Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

Pork so tender it shreds easily when pulled, served on a bun with a smoky, sweet barbecue sauce. The flavor of slow cooked pulled pork in a fraction of the time by cooking in a pressure cooker.

This is a pressure cooker twist on a popular slow cooker recipe. The recipe has only four ingredients and is ready in less than 1/3 of the time, with the same delicious results and set it and forget it ease.

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I haven’t made my own barbecue sauce much because my husband and I really like KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce. It’s smokey and sweet, with just a little kick. If you prefer a homemade sauce, definitely use it.

I browned the roast to bump up the flavor a bit, but you could skip that step if you’re in a hurry or feeling a bit lazy. (Some days are just like that.)

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I used my stand mixer to shredded the pork instead of forks. It’s quick and easy, but be sure and remove as much fat from the pork as possible before shredding it in the mixer.

Pulled pork is great because it makes enough to feed a crowd, or if you don’t have a crowd to feed, it freezes well too.

Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut in two pieces
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. Select Browning and add oil to the cooking pot. When hot, brown pork on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Brown each half of the roast separately. Remove to a platter when browned.
  2. Add 1 cup barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup water to the cooking pot. Add browned pork and any accumulated juices to the pot.
  3. Select High Pressure and set the timer for 75 minutes. When beep sounds, turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release to release pressure (this took approximately 20 minutes). When valve drops carefully remove lid. Carefully remove the meat from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks, discard excess fat as you shredded. (You can also use your stand mixer to shredded the pork.)
  4. Strain cooking liquid, reserving 1/2 cup. (I used a fat separator to separate fat from the juices.)
  5. Place shredded pork in the cooking pot with remaining 1 cup barbecue sauce and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.
  6. Serve on toasted rolls with additional barbecue sauce if desired.
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Comments

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  1. Annette says

    Barbara,
    About that last step, where you cook the shredded pork, together with more BBQ sauce and some cooking liquid: I ended up with a scorched pot (lots of sugar in that BBQ sauce!), with shreds of pork stuck in the burnt bits.
    Has this ever happened to you, and more importantly: what can I do to avoid it?

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Annette – I haven’t had that happen. Do you use an electric or stove top pressure cooker? To avoid it next time, instead of pressure cooking it, you can just combine the barbecue sauce, cooking liquid with the meat and saute it for a few minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

      • Annette says

        Hi Barbara – thank you for replying so quickly. I use a stove-top PC which rarely scorches IF I avoid the usual suspects (coating meat cubes with flour, for instance). But man! this scorch is a bad one: I had the pot sit overnight with a baking soda & water paste on the burnt bits, and I am STILL scraping off black stuff.
        So, yes, in the future I will just sauté for a bit. And I am making this again. They were out of pork shoulder at the butcher’s, so they gave me something else that turned out to be a non-optimal cut of pork (quite lean, so a bit stringy in the end) but still delicious.

        • Barbara Schieving says

          Thanks Annette – so glad you still enjoyed the pulled pork. Thanks for your feedback. Have you tried boiling water in the pan to remove the scorched bits? I updated the recipe with the new instructions to just bring the meat to a simmer at the end, so no one else will have the same problem. I wonder if the lean meat contributed to the problem as well.

    • Jim says

      Omg you burnt my stove top pc it’s ruined after about 20 min there was a bad smell after 30 min cooker was dry. This is horrible you must mix 1 cup water and 1/4 cup Bbq

      • Barbara Schieving says

        Sorry you had problems with the recipe Jim. If you substituted a leaner cut of meat then you’d definitely need to add more water. You should never ignore a bad smell coming from your pressure cooker. As soon as you think something’s not right, remove it from the heat and open the pressure cooker. To clean your pressure cooker, fill it with water and simmer it. Scrap the bottom occasionally to loosen up the burnt on mess. You may have to repeat this several times and simmer the water a long time, but eventually I’ve been able to get pans clean that way.

  2. says

    Have done pork shoulders for pulled pork, but try using a chuck roast for beef lidia,

    First saute an onion, then add garlic for 30 seconds, add the roast and brown on all sides. add enough water to go half way up the roast, cook on high for 45 minutes. Then natural release, when cool, pull. Save the juice, serve on pita bread

  3. says

    Been getting your emails recently, i asume you are using an electric PC vs stove top.

    I’ve been PCing with stove tops for 20 years, currently use a Kuhn Ricon Turn Top and love it .. mostly do stock, soup, veggies occasionally meat,, cant decide whether to purchase an electric. Which electric do you use,…read alot about the current Duo Pot

  4. Brittany says

    I have only used my pressure cooker a hand FIL of times but so far I LOVE IT! Question though: what is the difference in a natural release and a quick release? (And how do I do them?)

    Thank you!

