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Get that slow-smoked taste in a fraction of the time with this Instant Pot pulled pork recipe! It’s so tender and juicy, perfectly seasoned, and makes amazing sandwiches.

Try my Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken or Instant Pot BBQ Chicken next for more delicious, low-effort sandwiches.

a pulled pork sandwich on a plate

Why you’ll love it

Pulled pork is one of those recipes that really benefits from being cooked in an Instant Pot. You don’t need the same planning and patience as with Crockpot Pulled Pork, but it comes out equally delicious. We’re talking fall-apart tender in way less time. The homemade seasoning rub for this pulled pork recipe is SO good.

Learning how to make pulled pork isn’t a challenge at all when it’s pressured cooked! The flavors shine with this simple method. You also sear the meat right in the Instant Pot, which means a whole lot less clean-up. And then once it gets cooking, it’s super hands off.

What you’ll need

  • Pork – boneless pork shoulder works best here. It’s fatty enough to ensure that the meat doesn’t dry out. Look for one that’s nicely marbled.
  • Dry rub – my irresistible homemade spice rub includes brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder for that smoky, sweet, and savory balance
  • Olive oil – to sear the meat
  • Chicken broth – for moisture and added flavor
  • Liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce – aka liquid gold! This duo infuses so much additional flavor.
ingredients for instant pot pulled pork in prep bowls

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

How to make Instant Pot pulled pork

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

a bowl of seasoning rub and applying to pork

Cut the pork shoulder into 6 pieces. In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients. Coat each piece evenly with it using your hands.

searing pork in an instant pot and making a sauce for pulled pork

Sear the pork in your Instant Pot on all sides, working in two batches. Transfer to a plate. Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke to the IP. Important: scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon to avoid a burn warning.

taking pork out of an instant pot and shredding it in a mixing bowl with forks

Return the pork, and do a high pressure cook for 60 minutes. Do a quick release following the natural pressure release. Take the pork out, and shred with two forks in a bowl. Spoon on some of the juices, season with salt & pepper, and serve!

What to serve with pulled pork

pulled pork in a large glass bowl

Substitutions and variations

  • Since this has been tested extensively in our kitchen, I don’t recommend altering the timing, quantities, or ingredients as written the first time you make it unless you’re confident a swap will work.
  • That said, feel free to change up how you serve this pulled pork! Tacos or nachos? Go for it. Different toppings? Absolutely.

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftover pulled pork in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Make sure it’s cooled down before putting it in the refrigerator.
  • You can definitely freeze pulled pork for up to 3 months, but ensure that all the air is compressed out of the zip-top bag first to retain moisture.
  • When ready to eat, defrost in the fridge overnight and warm up over a low heat on the stove.
a hand holding a pulled pork sandwich

Leave a star rating and review below if you made my Instant Pot pulled pork recipe! I’m also happy to answer questions. You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made any of my recipes.

a pulled pork sandwich on a plate
5 from 3 votes

Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Get that slow-smoked taste in a fraction of the time with this Instant Pot pulled pork recipe! It's so tender and juicy, perfectly seasoned, and makes amazing sandwiches.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Inactive time: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Coleslaw for serving (click the link for my recipe)
  • Buns for serving
  • BBQ sauce for serving

Instructions 

  • Cut your pork shoulder into 6 roughly equal pieces. Add them to a baking sheet or large plate so you don’t make a mess when applying the rub.
  • Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder in a small bowl. This is your spice rub.
  • Using your hands, coat the pork pieces in the spice rub as evenly as possible. 
  • Add the olive oil to your Instant Pot and press the sauté button. Once the oil is hot, sear your pork on all sides for 5 minutes per batch (do 2 batches). Once seared, transfer the pork to a plate.
  • Add the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke to your Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to ensure that any brown bits that stuck on are released from the bottom of the pot (important to avoid a burn warning). Add the pork back in.
  • Close the Instant Pot’s lid, set the valve on “sealing”, and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. It will take 10-15 minutes for it to get up to pressure. 
  • Once the countdown has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick pressure release. Take the pork out of the Instant Pot once it has depressurized. Add it to a large bowl and shred it with 2 forks.
  • There will be a fair amount of juices left in the Instant Pot. I like to ladle some onto the shredded pork to moisten it and add some extra flavor (for leftovers especially). You could always boil it down or reserve it for another use if you wish. 
  • Season the pork with salt & pepper as needed. Serve as desired (my favorite way is on a bun with BBQ sauce and coleslaw). Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 303mg, Potassium: 755mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 733IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on April 10, 2018. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!


Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I really appreciated the suggestion of cutting up the shoulder and then rubbing the individual pieces instead of the whole shoulder. I am sure it upped the flavour and made the searing easier. Another winner!

  2. If you wanted to do an 8lb pork shoulder, about how long would you estimate it to cook? Or would you just do the above recipe twice? I only have a 6qt Instant Pot.

    1. Hi Sean! I’d keep the cooking time the same. As a general rule, you don’t need to double cooking time or even increase it when you double a recipe in an electric pressure cooker. It will add on time automatically because it’ll take longer to get up to pressure. I’m not entirely sure 8 lbs. will fit in there… that’s my main concern. You can see from the photo how full the IP is from the cut-up pieces of the 4 lb. shoulder. You could definitely do more than 4 lbs., though, just don’t go over the fill line.

  3. Hi! I assume you could do this in a slow cooker as well? If so, how long and what setting would you recommend doing? Thanks!

    1. Hi Johanna! I linked the recipe to my slow cooker pulled pork in the post… I think that’s probably your best bet for timing since I haven’t tested this exact version in the slow cooker. I’d probably give it 8-10 hours on low, though. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This looks delicious! It’s making me so hungry for a bite! Love that I can get the same great flavors from making this in my IP but in less time!

    1. Right?! I was pretty impressed how well it turned out. The IP definitely did its job haha. Thanks, Lindsay!

  5. 5 stars
    Pulled pork sandwiches are my husband’s favorite Natasha! These look awesome!