Instant Pot Pulled Pork

This little piggy went to market…

Pulled Pork. Another thing everyone’s been asking me to make all the time. Well, that time has come.

Yes, the most succulent, tender, juicy and flavorful pulled pork with such little effort, it almost seems too good to be true. Except it isn’t. Not by a longshot.

So start getting pulled in the right direction because your Instant Pot is going to have this ready in a fraction of a time that your slow cooker did and it’s also going to taste even better! No “ifs,” “ands,” or “butts” about it!

Here’s How I Made It!: 

Start by blending together a spices you probably already have on hand.

Then take a nice pork butt or shoulder (same thing really). Even better if it’s boneless, but if you can’t find that, bone-in is fine.

Slice off any really thick fat pads…

…and then cut the meat into as many section as there are pounds (or as best as possible). This allows the meat to be as seasoned as possible and for maximum flavor. (If using a bone-in butt/shoulder, you can just leave it whole and then slide the bone out after cooking)

Take some liquid smoke

…and place in a small bowl.

Then, take a basting brush and dip it in the liquid smoke…

…and brush it on all sides of each piece of pork.

Then, take the blended seasonings…

…and rub it on all the pork (there may be some irony present with a bunch of pork butt resting on a plate that says “Happy Hanukkah”).

Now take an onion…

…and slice it into 4 wedges.

Then, go to your Instant Pot and lay the onion wedges in it, rounded size down to serve as a foundation…

…for the pork shoulder/butt that we’ll lay on top of it.

Now take some soda…

…and pour it into the pot (but not directly on the seasoned pork so the spice rub gets washed off – just to the side of it is fine). Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.

When done, remove the pork with some tongs…

…along with skimming out the onions using a slotted spoon…

…and place in a large mixing bowl.

Also reserve some of the juices from the pot…

…and add it to the mixing bowl with the pork and onions. (If the bone was in your pork when you cooked it, slide the meat off it no and discard.)

Now you have options on how to pull (shred) your pork. You can either shred it apart with two forks or shredding claws OR use a stand mixer or hand mixer. I used a stand mixer because I was lazy and I like my pork pulled very finely so it’s almost fluffy.

I used the paddle attachment and started on the lowest possible speed so the pork didn’t flail everywhere and then, once some “pulling” occurred, I worked the speed up a notch.

You can choose how coarse or fine you’d like to shred your pork. The choice is yours! I like mine of the finer side so it looks like this.

Finally, add in your favorite BBQ sauce…

…and mix it in (after tasting, feel free to season however else you wish – be it Sriracha, chili powder, or whatever else make you happy).And that’s it! You’re ready to serve some seriously incredible Pulled Pork!

Take a roll of some sort (I LOOOOOVE potato rolls)…

…spoon on some of that amazing pulled pork…

…and come to papa!

…bite into it like a vampire would someone’s neck.

Or if you’re being carb conscious, just eat it on its own!

Yup. That’s fine darn fine pulled pork!

Serve it with my always requested Magical Macaroni Salad!

Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork tastes so friggin' good it's hard to believe how easy it is to make in the Instant Pot. Make it Keto or Paleo with a sugar-free BBQ sauce.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder or butt cut into slices per pound ratio; so 3 pounds means cut into 3 slices. (Note: If you can only find a bone-in pork butt/shoulder, don’t worry about cutting the meat before cooking; Just cook it all at once and remove the meat from the bone before you shred – it should fall off easily). If you wish to double the meat, see the “Jeffrey Sez” section of the recipe
  • 1 tbsp of liquid smoke (can be found near the BBQ sauce in your market)
  • 1 tbsp of light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of onion powder
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt (oh, the irony)
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 large Spanish onion, quartered
  • 2 cups of Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce (to me, Sweet Baby Ray’s is where it’s at)
  • Potato rolls or hamburger buns, for making sandwiches (optional)


  1. Mix all the spices together until well blended
  2. If using a boneless pork butt or shoulder, cut the pork into 2 or 3 pieces, brush on the liquid smoke and then coat with the spices. If using a bone-in, just leave the meat in tact and it will easily remove from the bone once cooked
  3. Place the quartered onions in the Instant Pot, round side down as a foundation, and lay the pork pieces on top of them. Pour in the soda to the side of the pork (so it doesn’t pour directly on the meat and have the spices wash off)
  4. Secure the lid and press “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 60 minutes. Allow a 10 minutes natural release when done (meaning you do nothing for 10 minutes until the display reads either “00:10” or “L0:10”) followed by a quick release
  5. When done, remove the pork with tongs and place in a bowl along with all the onions (use a slotted spoon to skim them out). Reserve 1/4 cup of the juices that are in the pot and discard the rest. If your butt/shoulder had a bone in it before you cooked, remove the meat from it now and discard
  6. You can now either shred the pork and onion with a pair of forks or shredding claws OR shred with a stand mixer or hand mixer.  If using a stand or hand mixer, start on the lowest speed and then work up to the next speed once it’s shredded a bit. How much you shred is up to you. If you want it softer and fluffier, shred it more/longer. If you want it more strand-like and substantial, shred it less. The choice is yours!
  7. Add in the BBQ sauce once shredded and mix together well
  8. Enjoy with my mega-popular Magical Macaroni Salad!

