Instant Pot Pulled Pork: Barbecue Pork Sandwiches have never been easier with the help of the Instant Pot! Pork loin is cooked in the pressure cooker until tender in a delicious blend of seasonings and then served up on buns with coleslaw for a recipe worth entertaining with!
This post has been sponsored by BJ’s Wholesale Club, but as always, the recipe and opinions stated are my own.
Did you know one of my very first recipes on this blog was for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork?
But many of you have asked for me to update my pulled pork recipe to be made in the pressure cooker. And so that is just what I have done for you!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
I don’t know many people who don’t love barbecue pork, but that is not the only reason pulled pork is the perfect party food.
Instant Pot Barbecue Pork is a perfect recipe to entertain with because:
- inexpensive to make
- feeds a crowd
- loved by kids and adults
- AND my recipe is gluten-free–so your gluten-free or low-carb party guests can skip the buns and still enjoy the main entree!
And if you are looking for a dessert or custom cake, be sure to check out BJ’s Perfect Party Planning Center. You can place your bakery order online and then go pick up in-club in as little as 36 hours. Grab your bakery goods and a few fruit and veggie trays, along with the makings for this Instant Pot Shredded Pork and you are well on your way to happy dinner guests!
How To Make Instant Pot Pulled Pork
The trickiest part to making pork loin in your instant pot, is making sure you can FIT your pork into your instant pot. I recommend using 2-3 pound pork loins, so that you can ensure that your pork will fit in your pressure cooker.
One of the advantages of being a BJ’s members, is that I can have BJ’s butchers custom cut and repackage my meat at no charge. I simply ask them to cut my pork loin into 3 pound sections when I purchase the pork. I then can freeze what I am not planning to use right away for future meals like Pork Carnitas, Instant Pot Pork Tacos, or Apple Pork Loin Roast.
Steps for Instant Pot BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Step One: Place pork loin in Instant Pot.
You can sear your meat first, but I often pull out a frozen pork loin right from the freezer to make pulled pork, so I skip the searing step.
- To sear meat in your instant pot, turn your pressure cooker to Saute and pour in 1 tablespoon oil.
- Wait until your pressure cooker reads Hot.
- Season your meat with the dry seasonings
- Sear your meat 2-3 minutes per side until browned.
- Be sure to scrap up any browned bits on bottom of your inner pot, so that pressure can build appropriately and you won’t get a burn notice.
*You may need to cut your pork loin into two pieces to sear in your instant pot. And searing is an OPTIONAL step.
Step Two: Add liquids and tomato sauce to Instant Pot.
I love to cook my pulled pork in apple juice or apple cider for an amazing flavor that helps develop a delicious homemade barbecue sauce. However, beer is another great option, and chicken stock will work as well.
*Remember if you use beer, your instant pot pulled pork will no longer be gluten free.
Step Three: Cook the Pork Loin in the Pressure Cooker.
- Set your pressure cooker to high pressure for 20 minutes per pound if fresh.
- Set your pressure cooker to high pressure for 30 minutes per pound if frozen.
You can 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.
Step Four: Allow Pressure to Release.
- It is very important to allow the pressure to release naturally when cooking large cuts of meat in your instant pot. If you release pressure, your pork loin can become tough, making it difficult to shred.
Step Five: Remove pork loin from inner pot and place in large bowl.
- Place your pork loin into a large bowl and use 2 forks or a hand-held kitchen mixer to shred meat.
- If you have difficulty shredding your meat, place your pork loin on a cutting board and cut into small chunks.
Step Six: Make your homemade barbecue sauce.
- There is now lots of liquid left in the inner pot of your instant pot. This liquid will become your barbecue sauce.
- Simply turn your instant pot to saute function–on high.
- With the lid off your pressure cooker, let the sauce come to a boil and thicken. This takes me between 3-7 minutes.
Use the thickened sauce to spoon over shredded meat for barbecue shredded pork. Of course, you can skip the step of making the BBQ sauce from the cooking liquids and serve pork as is, or with your favorite bottled jar of barbecue 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 Wellsley Farms Coleslaw.
My family’s favorite way to eat pulled pork is to pile a bun high with the shredded pork and then top with coleslaw.
I love to dress up Wellsley Farms Coleslaw with some freshly diced granny smith apples and some poppy seeds. The combination of tender pork cooked in apple juice with the creamy slaw studded with fresh apples, creates a perfect marriage of flavors.
How to Freeze Leftover Barbecue 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 freezer for a quick dinner.
To reheat frozen pork, first let pork thaw out overnight in fridge. Then follow one of these methods for reheating meat.
- Reheat thawed pork in the microwave for a couple minutes.
- Place frozen OR thawed meat in slow cooker with a 1/2 cup apple juice or stock and cook on low until reheated–3-4 hours.
- Place frozen meat into oven safe glass container that fits into your instant pot. Place trivet in instant pot and pour in 1 cup water. Place bowl with frozen pork in instant pot and cook on high for 25 minutes
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Pork Tacos
- Instant Pot Chicken Breasts (Fresh or Frozen)
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala
- Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- Pressure Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Pork loin is cooked until tender in a delicious blend of seasonings and then served up on buns with coleslaw for a recipe worth entertaining with!
For the Barbecue Pork
- 3 lbs boneless pork loin trimmed of fat
- 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 or chicken stock or beer
- 2 tbps apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tbps honey or maple syrup
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
For the Apple Poppy Seed Coleslaw
- 1 32 ounce Wellseley Farms Coleslaw
- 2 tbsp poppyseeds
- 1 granny smith apple diced
- buns for serving
For the Pulled Pork
Combine the dry spices and cover pork with the mixture.
Place in pork in inner pot of instant pot. Combine the juice, vinegar, honey, and tomato sauce, and pour over the pork.
Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound if fresh pork loin and 30 minutes per pound if frozen pork loin. Allow pressure to release naturally.
Once pork is cooked, remove pork loin from Instant pot and place in large bowl. Shred pork with 2 forks or hand held mixer.
Turn Instant Pot to saute function, on high. Let cooking liquid come to a boil and thicken for 3-5 minutes.
Spoon thickened sauce over shredded meat and serve.
For the Apple Poppy Seed Coleslaw
Mix all ingredients together and serve.
Optional: To sear meat in your instant pot, turn your pressure cooker to Saute and pour in 1 tablespoon oil. Wait until your pressure cooker reads Hot, and then season your meat with the dry seasonings, and sear your meat 2-3 minutes per side until browned. Be sure to scrap up any browned bits on bottom of your inner pot, so that pressure can build appropriately and you won't get a burn notice.
You may need to cut your pork loin into two pieces to sear in your instant pot.
Use Maple Syrup to keep this Pulled Pork Paleo.
Feel free to use brown sugar in place of honey or maple syrup as well.
If you are having a large party, ordering a deli or sandwich platter from BJ’s Perfect Party Planning Center, in addition to making pulled pork, is a great budget-friendly way to round out a party menu.