Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe

It's no secret that Instant Pot recipes have become all the rage, and for pretty good reason. This versatile kitchen gadget is one of our favorites to cook with — whether you are making yogurt, soup, chicken stock, or even mac and cheese, this appliance can really do it all. One of our favorite ways to utilize the Instant Pot is by quickly cooking up meat that would otherwise take all day in a slow cooker. Recipe developer Erin Johnson brings us her rendition of Instant Pot BBQ pulled pork, and it's one that you'll definitely want to add to your repertoire.

"The Instant Pot makes pulled pork easy and delicious," Johnson describes. "You get tender, flavorful pork much faster than smoking or roasting." Not to mention, it's always a good idea to have leftover pulled pork around, as there are so many ways to use it. Serve up a pulled pork sandwich at your next outdoor gathering along with some coleslaw and baked mac and cheese for simple comfort food done right.

Gather your ingredients for Instant Pot BBQ pulled pork

To make this Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork, you can start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, pork shoulder, and your favorite barbecue sauce.

Season the pork before searing in the Instant Pot

Turn on your Instant Pot to the sauté function. While it begins to heat up, cut the pork shoulder into pieces, and drizzle oil into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Then, in a small bowl, mix up the dry rub ingredients: the brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Then, using your hands, coat each piece of the pork in the rub and sear them fat side down in the Instant Pot, which takes about 5 minutes, until the fat is rendered and there is a brown crust.

Add water and pork before pressure cooking

Next, add water to your Instant Pot along with the pork — you should need about 1 cup if you're using a standard Instant Pot. Then, turn the pot to the pressure cook setting, close the lid and sealing valve, and allow the pork to cook for 1 hour. When that time is up, do a quick release by shifting the sealing valve and allowing the steam to escape.

Shred the pork before sautéeing in barbecue sauce

Drain the liquid from the Instant Pot and remove the pork. Using two forks, shred the pork. Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Then, add back in the shredded pork as well as the barbecue sauce. Using a spoon, mix the pork well until it is coated with the sauce. "If you'd like a more caramelized BBQ sauce, put the shredded pork onto a baking sheet under the broiler," Johnson suggests.

Pulled pork is great in sandwich form, but you can also serve it with coleslaw, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese — any classic BBQ fixins' work well here!

Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
This Instant Pot BBQ pulled pork is ready in just over an hour — it makes for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner option.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pulled pork sandwich with pickles
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 pound pork shoulder
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  1. Set the Instant Pot to its sauté setting and drizzle some oil into the bottom.
  2. Cut the pork shoulder into pieces.
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, onion, garlic, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  4. Coat each piece of the pork in the rub, rubbing thoroughly to ensure each piece is covered.
  5. When the pot is hot, add the pork fat side down to sear.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes or until the fat is rendered and there is a brown crust. Once seared, remove from pot.
  7. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot, or whatever the minimum required amount is for your make/size of pot.
  8. Add the pork back into the pot and set to pressure cook for 1 hour.
  9. Once done, quick release the pressure valve.
  10. Drain and remove the pork from the pot.
  11. Use 2 forks to shred the meat.
  12. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the pork back into the pot.
  13. Pour the barbecue sauce over the pork and mix well.
  14. Allow the sauce to get warm, then serve the pork.
Calories per Serving 679
Total Fat 41.5 g
Saturated Fat 14.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 161.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 26.1 g
Sodium 884.2 mg
Protein 40.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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