This Honey BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Pork is the best you’ll ever make! It turns out fall-apart tender and juicy, so delicious. And it freezes well, too!
Cooking pulled pork in the instant pot keeps it so tender and juicy, and the cooking time is much faster. For other easy Instant Pot recipes, see my Instant Pot Sloppy Joes or my Instant Pot Sour Cream Pork Chops!
There’s nothing I love more than using my pressure cooker to make pulled pork – because it takes so much less time than any other cooking method!
We love a good pulled pork sandwich around here, and this tasty Honey BBQ number is an absolute favorite. My kids and husband usually lick their plates clean, shhhh.
It couldn’t be any easier to make pulled pork in an instant pot – just brown the seasoned meat and then pressure cook it in the sauce.
And you’ll end up with a pot full of fall-apart tender meat!
Our favorite pulled pork side dishes:
We love our pulled pork on buns with a side of chips, pickles and my Creamy No Mayo Coleslaw.
This Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe
- is so quick and easy to prep, dinner will be done in a breeze!
- turns out incredibly juicy and flavorful
- freezes well for easy make ahead meals
Anything BBQ is one of our absolute favorites!
We often make our favorite Slow Cooker Pineapple BBQ Pulled Pork during summer – and this Honey BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Pork is just as delicious.
How to Make Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot:
Keep reading for the detailed recipe steps, or scroll down for more tips like which cut is best for pulled pork, how to freeze pulled pork and the printable recipe card!
1 – Prep the meat by cutting it into 2-3 inch cubes. Place it in a bowl with brown sugar, salt and spices and toss well. Set it aside to soak up flavor from the dry rub.
2 – Brown the meat: Put your instant pot on “sauté” and heat some oil in it. Add the meat in batches, browning it on every side. Set the browned meat aside on a plate.
3 – Deglaze the pan by pouring in water or stock. Scrape ALL browned bits off the bottom of the pot, or you’ll get a burn warning during pressure cooking!
4 – Finish assembling: Add apple cider vinegar, BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce to the instant pot and stir it in well. Stir in the browned meat.
5 – Pressure cook: Close the instant pot and set the valve to “sealing”. Pick “pressure cook” (or “manual” on older models) on “high” for 60 minutes. Once cooking time is up, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes (just switch off the instant pot and leave it alone), then manually release any remaining pressure.
6 – Shred meat: Open the instant pot and remove the meat pieces. Shred with two forks on a large wooden chopping board.
7 – Finish the sauce: Stir a slurry of cornstarch and cold water into the cooking liquid in the instant pot, alongside more BBQ sauce. Set the instant pot to “sauté” and bring to a boil, then cook for a couple of minutes until thickened. Stir in the honey, then add the meat back in and serve on buns.
Tips for This Honey BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Pork:
- cutting the meat into pieces reduces cooking time, but it also intensifies the spices by providing more surface area for the dry rub, and leads to more caramelizing flavors because there’s more browning
- make sure you catch all the browned bits from the bottom of the instant pot, or you may get a burn warning during pressure cooking
- if the sauce doesn’t thicken after a few minutes, add more cornstarch slurry
Which Pork Cut is Best for Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork works best with a pork shoulder roast.
I know a lot of people prefer using pork loin to cut back on the fat, but it just doesn’t get the same results.
You can use it, but it will definitely not taste like from your favorite BBQ joint.
In full disclosure: I do trim a lot of the fat from the shoulder roast because my kids think it’s gross, but I do leave some on for flavor.
How do You Freeze Pulled Pork?
Freezing pulled pork is one of my favorite ways to prep ahead for busy seasons!
Just let the pulled pork cool to room temperature, then pack up into freezer-friendly bags or containers. Label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months), then place in your freezer.
To reheat, defrost the meat in the fridge overnight. Gently heat in a saucepan on the stove (you might need to add some extra liquid) until piping hot all the way through.
We do love this Honey BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Pork year round – but especially during the summer, to avoid heating up the house when making dinner!
Honey BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 pounds boneless pork roast (shoulder preferred, I trim most of the visible fat because my kids don't like it) cut into 2-3 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Add after cooking:
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- slurry of 1-2 tbsp cornstarch + cool water
- Season meat: Place brown sugar, salt and all spices in a large bowl. Add the meat and toss to evenly coat. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Brown meat: Set the instant pot to "sauté" and add the oil. Brown the meat in batches, set it aside on a plate.
- Make sauce: Pour the chicken stock into the instant pot to deglaze, scraping all browned bits off the bottom of the pot (important, or you'll easily get a "burn" warning during pressure cooking!). Add 1 cup BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well, then stir the browned meat back in.
- Pressure cook: Close the instant pot with the lid, then set the valve to "sealing". Choose "pressure cook" (or "manual" on older modelon "high" for 60 minutes.
- Release pressure: Once the cooking time is up, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes (do not skip, it's important to allow the meat to relax or you'll end up with tough pork), then release any remaining pressure manually. Open the lid.
- Shred meat: Remove the meat from the instant pot and shred with two forks.
- Finish the sauce: Stir the remaining ingredients into the cooking liquid in the instant pot. Set to "sauté" and simmer until thickened while stirring often. Add the pork back in and serve on buns.