Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork 4 Ways | Perfect for Meal Prep!

Pulled pork has never been this quick and easy!  Learn all the secrets behind my Instant Pot pulled pork recipe, plus try 4 different instant pot pulled pork recipes that are perfect for meal prep during the week!

Instant Pot Pulled Pork 4 Ways - Perfect for Meal Prep! | How to make pulled pork in an Instant Pot + 4 pulled pork recipes | A Sweet Pea Chef

Pulled pork is a BBQ staple here in the South. No BBQ season passes by without the delicious and flavorful pulled pork. I love it. Dustin loves it. The kids love it. Everybody loves it. It’s so delicious! Not to mention pulled pork is perfect for so many different occasions. Think BBQ summer parties, holidays, weeknight meals and so on.

But, since the traditional pulled pork recipe is not the healthiest recipe out there, I made it healthier. And dare I say easier? It involves the Instant Pot, which means little to no effort to make it because it significantly cuts down the cooking time.

If you love pulled pork and you have an Instant Pot, this is gonna be a game changer for you!

Picture of the Instant Pot that will be used for making pulled pork.

HOW TO MAKE PULLED PORK IN A PRESSURE COOKER

Ok, so we’ve all heard how amazing Instant PotsOpens in a new tab. are but… how do you make pulled pork in an Instant Pot?

For a traditional pulled pork recipe, you are required to cook the meat slowly to allow the pork protein to break down properly and achieve that juicy tenderness pulled pork is known for.  However, since we’ll be making an Instant Pot pulled pork recipe there’s no need to stress about this part. The Instant Pot takes care of it.

All you have to do is…

  1. trim fat from pork roast;
  2. cut into even chunks ;
  3. in a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients then rub pork with the mix and coat well;
  4. in the Instant Pot, add a little bit of olive oil and set to Sauté.
  5. once the Instant Pot is hot, add the seasoned pork;
  6. sear for 3-5 minutes per side then remove from Instant Pot;
  7. press cancel and add chicken broth to Instant Pot;
  8. deglaze the bottom with a spoon;
  9. place pork back into the Instant Pot, secure lid and pressure cook for 60 minutes;
  10. let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes before opening.

View from the top of Boston butt pork that will be turned into pulled pork using the Instant Pot.

WHAT’S THE BEST CUT OF PORK FOR PULLED PORK?

The best pork cuts for pulled pork are called “Boston butt,” “pork shoulder,” “pork roast,” or “pork loin.”  for my Instant Pot shredded pork, I prefer using pork loin because it’s a bit leaner so you don’t have as much fat to trim or in the final recipe, yet it’s still super flavorful. You can use either boneless or bone-in. That being said, a lot of people say the best cut of pork for pulled pork is Boston butt because it’s the most flavorful and high in fat, which makes for tender pulled pork.

Yes, pork is relatively high in fat for a protein, compared to chicken breast, for example, but, thankfully, it’s a great source of protein, too. And it contains vitamins and minerals. Pulled pork contains 11g of protein per portion while shredded chicken contains only 5g. As you’ve seen in the steps for how to make pulled pork, I like to trim the fat to reduce the fat content.

Healthy dry rub for pulled pork made with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder.Healthy dry rub for Instant Pot pulled pork made with sea salt, cayenne powder, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, dry mustard, and cumin.

HOW TO MAKE PULLED PORK HEALTHY

All the steps and tips we’ve discussed so far work for any Instant Pot pulled pork recipe. But we don’t want to make any kind of Instant Pot pulled pork. We want to make healthy pulled pork.

Authentic pulled pork requires a dry rub usually made with paprika, sugar, salt, and, sometimes, other spices. We’re cool with the spices. We’re cool with the rub too. But we’re not cool with the sugar. So we’re not going to use any.

We also don’t want to add a ton of sugar-laden sauces to it so we’re keeping it as simple as possible using spice rubs and strong flavors to get the flavors to pop.  There’s no reason to drown delicious pulled pork in sauce if you cook it right and it’s already full of flavor, ya know?

Seasoning the Boston butt with the dry rub before cooking it in the Instant Pot.Searing pork in the Instant Pot with olive oil.

HOW TO SHRED PORK

Once the pork is cooked and the pressure from the Instant Pot released, it is time to shred pork and turn it into pulled pork. For this, I like to use 2 forks but you can do it with a food processor or even a hand blender, if you prefer.

How To Shred Pork With Forks

To shred pork with forks:

  1. transfer the pork from the Instant Pot to a large bowl;
  2. hold pork down with one fork and shred it with the other one;
  3. discard any large pieces of fat.

