One of the best bbq pulled pork recipes out there! Bold, flavorful, tender and perfect for weekly meal prep, freezer meals or a killer pulled pork sandwich! Find out how to make it in no time thanks to the pressure cooker!
All aboard the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker train folks! CHOO CHOO! lol God I love pressure cooking! But then again, you kind of already know that considering I post so many recipes and have been preaching about it for years. Raise your hands if you got one for the holidays? Raise your hands if it’s still on your wish list. Hmmm…are we at the point yet where some of you have more than one pressure cooker? *raises her hand* Yeah, at one point I had 3 of them. I mean in all fairness I was testing them out. I did end up giving Mama Fantabulous my smaller 6 quart one.
Now is the time of the year when pork butts and shoulders are the cheapest. They may go a tad cheaper in the warmer months for cookouts and bbqs but in the winter, at least in Pittsburgh, they are pretty cheap. It’s football (and hockey) season which means everyone and their mother makes pulled pork. Every get together, game night, football game, poker night has pulled pork in some fashion.
Today I’m sharing another version of mine. The last one I shared with you (a million years ago) was with my Bacon BBQ sauce (which to date is still one of my top sauce recipes!). That Bacon BBQ Pulled pork was epic but this one, I’m kind of crushing hard on this one.
I think part of it is the sauce that goes with it as I used my Maple Chipotle BBQ sauce as the base but then instead of adding water to it, I went with a simple can of Coke. Not diet, not flavored; just a plain ol’ can of Coke. No, not Cola (gag). Does anyone actually like that stuff? I can remember growing up we couldn’t afford “the real stuff” so Mom would by the off brands and I HATED the cola. I think that’s, honestly, where my love of grape and orange soda came from. Now I haven’t had either of those in eons but as I type about it, I’m kind of craving a big ol can of grape soda (with the purple foam fizzies that tickled your nose!).
Side note, if you don’t have Coke, you can totally use Root Beer or Dr. Pepper.
In making this recipe you’ll notice I have a pretty nice char on it. That occurs two ways – one from the searing the pork before pressure cooking it. Searing it helps deepen the flavor of the meats and helps seal in the juices. Then when it’s done, you pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to help create those charred bbq spots like you would get had you put this in a smoker or bbq for hours. The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t have to wait hours upon hours for it to be done! Nope, using the size of meat I used it’s done in 75 minutes (when under pressure) and a few more minutes for the sauce to thicken and the meat to char under the broiler.
So tell me, when you make shredded beef/chicken/pork how do you shred it? I personally use my stand mixer when it stuff this large. You can most certainly use 2 large forks but it takes a little longer. The upside of that is you truly get the uneven chunks. Some are small, some are large and all are equally DELICIOUS! Now in my house, a butt this size (as she giggles like a 14 year old kid) makes several meals! It’s perfect for my weekly meal prep to use in other recipes, plus it freezes incredibly well! I’ll actually make up pulled pork burritos for Mr. Fantabulous loaded with cheese and sauce (plus some cooked onions). Those each get individually wrapped, put into a freezer bag (with instructions on how to reheat) and stored in the freezer for a few months.
For me I have a few favorite ways to serve this. I mean obviously a pulled pork sandwich. But let me ask you this as some people are very, VERY, picky about what goes on their pulled pork sandwich. Are you a Pulled Pork Purist? Meaning just give you a sturdy bun, a ton of pulled pork and a squirt of bbq sauce? Or are you on the other end of the spectrum and need to go all out with yours? I mean we have your sturdy bun (fyi ciabatta works awesome!), squirt of sauce, lots of pulled pork, melted cheese, vinegar-based slaw (no mayo – gag!), and pickles? That’s me. I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOOOOVE that! Mr. Fantabulous thinks it’s absolutely repulsive to eat it that was as it’s “too much stuff” but to me it just makes the sandwich so much more awesome!
For those that are curious, the ONLY slaw that belongs on pulled pork is my Pittsburgh Slaw. You can keep your nasty mayo based crap. Sorry but I don’t do mayo. Plus the thought of mixing warm bbq sauce with cold mayo just does not sound appealing but hey if that’s what you’re into, go for it. I won’t judge you…much.
