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How to Cook Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

How to cook Instant Pot pork shoulder recipe. Amazing barbecue pulled pork sandwiches in your pressure cooker. Juicy pork usually takes all day to get this tender but in your Instant Pot it takes less than a few hours to fall apart. Forgotten to defrost your meat? We even have instructions for Instant Pot frozen pork shoulder too.

instant pot pork shoulder recipe

If you loved pulled pork sandwiches, here is a really easy Instant Pot pork shoulder recipe you will love! You can use pre-made barbecue sauce as the base or whip up a quick one with the recipe I have here. It’s one of our favorite Instant Pot recipes. (affiliate links present)

Ninja Foodi Pork Shoulder

This is such an inexpensive meal, and so yummy too! If you’re looking for a Ninja Foodi recipe that pot will work just as well, no worries. We have tried it in our Crockpot Express and Mealthy pots too and there isn’t any difference in timing. Even if it starts off rock hard frozen there isn’t a huge difference.

This is our go to every time we have a large group over. Reason being is that it is quite inexpensive to feed a lot of people to fill them up quickly with a lot of protein. There are tons of ways to serve it up too. With rolls, larger buns, toast, or over rice. Add a cool item like coleslaw on top for extra pretty and yum.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

How to Cook Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Mix up a bit of sweet and savory rub for your pork shoulder and it is done, fall off the bone (if there is one) meat in just 90 minutes. This is why I love my pressure cooker so much.  

Let me show you just how easy cooking pulled pork is using this method. You can use bone in which is typical or if you find boneless give that a whirl. Typically it will have one and you just need to pull the meat off at the end and discard.

Just like our beef roast shoulder these cuts have quite a bit of connective tissues and needs to be broken down. If you don’t have all day this is how to get it done quickly, but still the perfect texture.

pulled pork

How to Cook Pork Shoulder in Instant Pot

I bet you have all the ingredients in your house already, other than the pork shoulder. So it’s really easy to throw together once you have that.

If you want a really quick way you can just use bottled barbecue sauce and a bottled already made rub. But I have an even better homemade recipe below that is super quick too.

  • I love using my Instant Pot because it cuts the cooking time in at least half, usually less than that. To cook pork in a pressure cooker takes only about 90 minutes for a 5 lb. piece of meat cut in half.
  • I’ve put it in whole too but cut in half comes out a bit more tender.
  • You can use your Ninja Foodi to make this as well.
  • Put some on a bun topped with cole slaw and it’s a fantastic meal.

Can you cook frozen pork in an Instant Pot?

Yes. You. Can. I linked at the top how to do this piece from rock hard, without defrosting. If you wanted a a smaller cut, this is how to cook a frozen pork loin in an Instant Pot instead. Good to feed about 4 vs. closer to 6 people or more depending on the size.

easy pressure cooker pulled pork

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Ingredients

If you want to make these into handheld sandwiches you will want Hawaiian sweet rolls – we use these when making sliders, the best! Or serve with veggie muffins on the side.

  1. Small bowl
  2. Pressure cooker
    1. if you have an Instant Pot I HIGHLY suggest you get a non stick pot
    2. it will help you avoid the false burn notice from appearing on any recipe
  3. 4-5 lb. pork shoulder
  4. Apple cider vinegar
  5. Ketchup
  6. Worcestershire sauce
  7. Spice mixture to rub on your pork
    1. Brown sugar
    2. Onion and garlic powder
    3. Paprika
    4. Chili powder
    5. Seasoned salt, we used Lawry’s
  8. Cole slaw – great to use for sliders, here’s an easy homemade recipe for Hawaiian cole slaw

What is the best cut of pork for pulled pork?

The best roast is the shoulder. High in fat and connective tissue, the shoulder is also the most flavorful part of the hog. Pork shoulder is typically cut into two parts, the Boston Butt, and the Picnic Roast. You may see them called this too.

hawaiian pulled pork

How do you cook Pork Shoulder Bone-in in Instant Pot?

Since this is a large piece of protein it will take longer than our Pressure cooker pork chop recipe. Here are the steps to follow, I recommend watching the video first though as it is a good example

  1. Mix together your dry seasonings and rub it all over your pork shoulder or pork butt, cut it in half so it becomes more tender when you pressure cook it.
  2. Then mix together sauce ingredients and pour half inside your pot
  3. Lay meat on top of that with remaining sauce poured on top

Some prefer to sear the outside of the meat first with some olive oil, I generally do not. If you do you MUST ensure that you deglaze your pot before continuing or you’ll get the burn notice.

  1. Close lid and turn steam valve to sealing. 
  2. Set to high pressure for 90 minutes followed by a 10 – 15 minute natural release.
    1. Quick release isn’t recommended as you want the meat to be as tender as possible.
  3. Shred with fork, remove any chunks of fat, allow to sit in sauce while people serve themselves.

