Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is so juicy, tender and just falling apart, cooked in a fraction of the time by using an Instant Pot. It’s so flavorful because the meat is browned first and is then cooked with onion, garlic and orange juice as the secret ingredient. It’s perfect to use in tacos, burritos, on top of baked potatoes, nachos, in crepes, quesadillas, pasta dishes and as a pulled pork sandwich.

One of the best things about a pressure cooker is how quickly it cooks tough cuts of meats. If you’re a regular visitor here, then you know how much I love my Instant Pot. I use it several times a week. This recipe is one of my favorites. Pulled Pork is so satisfying, especially when it’s falling apart and so juicy and tender. It usually takes many hours to cook it through and then to get the collagen to break down and become tender. In the Instant Pot, it only takes an hour, depending on the size of your roast. If you cut the meat into smaller pieces, it takes even less than an hour. I browned the meat first (so convenient to have the Saute option on the Instant Pot) and the caramelization and seasonings give it so much more flavor, but I didn’t stop there. To add even more flavor, I added an onion, garlic and a bay leaf and orange juice.

Once you cook the meat, reduce the liquid left in the pot until you have a syrupy and delicious “sauce”. The cooked meat the gets returned to the pot and it all gets coated in this rich and savory magical flavor booster. You can use the pulled pork in so many different ways – tacos, burritos, Burrito Bowls, Loaded Nachos, on top of baked potatoes, in Savory Crepes, quesadillas, Russian Navy Style Pasta and much more. You can also add some barbecue sauce to the meat, which is also really tasty and make amazing Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon grape seed oil (or avocado oil)

4 – 4 1/2 lbs pork shoulder roast (sometimes called the Boston Butt, you can also use boneless country style ribs)

1 Tablespoon dry herb seasonings (a combination of any seasonings that you like) I used the 21 Seasonings Salute and Onion Salt from Trader Joe’s

1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large onion, cut in half

4-6 garlic cloves

1/2 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 dry bay leaf

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice

Instructions:

For this recipe, you can use a large boneless roast, or cut the roast into approximately 2 inch pieces. If you use the whole roast, you won’t have as much prep work, but the roast will take a little bit longer to cook. If you cut the roast into pieces, you can also remove more of the fat and gristle, and the pork will take less time to cook. Either way, it will be delicious.

Season the pork roast liberally with salt and ground black pepper on all sides. If your roast is 3 3/4 – 4 lbs, you will need about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, if the roast is more than 4 lbs, you will need about 2 teaspoons of salt. Make sure to be very generous with the salt, since it’s a very big piece of meat. Season the roast with your favorite dry herb seasonings. I used the 21 Seasonings Salute and Onion Salt from Trader Joe’s.

Using the “Saute”option, heat the oil in the insert until it is shimmering, using the highest heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides. Also add the onion, halved sides down, so that it has a chance to get golden while the roast is browning. You don’t have to brown the onion, but it gives a nice touch of added flavor. It also doesn’t take any additional effort, so, why not?

Add the garlic, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Pour in the water and the orange juice. Switch to the Manual option, High Pressure and cook the pork for 1 hour on high pressure. If you are using pork that you cut up into 2 inch pieces, cook for about 50 minutes. If your roast is more than 4 lbs, cook for 75-80 minutes.

Once the pork is cooked, it doesn’t matter if you use the Quick Release (where you open the valve and manually release the steam) or you use the Natural Release options. Take the pork out of the liquid and shred with two fork. It is so tender, it completely fall apart. Drain the remaining liquid through a fine mesh sieve, discarding everything except the strained liquid. I also take a spoon and skim off all the extra fat. Pour the liquid back into the Instant Pot, turn on the Sauté option and let it cook, on high heat, until it thickens and becomes syrupy, reducing almost in half, about 15 minutes. Add the pork back into the sauce.

