Best Damn Instant Pot Pulled Pork – RecipeTeacher
This is the best shredded pork recipe I’ve ever made. Yes, you read that right. And it’s made in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker!
Shredded pork is something you always see in those barbecue competition programs where people go out of their way to prepare and cook with all kinds of methods. Most of the time, these methods require large pieces of equipment, plenty of space (outdoor space), and a ton of time and commitment to make. Now don’t get me wrong, you have the opportunity to sink your teeth into pork that has been cooked this way, it’s an experience that’s simply a festival of flavor you’ll never forget. Many of the best real barbecues will start making your shredded pork days ahead of time and when you’re ready to eat, people line up. And when these places run out of food for the day, that’s it until next time.
In recent years, electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot come along and people go crazy about these things. And there’s a reason for that, because they open up all the new possibilities for making amazing food. Shredded pork is first on my list of favorite foods to make with an instant pot. From start to finish, it can be done in less than 2 hours. No kidding!
We started with a roast pork. You can get bone or boneless. If you find the ones that are vacuum packed and the packaging indicates that the pork contains a 12% solution, this means that the roast is in brine. Those are the best to use. The meat is brined in this way to maintain tenderness and juiciness. You can always make your own brine, but that’s a topic for another day. Go with the meat in brine if you can. If the meat has a noticeable layer of fat, you’ll want to cut it. I generally like to use a 4 pound roast. I cut the meat into 4 pieces of equal size, cutting the bone if it has one.
Start with a good
Our shredded pork will get its flavor start by applying a massage. We use simple ingredients including brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Beat the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and add the pieces of pork. Use your hands and throw it all together for a couple of minutes. Make sure the seasoning mixture is well incorporated into the meat.
the meat The flavors of barbecue
can be complex and one of the keys to a great barbecue is the slow roasting/smoking of the meat. Since we can’t do that, we’ll create complex flavors of our own by burning the meat. We do this by adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Instant Pot and setting it to stir-fry mode. Once it is hot, carefully add our pieces of pork. I usually like to make 2 pieces at a time. It’s much easier to work with batches like this. Use tweezers and gently place the pieces in the hot oil. Let the meat sit for about 2 minutes and flip to get the other side for another couple of minutes. Get the sides too if possible. After burning the meat, remove from Instant Pot and set aside on a plate. Then we need to deglaze the pot. This is very important! After sautéing, press cancel and add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the pot. Use a wooden spoon and scrape off all the pieces from the bottom of the pot. It should take about a minute or so. Make sure you get it all and don’t rule anything out! All this goodness is part of the flavor for our shredded pork.
Pressure cook with
Chicken broth is the perfect liquid for cooking pork under pressure. It adds flavor that simply can’t be obtained with water. To round off the flavors, we’ll add some Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. These flavors work together to achieve a bold, savory look that you would normally get from the slow smoking/roasting methods of traditional barbecue. Naturally, we will emulate those flavors and the combination of Worcestershire and Liquid Smoke in the pressure cooker works wonders.
After you have deglazed the pot, add the rest of the wet ingredients and place the pieces of pork directly into the liquid. Do not stack it, spread it out as best as possible. Secure the lid, close the vent and pressure cook over high heat for 1 hour. After the hour is over, let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes you can quickly release any remaining pressure.
Carefully remove the pieces of pork from the instant pot to a large bowl. Pieces can fall apart and that’s okay. Once all the pork pieces are in a bowl, use two forks to crush the pieces.
Add favorite BBQ sauce and serve
At this point, your shredded pork will already be full of flavor. Just try one piece and you’ll be surprised! You can serve like this (with a little of the juice from the pot drizzled). Or, you can add your favorite BBQ sauce. Add the sauce in small amounts to start. You don’t want the pork to swim in the sauce, but the sauce to complement the pork.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy shredded pork is with some BBQ sauce and piled on a nice piece of white bread. Use a fork to enjoy this open-face sandwich approach. Add some coleslaw on top as well to add flavor and texture. Make sure you have a few pickle slices on the side as well.
Want to try this recipe with chicken? Check out our recipe for The Best Damn Instant Pot Pulled Chicken!