How To Shred Pork With A Food Processor

Shredding pork in a food processorOpens in a new tab. takes seconds but it’s important to use the proper technique and blade to get perfect shreds. Here’s how to do it:

  1. transfer pork to the food processor;
  2. use a slicer blade, not the shredder blade (the shredder blade is best for veggies but doesn’t work very well with meat;
  3. pulse without pushing the top down and you’ll get perfect pork shreds.

Cooking pork in the Instant Pot to make Instant Pot pulled pork.Top view of Lacey shredding pork with 2 forks.

4 FLAVORS FOR INSTANT POT PULLED PORK

Speaking of flavors… I think it’s time to discuss each one of these Instant Pot pork recipes. They have different flavors, but are all so delicious. It’s hard to choose a favorite one. I HEART them all!

INSTANT POT PULLED PORK

Let’s start with a simple Instant Pot pulled pork recipe. This one is made with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, and chicken broth. Mild, but awesome flavors.

Top view of cooked pork for plain Instant Pot Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot.Plain Instant Pot Pulled Pork in meal prep containers.

5 from 1 vote
Plain Instant Pot Pulled Pork in meal prep containers.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Release pressure
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
This Instant Pot Pulled Pork makes tender, juicy, and mild-flavored pulled pork that is perfect in any recipe that requires pulled pork including tacos, burritos, and sandwiches.
Categories: Clean Eating, Easy Dinner, Instant Pot, Weeknight Dinner
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 453 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs pork loin, boneless or bone-in
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Trim fat from pork roast and cut into 4 same size chunks.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowlOpens in a new tab. and whisk together. Add pork chunks to rub mix and coat well.
  3. Add 2 tbs olive oil to Instant PotOpens in a new tab. and set to sauté. Once it indicates hot, add the pork, but do not crowd.
  4. Sear on each side for about 3-5 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove pork and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining pork pieces, as needed.
  5. Once pork is seared and removed from pot, press cancel and add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Make sure to scrape up all the bits. Then add remaining chicken broth.
  6. Place pork chunks directly into the liquid in the pot, spacing out as best possible. Secure lid and make sure vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook/manual on high pressure for 60 minutes. Then let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes or until pin drops.
  7. Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with 2 forks.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 453 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 191mg64%
Sodium 942mg39%
Potassium 1182mg34%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 69g138%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

BBQ PULLED PORK

This BBQ Pulled Pork is a well-loved classic. So yummy, so tasty, so perfect. The BBQ pulled pork recipe is made with a delicious homemade BBQ sauce that is clean and healthy.

Top view of cooked pork for BBQ pulled pork in the Instant Pot.Top view of BBQ pulled pork in meal prep containers.

5 from 1 vote
Top view of BBQ pulled pork in meal prep containers.
BBQ Pulled Pork
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Release pressure
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 
Made with a delicious and clean BBQ Sauce, this BBQ Pulled Pork is so flavorful, tasty, and delicious, you won’t even notice it’s healthy.
Categories: Clean Eating, Dinner, Easy Weeknight Dinner, Instant Pot
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 475 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
For the Pulled Pork:
  • 4 lbs pork loin, boneless or bone-in
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Trim fat from pork roast and cut into 4 same size chunks.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowlOpens in a new tab. and whisk together. Add pork chunks to rub mix and coat well.
  3. Add 2 tbs olive oil to Instant PotOpens in a new tab. and set to sauté. Once it indicates hot, add the pork, but do not crowd.
  4. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes each. Remove pork and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining pork pieces.
  5. Once pork is seared and removed from pot, press cancel and add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Make sure to scrape up all the bits. Then add remaining ingredients for the bbq sauce. Cook until heated through.
  6. Place pork chunks directly into the liquid in the pot, spacing out as best possible. Secure lid and make sure vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook/manual on high pressure for 60 minutes.
  7. Then let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes or until pin drops.
  8. Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with 2 forks.
Nutrition Facts
BBQ Pulled Pork
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 475 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 191mg64%
Sodium 1100mg46%
Potassium 1286mg37%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 69g138%
Vitamin A 120IU2%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

CARNITAS PULLED PORK

If you want to make the best Instant Pot pulled pork for Mexican dishes, I recommend this Carnitas pulled pork recipe. While I enjoy the plain Instant Pot pulled pork in tacos and burritos, this Carnitas Pulled Pork will make them even better.

Cooked pork for Carnitas Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot.Carnitas Pulled Pork in meal prep containers.

