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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.
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.
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- Our kitchen tested in an older model, but here’s the latest similar 6-quart Instant Pot.
- A classic chef’s knife will help with cutting the pork shoulder.
- Use a wooden spoon to deglaze your Instant Pot and avoid a burn warning.
- Shred the meat in a large glass prep bowl.
- A pair of kitchen tongs makes dishing it up easy.
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.
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.
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.
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
- You can eat it on its own, but I like pulled pork best in a soft bun with a little bit of BBQ sauce and classic Homemade Creamy Coleslaw. For a twist, try my Apple Slaw or Apricot BBQ Sauce recipes.
- If you’re not in the mood for bread, make pulled pork lettuce wraps instead or serve over rice.
- Serve alongside Mac and Cheese, cornbread, Easy Baked Beans with Bacon, my Bacon Potato Salad, and other tasty BBQ side dishes. You can’t go wrong with some chips and pickles as well or this refreshing and creamy Waldorf Salad!
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.
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.
Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- 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
- 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!
- Cooking technique adapted from the Food Network.
- This recipe is also based on my Crockpot pulled pork sandwiches. If you wish to do this in a slow cooker, I suggest following that recipe.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
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.
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!