Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Cooking Tips:
- Although browning the pork is not necessary, browned pork does add extra flavor. Just use a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the instant pot set on saute and brown each of the pork chunks.
- Molasses gives your instant pot pulled pork a subtle caramel flavor that blends well with the BBQ sauce.
- What kind of liquid you use for this instant pot pulled pork recipe is completely up to you. Some people use water because they want the full taste of the BBQ sauce. However, adding your favorite beer, soda, or broth can make a big difference.
- Also, be sure to keep some unused cooking liquid in an airtight container to use when reheating your pressure cooker pulled pork.
- In addition, remember that the cooking time may vary depending on the size and make of your instant pot.
- Make sure to use your favorite barbecue sauce, I usually choose a honey-based barbecue sauce or bourbon, the latest is by far my favorite.
- Also, I dont like using water when I cook pork. Usually, I add beer, and here again, you can use your favorite. My go-to is a beer like Yuenglings.
- Alternatively, if you dont want to use alcohol, you can replace the beer with soda. Something like Coke or Dr. Pepper works well.
- Always save some cooking liquid, and store the pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge. I always top it with some cooking liquid to keep it moist.
How To Shred Pulled Pork And Reduce The Juices
The easiest way to shred the pulled pork is to use two forks. If youve cooked it correctly, it will be so tender this step will be almost effortless.
And its a good indicator of whether you cooked it for long enough- if it doesnt fall apart to the touch, it likely needs a longer cooking time to make it more tender.
I remove the pork from the instant pot and place it on a rimmed baking sheet or large plate, to collect any juices .
While Im shredding the pork, I set my pressure cooker to sauté and reduce the cooking juices by about half. This will concentrate the flavor a ton, making a delicious base for the shredded pork to swim in.
Then I shred the pork with two forks, add it BACK to the instant pot with the reduced juices, and serve it from there!
How Do You Make Instant Pot Pulled Pork A Freezer Meal
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Should I Brine Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Whether or not to brine instant pot BBQ pulled pork is up to you. I feel that if you are cooking it in the instant pot under all of that pressure, then it is not necessary to brine the meat to achieve tenderness. It will naturally become tender during the cooking process.
If you were to cook the pulled pork in the oven, brining it would add to its tenderness that oven-cooked meat will not get on its own.
Here is a quick recipe on how to brine the meat:
- 3 Tbsp of dry rub spice mix
Tips For The Perfect Dish
- Browning the meat adds a few minutes to the prep time, but it brings a lot of extra flavor to the pulled pork, so its worth it.
- Homemade spice rub is best, but you can use store bought in a pinch.
- Cutting the roast into a few larger pieces helps it to cook quickly and evenly.
- For an extra level of flavor, you can add up to a teaspoon of liquid smoke if you have it on hand.
- This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Coat the meat in spices and brown as directed, then cook for 8 hours on low with the broth and BBQ sauce. Shred the meat, add more BBQ sauce, then serve.
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How Many Pounds Of Pork Can You Put In An Instant Pot
When we make instant pot pulled pork we usually use a 4-pound roast, but there is still some space inside which would accommodate a bigger piece of meat. Its possible to put a 5-6 pound piece of pork butt in an instant pot.
Just adjust the timing by adding a couple of extra minutes to the cooking time to allow for the bigger Boston butt roast.
Can I Cook The Pork From Frozen
You can make pulled pork from a frozen pork roast in the Instant Pot. However, you will need to adjust this recipe slightly to get the best outcome. Since the meat is frozen, it wont take a rub well, and you wont be able to sear it first, so you will lose some flavor in the process. However, it can be done.
If cooking from frozen, put the broth and all the spices from the rub into the inner pot and stir it up. Place the roast in the liquid. Close the lid and set to pressure cook for 90 minutes. This extended time is necessary not only because the meat was frozen, but because its in a full roast, rather than smaller pieces.
If after 90 minutes and a natural pressure release, the meat is not fork tender, cut the roast in half or in 4 pieces and pressure cook it again for 10-15 minutes, depending on how firm it is.
