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PicOfTheWeek: Pressure Cooker Pork Testing

PicOfTheWeek - Pork Timings

PicOfTheWeek – Pork Timings

I wanted to pin down the timing of my favorite cut of pork in the pressure cooker, so I set up a three way test. Each pressure cooker got 3 pounds of pork western shoulder ribs (1 1/2 to 2 inch thick strips of pork shoulder) and a half a cup of water. Then we had a taste test. The results?

  • 20 minutes is not long enough – the pork was tender enough to be edible, but just barely.
  • 40 minutes is fork tender – the pork shredded when pressed with a fork.
  • 60 minutes is easy to shred – the pork falls apart when you look at it, let alone press on it with a fork.

So, 45 minutes is my new “default” pork timing. (I’m giving it an extra five minutes, just in case.) That gives me “ribs” that just barely hold together. It’s also good, because that’s what I’ve used the most in my older posts.1

That said, if the end goal is shredded meat (for pork tacos, say), then I’m going with a full 60 minutes of pressure cooking, so the pork is coming apart as I try to lift it out of the cooker.

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Filed under: PicOfTheWeek


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Jorge says

    What about from frozen? I have some so maybe I’ll try one out for lunch.

  2. Kimber Prince says

    Shred with hand blender while meat still warm! Best hack yet!

  3. Rita says

    Mike, do you have any idea what Western shoulder ribs are called elsewhere in the country? Judging from the picture, it doesn’t look like a cut I’ve seen at our 2 big supermarket chains in Atlanta unless it is similar to our “country ribs,” which sometimes come with a small bone, often with none when they are cut from the butt into about 1- to 2-inch-thick strips, so I’m wondering if these are the same cut as yours.


    • No country ribs are a different cut. These are pork shoulder roasts cut into 1 1/2 inch strips. Country ribs are cut from the loin, and act more like pork loin chops. Buy a pork shoulder roast and cut it yourself (or ask your butcher to do it for you. )

      • Rita says

        Yes, you are right. A lot of people say that butt and shoulder are the same thing. Maybe it is a regional thing down here. Even the butcher at Costco cuts it from a butt, as he himself told me. If I can catch him or another of the butchers I think I’ll double check that. It would be so nice if they would standardize the meat cuts terminology.

        Your pressure cooker recipes have been a consistent hit in our family. I’m looking forward to the next one.

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