Instant Pot Pork Shoulder (For Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Tacos, & More)

I love my Instant Pot. I can easily get supper on the table in under an hour, and it makes meal prep so much easier. This Instant Pot Pork Shoulder recipe is the perfect example of that. You can use it to meal prep for lunches later in the week, or simply eat the pulled pork hot in tacos or on a sandwich!

If you already do a lot of cooking at home you’ll know that pulled pork is usually a fairly long process which requires either braising in the oven or slow cooking a tough cut of pork in a crock pot. With the Instant Pot you avoid all of this. No more day long cooking sessions!instant pot pulled pork tacos on a white plate

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The Benefits Of Pressure Cooking Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder is inherently a tough cut of meat. As it’s name suggests it comes from the shoulder of a pig which sees a lot of movement in it’s life. Muscles which are moved a lot become stronger. These muscles are usually packed with collagen and other connective tissues making them tougher then cuts such as tenderloins which are located right next to the spine and barely move.

Usually you would slow cook these types of tough cuts over a long period of time to help break down the collagen and connective tissues. This helps make the meat super tender and fall apart.

By using a pressure cooker such as the instant pot, we can take advantage of the faster cooking speeds which are achieved while under pressure, to break down these tough tissues in under an hour! – Chef Markus Mueller

Instant Pot BBQ Pork Shoulder

This pulled pork recipe is so easy to make, you’ll kick yourself for not trying it sooner. It doesn’t matter if you use a bone in pork shoulder or a boneless one, frozen or thawed. The method remains the same.

While this Instant Pot pork shoulder recipe is a BBQ one, you can easily change the spice mix to a Cajun spice mix, or Mexican style pulled pork!

Related:  Making Your Own Blackened Seasoning (Cajun Seasoning)

Lets get started:

You’ll need:

  • 1  2.8lb Pork Shoulder (I used bone in)
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 3 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Black pepper
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 2 cups Chicken stock

For maximum flavor you can mix all the spices together, dry rub the pork shoulder and let it sit to marinate overnight. This will help infuse the spices into the meat itself and not just into the sauce.

Most people will never be able to taste the difference though so if your in a hurry just toss everything into the Instant Pot in one go!

Place the pork shoulder in the Instant Pot, add the spices, chicken stock, and molasses.

a pork shoulder with various spices in a instant pot ready to be cooked.

Related:  Instant Pot Chicken Stock

Start The Instant Pot

Close the lid and make sure it is properly latched with the vent in the sealed position. Select the ‘Manual’ setting, and press adjust to select a cooking time for 45 minutes or more. If the pork shoulder is over 2.5 lb or bone in, select at least 60 minutes of cooking time.

Now the easy part, let the pork shoulder pressure cook, and do it’s thing for the selected amount of time. Once the cooking time is over and the Instant Pot beeps, you have two options.

  1. You can use the natural release method, (letting the pot cool and depressurize on it’s own),   if you set the instant pot to cook before heading to work or running an errand make sure you have selected the keep warm function before starting the program. This will keep the pork should hot until you get home
  2. Or, you can use the quick release method, and turn the steam release valve to ‘vent’ to de-pressurize the Instant Pot.

The option you choose depends one a few things. If you set the pork shoulder to cook before going to work, you can use the ‘Keep Warm’ function and let the pot depressurize naturally. If you’re in a rush and want to shred and eat the pork right away, use the quick release method.

A cooked pork shoulder in the instant pot after pressure cooking for 60 minutes

Shredding The Pulled Pork

It’s best to shred the pork shoulder while its still hot. It will go a lot faster and will literally fall apart/of the bone. Lift the cooked pork shoulder out of the instant pot and using two forks to easily pull apart /shred the meat.

Pork shoulder shredded in a steel bowl

If you used a bone in pork shoulder simply toss the bone out at this point.

“Save your pork bones and freeze them. Once you have a good amount make a delicious pork stock with them in your instant pot!” – Chef Markus Mueller

By now you should have a pile of deliciously tender pulled pork and a bunch of liquid in your instant pot. We’ll use this liquid to make a tasty sauce for the meat! The liquid should have naturally thickened while it was cooking with the pork shoulder, but if you feel it is a little thin, just use a cornstarch slurry to thicken it.

mixing the bbq sauce in with the shredded pork shoulder to make instant pot pulled pork

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

5 from 3 votes
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Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

This Instant Pot pork shoulder recipe yields fall of the bone tender BBQ pulled pork ideal for sandwiches, tacos, carnitas, and more!

Course Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword BBQ, gluten free, Instant Pot, Pork Shoulder, Pulled Pork
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 portions
Calories 3764.6 kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 2.8 lb Pork Shoulder I used a bone in pork shoulder, but bonless may be used as well
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup Molasses

BBQ Spice Mix

  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 3 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Black pepper
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar

Instructions

  1. For maximum flavor you can mix the BBQ spices together, dry rub the pork shoulder and let it sit to marinate overnight.

  2. Place the pork shoulder in the Instant Pot, add the spices, chicken stock, and molasses.
  3. Close the lid and make sure it is properly latched with the vent in the sealed position.
  4. Select the 'Manual' setting, and press adjust to select a cooking time of 45 minutes or more.

  5. Once the cooking time is over and the Instant Pot beeps, you have two options.
  6. You can use the natural release method or, you can use the quick release method, and turn the steam release valve to 'vent' to de-pressurize the Instant Pot. Select which method suits your needs at the time.

  7. Lift the cooked pork shoulder out of the instant pot and using two forks to easily pull apart /shred the meat. Shred the pork shoulder while its still hot. It will go a lot faster and will literally fall apart/of the bone.

  8. Use the remaining liquid to make a tasty sauce for the meat! The liquid should have naturally thickened while it was cooking with the pork shoulder, but if you feel it is a little thin, just use a cornstarch slurry to thicken it.

Recipe Notes

Save your pork bones and freeze them. Once you have a good amount make a delicious pork stock with them in your instant pot

 

If the pork shoulder is over 2.5 lb or bone in, select at least 60 minutes of cooking time.

© 2018, Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire. All rights reserved. Please contact Earth, Food, and Fire, if you wish to use any media or other content contained on this site.

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This Instant Pot pork shoulder recipe yields fall of the bone tender bbq pulled pork ideal for sandwiches, tacos, carnitas, and more! #instantpot #pulledpork #bbq #tacos

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4 Comments

  1. I’m still getting acquainted with my Instant Pot, so I welcome this pork shoulder recipe! As I’m currently in the Southern US, where I spend time frequently, I appreciate the versatility of pulled pork. I must try making this when I get back home to my pressure cooker.

  2. Bernice Hill

    Instant Pot makes everything crazy easy. I’ve never done anything from frozen before though, I’ll have to give it a try!!

  3. I still have resisted getting an instant pot. I always do pulled pork in the slow cooker. But I’m getting more and more convinced! Thanks for this great post!

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