Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

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If you have BBQ sauce and pork shoulder, you can make this awesome Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork! Fall-apart tender pork is pressure cooked and served on a bun with a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce. You get all the flavor of slow cooked pulled pork in a fraction of the time.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork sandwich, with cabbage, celery, and potato chips

This is a pressure cooker twist on a popular slow cooker recipe. The recipe has only three ingredients—vegetable oil, pork, and barbecue sauce. Plus, it takes very little prep time and comes together in a fraction of the time of making it in the slow cooker, with the same delicious results and set-it-and-forget-it ease.

Pulled pork is great because it makes enough to feed a crowd!

However, if you don’t have a crowd to feed, it freezes well too. I like to freeze it in individual portions so I have extras to take for lunch or for when I need a quick dinner.

Making Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork in an Instant Pot

An Insta Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create these delicious Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork!

Since this is such an easy recipe, I’ve gotten a number of repeat questions over the years. Here’s what you need to know:

What Kind of Meat to Use to Make Pulled Pork

I prefer pork shoulder because it has a little more fat to it. Pork shoulder is also an inexpensive cut of meat, which is nice when you need to feed a crowd. However, any pork that is good for braising would be a good fit for this recipe. (See my Pressure Cooker Kalua Pork recipe for a more in-depth discussion on selecting a cut of pork.)

Pork shoulder browning inside an Instant Pot.

Why Do You Brown the Pork?

I browned the roast to bump up the flavor. (See all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan in this picture? Those are automatic flavor boosters.)

However, if you’re if you’re cooking from frozen, you’ll want to skip this step. (Frozen meat doesn’t brown as well.)

You can also skip it if you are in a hurry or feeling a bit lazy. (Some days are just like that.)

Use an instant-read thermometer to verify your pork is at least 205°F in the thickest part after cooking.

Shredded pork in the Instant Pot with barbecue sauce drizzled on top

What Kind of Barbecue Sauce Do You Use for Pulled Pork?

My husband and I really like KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce in this pulled pork recipe. It’s smokey and sweet, with just a little kick. However, you can use your favorite brand of barbecue sauce in your pulled pork with no change to the water content.

If you prefer homemade, my friend Alyssa has an awesome homemade BBQ sauce recipe.

When serving those with dietary needs (gluten-free or even just picky kids), you can even make the pulled pork without using any BBQ sauce in the pot. I’d probably add some spices or liquid smoke to the meat before cooking to infuse some flavors. Then, just remove a portion of the meat and stir in the barbecue sauce to the remaining portion.

As far as which spices, the sky is the limit! Keep things simple with a teaspoon of onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Like a spicy barbecue? Then add some cayenne pepper or chili powder.

Pressure Cooker Easy Pulled Pork sandwich, with cabbage, celery, and potato chips

What Kind of Pressure Release to Use for Instant Pot Pulled Pork?

With long cooking meats, a natural pressure release is always best to lock in the flavor and prevent the meat from drying out. If you are in a hurry, I’ve found that a 10 minute natural release, followed with a quick release gets similar results.

Learn more about natural verse quick pressure release in my post.

How to Cook Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork from Frozen

If you didn’t have a chance to defrost your pork, you can cook from frozen. You will need to add 5 minutes per pound. Note that it will take longer to come to pressure.

White bowl showing how to shred easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork with two forks

How to Shred Pulled Pork

Can add some more time if the meat isn’t shredding easily?- meat should shred easily after the cook time. Leaner cuts may not shred as well. If this is the case, you can try adding increments of 10 minutes onto the cook time.

I used my stand mixer to shred 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.

How to Double or Half the Recipe for Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

I have gotten a number of questions about doubling our reducing the size of the recipe. You can increase the meat without adding more liquid, just be sure not to fill the pot more than 2/3 full and make sure there is space around the sides of the pot so that it can come to pressure.

If you are using a smaller piece of meat, you will still want to use the same cook time, but just use half the barbecue sauce called for when cooking.

plated Instant Pot Pulled Pork sandwich

How to Cook Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork in an 8-quart Pressure Cooker

This recipe was developed for a 6-quart pressure cooker. If you are using a larger piece of meat, you may want to use a larger pressure cooker. Just be sure to add enough liquid to have the minimum for the pot to come to pressure. For an 8-quart, that would be a half cup of additional water. 

How to Serve Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork?

Pulled pork is a classic barbecue dish, it makes great sandwiches or sliders. I’ve even had readers use it to make pulled pork nachos.

What is your favorite way to serve pulled pork?Makes great sliders- serving option, could be excluded

Here is a quick video to show you how easy this recipe is.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork sandwich, with cabbage, celery, and potato chips

Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

Yield: 8 - 12 servings
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

If you have BBQ sauce and pork shoulder, you can make this awesome Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork! Fall-apart tender pork is served on a bun with a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce.


  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into two equal pieces
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce, divided, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Toasted rolls, for serving


  1. Select Saute to preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add the oil to the cooking pot. Brown pork on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Brown each half of the roast separately. Remove to a platter.
  2. Add 1 cup barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup water to the cooking pot. Stir to combine. Add browned pork and any accumulated juices to the pot.
  3. Lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 75 minutes.
  4. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker allow the pressure to release naturally (approximately 20 minutes).
  5. When the 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.)
  6. Strain cooking liquid, reserving 1/2 cup. (Optional: Use a fat separator to separate fat from the juices.)
  7. 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.
  8. Serve on toasted rolls with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.


Don't substitute a leaner cut of meat with this recipe. The pork shoulder will release lots of juices and fat, and your meat will be extra tender and flavorful. If you're making it in a stove top pressure cooker or in a 8 quart or larger electric pressure cooker, you will likely need to increase the water.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 545Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 587mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 36g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

More Great Pressure Cooker Pork Recipes:

Pressure Cooker BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Pressure Cooking Today
Pressure Cooker Country Style Pork Ribs, Pressure Cooking Today
Pressure Cooker Greek Tacos, Pressure Cooking Today
Instant Pot Low-Carb Green Chile Pork Taco Bowl, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Instant Pot Apple Cider Pork Loin, Copykat Recipes
All our Pork Recipes, Pressure Cooking Today

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Picture collage of pressure cooker bbq pulled pork
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