Tender and fall apart Instant Pot Pulled Pork is so easy and delicious! Full of flavor from a simple spice rub. If you're a sandwich lover, this will be your next go-to recipe!
This post was originally posted on 4/25/2020 and updated on 10/10/2022.
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Why We Love this Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- So incredibly easy to make. Rub the spices and place in the crock pot, that is all the work you need to do.
- Spice rub is made from simple pantry ingredients.
- No extra browning necessary.
- Versatile! You can serve it on a bun, in a salad, for tacos, use it as carnitas, or just as is with some gravy.
- Done in the fraction of the time compared to traditional pulled pork, thanks to the pressure cooker.
Pulled Pork Ingredients
- Pork Shoulder Roast
- Brown Sugar
- Chili Powder
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pork Shoulder Roast: A pork butt roast or pork loin roast will also work. Pork shoulder and pork butt will yield a more flavorful result because it has more fat marbled throughout meat. A pork loin is leaner but will still be delicious.
- Brown Sugar: You can use dark brown sugar. I would not recommend using any other sweetener. The molasses in the brown sugar is what helps create the yummy glaze on the outside of the pork.
- Spices: If you want to use a pre-made spice rub, you can. However, when you make your own it tastes so much better.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: You can use red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
How to Make Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- First combine the brown sugar and all the spices in a small bowl and mix together well.
- Then add the water and vinegar to the instant pot.
- Next, dry the pork roast with paper towels. Then rub the spice mix all over the roast. You can do this with your hands, or if your roast will fit do it in a zip top bag. I place my roast in the bag, dump the spices in the bag and shake to coat the roast. It works like a charm and your hands stay clean.
- Now gently place the roast in the instant pot. Secure the lid on the instant pot and set the pressure valve to sealing.
- Set the instant pot to high pressure for 60 minutes. Once the pressure cooker has worked its magic, it will need to do a natural pressure release. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Once the pressure has completely released naturally and the pin has dropped, carefully remove the lid. Take the pork out and place it on a sheet pan or cutting board. The roast is going to fall apart as you take it out. That is a good thing!!! Shred the roast with 2 forks.
- Depending on the size of your roast you can place it back into the instant pot with all the juices or only use some of the juices. I usually use about half of the juices and discard the rest.
- Now serve this delicious pulled pork on your favorite bun, in a salad or use it for tacos! You can add bbq sauce, taco seasonings, sweet and sour, whichever you are in the mood for! On most occasions we like it plain or with BBQ sauce.
Take the BBQ pulled pork sandwiches to the next level and top them with some Homemade Cole Slaw!
What to Serve with Pulled Pork
I love have a side of potatoes and a roasted veggie or side salad with this pulled pork. Sometimes its as simple as some potato chips but other times I like to make some of the following:
- Air Fryer Potatoes
- Roasted Ranch Potatoes
- Crispy Oven Fries
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
Storing Pulled Pork
Storing: Store any leftover cooled pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Leftovers freeze well! Add the cooled pulled pork to a freezer safe air tight container or freezer bag. Label, date and freeze for up to 4 months. When ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: Reheat the pulled pork over low heat on the stove, in the microwave or in the crock pot on low heat for a hour and then adjust setting to keep warm.
Can I use a frozen pork roast?
Absolutely! I often forget to take things out of the freezer to thaw. Ha! To make this recipe from frozen, increase the cook time 40 minutes and do a natural pressure release.
Can I make pulled pork in a crock pot?
Yes! Do the exact same thing above, except place the roast in your crockpot and set it on low for 8 hours. Turns out great!
FAQs About Instant Pot Pulled Pork
It is pretty hard to overcook a pork shoulder roast. The longer it cooks the more tender it becomes. However, it is possible to overcook the roast if you don't add enough liquid or set the time correctly. It will get dried out and tough if it is overcooked.
This is a personal preference. I like them both! The pressure cooker can have a tender roast done in less than 2 hours. The slow cooker it will take about 8 hours. Both create tender and juicy pulled pork.
The biggest secret is the cut of pork you use. Pork shoulder or pork butt create more tender and flavorful meat because it has some fat. The cook time is also important. Make sure you are following the recipe cook time, if the pork is not tender it was most likely not cooked long enough.
More Yummy Instant Pot Recipes:
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- Drip Beef Sandwiches
- Pot Roast Dinner
- Mac N Cheese
- Teriyaki Chicken
- White Rice
- Mashed Potatoes
- Salsa Chicken Nachos
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Shredded Chicken Breasts
- Beef Tips and Gravy
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- In a small bowl combine brown sugar and all the spices.
- In the instant pot, pour the water and vinegar in.
- Rub the spice mix all over the roast, or place the roast and spice mix in a zip top bag and shake to coat.
- Gently place the roast in the instant pot, secure the lid on and set the valve to sealing position.
- Set to manual high pressure for 60 minutes. Do a complete natural release, takes about 15-20 minutes after the cooking time.
- Once the pin has dropped, carefully remove the lid, and remove the roast to a sheet pan or cutting board. If it falls apart that is exactly what you want. Shred pork with 2 forks.
- Place the shredded pork back in with the juices or in a bowl with only half the juices.
- Serve on buns, with BBQ sauce, on salads, in tacos or just plain and enjoy!