This Instant Pot Pork Butt recipe is a favorite for the whole family. The pork is coated in a dry rub, before being seared and cooked to fork tender perfection. Finish with your favorite BBQ sauce and enjoy! Instructions are also given for oven and slow cooking.
This delicious pork is hands down one of my favorite instant pot recipes. The electric pressure cooker will cook any large piece of meet in a fraction of the time it takes in the oven - often with better results too!
It's perfect for any tough cuts of meat and and even though the cook time is short the connective tissues will be broken down perfectly for that really tender meat.
I have used pork butt roast in this recipe - the high fat content helps the meat stay super juicy while it cooks. But you can also cook pork shoulder or any inexpensive cut of meat in exactly the same way.
I've also included methods on cooking pulled pork in the oven and in the slow cooker for those who aren't into pressure cooking.
- Why You Should Make This Instant Pot Pork Butt
- How to Serve Pulled Pork
- What is an Instant Pot?
- How to Make Crockpot Pulled Pork Butt
- How to Make Pulled Pork Butt in the Oven
- Instant Pot Pork Butt Ingredients
- How to Make Instant Pot Pork Shoulder
- Variations of Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Tips For Making Pork Shoulder in Pressure Cooker
- Pin This Instant Pot Pork Butt - Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Dinner Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Instant Pot Pork Butt - Pulled Pork Shoulder
- Reader Comments & Ratings
Why You Should Make This Instant Pot Pork Butt
- Once cooked, the pulled pork butt can be used in so many different dishes - and it's great for meal prep!
- Actual hands-on prep time is minimal, the Instant Pot does all the hard work.
- This is a real family friendly dish that kids and adults love.
- Pulled pork is easy to freeze so enjoy some now and save some for later.
How to Serve Pulled Pork
When it comes to versatility you really can't beat this great recipe. Use the pork in pulled pork sandwiches, to top your favorite burger, add to rice bowls, stuff baked potatoes, add to salads, top a pizza or stir through some mac & cheese.
Pulled pork, or carnitas - works in Mexican inspired dishes too, like enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos and tacos. The list is endless.
What to do with Leftover Pulled Pork?
I always make sure to cook enough pork so that I have leftover pulled pork to enjoy the day after.
I've used leftover pork in a pulled pork hash, to make pulled pork sliders and in a pulled pork shepherds pie which I like to top with my favorite Mashed Potatoes.
What is an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is an electic multicooker, it combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, as well as searing, steaming and warming food.
I use an Instant Pop, but there are many other brands out there that do the same job, for example Crockpot, Ninja and Zavor.
How to Make Crockpot Pulled Pork Butt
To make Crockpot Pulled Pork follow the same steps, to sear the pork butt. Then set the slow cooker to low and cook for around 8 hours until it is fork tender and reaches an internal temperature of 205ºF/190°C. (See further notes in recipe card below).
How to Make Pulled Pork Butt in the Oven
The instructions here are identical, in that you need to coat the pork butt in the rub. However, when it comes to searing the pork do this in your oven proof casserole dish.
Then place into the oven and cook low and slow at 300ºF/150ºC for 4 to 5 hours or until a thermometer inserted in center of the pork registers 205ºF/190°C and pork is very tender.
Instant Pot Pork Butt Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
I have used boneless pork butt, also known as Boston Butt. You can either use bone in pork butt or boneless in the recipe or use pork shoulder which is a similar cut of pork.
What is the difference between a pork butt and pork shoulder?
Both pork butt and pork shoulder are tough and fatty cuts that come from the shoulder area of the pig. The high fat content makes these cuts ideal for slow cooking.
Pork butt is a cut that is higher on the foreleg, whilst pork shoulder has more muscle and is further down, so they are butchered a little differently.
What temperature should cooked pulled pork be inside?
The ideal temperature for cooked pulled pork is 205ºF. This is higher than the usual recommended 165ºF as the higher internal temperature allows the collagen in the pork butt to break right down. This results in the meat becoming so tender it can literally be pulled apart.
This recipe uses chicken broth, however you can also use vegetable stock. Use fresh stock, a carton of stock or a bouillon cube as they will all work in this dish.
Dry Rub Ingredients
Sugar - brown sugar has the molasses flavor that you want in this dry rub. It is essential that you don't skip the sugar as it really will affect the taste.
Salt -again don't be tempted to cut back or skip on the salt as you need to properly season the pork and salt helps cut through the fatty pork.
Spices - I have used a combination of paprika, garlic powder and onion powder as that gives great flavor to the pork. However, you could also add in some cayenne pepper, chili powder or some ground fennel seeds. Use the spice flavors that you enjoy.