So let’s dish about this pork. Seriously it’s legit. It’s so incredibly tender, moist and honestly, makes one killer pulled pork sandwich. What I love about this recipe is that it’s pressure cooker agnostic as in it doesn’t matter if you have an Instant Pot, or the All-Clad PC8 or some other brand. All you need to care about are a few things:
- Does it fit and not exceed the max fill line?
- Does it have a great seal?
- Can it fit? Yes I know I mentioned this but it’s super important!
I’m hoping by now those of you that have a pressure cooker but are still fearful of it gather the courage to try out a recipe. It’s really, really easy. Sure it’s scary – it’ll hiss, it’ll beep, it can burn you (if you’re in the line of the pressure valve release when you release the pressure) but if you can take your time, read the instructions and follow a recipe you’ll be a Pressure Cooking ninja in no time!
Anyway, back to this deliciousness – go buy the ingredients and make it. What I want to hear from you is HOW you eat it. Did you put it on a sandwich? Did you put it on pizza? Yeah – pizza people! FYI – this on pizza with caramelized onions, stadium cheese sauce (no, not nacho cheese sauce), and crumbled Fritos on top – seriously best fat pants food ever! This is awesome on nachos and in ice cream cones.
Wait, what? Ice Cream Cone? Yep… just wait to see what I have in store for you guys. You’re going to flip out! It’s AMAZING!
I’ve made this recipe in 2 different Pressure cookers and got equally amazing results!
The 8 quart Instant Pot rocks as it’s super easy to use and clean!
I first created this recipe in my All-Clad PC8 Pressure Cooker. It’s gas powered by the stove top and is 8.4 quart. It’s one amazing piece of equipment!
To shred the pork easily I just popped it in the stand mixer and let the paddle attachment do the work in seconds!
- 4lb boneless Boston Pork Butt/pork shoulder
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbl brown sugar
- 2 Tbl olive oil
- 12 ounce can Coke, not diet
- 1 1/2 cup Chipotle Maple BBQ Sauce (or any tangy bbq sauce)
- 1/2 cup water
- Set your pressure cooker to the browning/saute cycle if electric. For gas pressure cooker put the heat to medium high.
- Pat the pork dry and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the chipotle powder, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper.
- Rub the mixture all over the pork.
- Add the oil to your pressure cooker.
- Once the oil shimmers gently add the pork into the pot and sear on all sides until a crust has formed. ~5-8 minutes per side.
- Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
- In the pot add 1/2 cup of Coke and the chopped onions.
- Cook for 4 minutes, scraping down the pan with a wooden spoon to get up all of the charred bits on the bottom.
- Add in the rest of the coke, water, bbq sauce and brown sugar. Give it a quick stir.
- Place the meat in, close the lid (turn the gas to high if using a gas PC) and set the timer to 75 minutes on high. My gas PC beeps to tell me when it’s at temperature then the heat is reduced to low to maintain pressure. For the Instant Pot set it to either Meat/Stew with pressure high and the time to 75 minutes or hit Pressure Cook, High Pressure and time 75 minutes.
- Allow to release naturally.
- Turn on the broiler and line a pan with foil and set a cooling rack in it.
- Remove the pork from the pot and set on top of the cooling rack..
- Bring the sauce to a boil (using the saute function) and allow to reduce slightly to thicken, stirring occasionally. Cook until the sauce reduces and coats the back of the spoon with a moderating coating. Transfer the sauce to a quart jar. Remember the sauce will thicken up upon cooling.
- Brush some of the sauce over top of the pork. Place the pork under the broiler and broil for 5-8 minutes until it starts to lightly char. Move the pork around broiling all sides if desired.
- Remove the pork from the oven.
- To make pulled pork simply shred with 2 forks or put into a mixer with the paddle attachment to shred quickly. Drizzle in as much or as little bbq sauce you’d like.To serve as slices, allow to cool slightly to slice – be sure to slice against the grain.
If you want to make this in a slow cooker, sear the meat first then add all of the ingredients plus an additional cup of water to at least a 6 quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.