Pulled Pork – Instant Pot

This super easy Pulled Pork is amazing if you're having family or friends over! Eat it in on a bun, mixed into any number of dishes, or on its own!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pulled Pork
Author: Kim Baker


  • 4 pounds pork shoulder picnic cut into 4 – 8 pieces
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

BBQ sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  • Mix all the dry rub ingredients and rub it all over the pork shoulder picnic pieces. Then, put the pork shoulder in the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight.
  • Heat up your Instant Pot by pressing the Sauté button. Wait until the indicator says HOT.
  • Optional Step – Brown the Pork Shoulder: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pot. Ensure to coat the oil over the whole bottom of the pot. Add the pork shoulder pieces into the pot. Brown the pork shoulder on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Pour in half of the Pulled Pork BBQ Sauce and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Then, add in the remaining BBQ sauce mixture.
  • Place all the pork shoulder pieces into the pot. If you left the skin on, make sure the skin side is facing up. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 60 minutes. Turn off the heat and fully Natural Release (roughly 15 minutes).
  • Open the lid carefully. Take one piece of pork shoulder out and see if you can shred through the meat easily with two forks. If it is not fork-tender, cook for an additional 10 to 20 minutes at High Pressure, fully Natural Release.
  • Use Pulled Pork Shredder Claws or two regular forks to shred the pork shoulder meat. Use a fat separator to separate the fat from the BBQ sauce.
  • Reduce the BBQ sauce to your desired thickness. Taste the BBQ sauce and add in additional brown sugar or kosher salt if desired. Place the pulled pork back into the BBQ sauce. Mix well and serve!


Pressure Cooking Times: the pressure cooking times depending on the size of your pork shoulder pieces from a 4 pounds pork shoulder picnic: If it’s cut into 8 pieces: roughly 55 – 60 minutes pressure cooking time. If it’s cut into 4 pieces: roughly 60 – 70 minutes pressure cooking time. If it’s cut into 2 pieces: roughly 75 – 80 minutes pressure cooking time


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