Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

So, I have been eyeing from afar an electric pressure cooker for some time. My friend and inspiration, Chef Alli, is a huge proponent of them and she shares several recipes and kitchen hacks using her beloved “R2D2”. Flash forward to about a month ago, Amazon Prime had the Instant Pot half off. I made the leap, purchased the pressure cooker, and it sat in my garage for another two weeks, in the box while I had nightmares of blowing up my beautiful kitchen the first time I used it. 

Well, I finally got brave, read the instruction manual, and gave it a whirl. Now I have to giggle at myself as to why I thought this thing was so intimidating! Let me tell you, that Instant Pot is like MAGIC! It has completely changed the game of cooking for me as well as added some much needed simplification to my kitchen. My Instant Pot sits on the counter most days as it has become a permanent fixture in our household. 

Now only does it pressure cook, it also sautes so I can brown things without getting another pan dirty, it steams, it cooks rice, AND it slow cooks as well. The pressure function has been the most impressive BY FAR. Corn on the cob, three minutes. Completely FROZEN chicken breasts, half hour. Fork tender baked potatoes, ten minutes. And one of my favorites, tender pulled pork in one hour! 

Classic Pulled Pork-6

I love pulled pork, if it’s on a menu anywhere I’ll usually order it. This recipe is a very traditional pulled pork sauce and it is one of my favorites to make. Before I had my Instant Pot, I would make this in a slow cooker using the same method. Cook time for a slow cooker is 5-6 hours on low or until the pork is fork tender and shred easily. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, feel free to use your slow cooker to enjoy this recipe too! Classic Pulled Pork-3

I know this recipe looks involved due to the many ingredients, but I promise it is simple! If you are feeling fancy, you can try this fig & pig open faced sandwich, it’s a delicious and clever spin on your traditional pulled pork recipe. 

Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Serves 6
a tradition pulled pork recipe using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Dry Rub
  1. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  2. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  3. 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  4. 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. salt and black pepper to taste
  1. 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  2. 3/4 cup ketchup
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons molasses
  5. 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  6. 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  8. 1 teaspoon of dry rub
  9. 1 - 3-4 pound pork shoulder (boneless or bone-in), cut into large chunks
  10. 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/4 cup water
  1. Mix all dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Reserve 1 teaspoon of dry rub. Sprinkle the rest of the mixture on your pork and rub in well.
  2. For sauce, mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined.
  3. Add pork to Instant Pot (or slow cooker) and pour sauce over the top. Stir to combine.
  4. Set Instant Pot to Manual for 60 minutes at High Pressure. You can also slow cook for 5-6 hours on low or until pork is fork tender.
  5. Once pork is tender and pulls apart easily, remove from cooker, shred and set aside. If desired, thicken sauce with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water.
  6. Add pork back to thickened sauce, stir to combine, and enjoy!
Prairie Californian
Jenny Dewey Rohrich

Instant Pot Pulled Pork - Prairie Californian


  1. trish craig
    September 7, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    recipe sounds great! Thanks for sharing. I have a regular pressure cooker. How many psi is this being cooked at? I’m guessing 15?

  2. December 4, 2016 / 7:56 am

    Thanks for this. I’m new to the IP as well. Will make this today.

  3. Dan
    December 10, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    What size pork roast should I use for this receipe? I have an 8 pound picnic roast. Will that cook in an hour?

  4. Denise
    December 26, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    Thank you for this recipe. I have a couple of questions – are you using a quick release or natural or combination? Also, are you using a roast or tenderloin and what is the weight of the meat for 60 minutes of cook time?

    Thank you!

    • December 27, 2016 / 11:55 am

      I used a natural release for this. I’ve found for meats it is typically what works the best. I used a 3-4 lb. pork shoulder butt that I chunk up so it cooks quicker than a whole roast.

  5. K
    January 20, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    What do you do with the reserved tablespoon of dry rub? Put it into the sauce?

  6. Meghan
    January 22, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    Best pulled pork recipe for Instant Pot we’ve tried! Thank you!

  7. Chelsea
    February 9, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Hello! What do you do with the reserved teaspoon of rub?

  8. Denise
    February 23, 2017 / 4:11 pm

    Which “dry rub” do you use?

    • March 10, 2017 / 4:31 pm

      Hi Denise,
      The dry rub is included in the recipe above! 🙂

  9. Bill
    March 16, 2017 / 11:37 am

    No salt in the dry rub or sauce? I notice you don’t brown the meat before adding the sauce?

    • May 5, 2017 / 2:11 pm

      You can add salt if you’d like. You don’t have to necessarily brown the meat before pressure cooking it. You can, however, if you’d like the extra flavor.

  10. Alisha Hefty
    March 18, 2017 / 11:43 am

    How much time would you suggest for 8lb pork butt?

  11. em
    March 20, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    Curious if this will still work without the sauce? Is it okay to just place the meat in the Instant Pot with the dry rub only?

    • May 5, 2017 / 2:08 pm

      Yep it will work. You will want a little bit of some sort of liquid in there though. About a cup.

  12. Michelle
    March 24, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Hello, I am new to the instant pot and I am hoping you can help me. I am wondering if cook times for recipes include the time it takes for the instant pot to heat up. I haven’t found any recipes that indicate separate heat up time and cook time. For example, if I already have a sauce and want to cook a 3 to 4 pound boneless pork roast, should I put the sauce and pork roast into the instant pot & manually set it to 60 minutes, or should I heat up the instant pot for a while before putting the sauce and pork in?

    • May 5, 2017 / 2:08 pm

      All my recipes are what I set my instant pot for, any time it takes to heat up is additional time that is not shared within the recipe. Once the lid of the pressure cooker is closed, I would not recommend re-opening it.

  13. Jessica Krut
    April 5, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Hey i was just looking up recipes for the boston butt i have to put in my new instant pot. I know your recipe said 3-4 pounds so i looked at mine and its slightly over 5 lbs. If i cut it up in chunks, do you think it would still be ab hour cook time?

    • May 5, 2017 / 2:06 pm

      You could add another 5-10 minutes, just to be safe! 🙂

  14. Laura
    April 11, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Made this for the family tonight with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. Oh My Lanta….what an amazing, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork! I used a 6 pound pork butt roast and it was seriously delicious. Thank you!

    • May 5, 2017 / 2:05 pm

      THANK YOU!! 🙂 So glad it was a family favorite!

  15. Kelly
    April 15, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    My husband told me to put this in the Family Favorite folder. Extreme high praise, lol! We absolutely loved it!! I had a 6.8 pound Bone-in Pork Shoulder Butt Roast. I did have to cook it an additional 12 minutes. Followed the recipe to a t and it was so good! We will use this recipe for Pulled Pork from now on. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Beth
    April 22, 2017 / 10:58 am

    Made this for Easter lunch – it was fabulous! Even my goodies friend said it was “out of this world,” which is a high compliment! I used an 8 lb butt and doubled everything (though I don’t think I needed to double the sauce- it made a LOT!); I cut up the meat and put the dry rub on the night before and let it sit overnight to permeate. Browned it in batches on “sauté” the next morning in a little olive oil and deglazed the pan with a little thinned bourbon to get all the flavor of the browned bits! Then loaded up the insert with the meat and sauce, set it, and went to church! Cook time was spot on – the meat literally fell apart when I tried to remove it with tongs to work on the sauce after we got home! We almost used bottled sauce but decided to go for it with yours – so glad we did! It was all wonderful! Thanks for the recipe!

    • May 5, 2017 / 2:02 pm

      EXCELLENT! Glad to hear it turned out so well! Thank you for the feedback!!