How to make pulled pork in electric pressure cooker?

According to many popular chefs who know what they are actually doing, pulled pork is a pork-shoulder that has been cooked long enough to become super tender. Also, it has tons of flavors.

If you make this dish with your electric pressure cooker it will reduce the preparation time down in a dramatic way. Know that this is a recipe that can be made in plenty of ways. You can choose the way you want this meal from spicy to barbecue and with so many seasoning variations.

While dealing with pork meat remember that you can get either bone-in or boneless. Also, don’t forget to notice that if you find ones that are vacuum-packed and the packaging says that the pork contains a 12% solution, this means that it is brined, and these are the best to use for this recipe. The meat tends to be brined this way to maintain the tenderness and juiciness.

Although you can always try to create your own brine. Our advice for you is to go with the brined meat if you can. If you notice that the pork has a fat layer on it, you will definitely want to cut that off.

Table of contents

  1. Some useful tips to know before you start to cook
  2. Ingredients
  3. Steps to cook the pulled pork
  4. Frequently asked questions

Some useful tips to know before you start to cook

With skin or without skin?

If you decide to keep the skin and fat cap on then it will keep the nearby meat very moist. Try to make sure to keep the skin side facing up when you put it into your pressure cooker. Though remember that the BBQ sauce will be very oily if you leave the skin and fat cap on. So, ensure the fact to use a fat separator to remove the oil from the BBQ sauce before you decide to serve.

Cooking time

The proper cooking time for this recipe depends on how thick you cut your pork shoulder pieces. Know that it’s better to undercook the meat sometimes than overcooking as you can always add extra cooking time later. Here are some calculated pressure cooking times that are given depending on the size you cut your 4 pounds pork shoulder pieces.

  • If you cut into 8 pieces: roughly 55 – 60 minutes of pressure cooking time.
  • If you cut into 4 pieces: roughly 60 – 70 minutes of pressure cooking time.
  • If you cut into 2 pieces: roughly 75 – 80 minutes of pressure cooking time.

How long can the pork meat stay in the freezer?

Before you decide to cook, you can store the pork meat in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.


  • 4 pounds (1.8 kg) pork shoulder pieces (Cut into 4-8 pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

To Dry Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (2.4 g) onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2.8 g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2.3 g) cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) cumin seed, ground
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) fennel seed, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) cayenne pepper

Steps to cook the pulled pork

1. Dry rubbing

You have to mix all the dry-rub ingredients and put it all over the pork shoulder pieces. Some of those ingredients are- brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne. Make sure the fact that the seasoning mixture is well united into the meat.

2. Heat up your electric pressure cooker

Heat up your machine. If you have an Instant Pot, then press the Sauté button. Then make sure your pot is as hot as it can be when you place the shoulder meat into the pot, then wait until the indicator says HOT.

3. Optional

You can brown the meat by adding 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil into the pot. You have to make sure to coat the oil over the whole bottom of the pot. Then you need to add the pork shoulder pieces. Focus on the pork shoulder on all sides.

4. Adding the BBQ sauce

First, pour in half of the BBQ Sauce and make gravy at the bottom of the pot. After that add in the remaining leftover mixture.

5. Pressure cook

Place all the pieces into the pot. If you didn’t remove the extra skin, then make sure the skin side is facing up. The second task for you is to close the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 60 minutes (or more, depending on the number of pieces). After doing that, turn off the heat and fully natural release will happen.

6. Check the tenderness

First, try to open the lid carefully. You can take one piece of pork shoulder out and see if you can shred through the meat easily by using two forks. If you don’t notice the tenderness yet, then cook for an additional 10 to 20 minutes at high pressure, with fully natural release.

7. Shred the meat & de-fat the sauce

You can use some cool Shredder Claws or two regular forks to shred the pork shoulder meat. And you can use a fat separator to separate the fat from the BBQ sauce.

8. Serve

First, try to lessen the BBQ sauce to your desired thickness. Then taste the sauce and add in some extra brown sugar or kosher salt if needed. And after that place the pulled pork back into the prepared-sauce. Then mix them well and serve.

Frequently asked questions

For pulled pork what is the suitable cut of meat?

To make this recipe, pork shoulder or pork butt will be the best cut for the most tender and juicy meal. Though you can always use pork loin here too. As the loin is leaner than other parts, also make sure you do not trim the fat cap.

Why do we need to brown the pork?

You should brown the meat in order to bump up the flavor of the dish. But if you are cooking with frozen pork then you will want to skip this step. Because frozen-meat doesn’t brown properly. You are also allowed not to follow this way if you are in a hurry.

What kind of pressure-release we have to use for this recipe?

A natural pressure release is always great to lock in the flavor and to prevent the meat from being drying out with long cooking meats. If you don’t have much time in your hand then you can do a 10-minute natural release, which will deliver similar results.

How to cook frozen pork meat?

If you do not get a chance to defrost, then you can always cook from frozen conditions. For that, you will need to add 5 minutes per pound. Don’t forget that it will take longer to come to pressure.

How do we shred pulled pork?

This pork meat should shred easily after cooking time. Though if you have leaner cuts, then it may not shred. In this situation, you should try to add increments of 10 minutes to the cooking time of yours. If you have a stand mixer to shred the pork instead of forks, it will get the job done too. And it’s quick and easy, but make sure to remove as much fat from the pork as possible by you before shredding it in the mixer.

If we get a burn error message how do we solve it?

In many cases, some electric models tend to be very sensitive and when the little bits of food or seasonings get stuck on the bottom of the pot, it detects the issue as a possible burn error and displays the mentioned message.

While cooking if you notice that the meat is getting too brown, too fast, then simply turn the pot off by using the cancel or warm button. After that wait for a couple of minutes so the pot can cool down and then go back to the “saute” mode. You can think of this process as turning the heat of your stove all the way down to stop any kind of burning.

Still, if you get a burn error when your pot is locked and pressurized, first try to depressurize the pot, then open the valve and release any pressure. After that carefully open the lid because any escaping steam is capable of burning you. Don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to remove any brown bits that are stuck inside.

What to do with leftover pulled pork?

If you have some leftover of your cooked meal, you can freeze the BBQ pork. When it gets cool down, be sure to transfer the meat into resealable freezer bags. You can make some Tater tots pulled pork and loads of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese with this. Also, you can use the Pot Pulled Pork to top baked potatoes. Making nachos or quesadillas are great options too along with top burgers and even some cheese pizza.


You are capable of making this irresistible delicious recipe with your own dry rub and BBQ sauce. You will get a tender, juicy pulled pork exploding with sweet & smoky flavors. You can cook these pressure cooker pulled pork when you are looking for something fulfilling, thrifty, bold flavors in your dish. Also, this recipe is a great choice for any home party or enough for a few meals. Everyone will love the meal no doubt.


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