Instant Pot Pulled Pork is an easy recipe brimming with mouthwatering flavors. Piled high on buns and topped with easy homemade slaw.
Pulled pork is a favorite any time of the year.
It’s perfect for barbecues and gatherings since it can be made in bulk.
Changing it up with the Instant Pot speeds up the process.
The pork is just as tender and delicious too!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
The Instant Pot is a food preparation star for many reasons. Recipes are easy and fast.
It retains more nutrients in the food due to the sealed container.
Using a pressure cooker, which is the main function of the Instant Pot most people use, makes meat tender.
Taking a tougher cut of meat and cooking it in the Instant Pot creates delicious tender meat.
AND it’s done far faster than in a slow cooker or oven!
Pulled pork is often cooked in a barbecue sauce. This Instant Pot Pulled Pork uses a spicy dry rub on the pork instead.
Adding apple cider vinegar in the cooking liquids gives it a classic flavor!
Here’s what’s in it!
The dry rub is made up of:
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Kosher Salt
- Cayenne pepper
- Light brown sugar
- 4-5 pound pork butt
The Instant Pot Pulled Pork is cooked with (the liquid):
- Apple cider vinegar
- Red pepper flakes
Type of Pork Used
Pork Butt is used for this Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe.
It’s also known as ‘Boston Butt’or may also be referred to as a ‘pork butt roast’.
Despite the name, pork butt is a shoulder cut of pork. It is NOT the same as pork shoulder.
Pork butt comes from a different location on the animal. It’s a tougher cut of meat making it perfect for longer cooking or pressure cooking.
Bone-in and boneless pork butt are both available. Either will work though boneless is preferred for this recipe.
If you buy a bone-in pork butt, after cooking the meat will be shredded away from the bone.
NOTE: pork butt is sometimes sold in netting (see the images for what it looks like with the netting removed). Remove the netting before proceeding with the recipe.
Substitution for Pork Butt
If pork butt is unavailable, pork shoulder may be substituted.
How to Make it – Step by Step
This recipe is SO easy (and delicious)!
Refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post for detailed instructions.
- Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Rub all over the pork butt roast coating all surfaces (photos 1-3).
- Place the Instant Pot rack in insert (see section below) (photo 4).
- Add the apple cider vinegar, water and red pepper flakes to the insert.
- Place the pork inside and seal the top.
- Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
- Manually release the pressure and check to make sure that the pork is tender and can easily be pulled.
- Once the pork is tender, remove from the insert. Use two forks to shred the pork into bite sized pieces.
- Return pork to the Instant Pot insert to mix with the cooking liquid.
- Serve with a slotted spoon to remove excess liquid before adding to a bun.
Using the Instant Pot rack
I prefer to cook meat on the rack in the Instant Pot so the meat isn’t sitting in the liquid.
However, the pork butt may also just be placed in the bottom of the pot (Instant Pot insert) too. I’ve tried it both ways and it’s delicious however you cook it!
Serve with BBQ Sauce if desired
The pulled pork when mixed with the cooking liquids is delicious.
However, it can also be served with favorite barbecue sauce.
I love this homemade Blueberry Whiskey Barbecue Sauce Recipe for a twist.
Top it With Cole Slaw!
I love the combination of the spicy hot pork and cool sweet cole slaw! Adds a great crunch to the texture too!
I love this Cole Slaw recipe paired with this Instant Pot Pulled Pork.
These quick Pickled Red Onions are another favorite topping.
Ways to Use Instant Pot Pulled Pork
A favorite way to use pulled pork is in a sandwich but that is just the start!
- Sandwiches with coleslaw on top.
- Mexican food like tacos, quesadillas and burritos.
- In a stuffed baked potato with cheese and sour cream.
- In an omelet.
- On a pizza.
- Mixed in with baked beans.
- In soups.
- In a bowl recipe with fresh crisp lettuce, rice, shredded cheese, some beans, grilled vegetables….you name it!
Leftover pulled pork can be stored in the refrigerator, sealed in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.
RECOMMENDATION: include some of the cooking liquid with the pork to keep it from drying out. Mix it together before reheating.
Reheating the Pulled Pork
Microwaving is the fastest way to reheat the pulled pork. Add some of the cooking liquid to keep it moist.
Freezing Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Instant Pot Pulled Pork freezes and reheats well.
- Allow the frozen pork to cool fully.
- Coat the pulled pork will with the cooking juices to keep it moist.
- Place in freezer storage bags, remove air and seal.
May be frozen for 2-3 months.
once it’s fully thawed, it can be microwaved or reheated in a low temperature (250 degrees) oven until desired temperature.
This recipe was developed in a 6-quart Instant Pot.
THIS is the model I use.
More Instant Pot Recipes you’ll love…
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Green Chiles
- Instant Pot Smoked Paprika & Garlic Chicken Legs
- Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup: Easy, Hearty Comfort Food!
- Instant Pot Ginger Soy Chicken Drumsticks
- Instant Pot Jambalaya Recipe
- Vegetable Beef Soup
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Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Dry Rub for the Pulled Pork
- 1 tablespoon Onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon Cumin (ground)
- 2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
Pulled Pork ingredients
- 4 pound Pork Butt Roast (boneless preferred) cut into 4 equal pieces
- ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ cup Water
- Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- 12 Hamburger Buns
- 1 batch Fast & Easy Coleslaw recipe
- Add the dry rub ingredients into a small bowl and mix to combine fully.
- Rub to cover all pieces of the pork.
- Insert rack into Instant Pot (if unavailable pork can be placed directly into the Instant Pot insert without the rack).
- Pour the water and apple cider vinegar into the Instant Pot.
- Add in the red pepper flakes
- Place the pork inside and seal the top. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, manually release the pressure. Check that the pork is tender and can easily be pulled. NOTE: If the pork isn’t done add another 5-10 minutes onto the pot and repeat.
- Once the pork is cooked, remove from the Instant Pot and using two forks pull the pork apart into bite sized pieces.
- Add pulled pork to a bun, drizzle with pan juices or favorite BBQ sauce and homemade slaw.