Recipe: Amazing pulled pork, the Instant Pot way

I’ve tried for years to make pulled pork, and never got it right — until this spring.

The key to solving the riddle: my trusty Instant Pot, which I use multiple times a week to make rice and or cook soup and steam whole heads of broccoli or cauliflower.

But I’d never used it to cook meat. I was missing out!

This recipe relies on fresh produce — “It’s amazing the flavors those fruits and veggies turn into,” my husband said — and though the steps aren’t that intensive, it will take a half day to complete because of the pot-cooking time.

Once you have the pulled pork completed, though, it’s the epitome of an easy meal. Perfect for quick burritos. Wonderful cooked into jarred tomato sauce to elevate with pasta. Reheat lightly and sprinkle over salad. Spread it thin on a sheet to crisp in oven and you have carnitas for tacos or nachos.

Pulled Pork in Instant Pot


  • 5-8 lbs pork (shoulder or butt)
  • juice from 1 lime + 2 oranges
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (or dried chilis, though not as good)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups veg or chicken broth (or water also works)
  • assorted spices, to taste: oregano, cumin, coriander, chili powder


  • turn instant pot on Saute, custom strength – 4 bars
  • cut pork into large fist–sized chunks, trimming the bulk of the fat (some of it can remain, don’t have to be meticulous)
  • toss with olive oil and salt and black pepper
  • place pork chunks into instant pot, they should sizzle
  • turn chunks a few times to brown each side
  • sprinkle healthy amounts of other spices over top
  • add chopped veggies and toss
  • pour in juice and broth or water
  • cancel Saute

Pressure cook

Place lid on pot with valve closed and set to pressure cook on high for 1 hr 15 mins. Allow pressure to release naturally, will take around an hour.


  • use tongs to pull chunks of pork out into bowl or container
  • broth in pot now needs to be reduced, so turn on “Saute” and let it start bubbling away, with the top open
  • meanwhile, pull apart the pork with the tongs and a fork
  • stir liquid occasionally as it bubbles
  • after about 25 mins, when liquid is down to less than an inch, stir and turn off heat
  • add pulled pork back into pot and stir well
  • meat should absorb the liquid
  • transfer into container and use as desired