Tender, juicy BBQ Pulled Pork is always delicious especially when you make it in the Instant Pot! It’s fast and the texture is perfection! Slow cooker option included too.
Barbecue lovers and sandwich fans all love this pulled pork recipe.
It’s a quick and easy recipe to make. It turns out so flavorful with only a few ingredients and no fussy recipe steps.
If you’ve never made Instant Pot Pulled Pork you’ll never want to make it any other way after trying it.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is another great option if you are not a pressure cooker (option included)!
Easy BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe
One big thing that makes this recipe so delicious is the cooking liquid. Instead of water Root Beer is used!
The sweetness sinks into the pork creating a wonderful flavor.
Try it on Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs too, you’ll love it!
With the contrast of the spicy barbecue sauce, the complexity of flavors is the best ever.
- Yellow Onion
- Pork Butt
- Root Beer
- Barbecue Sauce
Use Root Beer, Cola or Dr. Pepper
Any of these soda flavors will add fantastic sweet flavor to the pulled pork.
Best BBQ Sauce to Use
I love using homemade barbecue sauce. You can season it to your preference.
And even add unique ingredients as in this Blueberry Whiskey Barbecue Sauce Recipe.
Because the root beer makes the recipe sweet adding a spicy BBQ sauce creates delicious contrasting flavors.
Best Cut of Pork to Use for BBQ Pulled Pork
Pork Butt is a best choice for making pulled pork. It has natural marbling (fat running through the meat) that creates great flavor and keeps it moist and tender.
It is also called ‘Boston Butt’or ‘pork butt roast’.
Pork butt is a shoulder cut of pork and is different than pork shoulder.
It’s a tougher cut of meat that’s perfect for longer cooking or pressure cooking.
Bone-in and boneless pork butt are both available. Either will work.
The photos show a bone-in version. After shredding the pork the bone will be removed.
NOTE: boneless pork butt is sometimes sold in netting. Remove the netting before proceeding with the recipe.
SUBSTITUTION: if pork butt is not available substitute pork shoulder.
How to Make it – Step-by-Step
STEP 1: Add half of the chopped onions into the Instant Pot. Place the rack/trivet in the Instant Pot (photo 1).
STEP 2: Place the pork pieces on the rack (photo 2). Pour in the root beer over the pork (photo 3).
STEP 3: Coat the pork on all sides with the barbecue sauce (it can be brushed on)(photo 4). Sprinkle remaining onions on top (photo 5).
STEP 4: Pressure cook on Manual HIGH PRESSURE for 60 minutes (photo 6). After cooking completes allow a 10 minute NATURAL RELEASE followed by a QUICK RELEASE for any remaining pressure.
STEP 6: Remove the pork form the Instant Pot and shred using 2 forks (photo 7).
At the same time, remove the rack and turn the Instant Pot on the SAUTE function to thicken the sauce.
STEP 7: Turn off the Saute (turn to WARM setting). Add the shredded pork back to the Instant Pot and stir to allow pork to soak up more sauce (photo 8).
When ready to serve remove the pork with a slotted spoon allowing excess sauce to drip back into the Instant Pot.
Reserve some sauce to store with any leftover pork (it will give more flavor and keep the pork moist). The rest can be discarded.
How to Make it in the Slow Cooker
Follow the instructions for adding the ingredients, just do it in the slow cooker instead.
Cook the pork on LOW for 8 hours.
Proceed with the shredding instructions and add the meat back into the sauce to coat.
Remove with a slotted spoon.
How to Use it
There are so many ways to use the delicious pork!
- In a sandwich on hamburger buns (regular or gluten-free). Try some Easy Cole Slaw on top!
- On pizza
- In an omelet
- In a soup recipe
- On a salad
- For nachos
- In tacos, burritos (or burrito bowls), tostadas
- In Mac and Cheese
Store the meat with some of the sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Combine the pork and some of the sauce in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove top or microwave.
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Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
- 1 Yellow Onion chopped
- 4 pound Pork Butt (boneless or bone-in) cut into 3-4 pieces
- 1 cup Root Beer cola or Dr. Pepper can also be used
- 1 1/2 cups Barbecue sauce
- Place the trivet/rack in the Instant Pot. Sprinkle half of the onions on top of it.
- Place the pork butt on top of the onions.
- Pour the root beer over the pork into the Instant Pot.
- Coat the pork pieces on all sides with the barbecue sauce.
- Add the remaining onions on top of the pork.
- Lock lid in place and set the vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook on MANUAL HIGH PRESSURE for 60 minutes. Allow a 10 minutes NATURAL RELASE followed by a QUICK RELEASE to release any remaining pressure.
- Remove the pork and shred using 2 forks.
- While shredding the pork, remove the rack from the Instant Pot. Turn on the SAUTE function to thicken the cooking juices.
- Turn the Instant Pot to WARM. Add shredded pork back into the Instant Pot and coat with the sauce.
Crock Pot option
- Follow steps 1-5 above (disregard the trivet instruction).
- Cook on LOW for 8 hours.
- Follow step 7 for shredding the pork and return it to the slow cooker to be coated with the sauce.
- Remove using a slotted spoon to serve. Some of the cooking liquid can be drizzled onto the meat if desired (stir the liquids to combine if they have separated).
Sara Welch says
Tried this for dinner last night and it didn’t disappoint! Perfectly flavorful and juicy; easily a new favorite recipe!