This Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork recipe is quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker, and only calls for a few simple ingredients. (This post also contains some affiliate links.)
Annnnnd, we have another game-changer today thanks to the mighty magical Instant Pot.
BBQ Pulled Pork for the win, guys!!
Oh man, as a Kansas City girl, this recipe is everything I love about classic pulled pork this time of year. It’s ultra-juicy and fall-off-the-fork tender. It’s packed with all of my favorite smoky, tangy, sweet, savory, and downright mouthwatering BBQ flavors. It’s super-versatile, and easy to pile high onto sandwiches or serve on its own or whatever sounds good. It also happens to make for fantastic leftovers. And best of all? It’s super easy to prep, and only takes a little over 1 hour to cook in the Instant Pot. Not all day in the smoker. Not 8 hours in the slow cooker. Just 1 hour of actual cooking time in the pressure cooker, folks.
Let’s do this.
To begin, grab the starring ingredient of this recipe — your favorite BBQ sauce.
Again, as a Kansas City girl, I’ve been around enough BBQ in life to know that everyone has strong opinions when it comes to their own favorite sauce. So grab a large bottle, or whip up a batch of your own (<– I’m partial to this easy recipe of mine, which is a long-time fave and also includes ingredients I feel good about).
Then for extra flavor, I also recommend whipping up a quick dry rub to season the pork before cooking. Then — if you have the time — I recommend letting that soak in for at least 30 minutes before cooking (or you can let it refrigerate overnight, or if you’re in a hurry you can skip the wait time altogether). Then use the “Sauté” feature on the Instant Pot to brown your pork on all sides. Then cook it on high pressure along with some BBQ sauce and chicken stock for 1 hour. Let it vent naturally.
And then voila — this flavor-packed, tender and juicy pot of pork will be ready to shred and enjoy!
I recommend transferring the pork to a separate plate or cutting board to shred, while you let the remaining juices simmer and reduce in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes, skimming off the extra fat on top if you’d like. (Or you can use a fat separator – I bought this one for $10 on Amazon.) Then add the pork back in and give it one more good toss in all of those juices (which are super red and vibrant, btw, thanks to that smoked paprika!).
Then serve it up however you’d like! I made some sliders this weekend, topped with a simple cilantro-lime-mango slaw and extra BBQ sauce. And they tasted like sweet and savory and smoky and tangy heaven. Love all of those flavors together.
So if you also find yourself looking for a quicker shortcut to delicious BBQ this summer, get that Instant Pot to cookin’!
Learn how to make juicy, tender, and flavorful BBQ pulled pork easily with this easy Instant Pot recipe!
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3–4 pound boneless pork roast*, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought), divided
1 cup chicken stock or water
Whisk together the smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, black pepper, mustard and salt in a large bowl until evenly combined. Add the pork, then gently toss with the spice blend until it is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
When you’re ready to cook the pork, press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot. Add the oil. Then once it is hot (it will be shimmering), add a single layer of the pork pieces. Brown the pork on all sides, then transfer the pork to a clean plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces of pork. (This may take you 2 or 3 batches.)
Once all of the pork has been browned, turn the Instant Pot off. Then add the browned pork, chicken stock, and 1 cup of the BBQ sauce to the Instant Pot, and give the mixture a quick toss to combine everything. Twist on the lid, turn the vent to “Sealing”, then set the pressure cooker to “Manual” for 60 minutes. Once the time is up, let the vent naturally release. (Don’t do the quick release option.)
Carefully open the lid. Transfer the pork to a separate clean plate with a slotted spoon, leaving the juices behind. Press the “Sauté” button once more, and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes or until it has thickened and reduced by more than half. Meanwhile, shred the pork with two forks.**
Once the sauce has reduced a bit, skim some of the fat off of the top with a spoon or use a fat separator to separate and discard it. Then add the shredded pork back into the sauce, and give everything a good toss so that it can soak up those tasty juices.
Serve immediately, topped with an extra spoonful or two of the remaining BBQ sauce.
*I recommend using boneless pork shoulder. You are welcome to use more tender cuts of meat, but the pork may not be quite as tender and juicy.
**If the pork does not shred easily, just pop it back in the Instant Pot and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes on high pressure.
I served my pulled pork with a Cilantro-Lime Mango Slaw, which was just a combination of coleslaw + shredded carrots + fresh chopped mango + fresh chopped cilantro + fresh lime juice + a pinch of salt and pepper and ground cumin. Super easy and delicious!