BBQ Sauce - use your favorite barbecue sauce, you can go sweet, smoky or spicy, or a combination of all three, whatever your preference. Some great sauces that I've used in are Texan, Carolina and Kansas BBQ sauces.
How to Make Instant Pot Pork Shoulder
Find the full printable recipe below.
Prepare the pork by trimming any excess fat cap, removing bones and cutting it into 4 equal pieces.
In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt and spices to make a dry rub. Coat the pork chunks in the dry rub - make sure all sides are well coated.
Use the Instant Pot saute mode to sear the pork chunks on all sides in olive oil. Do this one at a time. Remove and set aside.
Use chicken broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan making sure scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the pork back and add the Instant Pot lid. Set the valve to sealing and set to pressure cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
Allow a natural release for 20 minutes then manually release any remaining pressure. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and for the best results, allow to reset for 10 minutes.
Shred the pork, combine with BBQ sauce and serve.
What is a Dry Rub?
A dry rub is a blend of spices, salt and sugar that can be rubbed onto food before cooking to add flavor. A dry rub can be used with a variety of meats and vegetables and is a great way season food.
What is the best way to pull pork?
I like to keep things simple and use either a potato masher or 2 forks to separate the pork once it's cooked. You can also allow the pork to cool and use your hands.
Variations of Instant Pot Pulled Pork
This is honestly such an easy recipe and here are some ideas to pack in flavor:
- Add a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the chicken broth to cut through the richness.
- For a spicier pork shoulder roast add some ground chili to the dry rub and fresh chilies to the broth.
- Some people also like to add liquid smoke, for an authentic BBQ taste.
- Replace some of the the chicken stock with some regular or cherry cola. Some people also like to add apple juice.
- Add fresh herbs to the cooking broth, eg parsley; thyme or oregano.
- Swap the BBQ sauce for some maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
Tips For Making Pork Shoulder in Pressure Cooker
When meat is this melt in the mouth tender you can actually 'pull' it gently by mashing with a potato masher. You can also shred it with 2 forks or by using clean hands (when cooled slightly).
Don't forget to use that delicious cooking liquid. I like to add a little of the cooking liquor at the end to loosen the BBQ sauce.
Remember your the inner pot can go in the dishwasher for easy clean up.
How To Reheat Pulled Pork?
You can reheat pulled pork in the oven or in a skillet on a low temperature, not too high otherwise the pork will dry out. Add some of the cooking juices to prevent the meat from drying out.
How to Freeze Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork shoulder is really easy to freeze. I like to cook enough to enjoy now and freeze some in individual portion sized freezer bags for later.
Don't forget to add some juices to the freezer bag to keep the pork moist.
Pulled pork will store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before using.
Pin This Instant Pot Pork Butt - Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
I'd love to know what you think about this recipe! I'd be so grateful if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a star rating and comment.
More Easy Dinner Recipe Ideas
Instant Pot Pork Butt - Pulled Pork Shoulder
- 4 lb Pork Butt Roast - boneless or bone in
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1½ cups Chicken Stock - or broth
- 1 cup BBQ Sauce - use your favourite
Simple Dry Rub
- 3 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 3 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
Instant Pot Instructions
- Trim the fat from the roast pork, remove any bones and cut it into 4 same size chunks for even cooking.
- Add all the spice rub ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to mix together.
- Add the pork pieces to the bowl and coat well on all sides.
- Turn the Instant pot to the saute mode. Add olive oil and heat.
- Use tongs to brown the large chunks of meat well on each side in the hot oil. Repeat with remaining pieces of meat. Remove and set aside.
- Add the chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot, being careful to scrape up all the browned bits, which adds to the flavor.
- Put the pork back into the pot. Secure the lid and make sure valve is set to sealing. Select manual/ pressure cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
- When cooking finishes let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes, or until the pin drops. Manually release any remaining pressure.
- Remove the pork to a large bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Shred the pork with 2 forks, a potato masher or your hands, whichever way you prefer.
- Stir through your favorite BBQ sauce plus some of the cooking juices if desired.
Crockpot/Slow Cooker Instructions
- Follow all the same steps then cook on low for around 8 hours until the meat is fork tender and reaches an internal temperature of 190ºF.
- If your slow cooker doesn't have a sauté function, sear the pork chunks in a pan on the stovetop. Don't forget to deglaze the pan and scrape any juicy bits into the slow cooker.
Oven Cook Instructions
- Follow all the Instant Pot instructions except use a heatproof casserole dish with lid to sear the pork chunks.
- Add the lid to the dish and cook in the oven for around 4 to 5 hours at 300°F/150ºc.
- Again the meat is cooked when it is fork tender and reaches an internal temperature of 190ºF.