Jeffrey's Tips

Want to make double the amount of pork? Great! Pig out! Simply add more meat to the pot (but you may have to get clever with how much you maneuver the meat to fit in a 6qt (an 8qt has more real estate for this). Just double the spices for rubbing, onions and the BBQ sauce at the end. Everything else (the soda and the cooking/release time) remain the same!

Seasoning your pulled pork is totally subjective to each set of taste buds. While this recipe will provide wonderful flavor, it isn’t spicy at all. So feel free to spice it up with some Sriracha, chili powder, Creole/Cajun seasoning, or anything else you wish!

Carb conscious? Use lettuce to wrap it in instead of a bun!

Freezes great and reheats easily!

Enjoy with my mega-popular Magical Macaroni Salad!

Reader Interactions


  1. Stacy

    Great recipe. Love the tips. I used a 4lb bone in pork shoulder and after 65 minutes at high pressure and 40 mins of NPR it was not fall off the bone tender. So back in for another 30 minutes with 15 NPR it was absolutely perfect. I have an 8L instant pot and used 1.5 cups root beer.

  2. Michelle

    This was very good and easy to make. I think it was even good without the bbq sauce. Would be good on top of a baked potato as well.

  3. Russell Leonard

    For the pork I used boneless shoulder for carnitas (already in Chunks) and for my soda I used A&W root beer. I choose Stubbs original bbq sauce. This is so good……

  4. Rachel

    Same experience. I have used 6lbs bone in and had to put it the pot for another hour.
    An excellent recipe! The family loves it! We have made it numerous times.

  5. Heather

    This was so good. I am definitely to make it again. I put the rub on the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I also used chicken stock instead of soda, but I am wondering if anyone has used diet soda for this recipe? For the barbecue sauce, I used no sugar added Sweet Baby Rays original.

    • Elizabeth Ussher

      Last night I did 8 lbs for 25 firefighters and Deputy Sheriffs. I served with Hawaiian rolls but most just did the pork. It was literally completely gone. I’d go with at least 10 lbs for 30, maybe 11

    • Will

      Super late reply but rule of thumb is half pound per person will feed everyone with leftovers. Works well for any large protein like this with bones and fat that will be discarded. It has never let me down.

    • Dawn

      No, pork has a lot more fat & is tougher. Cooking chicken that long would make it really dry. I’d recommend searching for another recipe, “IP bbq chicken” perhaps?

  6. Kathyrn

    GREAT recipe! It was a hit at my house. I used more BBQ sauce from what was in the recipe. I used Golden Hawaiian Artesano Dinner Rolls Bakery Bread. And Of course had to make sure we topped it off with some coleslaw!

  7. Sharon

    I used a 4 lb. pork shoulder with bone in. After reading the previous review, I cooked it for 93 min. with 40 min. natural release. It was not tender. Please update the recipe to include this info since cutting the roast helps to tenderize it. I didn’t cut it since it had a bone in it. How long would you suggest to cook a bone-in roast? Would 2 hours be too long? Thank you for your website.

  8. Devonnah

    From the first time I made this, it has been a constant in our home. I try to make it once a month or so. I was never a huge pork fan, but this recipe converted me!! Also, try serving them on Hawaiian rolls. It totally ups the flavor!! Continued success and I send my love to you and Richard!

  9. Wayne

    Any reason why you can’t put the pop in before you put in the meat? This way you don’t have to worry about pouring down the side and washing off the spices.

  10. Ceil

    This recipe is fantastic! I had been using a different recipe for years in a crockpot that I didn’t really care for. I made this one today and OMG. It’s delish!

  11. Cindy

    I’ve made pulled pork in a slow cooker but I think this might be the first time in an instant pot. Oh my God, the most tender pulled pork I’ve ever had. It was delicious, to say the least.

  12. Mark Broomfield-Ranney

    I want to try to make this sometime soon. This is a tidbit of information I learned in Media Law class in college. There is no period in “Dr Pepper”. One of the students did a paper about it, and used a period. The professor counted off for every instance! That has stuck with me more than anything else I learned in that class. It was required to graduate, but that silly lesson is the one that stuck with me. I hope Dr. Woodsworth doesn’t see this recipe and count you off! 😀

  13. Chris

    Love your recipes!!! I’m a big fan! The pulled pork is great! When I don’t have hours to cook it on the green egg I can do this start to finish in about 90 minutes. The liquid smoke is a must. I was worried it would be too much but it wasn’t. A short cut I used on the seasoning was using a rib rub since it has just about all the same seasonings in it. Flavor was great. Thanks again for another great recipe!

  14. Daryl

    This pulled pork was excellent! I’ve made it a few times and it’s always a hit. I did a review of this recipe last week on my YouTube channel, The Real Deal Recipe Reviews, where I always try to make dishes as they’re originally written. I also plan to review more of your recipes because you were the one that really got us started using the instant pot years ago! We also have a few of your books.

  15. Lisa F

    I’m not a cook. By any means. But I just did 3lbs in my IP and it is AMAZING. Will definitely do this again!!! Thank you for a great and day recipe!

  16. Dana Goldsholle

    I’ve made this recipe so many times and it has been amazing. My store was out of boneless this time so purchased 4lb bone-in and it was way too tough to shred. Put in another 20 min and still too tough. Should have tried to cut into a few pieces even with the bone I’m thinking. Overall, love this website and follow all of Jeffrey’s recipes. Just think should be modified for bone-in as it’s taking forever and I ended up eating popcorn for dinner lol

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