5 from 1 vote
Carnitas Pulled Pork in meal prep containers.
Carnitas Pulled Pork
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Release pressure
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins
 
For Mexican dishes with tons of flavor and an amazing taste, make Carnitas Pulled Pork. It’s juicy, delicious, and the flavors are out-of-this-world good!
Categories: Clean Eating, Easy Weeknight Dinner, High-Protein, Instant Pot
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 463 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs pork loin boneless or bone-in
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbs olive oil
For broiling:
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Trim fat from pork roast and cut into 4 same size chunks.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowlOpens in a new tab. and whisk together. Add pork chunks to rub mix and coat well.
  3. Add 2 tbs olive oil to Instant PotOpens in a new tab. and set to sauté. Once it indicates hot, add the pork, but do not crowd.
  4. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes each. Remove pork and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining pork pieces.
  5. Once pork is seared and removed from pot, press cancel and add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Make sure to scrape up all the bits. Then add remaining chicken broth and orange juice.
  6. Place pork chunks directly into the liquid in the pot, spacing out as best possible. Secure lid and make sure vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook/manual on high pressure for 60 minutes. Then let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes or until pin drops.

  7. Remove pork to a large bowlOpens in a new tab. and shred with 2 forks.
  8. Place meat on a rimmed baking sheetOpens in a new tab. lined with parchment paper and squeeze lime juice over the top of the meat. Sprinkle with salt.
  9. Place under the broiler until meat is crisp on the edges, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Top meat with cilantro.
Nutrition Facts
Carnitas Pulled Pork
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 191mg64%
Sodium 1266mg53%
Potassium 1204mg34%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 68g136%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 14.6mg18%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

CAROLINA PULLED PORK

This Carolina pulled pork recipe is another great BBQ pulled pork recipe. A little different from the BBQ pulled pork we discussed earlier but totes amazing as well.

Cooked pork for Carolina Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot.Carolina Pulled Pork in meal prep containers.

5 from 1 vote
Carolina Pulled Pork in meal prep containers.
Carolina Pulled Pork
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Release pressure
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 
A little spicy, a little sweet, but most importantly delicious, this Carolina Pulled Pork is one of the best BBQ pulled pork recipe I ever tried.
Categories: Clean Eating, Easy Weeknight Dinner, Instant Pot
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 472 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs pork loin boneless or bone-in
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Trim fat from pork roast and cut into 4 same size chunks.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowlOpens in a new tab. and whisk together. Add pork chunks to rub mix and coat well.
  3. Add 2 tbs olive oil to Instant PotOpens in a new tab. and set to sauté. Once it indicates hot, add the pork, but do not crowd.
  4. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes each. Remove pork and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining pork pieces.
  5. Once pork is seared and removed from pot, press cancel and add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Make sure to scrape up all the bits. Then add remaining chicken broth and vinegars.
  6. Place pork chunks directly into the liquid in the pot, spacing out as best possible. Secure lid and make sure vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook/manual on high pressure for 60 minutes.Then let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes or until pin drops.
  7. Remove pork to a large bowlOpens in a new tab. and shred with 2 forks.
Nutrition Facts
Carolina Pulled Pork
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 472 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 191mg64%
Sodium 953mg40%
Potassium 1201mg34%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 69g138%
Vitamin A 480IU10%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Close up of pulled pork shredded with 2 forks.Top view of pulled pork on a baking tray.

Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork 4 Ways | Perfect for Meal Prep!

MAKING PULLED PORK MEAL PREP

Okay, so we have all these delicious protein recipes for pulled pork, but how do we store it so it doesn’t go to waste??  Here are some tips for how to make pulled pork meal prep for the entire week.

  • As for the leftovers, store them in meal prep containersOpens in a new tab. in the fridge for later use.
  • Stored properly, in an airtight container, pulled pork lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Can you freeze pulled pork to store longer? Yes! Keep reading for tips.
  • Don’t throw away the leftover sauce! You’ll need it later.

Carnitas pulled pork topped with cilantro on a baking tray.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH PULLED PORK

I like pulled pork meal prep because I can easily put together a delicious lunch or dinner.  If you’re wondering what to serve with pulled pork and what to do with pulled pork leftovers, I have some ideas for you.

  • A few days ago, I made a delicious wrap with carnitas pulled pork, avocado, cilantro, and jack cheese. It was sooo good. In fact, any pulled pork wrap will be good so you can make your own combinations.
  • You can also make burritos and tacos with pulled pork for a quick lunch.
  • As for dinner, you can pair Instant Pot pulled pork with sweet potato baked friesOpens in a new tab., black beansOpens in a new tab., you can add it to salads or you can make easy pilled pork sliders with these sweet potato bunsOpens in a new tab..

All these options are totes delicious BTW.

Portioning pulled pork into meal prep containers to store for later.

CAN YOU FREEZE PULLED PORK?

I mentioned this earlier so you already know you can freeze pulled pork. Freezing excess Instant Pot pulled pork makes for delicious future meals. It will last for up to 8 months in the freezer.   Awesome, right??

