Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is tender and juicy with loads of flavor. It’s a versatile weeknight recipe that is great when served on a bun, on sandwich rolls, or even on baked potatoes. Follow these keys to success for perfect results every time.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
Key to Success #1 – Sear the Pork
One of my favorite things about cooking in the Instant Pot is that you can often cook your entire meal in one pot.
This Instant Pot recipe is no different.
The saute setting is perfect for searing meats before you pressure cook them.
After you trim the pork butt, cut it into about 4 pieces depending on the size of your pork.
You want each chunk of pork to be about 1 pound each so if your pork butt is 4 pounds, you’ll end up with 4 pieces of meat.
Set the Instant Pot to saute and add in about a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
When the oil gets hot, add in two pieces of pork to brown.
Keep turning the pork until the pieces are browned on all sides. When browned, remove the pork to a plate and sear the other pieces.
Searing the pork will add lots of delicious flavor to your pulled pork. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step.
Key to Success #2 – Add Your Spices
After you sear the meat and scrape down the yummy bits inside the inner pot, you’ll add the pork back to the Instant Pot then pour over your BBQ sauce mixture.
To the two cups of BBQ sauce, you’ll add in brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Stir the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl then pour it over the pork.
To add extra flavor and liquid to the pulled pork, pour an entire can of Dr. Pepper over the pork and BBQ sauce.
This will add an extra layer of sweetness and flavor while the pork is cooking.
If you don’t have Dr. Pepper, you can try adding Coke, Pepsi, or Root Beer.
You can also use chicken broth or water.
Just be sure to add some type of liquid so that your Instant Pot will come up to pressure.
Key to Success #3 – Shred With Two Forks
The pork will cook at High Pressure for 45 minutes then allow the pressure to natural release for at least 10 minutes.
After this time, you can use the quick-release valve to release the pressure or you can continue to use the natural release.
After the pressure is released, use a pair of tongs to move the pork to a separate bowl and shred it using two forks.
You’ll want to take this opportunity to remove any pieces of fat or gristle that you see in the pork.
This is my biggest pet peeve about pulled pork that is commercially prepared!
It’s so disappointing to get a big piece of fat in a pulled pork sandwich.
After the pork is shredded, add in a cup or more of Head Country BBQ sauce and stir it all up.
I add right about a cup of BBQ sauce to my pork to moisten things up then let people add more sauce to their meat at serving time if they desire.
This pulled pork is great on sandwich buns or even on baked potatoes.
We love eating pulled pork on brioche buns.
Save this Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork recipe to your favorite Instant Pot board or your Pork Recipes board.
- 3-4 pound pork butt
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 cups Head Country Original BBQ Sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 can (12 oz) Dr. Pepper
- Trim pork butt and cut into 4-6 pieces. In 6-qt or larger Instant Pot, pour 2 Tbsp olive oil into inner pot and set Instant Pot to saute. Allow oil to heat up then add chunks of pork butt two or three at a time, turning occasionally until meat is browned.
- In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir to combine.
- Remove meat from Instant Pot and pour in 1/4 cup of water then quickly scrape down the brown bits from the pot.
- Return meat to Instant Pot then pour BBQ sauce mixture over the meat. Pour Dr. Pepper over the pork. Do not stir.
- Close Instant Pot lid and set to High Pressure for 45 minutes. Set pressure release valve to sealing.
- When cook time is up, allow Instant Pot to natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes then quick release the pressure.
- Remove meat from Instant Pot and place in a separate bowl. Shred meat with two forks, removing any remaining bits of fat or gristle. Add in 1 cup (or more) of BBQ sauce. Stir to combine.
Try substituting Coke, Pepsi, or root beer for the Dr. Pepper.
A 12-ounce can of Dr. Pepper = 1 1/2 cups.
Can substitute chicken stock or water for the Dr. Pepper.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 664Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 1631mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 1gSugar: 66gProtein: 44g