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How To Shred Pulled Pork
Can add some more time if the meat isnt 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. Its quick and easy, but be sure and remove as much fat from the pork as possible before shredding it in the mixer.
How Much Pulled Pork Do I Need Per Person
Thats the quintessential question especially for a party! A good rule of thumb is 6 oz of cooked pulled pork per person . Notice I said cooked pulled pork per person, not pork. As you cook pork , it loses weight as the water is released and cooked away. Basically you want to double the amount of cooked pork, and thats how much raw pork you need. Also, know your guests 10 hungry adults or athletes are going to eat more than 10 kids
So for a party of 10 people, 10 people x 6 oz = 60 oz of cooked pulled pork. 60 oz x 2 = 120 oz of raw pork meat. So youd need to pick up 7 1/2 lbs of pork loin/shoulder/butt for your party. Make sense?
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How To Reheat Pulled Pork
Heres the tricky part. Many people avoid pulled pork meal prep because reheating pulled pork is problematic, to say the least. Pulled pork tends to dry out when reheated. Sigh. No one wants to lose the tenderness and juiciness of pulled pork. And you dont have to.
Remember when I told you not to throw away the leftover sauce? That leftover sauce is the secret to reheating pulled pork and keeping it tender and juicy.
How To Store Leftovers:
- Store: According to the US Department of Agricultures food safety guidelines, leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for three-four days with the remaining cup of cooking liquid.
- Freeze: To freeze leftover instant pot pulled pork, use a freezer bag or another airtight container. If properly stored in the freezer at 0 F degrees or less, the pork will last up to 6 months, however, I prefer to store mine only for about 3 months, after that it changes its texture.
- Thaw: For best results, put leftovers in the fridge to thaw overnight before reheating.
- Reheat: Reheat your instant pot pulled pork in the microwave with some of the reserved cooking liquid. Another option is to add it to a large saucepan over medium heat, and heat it up, stirring occasionally. If needed add more bbq sauce or scoop up extra liquid if there is too much. Stir well to combine to make sure it heats up uniformly.
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What Kind Of Bbq Sauce Do You Use For Pulled Pork
You can use your favorite store bought or homemade barbecue sauce. In the recipe card below, I combine store bought BBQ sauce with other ingredients to create my own pulled pork BBQ sauce. I also add a bit of broth to prevent the pressure cooker from showing a burn error. More about this error below.
What Should I Serve With This
- Salsa Verde, this is my favorite salsa and tastes fantastic with pork!
- Mexican Rice just about the most perfect Mexican side dish, serve the pork alongside it, or just pile some on top of a bowl and enjoy.
- replace the chicken in this Enchilada Recipe for a delicious meal.
- Empanadas fill them with this pork for a great flavor!
- The BEST Potato Salad, great if you want to serve this pork on a bun with bbq sauce and have a quick bbq without heat up the grill.
Corn and pork go hand in hand
If youre looking to eat this low carb, just pile the pork on top of a bowl of shredded cabbage and then add your favorite toppings. I eat it this way if Im avoiding the carbs. If you want to see more of my LOW-CARB recipes click here.
And if you love your Instant Pot as much as I do be sure to look at my post on cooking chicken in a pressure cooker.
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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. Its 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 , you can even make the pulled pork without using any BBQ sauce in the pot. Id 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.
How To Shred Pork With A Food Processor
Shredding pork in a food processor takes seconds but its important to use the proper technique and blade to get perfect shreds. Heres how to do it:
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Can I Cook This Without A Pressure Cooker/instant Pot
Stove Top cook pork for at least 2 and 1/2 hours in a large stockpot or dutch oven .
Slow CookerCrock Pot cook on high for 6-7 hours, on low for 10 hours for 4-5 lbs.
I used to cook the pork whole or cut in half. I now cut it smaller into 2-inch pies and reduce the timing, so dont be afraid to cut it smaller to speed up the cooking time.
How Long To Cook Pulled Pork In The Instant Pot
The amount of time you need to cook pork in the Instant Pot will vary based on the cut.
