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Shredded pork on a bed of rice, with an Instant Pot, jar of Recaito, and Sazon packets

Instant Pot Pernil Recipe

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 pounds of pork 1x


Instant Pot Puerto Rican Pulled Pork, inspired by Pernil al Caldero. The flavors of Puerto Rico from my pressure cooker, tender and shreddable in about an hour, with pantry ingredients I could find in my local markets.


  • 3-pound boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 4 pieces, each roughly 2-inches by 2-inches by 4-inches
  • 1 tablespoon Sazon with Coriander and Annatto (2 packets Goya Sazon)
  • 1½ teaspoons Adobo seasoning
  • 12- to 16-ounce jar Reciato Culantro (or Sofrito)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water


  1. Marinate the pork: Sprinkle the cut pieces of pork roast with the Sazon and Adobo, put them in a gallon zip-top bag or small baking dish, and cover with the Reciato Culantro (or Sofrito). Marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Brown the pork in 2 batches: Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot set to Sauté mode - High until the oil shimmers, about 3 minutes. (Medium-high heat with a stovetop PC). Remove half of the pork from the marinade, let the excess marinade drip off, then put the pork in the pan in a single layer. Let the pork sit in the pan until it is browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. (We are only searing the pork on one side). Move the browned pork to a plate, then put the rest of the pork in the pot, and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 more minutes.
  3. Everything in the pot: Pour a cup of chicken broth or water into an Instant Pot (or use the minimum liquid amount for your pressure cooker), and use a flat-edged wooden spoon to scrape loose any browned bits of pork stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the pork (and any juices) from the plate to the pot, stacking the pork in the pot in a loose pile. (Don't pack it in, we need space for hot steam to circulate around the pork.) Pour any marinade left in the bag over the pork.
  4. Pressure cook for 45 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, or for 40 minutes in a stovetop PC. (use Manual, Pressure Cook, or Pressure Cook-Custom mode in an Instant Pot). Let the pressure release naturally, for about 15 more minutes. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes if you're in a hurry.)
  5. Shred and serve the pork: Scoop the pork out of the pot with tongs and/or a slotted spoon, and move it to a large platter with a rim. Shred the pork with a pair of forks, drizzle with a cup of the cooking liquid, and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican