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!
If you have a pork butt but want to use it in other ways, check out these two recipes: Instant Pot Carnitas or Instant Pot Pork Roast.
Also, if you love BBQ in your Instant Pot definitely make these Instant Pot Boneless Pork Ribs or Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken!! You will not regret it!
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.
This Instant Pot Potato Salad and Instant Pot Corn on the Cob make killer side dishes for pulled pork sandwiches!
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!
Did you make this recipe?!
If you make this recipe I would love to hear your review. Pop down to the comment section and connect with me.
Then sign up for our Weekly Newsletter so you never miss a new recipe!
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.
Wonderful. Great recipe.
This recipe for pork shoulder in the Instant Pot came out amazing! It was absolutely delicious, quick and easy and we just put it on Kings Hawaiian buns with sweet baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. It was epic and is a repeat winner! Thank you for turning me onto this!!
I have used this recipe many times. But each time I am confused on the time to cook it. I’m using a large instapot, usually 7-8 lbs pork butt. Basically Double recipe. But – should I increase cook time. Is there a “rule of thumb” per lbs – for a roast that is cut in chunks?
Since you are cutting the larger cut of pork into smaller pieces you can just use the standard cook time of 40 minutes, plus a 10 minute natural release. If you left the pork in one large piece, like this Instant Pot Pork Roast, then you would need to increase your cook time based on the pounds.
Even if you use 7-8#’s of pork, as long as you are cutting it into smaller 3-4 inch pieces you can use the 40 minutes cook time.
Would also relate to similar recipes suck as chicken breast and beef assuming I am using smaller pieces like this?
Again – thank you for your recipes – I have never had a fail!
I’ve made your recipe a few times now. Everytime it has been wonderful. This time I don’t have apple cider. Is it okay to skip?
Definitely! It will still be delish
Didn’t work for me. Pork came out tough as hell.
What kind of pork did you use? It should have been fall apart tender and definitely not dry.
Often if that happens it just wasn’t in for long enough. I’d switch my instant pot over to slow cook and leave it for another six hours or overnight!
I have made this recipe a couple of times. It is my recipe to go to for pulled pork. Thank you so much. It all makes sense and very flavorful. I’ve made it for 4th of July, and this weekend for labor day. 🙂
How would you reheat leftovers that have been frozen? I was thinking the oven? Thanks!
You can absolutely reheat it in the oven. Pop the frozen pork in a baking dish and cover with foil. Warm at 350 until heated through, time will depend on how it is frozen. If it is frozen in individual shreds it will take less time than if it is in one block.
What setting do I put my IP on? Stew, slow cooker?
You will use the “pressure” or “manual” setting, you can also use the meat setting. All will work.
I was planning on making this tonight for my family! But I just noticed the trivet that’s needed in the instant pot. I do not have the trivet – will that make a big difference in the recipe/outcome?
It will still work just fine without it!!
Can I use this recipe and slow cook the pork instead? Sometimes it’s easy to set it and forget it in the morning!
Sure… I think for about 4 lbs of pork shoulder you should cook on low for 8 hours.
Took a tad bit longer to cook, but it was good and moist. Yummy bbq sandwiches and wraps! Served with pineapple coleslaw.
I disagree with the time pwr pounds! Had an 8 pound pork butt cooked for 2 hours and mostly the center was tough and rubbery!
I am so sorry that happened. Did you cut it into a couple smaller pieces?
Mine was froze and I cut in half an hour later still tough . Put it back on . I wish I had read the responses first
Can I use this recipe with a bone in pork shoulder
Absolutely! You can cut the meat off of the bone or cut around the bone and still put the bone in with the larger pork chunks.
This was the first recipe I made in my Instant Pot and it turned out perfectly! We made pulled pork sandwiches (and nachos with the leftovers). Thank you for the complete guide!
What pressure setting do you use? I am going to try high, I hope that is correct.
Yes! You are correct.