BBQ Pulled Pork

Unbelievable pulled pork recipe that’s made in an Instant Pot and mixed with homemade BBQ sauce.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq, instant pot, pork, pulled pork
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 521 kcal


  • 4.5 lb pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper

BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups juices from cooking the pork
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Salt
US Customary - Metric


  1. Mix apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and broth in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Pork shoulder often comes pre-cut and tied together. If your pork is not cut, cut it in half. I find it easier to sear pork in an Instant pot as one piece tied together because of the smaller space. Just untie it after searing, before cooking.

  3. Combine all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place pork shoulder on a sheet of parchment paper and season it generously on all sides.

  4. Preheat Instant Pot on "saute" setting and add some oil. Sear seasoned pork on all sides until browned. Use metal tongs to turn the meat. Turn saute setting off when pork is browned.

  5. Pour apple juice mixture into the pot.

  6. Close the lid and make sure it’s latched. Turn the valve to “seal” and set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure cook mode for 70 minutes.

  7. Turn off the Instant Pot when it’s done and let it naturally release for 10 minutes. You can carefully do manual release after that.

  8. Take all the meat out into a mixing bowl and let it cool.

BBQ Sauce:

  1. Pour the juices from cooking meat out of the Instant Pot into a separate container. Pour it through a fine mesh strainer.

  2. Set the Instant Pot to "saute" and combine the ingredients for BBQ sauce in the pot. Bring it to simmer and slowly stir while it simmers for a few minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot and set sauce aside, off the heat.

    (Leftover juices can be used to make gravy.)

  3. Pull pork apart once it's cooled enough to be handled. As you're working through it, discard excess fat and membrane.

  4. Combine pulled pork meat and BBQ sauce until thoroughly mixed together.

Recipe Notes

All images and text ©Lyubov Brooke for ©Will Cook For Smiles. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as most ingredients and brands have a slight variation.

Nutrition Facts
BBQ Pulled Pork
Amount Per Serving
Calories 521 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 2003mg87%
Potassium 1144mg33%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 1535IU31%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.