How to make pulled pork

This is some of the best pulled pork I’ve had in a long time (I’ve been working on perfecting this recipe for months!), and it also doesn’t include any highly processed ingredients like refined brown sugar, corn syrup, or ketchup.

My husband says it is so good that no BBQ sauce is necessary. Now, you know it’s good pulled pork when you don’t reach for your favorite BBQ sauce. He would like me to pass on that he does like to dip it into a little hot sauce, although I for sure prefer mine with nothing added. Try it both ways and decide for yourself. Either way this is a great dish for serving (and pleasing!) a crowd.

What type of meat is best for pulled pork?

Pork shoulder is the most common cut used when making pulled pork. The shoulder includes the front leg and shoulder, and will likely come with a bone and plenty of marbling. The marbling is key because the fat is what will prevent the meat from drying out during the cooking process.

A full pork shoulder is a large cut of meat, so I recommend asking your grocery store’s butcher to cut the shoulder down into two portions (3-4 lbs each). Alternatively, you can choose a Boston roast or picnic roast – these are smaller cuts of the shoulder and work just fine.

What to serve with pulled pork

I have some great side choice options here on the blog that perfectly accompany this slow cooker pulled pork.

The Best Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot from 100 Days of #RealFood #crockpot

Leftover Pulled Pork?

Have you ever made a pork butt and you end up with a huge tray of pulled pork and you’re not quite sure what to do with it? Maybe you smoked a pork shoulder roast, or maybe you made a Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Either way..

Let me help you out.

Make this:

Pulled Pork Pizza. Pizza layered with BBQ sauce, cheese, pulled pork, bacon and red onion. Cut into slices.

Pulled Pork Pizza!

Loaded with leftover pulled pork, bits of bacon, melty cheese, red onion.

This pizza comes together quick and easy with pulled pork on hand. If you don’t have leftover pulled pork you can always pick up some pulled pork from the market and that would work just as well on this recipe.

I used my favorite No Yeast Pizza Dough and instead of using Pizza Sauce I used a Texas Style BBQ sauce.  This dough is my favorite because it comes together in minutes. The dough was ready to go before the bacon was done cooking.

Pulled Pork Pizza. Pizza layered with BBQ sauce, cheese, pulled pork, bacon and red onion. Cut into slices.

How To Make this Pulled Pork Pizza:

Start with your pizza dough. Spread a layer of BBQ sauce. Mix the pulled pork with extra BBQ sauce, if not already coated in sauce.

Add a layer of cheese. Top with the pulled pork. Sprinkle more cheese. Add the bacon and diced red onions. Then bake using your favorite method. If you use a pizza stone or grill it. With the no yeast pizza dough I find it easy to just put the pizza on a large baking sheet and bake it for about 15 minutes.

Then enjoy!

Pulled Pork Pizza. Pizza layered with BBQ sauce, cheese, pulled pork, bacon and red onion. Cut into slices.

More recipes for Leftover Pulled Pork:

Pulled Pork King Ranch Casserole

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Print Pulled Pork Pizza. Pizza layered with BBQ sauce, cheese, pulled pork, bacon and red onion. Cut into slices.

Pulled Pork Pizza! Layers of bbq sauce, pulled pork, melty cheese, bacon bits and red onion. The perfect easy dinner recipe that puts your leftovers to work for you! Or use a quick shortcut by getting pulled pork from the market. Perfect Quick and easy family dinner!

  • Author: Serene
  • Prep Time: 10mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • 1 recipe No Yeast Pizza Dough (or other pizza dough of preference)
  • 1 recipe Texas Style BBQ Sauce (or other sauce of preference)
  • 2 cups pulled pork
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion

Optional Topping

Prepare the pizza dough according to directions. If using my pizza dough recipe preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and place the rolled out pizza dough on top.

Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce on top of the dough.

Top with half of the shredded cheese. Add the pulled pork on top, if no sauce is on the pulled pork mix with some of the BBQ sauce before adding to the pizza. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with cooked bacon and diced red onion.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until dough is cooked and cheese is bubbly on the top.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 299




Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork is one of the most frequent meals I make in my Instant Pot. First, it’s super easy to make, full of flavor and it can be served in so many ways. I love a juicy and tender pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw. This recipe has been perfected to be your go-to, when you need a delicious pulled pork sandwich.

Seasoned with garlic, smoked paprika, liquid smoke and chili powder, this pulled pork has the right balance of sweet, savory with just a touch of heat. So good, I just can’t have only one sandwich!

