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be.

  • Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker: wait until indicator says HOT.

Step 2
Brown Pork Shoulder

Ingredients

3 ¼ pounds (~1475g) pork shoulder (pork butt meat)
1 tablespoon (15ml) peanut oil
Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste

Generously season the pork shoulder with kosher salt & ground black pepper.

Add 1 tbsp (15ml) of peanut oil in the pot. Ensure to coat oil over whole bottom of the pot.

Add in the seasoned pork shoulder, then let it brown for exactly 6 minutes on each side (don’t need to keep flipping the meat).

*Pro Tip: Don’t skip this step. Be patient and allow the maillard reaction to take place! 🙂

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): brown pork shoulder (Boston butt)

Remove and set aside to rest for 5 minutes on a chopping board.

Step 3
Create Chicken Stock Mixture

Ingredients & Tool

Chicken Stock Mixture
1/3 cup (83ml) unsalted chicken stock
1/4 cup (63ml) maple syrup
1 tablespoon (15ml) light soy sauce (not low sodium soy sauce)
1 tablespoon (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon (15g) dijon mustard

5 cloves garlic
1 small onion

Pyrex glass measuring cup

While the pork shoulder is browning in the pressure cooker, mix 1 tbsp (15g) Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp (15ml) Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, ¼ cup (63ml) maple syrup, and 1/3 cup (83ml) unsalted chicken stock in a large glass measuring cup.

You can also roughly chop the garlic and slice the onion at this time.

Step 4
Sauté Onions & Garlic

Ingredients

1 tablespoon peanut oil
Minced garlic
Sliced onion
Kosher salt & ground black pepper

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): saute onions and garlic

If necessary, pour another tbsp (15ml) of peanut oil in your pressure cooker.

Add in the sliced onions and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes.

Season with a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Add in the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Step 5
Cut Pork Shoulder

Ingredient

Browned pork shoulder

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): browned pork shoulder (Boston butt)

While the onions are sautéing in the pressure cooker, cut the pork shoulder into 2 – 2 ¼ inches cubes.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): cube pork shoulder

Step 6
Deglaze the Pot

Ingredients

Chicken stock mixture (from Step 3)
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste

Pour in half of the chicken stock mixture and fully deglaze the pot with a wooden spoon.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): deglaze the pot with chicken stock mixture

Add in the rest of the chicken stock mixture.

Add 1 tsp paprika, taste and season with salt & black pepper if necessary.

Step 7
Pressure Cook Pork Shoulder Cubes

Ingredient

Cubed pork shoulder + meat juice

Add cubed pork shoulder with all the meat juice in the pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): fat cap side up

*Pro Tip: Skin on vs Skin off – Keeping the skin and fat cap on will keep the nearby meat very moist. Make sure to have the skin side facing up when you put it in the pressure cooker.

However, the sauce will be very oily when you leave the skin and fat cap on. But, you can use a fat separator to remove the oil from the sauce before serving.

Instant Pot Ultra: Pressure Cook function

Close the lid and pressure cook at:

  • Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 28 minutes, then
  • Pressure Release Method: 15 minutes Natural Release

Release the remaining pressure by turning the venting knob to venting position. O

pen the lid carefully.

Step 8
Shred the Pork & Thicken the Sauce

Ingredients

Cubed pork shoulder
Kosher salt

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): shred pork shoulder (Boston butt)

Place cubed pork shoulder meat in a large mixing bowl and shred them with two forks.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): shred pork shoulder meat (Boston butt) with forks

Step 9
Thicken the Sauce

Ingredients & Tool

Thickener
3 tablespoons (45g) cornstarch + 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water

Fat separator

If the sauce is oily, use an oil separator to separate the oil with the sauce.

Fat Separator

OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator
  • Quickly separates unwanted fat from flavorful juices
  • BPA-free, heat-resistant plastic

Taste the sauce and season with more salt if necessary.

Mix 3 tbsp (45g) of cornstarch with 3 tbsp (45ml) of cold water and stir the mixture into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.

Add shredded pork meat back in the pot and mix well with the sauce.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): add pulled pork into maple dijon sauce

Step 10
(Optional Flavor Enhancing Step) Caramelize Pulled Pork in Oven


Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): Sweet, juicy, moist pulled pork is deliciously satisfying to eat!

Place the Instant Pot Pulled Pork on a baking tray under a broiler or top rack of a preheated 450°F oven until the surface is caramelized. Roughly 8 – 15 mins.

*Love the roasted caramelized boost of flavors ? Highly recommended!

Step 11
Serve Instant Pot Pulled Pork


Serve piping hot Instant Pot Pulled Pork with your favorite side dishes!

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): Sweet, juicy, moist pulled pork is deliciously satisfying to eat!

Enjoy your Instant Pot Pulled Pork! 😀

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Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): Sweet, juicy, moist pulled pork is deliciously satisfying to eat!

