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Instant pot pulled pork sandwich with barbecue sauce

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Instant Pot Pulled Pork. When I don't have all day to smoke a pork shoulder, I turn to this recipe.



Pulled Pork

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch by 2-inch thick strips
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue rub (see below)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce (see below)

Barbecue Rub (2 tablespoons of my Homemade Barbecue Rub), or your favorite store-bought rub

  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt (or 2 teaspoons kosher salt)
  • ¾ tablespoon paprika
  • ¾ tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

Barbecue sauce (2 cups of my Easy BBQ Sauce), or your favorite store-bought sauce

  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or cheap yellow mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  • Hamburger buns
  • Dill pickle chips (optional)
  • Coleslaw (optional)
  • More BBQ sauce if needed


  1. Make the BBQ rub: (See Homemade BBQ Rub for more details) In a small bowl, stir the barbecue rub ingredients: Fine sea salt, paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir and mix until thoroughly combined, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar with your fingers. Set aside for later. (Or, use a tablespoon of store-bought BBQ rub)
  2. Make the BBQ sauce: (See Easy BBQ Sauce for more details) In a medium bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce ingredients: ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and soy sauce. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for later. (Or, use a cup of store-bought BBQ sauce.)
  3. Cut and season the pork shoulder: Cut the pork shoulder into 2-inch high by 2-inch wide strips. (Length doesn't matter, as long as they fit in your pressure cooker pot.) Sprinkle the pork shoulder strips with the BBQ rub.
  4. Pork and liquid into the pot: Pour the cup of water into the Instant Pot (or use the minimum liquid amount for your pressure cooker), and then add the liquid smoke. Stack the pork strips in the pot in a loose pile.
  5. Pressure cook the pork for 45 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric PC ("Manual" or "Pressure Cook" mode in an Instant Pot), or for 40 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure release naturally, about 15 more minutes. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes if you're in a hurry.)

  6. Shred and serve the pulled pork: Transfer the pork to a large platter with a rim. Shred the pork with a pair of forks, then drizzle with ½ cup of the barbecue sauce and toss to coat all the pork with sauce. Serve, either as plates of pulled pork or on hamburger buns as pulled pork sandwiches. Pass the extra barbecue sauce (and other accompaniments) at the table for people to add to their pork. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Pressure Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American