A bowl of pulled pork with a spoon garnished with cilantro
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5 from 9 votes

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

This Instant Pot Pulled Pork is a quick and easy recipe to feed a crowd! I love it served on slider buns with coleslaw or on tortillas with cilantro and onion. It's inexpensive, and the leftovers freeze beautifully.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Pressurizing time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Pork
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Elizabeth Lindemann



For the Pork:

  • 4 lb. boneless skinless pork shoulder cut into 4-5" pieces
  • pork rub spice mixture recipe below, or 4-5 tablespoons of your favorite pre-mixed pork rub
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • slider buns and coleslaw for serving optional

For the rub:


  • Spread the pork rub spice mixture all over each surface of the pieces of pork shoulder, pressing it into the meat so it sticks.
  • Turn on the sauté function on your instant pot. Once it's hot, add the vegetable oil and brown the pork shoulder pieces in batches, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until a golden brown crust forms on the outside. If the bottom of the pot starts to burn, add a bit more oil, or add a little water to deglaze, scraping up the bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the onions to the instant pot and sauté until softened and starting to brown (about 3 minutes). Add the water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar, orange juice, and the pork to the instant pot. Turn off sauté function, cover, and set pressure to manual on high for 60 minutes.
  • Quick release the pressure when the 60 minutes is up. Open carefully once the float valve has depressed. Remove the pork to a rimmed baking sheet (or something else with a rim, to catch the liquids).
  • Turn the instant pot to sauté once again. Allow the mixture to simmer until it has reduced in volume by about half.
  • Meanwhile, use two forks to pull apart the pork shoulder to desired texture.
  • Add the pork back into the reduced liquid and turn instant pot off.
  • Serve on slider or hamburger buns with your favorite coleslaw, if desired.


  • Oven Instructions: In a dutch oven or equivalent, sauté the seasoned pork and then onions as directed over medium-high heat. Add the water to deglaze, and the pork back in, along with the apple cider vinegar and orange juice. Place cover on top and cook in a 325 degree F oven for 4 hours, or until pork is pull-apart tender. Reduce liquid as directed on stovetop.
  • Slow Cooker Instructions: brown the pork shoulder and sauté the onions in a separate large pot on the stove over medium-heat as directed. Place water, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, onions, and browned pork into your slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, or until pork is pull-apart tender. Reduce cooking liquid on the stovetop in a separate pot once it's done.
  • Storing Leftovers: This recipe makes a TON, making it great to serve a crowd. The leftovers can also be frozen in the cooking liquid in an airtight container or plastic bag for 6 months.
  • I made this recipe in my 6 qt. Instant pot. It should work the same in an 8 qt., but you may need to cut the ingredients in half for a 3 qt. mini.
  • The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.


Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg