Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Topping
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Make your own flavorful dry rub and BBQ sauce with this pulled pork recipe! Mouthful of sweet, spicy, moist and tender pulled pork.
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder picnic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Dry Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅛ cup maple syrup
  • ⅛ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  1. Clean pork shoulder picnic with cold water and pat dry thoroughly
  2. Cut pork shoulder picnic into smaller pieces to let them absorb more flavors
  3. Pack Dry Rub onto pork shoulder picnic, let it sit for 30 minutes
  4. Press Sauté button on instant pot, wait for it to be heated up
  5. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil before searing each batch of pork
  6. Sear and brown surfaces of each pork shoulder picnic piece (do not overcrowd the pot)
  7. Remove all pork from Instant Pot
  8. Add half of the BBQ Sauce
  9. Deglaze by scrubbing the bottom of the pot (see notes), add remaining BBQ Sauce.
  10. Add all pork, close the Instant Pot lid, press Manual button, cook at high pressure for 55 minutes
  11. Press Cancel button after it has changed to keep warm, wait for it to natural release
  12. Take out the extremely tender pork shoulder picnic
  13. Use two forks, hands, or [easyazon_link identifier="B018FBZJ9C" locale="US" tag="nomrec-20" localize="y"]Bear Paws Pulled Pork Shredder Claws[/easyazon_link] to shred the meat
  14. Use a [easyazon_link identifier="B0002YTGIQ" locale="US" tag="nomrec-20" localize="y"]fat separator[/easyazon_link] to separate the fat and BBQ Sauce
  15. Reduce BBQ Sauce to your desired thickness, TASTE, add more brown sugar or salt to taste
  16. Combine BBQ sauce and the pulled pork together, then enjoy!
Deglaze the pot: scrape and stir the browned food residue from the bottom of the pot to make a sauce (they are not burnt bits, lots of flavors there!)

Keep the pork's skin and fat cap facing up when cooking in Instant Pot. This will allow the fat to melt and drip onto the meat during the cooking process and protect the pork from drying out.

Use saute function to saute onion and garlic cloves before mixing them into the BBQ Sauce for more flavors.

The BBQ pulled pork can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 - 5 days.
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