This Instant Pot pulled pork shoulder recipe makes incredibly flavorful pulled pork that is so good you won’t believe how easy it is to make.
You might be wondering what to do with this pork shoulder once you’ve made it, but I’m telling you pulled pork shoulder makes a delicious addition to just about any salad, soup, or main dish. It also works really well in tacos using these homemade keto tortillas.
Pork shoulder is not only deliciously addictive, it’s also a huge time-saver when it comes to meal preparation (as is this Mexican shredded beef). Make a large pork shoulder at the beginning of the week and you can use it all week long in various dishes. Try these keto enchiladas with this pulled pork for an easy week night meal.
Why Use the Instant Pot
With the Instant Pot, in just over an hour you can have dinner on the table, plus leftovers for lunch the next day. For my husband and I, a 2 lb pork shoulder equals at least 6 meals. It saves a ton of time.
One of the things I purchase with nearly every one of my grocery orders is a 2 lb pork shoulder. It take only about one hour to make in the Instant Pot and it turns out perfectly fork tender and incredibly moist and delicious.
I use what we need for the dish I’m making that night, then I save the rest for adding to meals throughout the week. It saves so much time not having to make something new for each meal, and the pork is so versatile that it can be added to nearly anything.
Ingredients You Need for Instant Pot Pulled Pork Shoulder
- Boneless pork shoulder or butt – while bone-in pork shoulder tends to build more flavor, from the bone, it’s also more difficult to cook, so if you want to keep it super easy, get one that’s boneless.
- Cooking oil
- Seasonings: salt, ground black pepper, Spanish or smoked paprika, ground cumin dried rosemary
- Beef or pork stock
- Garlic – smashed
- Celery – cut into 2 inch pieces
- Bay leaves
How to Make Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot
The best part about the Instant Pot is that you can cut the time it takes to make this pulled pork shoulder to just over an hour. On the stove top or slow cooker, it would take 5-6 hours.
The two most important parts of making great pork shoulder are the rub and browning the meat before cooking.
Cut the pork shoulder into large chunks. Then rub the seasoning all over. There’s no need to let the meat sit and marinade.
Using the saute mode on the Instant Pot, brown the meat on all sides. Remove the pork from the pot when done and add the hot stock. The Instant Pot requires at least 1 cup of liquid to cook properly.
Whisk up the brown bits on the bottom. Make sure you get it all, or the machine can sometimes think the food is burning and shut off.
Add back in the pork and the other vegetables and sprinkle with brown sugar. You don’t have to add the sugar, but I think it adds a tremendous amount of flavor to the pork. Whenever I leave it out, I wish I hadn’t.
Set to Pressure Cook for 45 minutes. After the time is up, allow it to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. You can then release the rest of the pressure, if you’re in a hurry, or let it finish on its own.
Once the meat is done, you can shred it right in the Instant Pot and let it soak up some more flavor from the broth. Then remove it from the pot and use it however you like.
You can add the pulled pork just as it is straight from the Instant Pot, or you can crispy it up in a skillet. Crisping it adds extra texture to the dish, but it’s not necessary.
To crisp the meat, add no more than two servings at a time to a hot skillet with cooking oil. For the best results, don’t move the meat until it is crispy on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and do the same on the other side. This is how we make carnitas tacos. Yum
How to Serve Pulled Pork
I call this the universal meat, because it can be used in so many great dishes. You can make taco salad, burrito bowls, keto carnitas, enchiladas, just add it to a salad, or put it on a roasted cauliflower steak with some melted cheese. The possibilities are endless.
Here are a few examples of dishes I use left-over pulled pork in:
- Pulled Pork Burrito Bowl with Cauliflower Rice
- King Ranch Casserole with Pulled Pork
- Pulled Pork Shephard’s Pie
- Keto BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza
Questions About Pulled Pork Shoulder
What cut of meat to use for pulled pork?
A pork shoulder is the perfect cut of meat for pulled pork. It has enough fat marbling to make a tender and juicy pile of pork. It can be purchased bone-in or boneless, and in many different sizes so you can find one that fits your needs.
How long does it take to cook pork shoulder so that it shreds well?
If you’re cooking pork shoulder on the stove top, it can take about 3-4 hours to tenderize and fall apart enough to shred it. That’s why we use the Instant Pot to make pork shoulder, because it becomes super shredable in just 45 minutes under pressure.
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Instant Pot Pulled Pork Shoulder
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup hot beef or pork stock
- 1/2 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 stalk celery cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- Trim skin and fat cap from pork shoulder. Pat dry and cut into several large chunks.
- Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and rosemary in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning onto each piece of pork.
- Heat the Instant Pot on Saute mode and add the cooking oil. When hot, sear the pork chunks on all sides until browned (about 2 mins per side). Remove from the pot.
- Add the hot stock to the pot and whisk rapidly to scrap all the browned bits off the bottom. Add back in the pork, along with the onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves.
- Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing.
- Select the Pressure Cook button and set to 45 minutes. When finished, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Remove the meat and shred it, then return it to the Instant Pot to meld with the juices. Drain and serve as you like.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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Laura is an avid home cook and recipe creator. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.