Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is incredibly tender & covered in mouthwatering, homemade smoky bbq sauce. My recipe is quick & easy to make and uses simple, everyday ingredients to create crowd pleasing feast! You will find slow cooker & oven instructions as well!
It's been a while since I've shared a recipe you can make in the Instant Pot* and as the season for garden parties & picnics is now in full swing, my famous BBQ pulled pork recipe seemed like a good one.
If you are a fan of pulled pork this one is out of this world good! Instant Pot or any pressure cooker makes it super quick and easy too! However, I do recognise that not everyone might own Instant Pot and so I've included detailed instructions for slow cooker* and oven. This recipe is simply too good not to make whatever the means!
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
Pork shoulder! You want a cut that is not too lean and shoulder is simply perfect. I would not recommend using pork loin here, the results will simply not be the same!
I would go for deboned, rolled shoulder. The piece I used in this recipe was 1.2kg/2.65lb in weight but once I've gotten rid of the outer layer of fatty rind I've ended up with 1kg/2.2lb worth of meat. You could use pork shoulder steaks or chunks too, whatever you've got access to and budget for. You can always use larger joint of meat as well (up to 2kg/4lb) without any change to the timings in the recipe below.
If you are are making your pulled pork in the oven, you can keep the rind on for a lovely crackling (see recipe instructions below). You can go for some crackling if you are using Instant Pot or slow cooker too, simply roast the rind in the oven separately.
Can I use shop bought BBQ sauce instead of making my own?
If you have your favourite BBQ sauce and you'd like to use it here instead of making your own, feel free to do so. Simply use 250ml/1cup of your favourite sauce in place of the homemade one.
We all love homemade BBQ sauce in this recipe and the amount yielded here is perfect for 1kg worth of meat. However if you find yourself in need of more sauce, you can always make a double batch as it stores well in the fridge (for up to a week) or you can freeze it (for up to 3 months).
How to serve Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork?
You might have already noticed my very favourite way of serving it! Sliders ladies and gentlemen! I absolutely adore these little buns (brioche ones for me) filled to the brim with melt in the mouth bbq pulled pork, some green onions and extra bbq sauce! Few sweet and sour gherkin slices on the side and that's me done!
Check out some other serving ideas:
- Easy Yogurt Bread Rolls - great alternative to brioche buns
- With my Perfect Greek Tzatziki or homemade Cucumber Raita
- With a side of Homemade Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico De Gallo)
- Easy Flatbread (No Yeast) - top it with bbq pulled pork to make flatbread pizza! Soo good!
- Creamy Summer Coleslaw
- Easy Grated Carrot Salad
- Baked Polenta Chips (Polenta Fries)
- Alongside this Aubergine, Tomato & Mozzarella Bake
- Use it instead of ham in this One Pot Leftover Ham and Pea Pasta
- Use it to make delicious Pulled Pork Burritos
Storing and freezing BBQ pulled pork
Keep bbq pulled pork in the airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze it shredded in the sauce in freezer safe bags/containers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, mix with extra bbq sauce if required.
How to make Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork - Step-By-Step Instructions
Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
- 1.2 kg boneless pork shoulder extra fat removed, meat cut in half (see notes)
- 125 ml chicken stock or water to deglaze Instant Pot
- 2 tbsp rapeseed/olive oil for searing meat
- 12 slider/burger buns to serve
- 1 tbsp demarara or brown sugar
- 2 tsp (heaped) smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ½ tbsp sea salt flakes
- ½ tbsp freshly ground pepper
- 6 tbsp demarara or brown sugar
- 6 tbsp tomato puree
- 6 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 60 ml watered down ketchup half ketchup half water
- Start with preparing your pork shoulder joint by cutting off any excess fat and cutting it into two or more large pieces (depending on the size of your meat joint).
- Put all the rub ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pop in your pork shoulder pieces and toss them in your rub until well covered. If you have time, cover the bowl and pop in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so otherwise move on to the next step.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Put 2 tbsp of oil in your Instant Pot and press "Sauté" function button which should be set to High. Sear your pork pieces on all sides for a few minutes until nicely browned (you might want to do this in batches).
- Once seared set your meat aside and turn off the Instant Pot by pressing "Keep Warm/Cancel" button. Use the chicken stock or water to deglaze the pot. Scrape all the "burnt" bits using wooden spoon.
- Prepare your BBQ sauce by mixing all the ingredients together in a jug. Pour it into the Instant Pot and mix in gently with the stock/water you used for deglazing. Sit the pork pieces in the sauce and put the lid on. Turn the vent to "Sealing" position and press Meat/Stew button making sure it's set on High and set the timer for 60 minutes. Once the time is up let the Instant Pot to do NPR (Natural Pressure Release) for 10 minutes and after that move vento into "Venting" position and do QPR (Quick Pressure Release). Make sure you take care when doing it as you don't want to get burnt.
- Open the Instant Pot and take out the pork which will be falling apart. Once again press the "Sauté" function button and let the BBQ sauce thicken up nicely which will take approx. 15 minutes. In the meantime shred the pork using two forks.
- Once the sauce has thicken up pour it into a jug or a jar. There will be visible layer of pork fat that will form on top which you can simply pour away before you mix some of the BBQ sauce with your pulled pork. Make sure you save some to serve on the side later.
- Serve with in buns as sliders or burgers with your choice of sides.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Follow the instructions above until you are ready to sear the meat. Heat up the oil in a large frying pan and sear your meat on all sides then set aside.
- Deglaze your frying pan with chicken stock or water and using wooden spoon scrape every single "burnt' bit of flavour. Pour the liquid into your slow cooker.
- Mix all the BBQ sauce ingredients together in a jug and add these to the slow cooker as well. Mix in gently with chicken stock/water you've used for deglazing.
- Add your seared pork pieces and nestle them in the sauce. Pop the lid on and cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours or on LOW 8-10 hours until fork tender and easily shreddable. If your BBQ sauce needs thickening up, simply pour it into the saucepan and reduce until nice and thick (see above). Mix some of the BBQ sauce with shredded pork serving rest on the side.
- For oven method you can keep the skin on if you'd like some crackling with your pulled pork. For this method you will keep the pork joint in one piece. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas Mark 3.
- Follow the instructions above for dry rub mix and coat your meat in it really well. Place your pork joint into the large roasting tin with 250ml (1 cup) of hot chicken stock or water. Cover the tin well with a large piece of aluminum foil (alternatively you could roast your pork in a large lidded casserole type pot and pop the lid on).
- Roast your meat covered for 4 hours and after that time take the foil/lid off and turn up the heat to 220C/425F/gas Mark 7 for approx 30 minutes to get that crackling.
- Take the roast out of the oven and gently remove the crackling. Using two forks shred the meat into pieces.
- For BBQ sauce, combine all the ingredients in the large jug and mix them into the pork juices. Simmer gently on the stove until reduced, thick and glossy. Mix some of the BBQ sauce with the pork and save some to serve on the side.
- Nutritional information is approximate, per serving of BBQ pulled pork (no buns) and should be treated as a guideline only.
- Feel free to use pork shoulder steaks or cubed pork shoulder instead of a joint. You can also use larger piece (up to 2kg/4lb) without affecting the timings. Feel free to keep the rind and cook it separately in the oven to make crackling.
- Feel free to use your favourite shop bought BBQ sauce instead, simply use 250ml/1cup instead of the homemade one.
- Store cooked bbq pulled pork in the fridge in the airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze in the sauce for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, mix with extra bbq sauce if required.
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