I’ve been researching how to make the best pulled pork in the Instant Pot, and it seems that opinions vary quite a bit. A few basic principles make any meat taste better, though. These steps include seasoning the meat beforehand with either a marinade or dry rub, searing the meat to create a crisp exterior, and using a natural release for more juicy meat. I wanted to keep the ingredient list to a minimum, so I stuck with my favorite store-bought sauce.
Marinade vs. Dry Rub
I opted for a marinade instead of a dry rub. As a general rule, I dislike the process of applying dry rubs because I don’t enjoy touching raw meat. Also, I usually have some flat soda lying around, hence, the marinade.
Start with a pork roast. I usually use part of a picnic or shoulder (butt) roast. Both work great for this recipe. I aim for about 2 lbs. of boneless meat to serve my family. Cut the roast into several pieces, about 1 lb. each.
Marinate the pork in the following for 6+ hours:
1 can of root beer, cola, or any soda you think will taste good
1 T. liquid smoke
Searing the Pork
Heat the Instant Pot on Saute until it says “Hot”. Drain and discard the marinade from the pork. Sear it on each side for 5 minutes, then remove the roast to a plate.
Pour into the pot and scrape the bottom (deglazing):
1/2 c. chicken broth
Put the pork back in the pot and cook at high pressure for 60 minutes with a natural release.
Set aside any excess juice from cooking and shred the pork. Mix into the shredded pork:
1/2 c. Sweet Baby Ray’s sweet and spicy barbecue sauce (or your favorite sauce)
cooking liquid if you want more moisture
What to Serve With Pulled Pork
Serve the pulled pork on buns or just by itself with your favorite sides. I think corn on the cob is an excellent choice!
Instant Pot Sweet and Spicy Pulled Pork
- pressure cooker
- 2 pounds pork roast picnic or shoulder (butt)
- 12 ounces root beer or cola
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce or your favorite
- Cut the roast into 1-pound pieces. Marinate in the soda and liquid smoke for at least 6 hours.2 pounds pork roast, 12 ounces root beer or cola, 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- Heat the pressure cooker on "Saute." Drain and discard the marinade from the meat. Sear it on each side for 5 minutes, then remove the meat to a plate.
- Pour the chicken broth into the pot and scrape anything stuck to the bottom. Add the pork back to the pot and cook at high pressure for 1 hour with a natural release.1/2 cup chicken broth
- Set aside the broth and shred the meat. Mix the BBQ sauce into the pork along with the reserved broth until the meat is as juicy as you'd like.1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
- Serve pulled pork on buns or with other favorite sides.