Instant Pot Pulled Pork is tender and flavorful pork shoulder (also called butt or Boston butt) cooked up quickly in your electric pressure cooker. The pork meat comes out fall-apart tender and makes amazing BBQ pulled pork sandwiches or tacos. It will become your families favorite Instant Pot Pork Recipe!
This is a complete guide to making pulled pork in your Instant Pot– everything from which cut of pork to buy, and how much to buy, to trimming, seasoning and cooking!
Is it Pork Butt or Pork Shoulder
So what do your buy at the store to make pulled pork:
- pork butt
- pork shoulder
- Boston butt
- Bone-in or boneless
Buying any of these options will result in the same flavorful pulled pork. Butt, shoulder and Boston butt are pretty much the same thing.
All three are actually cut from the shoulder, hence “pork shoulder”. The pork “butt”, also known as Boston butt, comes from the same area but is a little higher on the foreleg.
Buying boneless or bone-in is up to you. Both will cook perfectly fine in your Instant Pot. Since you will be cutting the pork butt into cubes, you could cut the bone out if you prefer, but it is not totally necessary.
How Much Pork to Buy for Serving
If you are planning on feeding a crowd or just a couple people it is important to know how many pounds of pork to buy. They can vary anywhere from 3 lbs up to 18 lbs.
The best way to calculate is 3 people (adults) per pound of raw pork.
How to Make Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot
We are going to start by trimming the pork butt. Since we are not cooking “low and slow”, like in smoking pork butt, the fat will not render all the way down. The last thing you want in your pulled pork is a big chunk of jiggly fat. Gross.
Trim as much of the white fat that you can from the outside of the butt. Then cut the meat down into 3 inch chunks.
If you come across more fat or connective tissue within the meat, cut that out as well.
In a small bowl mix together your dry rub seasoning. Coat the pork butt pieces completely with all of the seasoning.
Pour 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar into the Instant Pot. This will add flavor to the pork during cooking!
Optionally place the metal trivet over the liquid. Put the seasoned pork pieces on the trivet or you can place the pork right down in the liquid.
Close the pot and set to cook for 40 minutes.
Do a natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
Doubling the Recipe
A question I get often is “if I double the pulled pork recipe do I double the cooking time?”. The answer in this case is no.
Since you are cutting the pork into equal 2-3 inch pieces they will all cook within the 40 minute cook time. No need to add time.
Just make sure you do not over fill your Instant Pot above the “max fill line” that is marked on the inside of your pot.
Pulling Your Pork
Now you will want to “pull” your pork, which is another way of saying shred the pork.
Since the meat will be so tender it is easy to do with two forks. Placing them in the center of a piece of meat and pulling it apart.
Another easy way to shred meat (this works especially well with chicken) is by using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. That makes really quick work of shredding!! Just make sure you do it while the pork is still warm and only run the mixer for about 30 seconds.
Serving Pulled Pork
We like to eat our Instant Pot Pulled Pork on buns with some KC Style BBQ sauce and coleslaw. It also makes amazing tacos or grilled cheeses.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
You can freeze leftover pulled pork very easily!! Place the cooled pork in a freezer safe bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing in 2 cup portions.
Other Great Instant Pot Recipes
If you love using your Instant Pot, here are some more amazing recipes to check out for your next dinner!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe
Pork and Cooking Liquid
- 3-5 lb. fresh pork butt (also called pork shoulder or boston butt)
- 1 cup water or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider
Dry Rub Seasoning
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 ½ tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Serving as Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- favorite BBQ sauce
- optional: coleslaw and pickles
- Start by mixing the dry rub.In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard. Stir it together so there are no clumps remaining. Set aside.
- Trim and cut your pork butt.With a sharp knife trim most of the white fat or connective tissue from the pork butt. Cut the whole butt into 3 inch chunks. As you cut it open if you find more areas of fat, remove those too.
- Season the pork.Sprinkle and press the dry rub on all sides of the cut pork.
- Pour the cooking liquid in the Instant Pot.Add 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to the pot. Optionally place the trivet over the liquid.
- Add the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot.Place all the seasoned pork pieces in the pot (in the liquid or on the trivet)
- Close the lid and set to cook Pop the lid on your IP and turn the pressure valve to seal. Set to cook for 40 minutes. Do a 10 minute natural release and then release any remaining pressure with a quick release.
- Shred and serve!Remove the pork from the pot, discard the liquid (or you can use some to pour over your pork if you like)Take two forks and shred the pork. Mix with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve on buns or tacos or pizza or nachos!!
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.