    Brittany

  5. Shelby says

    I have a pork roast in my freezer. Do I need to let it thaw completely before putting in the pressure cooker or do I just add more time? I’m new to pressure cooking and am loving your site so far! Thanks.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      It’s more difficult to get the timing right when you have a large frozen roast. I’ve had good results cooking frozen cubed meats and chicken pieces that are frozen. So I can’t tell you the timing, but i don’t see any reason you couldn’t. Maybe start with an extra five minutes and if it needs longer it will come back to pressure quickly. So glad you’re enjoying the site!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Yes – it’s cooked through before that, but for it to be as fall apart tender as I want for pulled pork, it takes longer.

  6. Heather says

    Wonderful recipe. I made this tonight and it was a bit. I also separated the juices and saved the defatted juice to moisten up the leftovers. It’s a keeper!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Heather – glad is was a hit. It’s been too long since I’ve had pulled pork. Time to make it again.

  7. Tllaker says

    Is there a reason you leave the pork in such a large piece(s) to cook? Why not much smaller pieces and far less time in pressure cooker? My cooker is an old, stovetop model and have never cooked anything for more than 25 minutes or left the room while it is on the stove. Do you think there is a flavour or texture difference with a larger piece?

    • Barbara Schieving says

      The larger pieces are quicker to brown, you don’t have to spend time chopping the meat, you get shredded meat instead of cubed – so I think it’s easier doing the larger cuts of meat. But I do like cubing the meat and also have recipes for that.

      With the electric pressure cooker there is no need to stay in the kitchen while the pressure cooker cooks. You just press the start button and go do other things. It automatically adjusts the temperature once it reaches pressure. So a little longer cook time isn’t a big deal.

      Thanks for the question.

  8. says

    I’ve been hooked on my pressure cooker lately and use it a lot with my personal chef clients. It’s invaluable when I want to do a pot roast or stew on a tight time schedule. For some reason though I never used it to do pulled pork. Until today! I did a 7# whole bone-in Boston butt roast and it turned out perfectly! I cut it into 3 pieces, rubbed it with some salt and garlic and covered it with water. I did it for 65 minutes with natural pressure release – it came out perfectly. I pulled all the meat after it cooled and will portion it for the freezer (I reserved the cooking liquid to add to the ziploc bags). I kept the seasoning simple so I can use it for BBQ’d pulled pork sandwiches, burritos, chili, etc. Made me want to go back to the grocery store and buy another one since they were on sale for $1.79 a pound! Love my pressure cooker!

    • Vickie says

      What a great idea for freezing the meat. There’s just my husband and I but we love pulled pork. Right now I make it using pork tenderloin. Using the Boston butt roast we can have our beloved pulled pork plus tacos, burritos even a ragu for pasta.

  9. Darin Loken says

    Your Welcome, and thank you for all of your recipes and the great blog and website. I’ve had my had my pressure cooker for a long time now, but never really used it till I got some health problems. Have to be in bed a lot so was looking for ways to cook a good meal without doing it all day long like I usually do, I love to cook. Almost a couple of years ago a girl I know online sent me a couple of recipes for the pressure cooker and I decided to try them out. These new computerized pressure cookers are really easy to use. I was and still am suprised how fast you can cook things and still get the flavor you want. One of the first things was a chicken in 20 minutes or so, with veggies, deboned it, threw the meat back in, made a little slurry, put it on the “soup” setting and had real chicken soup in under an hour, and it was so good. Been kinda hooked since, trying to find recipes I like, or recipes I can change and put in and make them faster in the pressure cooker. It’s just a lot easier, and only one pot to clean up. Thanks again for all the recipes to try out! “D”

  10. Darin Loken says

    Hi, I’ve been making pulled pork in my pressure cooker for a few years now, but different recipe. Equal parts chicken stock with apple cider vinager goes in, half of one of the small bottles of liquid smoke, a cup 1/2 or so of bbq sauce, and one bag of brown suger, or less, more to taste once you cook it a few times, see how much tag you like verses the sweet. I have a 7 quart pressure cooker so I buy anywhere between 4 to 8 lbs of pork shoulder with the bone in, more flavor. I have a rub I put on it the nigt before. The day of I put it on “Heat” on mine and brown the meat with the rub on it. Once it’s brown on all sides I put some bbq sauce on it, then add the liquids, however much I need to almost cover it. Cook for about an hour or so depending on how big it is. Take it out and it’s so tender it’s falling apart. Pull it apart with 2 forks, very easy to do, put in a large tupperware container, put some of the liquid from the pressure cooker on top to keep it moist. Put it on buns, add bbq sauce and serve. Taste almost like it was cooked outside with the help of the liquid smoke.

  11. Carol says

    Thanks Barbara-with the Super Bowl just around the corner-this would be a quick and easy way to make pulled pork for sandwiches.

  12. says

    Jeepers, ya learn something new everyday! As often as I use my pressure cooker, I have never thought to do pulled pork in it; I always thought the slow and low method was the only way. But, of course! Why not the pressure cooker way! Thanks, Barbara!

  13. Michael Ann says

    This looks yummy! I am intrigued with how you used the mixer for shredding. Do you just put chunks of the meat into the mixer bowl and use the flat beater?

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks! The roast is cooked in two pieces, and the meat is so tender, there is no need to cut it further, just use the flat beater.