Perfect Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot

written by

Cara Noble

posted on

July 10, 2022

I'm gonna be honest, I'd never actually made pulled pork before this. All I'd heard before is that it gets cooked low and slow in order for it to get to that signature pull-apart stage. And doused in barbeque sauce of course.

So when I stumbled on this idea of doing it in the instant pot, I was all in. Pulled pork in a few hours rather than over an entire day? Count me in!

I first tried out this recipe when I had a few friends over for my birthday. Yeah, people say not to try out new recipes on guests, but combine some last minute planning in with a couple wobbly pops and next thing you know you're telling yourself a new recipe sounds like just the ticket, and if they don't like it then too bad for them. Plus, it was my birthday so I get to make the rules right?

But it turned out fantastic! So much so that I decided I needed to share it with all of you with this blog and take some photos to go along with it. Because there were no pictures from the first round, which is always a sign of a great time.

And what I especially liked about this recipe is that it wasn't just about the barbeque sauce. Sometimes some pulled pork that I've had almost feels like it has two ingredients: pork and barbeque sauce. And that's just not my preference, I like a deeper and more robust flavour, rather than just dousing it in sauce.

Ok on to the recipe! First, you need a Boston Butt Bone In Roast from us. If it has a bit of excess fat on it, you can trim that off. Most of ours are in that 4-6lb range, so you'll want to cut it into a few pieces. I'd aim for about one pound per piece as a rough estimate, but if you go a bit bigger that's ok. When I did mine it was over four pounds and I only cut it into three pieces because of how the bone went through it and it did just fine. The only thing you'll want to be a bit careful on is if you get one on the bigger side - the one that I did was over four pounds, but if you start pushing six you might want to think about taking the bone out so you don't crowd your pot too much.

Next, mix up the dry rub and season the pork generously with it.

It's ok to make a mess.

Then, turn your instant pot to the saute setting, let it heat up and put a little bit of oil in the bottom. Once it's hot, put the pork in and brown on all sides. You're probably supposed to do them one at a time, but I said heck with it and just dumped them all in, it's fine.

Once the pork has browned, remove it to a clean plate and turn off the instant pot. There will be some browned bits in the bottom, some might be a bit more "browned" than others, aka they look slightly burnt, but it's all good. If there are some pretty large chunks that look pretty burnt then you can pick them out, but I wouldn't worry too much about them. Plus you definitely don't want them all out, because there's a lot of flavour in there!

So then dump the chicken broth into the instant pot and scrape the brown bits off the bottom, then add the barbeque sauce, honey and apple cider vinegar and mix together. The vinegar gives the sauce a nice tang!

Add the pork back to the instant pot and cook at high pressure for an hour and 15 minutes. If you end up taking the bone out, you can probably cut this time back to an hour. Once time is up, let the instant pot sit for about twenty minutes, then release the rest of the pressure with the valve.

Remove the pork and use two forks to shred it. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce that's in the instant pot and turn it to saute so that the sauce can cook for about 5 minutes to thicken.

Like I said before, I'm more of a "less is more" type person when it comes to sauce. So I mixed some of the sauce into the pork, and reserved a portion of it for serving so that people could add more to their sandwiches as desired.

And of course the coleslaw! Can you really have a pulled pork sandwich without coleslaw? I mean I suppose technically. But let me just say this: someone from my household never eats cabbage anything, but raves about coleslaw on these sandwiches. I think that's all you need to know.

Enjoy with plenty of napkins!

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