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Make this sweet & juicy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork)! Deliciously satisfying flavors with simple ingredients.
4.96 from 21 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky | Pressure Cook Recipes

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ pounds (~1475g) pork shoulder (pork butt meat) , cut into 2 – 2¼ inches cubes
  • 5 cloves garlic , roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion , roughly sliced
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon(s) peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Chicken Stock Mixture

Thickener

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) cornstarch + 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water

Instructions

  • Prepare Pressure Cooker: Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button and click adjust button to go to Sauté More function). Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be (Instant Pot: wait until indicator says HOT).
  • Brown Pork Shoulder: Generously season the pork shoulder with kosher salt & ground black pepper. Add 1 tbsp (15ml) of peanut oil in the pot. Ensure to coat oil over whole bottom of the pot. Add in the seasoned pork shoulder, then let it brown for exactly 6 minutes on each side (don’t need to keep flipping the meat). Remove and set aside to rest for 5 minutes on a chopping board.
  • Create Chicken Stock Mixture: While the pork shoulder is browning in the pressure cooker, mix 1 tbsp (15g) Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp (15ml) Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, ¼ cup (63ml) maple syrup, and 1/3 cup (83ml) unsalted chicken stock in a large glass measuring cup.
  • Sauté Onions & Garlic: If necessary, pour another tbsp (15ml) of peanut oil in your pressure cooker. Add in the sliced onions and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Add in the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Cut Pork Shoulder: While the onions are sautéing in the pressure cooker, cut the pork shoulder into 2 – 2 ¼ inches cubes.
  • Deglaze the Pot: Pour in half of the chicken stock mixture and fully deglaze the pot with a wooden spoon. Add in the rest of the chicken stock mixture. Add 1 tsp paprika, taste and season with salt & black pepper if necessary.
  • Pressure Cook Pork Shoulder Cubes: Add cubed pork shoulder with all the meat juice in the pressure cooker. Close the lid and cook at High Pressure for 28 minutes + 15 minutes Natural Release. Release the remaining pressure by turning the venting knob to venting position and open the lid carefully.
  • Shred the Pork: Place cubed pork shoulder meat in a large mixing bowl and shred them with two forks.
  • Thicken the Sauce: If the sauce is oily, use an oil separator to separate the oil with the sauce. Taste the sauce and season with more salt if necessary. Mix 3 tbsp (45g) of cornstarch with 3 tbsp (45ml) of cold water and stir the mixture into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness. Add shredded pork meat back in the pot and mix well with the sauce.
  • (Optional Flavor Enhancing Step) Caramelize Pulled Pork in Oven: Place the Instant Pot Pulled Pork on a baking tray under a broiler or top rack of a preheated 450°F oven until the surface is caramelized. Roughly 8 – 15 mins.
  • Serve: Serve piping hot pulled pork with your favorite side dishes!
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Nutrition:

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 626mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Dinner, Easy, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Party Food, Snack
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe (Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork): Sweet, juicy, moist pulled pork is deliciously satisfying to eat!

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Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Amy & Jacky never fail to provide a recipe that’s easy to follow and taste delicious. My son has a peanut allergy and the peanut oil I bought unfortunately was not refined so I could not use it in my cooking – BUT even with using the olive oil, it worked great! I did the final step of caramelizing, and was super satisfied with the result.

    I’m a little late to the IP game, but I’m loving it so far!

  2. Omg! I made this for Father’s Day and my entire family (25+ of them) loved it and asked for the recipe!! It turned out perfect and I followed your recipe to the T!! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Irene,

      So happy to hear how well it turned out!
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  3. would this be suitable to serve with bread and options of bbq sauce for people to make their own pork sandwhiches at a party? not sure if the flavor stands so much on its own that it wouldn’t be suitable to give folks the option of their own bbq sauce choices…

  4. Made this in the instant pot and we LOVED it! Was wondering if I needed to change anything to make it in the crock pot, would you know?

    1. Hi Margie,

      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      It will take roughly 8 hours in the crock pot!

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  5. Awesome pulled pork recipe!! My hubby, 5 year old, 3 year old, and I loved it!! Thank you so much!!

    Next I will make a 7 pounder, since some friends are coming over. The cooking time should be the same thing right?

    ^__^

  6. Relatively easy recipe that results in tasty, savory and moist pulled pork with good texture (not totally stewed meat). Will make it again. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Amy and Jackie,
    I want to try this recipe, but was only able to get pork shoulder sliced 1/2 inch thick like chops. I guess the time will have to be reduced, but by how much? Cook for only 8 minutes or maybe 10? What do you think?
    I love your recipes, – have a new instant pot and find your methodology of testing various options and publishing the results extremely helpful for my own experiments. Thank you very much for the great work,
    Robin

    1. Hi Robin,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      8 – 10 minutes + natural release will work fine.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  8. Maybe not a smart question but I have a 7 pound bone in pork shoulder. Do I put the bone in ? Because I can’t seem to get all the meat cut off around it ? Or leave it out ? Thanks ! Love your site !