As for how to freeze pulled pork, it’s super easy. All you have to do is…

  • transfer the pulled pork to freezer-safe meal prep containers or Ziploc or re-usable freezer-safe bags;
  • leave a little bit of space at the top of the container or freezer bag because pulled pork extends while frozen;
  • place the airtight containers or Ziploc bags in the freezer.

Top view of Instant Pot pulled pork in meal prep containers. There are 4 meal prep containers filled with the 4 different types of pulled pork including Basic Pulled Pork, BBQ Pulled Pork, Carolina Pulled Pork, and Carnitas Pulled Pork.

HOW TO REHEAT PULLED PORK

Here’s the tricky part. Many people avoid pulled pork meal prep because reheating pulled pork is problematic, to say the least. Pulled pork tends to dry out when reheated. Sigh. No one wants to lose the tenderness and juiciness of pulled pork. And you don’t have to.

Remember when I told you not to throw away the leftover sauce? That leftover sauce is the secret to reheating pulled pork and keeping it tender and juicy.

How To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Slow Cooker

A slow, but successful way to reheat pulled pork is to use your slow cookerOpens in a new tab.. Yes, it takes a few hours but the pulled pork is delicious and exactly how it was before you stored it in the fridge or freezer. It will take 2-4 hours but the pulled pork will be perfectly heated through and tasty as can be. Here’s how to do it:

  1. place the pulled pork in the slow cooker;
  2. pour the leftover sauce over the pulled pork;
  3. turn the slow cooker on and set it on warm;
  4. wait 2-4 hours and then serve.

How To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Oven

If you don’t want to wait 2-4 hours, you can reheat pulled pork in the oven. Here are the steps:

  1. preheat oven to 250 degrees F;
  2. place the pulled pork on a baking dishOpens in a new tab.;
  3. pour over the leftover sauce;
  4. cover the dish with a lid;
  5. bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the pulled pork is heated through;
  6. add more leftover sauce over the pulled pork before serving and mix.

You can also always reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, until heated through.

View from the top of 8 meal prep containers with pulled pork. There are 2 meal prep containers for each of the pulled pork flavors.View from the top of Basic Pulled Pork, BBQ Pulled Pork, Carolina Pulled Pork, and Carnitas Pulled Pork in meal prep containers.

MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES

Now that you know how easy it is to make pulled pork in the Instant Pot, I think you should use your Instant Pot more often. Because there are many Instant Pot recipes you can try. I have a few to get you started.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BLACK BEANS + 4 EASY INSTANT POT BLACK BEANS RECIPES

The texture and flavor of homemade black beans don’t compare with canned black beans you can buy from the grocery store. So learn How To Make Instant Pot Black BeansOpens in a new tab..

Top view of 4 meal prep containers filled with black beans cooked in the instant pot. Each meal prep container contains a different type of black beans - plain black beans, Cuban black beans, refried black beans, and black beans with rice.

And discover 4 Easy Instant Pot Black Beans Recipes: plain black beans, Cuban black beans, refried black beans, and black beans with rice. Get the recipesOpens in a new tab..

BUTTERNUT SQUASH INSTANT POT CHILI

Ready in just 20 minutes, this Butternut Squash Instant Pot ChiliOpens in a new tab. is vegan, gluten-free, clean eating, healthy, and can be easily made paleo.

Bowl of butternut squash instant pot chili, where you can see the cooked, diced butternut squash, cooked black beans, tomatoes, and it is topped with fresh avocado, lime wedge, jalapeno, and cilantro.

The flavors of the chili are Fall perfect but I make it year round cuz’ I love the flavors too much not to. Get the recipeOpens in a new tab..

INSTANT POT BARBACOA TACOS WITH SALSA VERDE

Last but by no means least, we have these Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos with Salsa VerdeOpens in a new tab..

Close up of a two Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos, filled with barbacoa shredded beef, diced avocado, diced red onion, cotija cheese, and salsa verde.

Made with shredded barbacoa beef and a delicious homemade salsa verde, these Instant Pot Tacos are perfect for Taco Tuesday dinners. Get the recipeOpens in a new tab..

 

This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

6 thoughts on “Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork 4 Ways | Perfect for Meal Prep!

  1. If I wanted to cut the recipe in half do I cook the pork half the time in the instant pot? I don’t want it to get dried out! I have 2 lbs pork loin so please let me know. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    It seems to me that a full cup is an awfully large serving of meat. I would never go more than 1/2 cup per serving.

  3. I wanted to do a smaller portion of pork would i just do the math on the spices and cut them down accordingly?

  4. You should never reheat food in a crockpot on the keep warm setting. It takes too long to get to a safe temperature. Recipe looks great, excellent ideas for leftovers

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