Everyone in our family loves this quick Instant Pot pork recipe. The flavorful cooking liquid you pour on the bottom of the pot permeates into each piece and makes it taste amazing. It is great during the summertime when you don’t want to heat up your oven or use your bbq. Instant Pot Hawaiian pulled pork (seen below) makes for great sliders with easy rolls, or served over

instant pot pork shoulder bone-in

Looking for more Instant Pot pork recipes? This Instant Pot pulled pork recipe has an Asian twist. We use a different sauce in our Ninja Foodi pulled pork recipe you can try too.

How can I eat pulled pork without bread?

Totally. Many times I will make a batch of Instant Pot white rice and just put a helping of this on top. Helpful if you are following a high protein and/or keto friendly diet.

  1. Tacos are great with a sauce like Instant Pot carnitas filled with your meat, avocado, sour cream etc and enjoy on Tuesdays (or any day of the week)
  2. Serve them on top of mashed potatoes with some gravy if you have it
    1. Polenta is also a good alternative
  3. Added it inside of a batch of Instant Pot chili – great idea for leftover pulled pork
  4. Some like to add it to poached eggs, kimchi, or inside the potato cakes mixture
  5. Serve it inside a wrap with hummus 

What do you serve with pulled pork??

If I make something like our dutch oven pork roast I will make Instant Pot vegetables to go with it if you want.

steaming vegetables in instant pot

How long is leftover pulled pork good for?

Leftover pulled pork is the same as leftover ham or any other cooked meat. According to food safety guidelines, the safe storage life of these cooked meats is 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator if stored properly.

This means you need to either wrap leftover inside tinfoil, or I prefer to keep it inside a freezer bag with the air removed so it doesn’t dry out. You can make a whole new dish by using your leftover pork in an Instant Pot casserole!

Can you freeze leftover pulled pork?

Yes!! You can freeze the excess of a double or triple batch for future meals. This comes in handy if you are frequently short on time. Just store it properly inside airtight containers and you’ll have a quick and tasty meal for nights when you don’t have time to cook. Here’s the printable recipe to follow

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4.88 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

Easy Instant Pot pork shoulder recipe you will love. Amazing barbecue pulled pork sandwiches made in your pressure cooker. Juicy pork usually takes all day to get this tender but in your Instant Pot it takes less than a few hours to fall apart. 
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot, pressure cooker, pulled pork
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 360kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Mix together your ketchup, vinegar, and worcestershire sauce. Pour half of this into your pot. 
  • Mix together your spices and then rub it into your pork shoulder, top and bottom. 
  • Cut your pork shoulder in half and put it into your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.  (it comes out more tender when cut into smaller pieces)
  • Pour the remaining sauce you made over your piece of pork and set your IP to manual, pressure, high, for 90 minutes (for 4.5 pounds this made it very easy to shred).
  • Close steam valve. 
  • When done do a natural release for 10 minutes, then release rest of steam and carefully lift lid. Shred pork with 2 forks and serve on buns with coleslaw for sandwiches.


Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 86mg29%
Sodium 1745mg76%
Potassium 552mg16%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 1275IU26%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
instant pot pork shoulder recipe
instant pot pork shoulder recipe
4.88 from 8 votes (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating

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Friday 22nd of July 2022

Absolutely brilliant recipe! Delicious! Even hubby who doesn't eat pork much loved it ;) thanks !!

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

Oh good!

The Typical Mom

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

Oh yay

Kim Avery

Monday 14th of September 2020

Super Yummy! Great for lazy football days. I highly recommend trying the coleslaw!

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 15th of September 2020


Ronn Dula

Thursday 24th of October 2019

This recipe yielded a beautifully moist and tender shoulder, very similar to the North Carolina barbecue I grew up on and cannot find in Texas. The only thing missing is the flavor of a true vinegar based North Carolina barbecue sauce. While you can add sauce after the meat is cooked, it then becomes an added-on flavor rather than being an integrated flavor in the finished product. I'm going to experiment with adding sauce to the InstantPot before cooking and see what happens, as well as defining how much sauce to use in the process. As a side note, North Carolina barbecue is traditionally chopped into chunks 1/2 inch on a side, larger or smaller to personal preference. Contrary to common belief, it is not normally pulled except at a pig picking, where the whole hog is cooked and the guests pull what they want from the displayed whole critter on a buffet.

The Typical Mom

Thursday 24th of October 2019

I am glad it was fall apart tender like we all like it.


Sunday 4th of November 2018

I've made this multiple times. Love how easy it is, and so delicious! I have used a pork loin too, for a leaner version. Not quite as moist, but it's a good option.

The Typical Mom

Sunday 4th of November 2018

OH I am so glad you have enjoyed it!

Judie Patterson

Tuesday 17th of July 2018

I am a change ingredients type cooker; I cut roast in half, sauteed removed roast, mixed 1 cup chicken broth to 1 can of cream of Jalapeno and 1 packet of Lipton seasoning of Herb & Garlic - added on top of roast 2 quartered onions, several carrots (regular, not little sweet) and threw in a little mess of the small red potatoes - high pressure - 90 minutes - will get back to after I see..... This is the worst time cause you can't open, you can't see - it's a surprise!!!


Wednesday 6th of April 2022

@Judie Patterson, you didn’t even make the same recipe !!!!

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 17th of July 2018

Hope you loved it too

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