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Instant Pot Pulled Pork

  • Author: Olga's Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Entree

Description

Pulled pork is so juicy, tender and just falling apart, cooked in a fraction of the time by using an Instant Pot. It’s so flavorful because the meat is browned first and is then cooked with onion, garlic and orange juice as the secret ingredient. It’s perfect to use in tacos, burritos, on top of baked potatoes, nachos, in crepes, quesadillas, pasta dishes and as a pulled pork sandwich.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon grape seed oil (or avocado oil)
  • 44 1/2 lbs pork shoulder roast (sometimes called the Boston Butt, you can also use boneless country style ribs)
  • 1 Tablespoon dry herb seasonings (a combination of any seasonings that you like) I used the 21 Seasonings Salute and Onion Salt from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 1/22 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 46 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Instructions

  1. For this recipe, you can use a large boneless roast, or cut the roast into approximately 2 inch pieces. If you use the whole roast, you won’t have as much prep work, but the roast will take a little bit longer to cook. If you cut the roast into pieces, you can also remove more of the fat and gristle, and the pork will take less time to cook. Either way, it will be delicious.
  2. Season the pork roast liberally with salt and ground black pepper on all sides. If your roast 3 3/4 – 4 lbs, you will need about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, if the roast is more than 4 lbs, you will need about 2 teaspoons of salt. Make sure to be very generous with the salt, since it’s a very big piece of meat. Season the roast with your favorite dry herb seasonings. I used the 21 Seasonings Salute and Onion Salt from Trader Joe’s.
  3. Using the “Saute”option, heat the oil in the insert until it is shimmering, using the highest heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides. Also add the onion, halved sides down, so that it has a chance to get golden while the roast is browning. You don’t have to brown the onion, but it gives a nice touch of added flavor. It also doesn’t take any additional effort, so, why not?
  4. Add the garlic, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Pour in the water and the orange juice. Switch to the Manual option, High Pressure and cook the pork for 1 hour on high pressure. If you are using pork that you cut up into 2 inch pieces, cook for about 50 minutes. If your roast is more than 4 lbs, cook for 75-80 minutes.
  5. Once the pork is cooked, it doesn’t matter if you use the Quick Release (where you open the valve and manually release the steam) or you use the Natural Release options. Take the pork out of the liquid and shred with two fork. It is so tender, it completely fall apart. Drain the remaining liquid through a fine mesh sieve, discarding everything except the strained liquid. I also take a spoon and skim off all the extra fat. Pour the liquid back into the Instant Pot, turn on the Sauté option and let it cook, on high heat, until it thickens and becomes syrupy, reducing almost in half. Add the pork back into the sauce.

Keywords: Instant Pot pulled pork, how to make pulled pork, pulled pork recipe, how to cook a pork shoulder in the Instant Pot, Pulled Pork in the Pressure Cooker

14 Comments

  • Alison

    This looks fantastic! After looking through your recipes, I finally brought my Instant Pot up out of the basement after only using it a couple of times and abandoning it a few years ago. Can’t wait to get started using it often!
    By the way, I am originally from Tampa Bay and my husband is from Belarus! I thought that was a funny coincidence.
    Thanks for so many great recipes!
    Alison

    • olgak7

      What a small world, Alison:). That is so cool – Tampa Bay AND Belarus:).
      I hope the Instant Pot helps to make your life easier, like it has for me.

    • olgak7

      Yes, you can do this, Alena. It works really well. I don’t can meat, so I’m not sure how you would do that.
      I actually freeze pulled pork and it works really well.

  • Tanya

    Made this twice already. Delicious! We rarely eat pork but when I purchased the insta pot I was experimenting with different recipes and decided to try this one. Thanks Olga.

  • Sara

    Can you provide instructions on how to do this on the stove/oven/crockpot for those of us who don’t have an Instant Pot? Looks delicious!!

    • olgak7

      I prefer boneless, you will get much more meat out of it, obviously, plus it’s easier to shred later. You can also use bone-in, though, if you can’t find boneless.

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