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This Instant Pot Pulled Pork is the most amazing, tender, fall apart pulled pork you will ever eat! I'll teach you how to make my best pulled pork sandwiches for your family's dinner. You can make this easy pulled pork recipe in your slow cooker, too!
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

This Instant Pot Pulled Pork is the most amazing, tender, fall apart pulled pork you will ever eat! I'll teach you how to make my best pulled pork recipe for your family's dinner. You can also make this easy pulled pork recipe in your slow cooker.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 686kcal


For the spice rub:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Remaining ingredients:

  • 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder/pork butt*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • In a small bowl, whisk together all spice rub ingredients until well combined.
  • Cut the pork into 4 pieces and trim off excess fat. Rub the pork on all sides with the spice rub.
  • Pour olive oil into Instant Pot insert and turn it on saute mode. Place the pork in the Instant Pot and brown on all sides. You may need to do this in two batches. Set pork on a plate.
  • Turn off Instant Pot. Pour about half of the chicken broth into the Instant Pot and use a rubber spatula to scrape up any browned bits off of the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the broth, the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar or honey. Stir to combine.
  • Return the pork to the Instant Pot. Close the lid. Adjust the venting valve to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook at high pressure for 60 minutes.
  • The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to pressurize and then it will beep to let you know that the cook time is starting. When the cook time is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot alone). Then, quick release any remaining pressure by carefully turning the venting valve to venting (use either the handle of a long spoon or a potholder to turn the valve).
  • Transfer pork to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water until dissolved. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce in the Instant Pot. Turn the Instant Pot on saute and cook the sauce, stirring, until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Use two forks to shred the pork and then stir it back into the sauce. Serve pork on buns topped with coleslaw and additional barbecue sauce, if desired.


  • You can also make this recipe using pork tenderloin. The pulled pork will be leaner since tenderloin has less fat. Pulled pork made with pork tenderloin isn’t quite as tender and flavorful as when you make it with pork shoulder/pork butt, but it is still very tasty. If using pork tenderloin, I recommend reducing the cooking time to 45 minutes at high pressure.
  • To make in the slow cooker: Follow the steps above as written, except for the following:  You do not need to cut the pork into pieces. Brown the pork in a large pot or skillet on your stove rather than in the Instant Pot. Cook on your slow cooker’s high setting for 5-6 hours or low setting for 8 hours. Remove the meat to a bowl to shred. Meanwhile, keep your slow cooker on the high setting and stir in the cornstarch/water mixture. Let cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • To freeze pulled pork: Freeze the meat in the bbq sauce, sealed airtight, in a container that is just big enough for the pork and sauce. If there is too much air space around the meat it is more likely to get freezer burn. Defrost the pulled pork overnight in the refrigerator and then gently warm the pork and sauce together, covered, in a saucepan over low heat.


Serving: 1/6 of recipe | Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 682mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g
Nutrition information is only an estimate.
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