Recipe: Easiest-Ever Instant Pot Pulled Pork

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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to make pulled pork in my Instant Pot. Now that I have, it’s the only way I’ll be making it from here on out. Sure it’s fast, but really, I’m in it for the melt-in-your-mouth meat that’s infused with the deep, warm, smoky flavors of BBQ sauce.

It’s a new staple that’s ready to be piled onto sandwiches, stuffed into tacos, and simply eaten as is. Try it once and you’ll see what I’m talking about, and I bet it will be your new go-to method for pulled pork, too.

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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Use Your Instant Pot for the Easiest BBQ Pulled Pork

With the Instant Pot, it’s no longer an all-day affair to cook up a batch of ultra-tender saucy pulled pork. A lot of pulled pork recipes start with a dry rub or brine, with the option to mix in BBQ sauce after cooking, but not this one. To keep it easy while getting lots of rich, smoky-sweet flavor, the pork gets cooked directly in the sauce.

Start by cutting that big piece of pork into several smaller pieces, which will keep the cook time as short as possible and reward you with more tender meat. The cooker’s sauté function means this is a one-pot affair with no extra dirty dishes. You’ll use it first to sear the pork, then again after the meat is cooked to quickly reduce the sauce for a more concentrated flavor.

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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)
119 Ratings

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Serves6 to 8

Prep time: 12 minutes to 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    (4-pound) boneless pork shoulder or pork butt

  • 1 tablespoon

    vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup

    water

  • 1 cup

    barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Trim off any large pieces of fat from the surface of the pork. Cut the pork into 4 pieces. Sprinkle the salt, sugar, and pepper evenly over all sides of the pork, then pat the seasonings into the meat.

  2. Turn an electric pressure cooker on to sauté. Once heated, add the oil. Working in 2 batches, add the pork and sear on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a plate. Turn off the sauté function, then pour in the water and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the barbecue sauce, then return the pork to the pot.

  3. Lock the lid into place and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook on HIGH pressure for 60 minutes. The cooker should take between 10 and 12 minutes to come up to pressure.

  4. Open the pressure release valve (quick release) as soon as the cook time is up. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board or rimmed baking sheet. Set the cooker to sauté to boil and reduce the sauce by about half, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, use 2 forks to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Discard any large pieces of fat.

  5. Return the shredded pork to the cooker and mix well with the sauce.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

Styling by Ayda Robana

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