A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10-15 minutes. After which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release. Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10-15 minutes and after that open the valve. A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

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Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

Tips to make the best Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe:

  • Use good quality meat, preferably organic boneless pork shoulder. I also used pork lion many times, its not as fatty, but if you are looking for a leaner version it works. Hence, it won’t be as tender and “melt in your mouth”, as its a leaner cut of meat.
  • You don’t have to brown the pork for this recipe. But for extra flavor, I recommend you brown it on each side for few minutes. Use the Sauté function of the Instant Pot to do this.
  • Use your favorite barbecue sauce, I usually choose a honey based barbecue sauce or bourbon, the latest is by far my favorite.
  • Molasses can be added to the pork. It gives a nice, subtle deep caramel flavor, that goes really well with the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.
  • I don’t like using water when I cook the pork. Usually, I add beer and here again you can use your favorite. My go to is beer like Yuengling’s.
  • If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can replace the beer with soda. Something like Coke or Dr. Pepper works well. Water and beef broth also work nicely.
  • Always save some cooking liquid, and store the pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge. I always top it with some cooking liquid to keep it moist.
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Why make Pulled Pork using your Instant Pot?

This Instant Pot Pulled Pork is juicy and flavorful and if you want to add some heat just add more chili powder when you cook it, or some Sriracha sauce at the end.

  • Making Pulled Pork in the pressure cooker will take you only a few hours, a fraction of the time actually from what would take you to use your crockpot, oven or smoker. The pulled pork is ready to serve in under 2 hours.
  • It is a great alternative if you don’t own a smoker or crockpot.
  • Perfect for emergency situation and satisfying a pulled pork craving whenever it hits.
  • Dirtying one pot only, super easy to prep and clean.

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Pulled Pork

How do you heat up frozen pulled pork?

  • You can place in in the fridge and thaw it before heating it up, that will reduce the heating up time, but its not mandatory.
  • Add the pulled pork to a large sauce pan over medium heat, and heat it up, stirring occasionally, if needed add more bbq sauce or scoop up extra liquid if there is too much. Stir well to combine to make sure it heats up uniformly.

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Tools/Ingredients I used to make this Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe:

  • Instant Pot – I love mine, its truly a life saver, and it has so many functions you can sauté the meat and veggies directly into it, so no need to dirty another pot or skillet. Also, it has a slow cooker function, and also a steam function that I use a lot!
  • Molasses – great not only in sweet recipes, a little goes a long way and it adds such a nice flavor to many savory dishes.
  • BBQ Sauce – oh my, I buy it in bulk, I use it in many recipes, for wings, for pulled pork and chicken and also just as a dipping sauce.
  • Dry Ground Mustard
  • Smoked Paprika – do not replace with regular paprika, the smoked one is what adds great flavor.
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder – you can add more or less, depends how spicy you want the pork.
  • Brown Sugar – to balance the heat from the pepper.
  • Cinnamon – a little goes a long way, but this addition will add some depth to the other flavors.
  • Liquid Smoke
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Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe


  • 3-4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder cut into 3-4 pieces

Sauce for Pressure Cooking:

  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups beer of choice Coke, Dr. Pepper or water/ beef broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder use more for a spicier pulled pork
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

After Pressure Cooking:

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 leftover cooking sauce


  • Coleslaw
  • 6 Sesame seed buns

  1. Combine all the Sauce ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to fully combine.

  2. Add the pork pieces to the Instant Pot and pour the sauce on top of them.

  3. Lock the lid, make sure the valve points to sealed. Select High Pressure and cook for 60 minutes. When the pork is done cooking and you hear the beeping sound, do a 10-20 min natural pressure release. Release manually the remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.

  4. Gently remove the pork from the pressure cooker, add it to a large, dip dish and shred it using two forks.

  5. Strain the cooking liquid, and reserve about 2 cups.

  6. Select Sauté and add the shredded pork back to the cooking pot, add the remaining 1 cup of barbecue sauce and ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, stirring and tossing frequently. If needed add another ½ cup of cooking liquid.

  7. Serve pulled pork immediately on buns, if desired top with coleslaw and more barbecue sauce.

  8. Store in the refrigerator the remaining 1 cup of cooking liquid, you can use it to reheat the pulled pork, in case it needs more liquid.

  9. Store pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Calories: 767, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 136mg, Sodium: 1827mg, Potassium: 1510mg, Carbohydrates: 105g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 72g, Protein: 56g, Vitamin A: 11.7%, Vitamin C: 2.5%, Calcium: 18.8%, Iron: 30.7%

Show me what you made on Instagram and tag me at @sweetnsavorymeals or hashtag it #sweetandsavorymeals.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork is made quickly and easy in the Instant Pot. Flavored with beer and sweet barbecue sauce.

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