    1. Hi Melissa,

      So happy to hear from you again 🙂

      Pork loin is quite lean and is not too suitable for a dish like this that requires a long cooking duration in the Instant Pot.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  9. Hi,
    Any ideas to make it more like pulled pork from NC? That dish has less sweet and a more vinager-y base for the sauce. I tend to not like sweet on pork. I made this, and the texture came out great but I skipped the maple syrup and added vinegar, red pepper flakes, small amount of reduced sugar ketchup and hot sauce but couldn’t quite duplicate the taste of NC’s pulled pork. I am from there but live in SW Florida now and keep trying to make it (sans any red barbeque sauce.) Any ideas? Anyone know what I am talking about? Thanks!!

  10. I really liked this recipe but had one question. I left the skin on while cooking, but then didn’t know what to do with the skin while shredding the pork. I found it hard to tear or otherwise incorporate into the shredded meat bc it had a gelatinous texture. Do people eat the skin? Use it for something else? Throw it away?

    1. Hi Sourpower,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      Both ways work. Some people like to eat the skin and some tear them away.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  11. I was looking for a recipe to cook a Boston butt in the Instant Pot WITHOUT using barbecue sauce and found this one. I liked the combination of ingredients in the chicken stock mixture so decided to try it. So glad I did!
    I didn’t notice that I wasn’t supposed to cube the pork til AFTER browning, but it didn’t seem to affect the recipe at all. This was delicious.
    Five stars. Will definitely make again!

    1. Hi Joan,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can cut the meat & veggies ingredients in half, but the liquid ingredients will stay the same!

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  12. I’m really excited to try this as a new IP user. I don’t have real maple syrup, can I use something else like pancake syrup, maple extract, sugar or do I need to go out and buy some?

    1. Hi Tita,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can substitute the maple syrup with other sweetener if it is more convenient for you.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!!
      Jacky

  13. Hi I made your pulled pork and used my ultra60 for the first time followed your step by step instructions. I did not understand the natural release. Do I wait for 15 minutes till valve comes down then open the lid?

    1. that means just let it sit for 15 minutes after it’s done cooking and THEN you can turn the valve and release the rest of the steam

  14. Made this tonight- didn’t have syrup on hand nor mustard, so swapped it for brown sugar and it was perfect. Great recipe + I appreciated the detailed instructions, being an instant pot newby.

    1. Congrats on your new Instant Pot!

      Thank you for your kind words Olivia 🙂

      Do let us know if you come across any questions

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
      Jacky

  15. I set about looking for a new IP pulled pork recipe today and decided to try yours. It is fabulous!!! Thank you so much! I had an 8.8# pork shoulder so I doubled the sauce recipe and I added 2 T. hickory liquid smoke and I used smoked paprika. I did increase the cook time a bit and it released for an hour before I opened the pot because we left to run to the store. It is melt in your mouth tender, juicy as can be and the flavor is amazing. If others are wondering, my 8.8# roast yielded about 4.5# of meat after I removed the bone and picked out a lot of the fat. And it did all fit (barely) in my 6 qt. IP.

    1. Hi Janet! So happy to hear the result!!

      Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your cooking experience with us.

      Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday to You and Your Family!!!

      Please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi Alysia,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      For this dish, it is better to cube the pork after the browning step as browning it in one piece will help retaining it’s moisture better.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  16. I get cocky and think Oh I have everything to make a recipe. I don’t have Worcester sauce. Any substitutions come to mind?

    1. Hi Bridget,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Worcestershire sauce can be substitute with a squeeze of lemon (or a few drops of white vinegar) and light soy sauce.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  17. Hi there. I made this recipe recently and we loved it along with a few of your others!. I plan on making this for a party here soon. I was looking at your BBQ pulled pork recipe and am curious about the significant difference in cook times. Is it because this one is browned for so long that time is lower? Also, I am still new to this… Last time I did three pounds and it was perfect, this time I want to do 10-12 lbs. I have a 6qt and will be borrowing an 8 quart. How will cooking times vary? Do I still do 28min + 15 natural release? Thank

    1. Hi Kat,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      Because this one is cut into uniform 2 inches cubes so it will take shorter as pressure cooking is mostly dependent on thickness.

      As long as the 2″ pork cubes are partially submerged into the cooking liquid, the cooking time will stay the same 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  18. Wow, tried many bbq pulled pork recipes that were too sweet or rich. This has a fantastic balance and is really delicious… I cooked it a bit longer as I used pork rib chops but they ended up just as tender as the shoulder 🙂

    Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Hi Franklinbeans,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      We found the very mild peanut flavor compliments well with the rest of the ingredients and the overall dish.

      Olive oil will also work fine in this recipe.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

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