- Pork Loin. For a 4-to-5-pound pork loin, pressure cook for 40 minutes on high, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Pork Shoulder/Butt. For a 4-to-5-pound pork shoulder or pork butt, cook the pork for 1 hour on high pressure, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Pork Tenderloin. I do not recommend this cut for pulled pork, as it will be too dry. See more in the ingredients section below.
Tips For Best Results
- Pork roast size: The size of your Instant Pot will best determine what size to use. A 6 qt pot will fit a 4 lb roast and an 8 qt pot will fit a 5 lb roast.
- Smoked paprika: You can for sure use regular paprika if you dont have smoked paprika. Make sure to use liquid smoke, though, otherwise you will definitely miss out on the signature smoky flavour you want. You can find liquid smoke usually in the condiment aisle of your grocery store or on Amazon.
- Fresh herbs: The herbs add a lovely freshness to the slaw that is so good but totally optional.
- Apple cider vinegar: To add a little acidic balance to the creaminess of the coleslaw, mixing in a bit of ACV does the trick.
- Toast buns: Adds flavor and texture to your bbq pulled pork sandwich!
Ingredients For Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork
Pork The best cut of meat is either a boneless shoulder roast or butt roast. Other cuts of meat to look for are blade roast, pork butt, or Boston butt. We prefer more marbled pork roast over pork loin for both flavor and texture.
Frozen pork can be used as long as it is cut before freezing. Skip the searing in step 2 and add 5-7 minutes to the cooking time.
Seasoning Pre-made pork rub will work in a pinch, but the easy pork rub in the recipe is next-level and uses spices you likely have on hand!
Liquid Youll need a bit of liquid to create pressure. We love the subtle flavor of root beer adds . Dr. Pepper or cola will work too! Dont have soda? Use chicken broth, water, or apple juice in place.
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What Cut Of Meat For Pulled Pork
The best cuts of meat for pulled pork in the instant pot are PorkButt/Boston Butt and Pork Shoulder. They are both similar to each other and are from the same part of the pig.
They are not lean cuts of meat that get tougher as they cook too long, but instead are a more fatty cut which is just what you need for pulled pork.
When the meat cooks down over a long period of time, like in a slow cooker, or under pressure from the instant pot, it gets more tender because of the fat.
How To Make This Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe
STEP ONE: Grease the Instant Pot with olive oil.
STEP TWO: Place the pork pieces to the bottom of the pot.
STEP THREE: Mix the BBQ sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl.
STEP FOUR: Sift all seasonings together in a separate small bowl.
STEP FIVE: Pour sauce and seasoning mix over the pork in the Instant Pot.
STEP SIX: Add apple cider vinegar and chicken broth.
Chicken broth is the perfect liquid for pressure cooking pork. It adds flavor that you simply wont get with water.
STEP SEVEN: Place and lock lid and set valve to sealing.
STEP EIGHT: Press manual, set to high pressure for a 1 hour cook time. Once done, allow the pot to naturally release for 10 minutes. Carefully release any remaining pressure by turning the valve to venting.
STEP NINE: Remove cooked pork to a cutting board and shred.
STEP TEN: While shredding, reduce the remaining liquid in the instant pot by half by turning on the saute function and simmering for approximately 15 minutes, stir occasionally.
STEP ELEVEN: Add pork back to remaining liquid, stir well to combine.
STEP TWELVE: Serve pulled pork on buns.
Toast the burger buns before serving with the pulled pork.
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How I Make This Recipe
Pulled pork is super easy to make in the Instant Pot and turns out the juiciest, crowd-pleasing, delicious grub in a few simple steps.
To start, trim the pork and cut into pieces if it’s too large for your Instant Pot like I did in these photos. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Then combine the dry rub spices and coat the pork on all sides.
Sear all sides of each piece of pork using the ‘Saute’ setting in the Instant Pot. Deglaze the pot by adding a splash of broth and scrape the brown bits off the bottom. This is “liquid gold”).
Pressure cook the pork on HIGH for 45 min pressure cook with 15 min natural pressure release .
Transfer pork pieces to a tray or bowl. Shred the pork into smaller, bite-sized pieces with meat claws or two forks. Serve warm.