Instant Pot Pulled Pork is a delicious, easy, family-approved recipe! Seasoned with a homemade rub and cooked in a special blend of ingredients that give this pork a smokey flavor, this Instant Pot BBQ Pork is sure to become a favorite!
Make a large batch of this Instant Pot Pulled Pork and use to serve up on a bun with Homemade Coleslaw with a side of Homemade Baked Fries and Baked Beans or used to top a delicious Grilled BBQ Pork Pizza.
One of my absolute favorite recipes to entertain with is Instant Pot Pulled Pork.
Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork is perfect for gatherings for the following reasons.
- inexpensive to make
- feeds a crowd
- loved by kids and adults
- AND my recipe is gluten-free–perfect for entertaining those with gluten allergies/sensitivities.
Pulled pork also happens to be one of the EASIEST meals to make as well. I have adapted my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe for the Instant Pot. This recipe is just as delicious as my original recipe—it just happens to be done in a fraction of the time!
With a few tips and tricks, you will have the most tender pork that is perfectly seasoned!
Secrets for the BEST Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Select the right cut of pork. For pulled pork, most would argue a pork shoulder or pork butt roast is the best option, as they are incredibly marbled and full of flavor. However, a pork loin roast because it is lean, is still a great option, and is much lighter. I do NOT recommend using pork tenderloin for this recipe.
- Cube the pork. Another KEY tip is to cut your pork roast into 3-4 inch chunks. This allows your pork to become SUPER tender and shred easily in your pressure cooker. Pro-Tip: Ask your butcher to do this step for you–this is a service most grocery stores offer for free!
- Season the pork. A homemade dry rub gives this pork roast so much flavor! It is a little bit smokey, a little spicy and perfectly balanced.
- Select the right cooking liquid. Apple juice and a little bit of liquid smoke flavor are the BEST liquids to cook pulled pork in. The apple juice sweetens the meat and the liquid smoke gives the meat a smokey flavor–much like the meat applewood smoked.
How To Make Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Mix together the spices and rub over the pork.
- Add the pork to the instant pot, along with the apple juice and liquid smoke.
- Set high pressure on your Instant Pot by hitting the manual button or pressure cook button on your pressure cooker until high pressure lights up. To adjust the time use the + and – buttons. Read more about this on Instant Pot Functions.
- Cook on High Pressure for 40 minutes for a pork shoulder or pork butt or on High Pressure for 30 minutes for a pork loin roast.
- Once cook time has elapsed, it is very important to allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes when cooking large cuts of meat in your instant pot. If you release pressure, your pork can become tough, making it difficult to shred.
- Place your pork loin into a large bowl and use 2 forks or a hand-held kitchen mixer to shred meat.
- Mix with your favorite BBQ sauce, if desired. This meat is super flavorful without the need for added BBQ sauce.
Ways to serve Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Top baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes with the pulled barbecue pork
- Make a Grilled BBQ Pizza.
- Top a bun with a generous serving of the pulled pork and a scoop of Homemade Coleslaw.
How to Freeze Leftover Pulled Pork
If you have leftover pulled pork, you can freeze the leftover barbecue pork in 2-3 cup portions for up to 3 months. Pull out of the freezer for a quick dinner.
To reheat frozen pork, first, let pork thaw out overnight in the fridge. Then follow one of these methods for reheating meat.
- Reheat thawed pork in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
- Place frozen OR thawed meat in a slow cooker with a 1/2 cup apple juice or stock and cook on low until reheated–3-4 hours.
- Place frozen meat into an oven-safe glass container that fits into your instant pot. Place trivet in the instant pot and pour in 1 cup water. Place the bowl with frozen pork in the instant pot and cook on high for 25 minutes
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala
- Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- Pressure Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- 3 lbs pork roast (pork shoulder, pork butt, or pork loin) cut into 4 inch chunks
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbs paprika
- 1 tbs onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1 cup apple juice see note
- 1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1-2 cups barbecue sauce optional
- Cut the pork roast into 3-4 inch chunks (this will REALLY help your pork to get tender).
- Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder together. Rub the mixture over the pork roast pieces.
- Add the seasoned pork to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add in the apple juice and liquid smoke. NOTE: Use 1 cup apple juice for 6 quart and 1.5 cups juice for an 8 quart instant pot.
- Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes if using pork shoulder or pork butt. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes if using a pork loin roast. To set cook time, hit manual or pressure cook and then use the +/- buttons to adjust timer.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for AT LEAST 15 minutes.
- After pressure has been released, remove pork from the Instant pot and place in large bowl. Shred pork with 2 forks or handheld mixer.
- Top with your favorite BBQ sauce if desired.
- Use 1 cup apple juice for 6 quart and 1.5 cups juice for an 8 quart instant pot.
- If you do not have apple juice, beer, chicken stock or root beer all work well to season this pork roast.
- The additional jarred BBQ sauce is NOT necessary. The pulled pork is plenty flavorful without it.
- If you would like to make this pork with Homemade BBQ sauce: mix together 1 cup of tomato sauce with 1/4 cup honey and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Pour over the top of the pork before pressure cooking (DO NOT STIR.) While shredding the meat, turn the instant pot to saute and let the cooking juices thicken, be sure to stir often. Spoon the sauce over the shredded pork.
- Store leftover pulled pork in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
This post was originally published in 2018, but was updated in 2020 with new videos.