I absolutely love pulled pork! Especially when it’s smothered in BBQ sauce! In the past, I’ve always made my BBQ pulled pork in the slow cooker. However, now that I know how easy it is to make it in the Instant Pot, I’ll never go back!
In just over an hour, you can have tender, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ pulled pork from the Instant Pot. It’s so incredibly easy to make and perfect for summer parties!
You can use this pulled pork to make sandwiches, top on nachos, create a salad.. the sky is the limit!
What makes this BBQ pulled pork gluten-free?
This BBQ pulled pork made in the Instant Pot is a great gluten-free recipe to feed your family or a crowd. Most of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free!
However, there is one to be on the watch for – BBQ sauce. That’s right. Not all BBQ sauces are gluten-free.
Gluten is sometimes used as a thickener for BBQ Sauce. You’ll also sometimes find gluten as a flavoring, too. Beer and soy sauce, both of which contain gluten, are often added to BBQ sauce for a unique flavor.
Of course, you could make your own BBQ sauce at home to make sure that all of the ingredients are free from gluten. But, there are so many good store-bought BBQ sauces on the market that are gluten-free that you should have no problem finding one at your local store!
Always be sure to read the ingredients of your BBQ sauce to make sure it is gluten-free! Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce is certified gluten-free and one of our favorites in our house!
Which cut of pork is best for BBQ pulled pork?
My favorite cut of pork to use for BBQ pulled pork is a boneless pork shoulder because it has a lot of connective tissue.
When the connective tissue breaks down it creates a really tender meat that melts in your mouth! You may also see it called Boston butt or pork butt at the grocery store.
You could also use a pork loin roast, which is a bit leaner than pork shoulder and not as fatty. You may need to decrease the cooking time so that the roast does not dry out.
I do not advise using cuts like pork chops because they do not have a lot of connective tissue, so they cook too quickly and will not be pull-apart tender for BBQ pulled pork.
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Here’s What You’ll Need
Ingredients: brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, pork shoulder, oil, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, orange juice
How to make BBQ pulled pork in the Instant Pot
Make the spice rub. Combine the brown sugar and spices in a small bowl. Completely cover the cubed pork with the spice rub.
Sear the pork. Put the Instant Pot on the sauté function and add the oil. Then brown the pork for 3-4 minutes on each side. You’ll want to do this in batches so that the pork has enough room to brown.
Make the sauce. Mix together 1 cup of BBQ sauce with the apple cider vinegar and orange juice. If you don’t have orange juice you want use water. Reserve the remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce for later.
Cook on High Pressure. Turn the Instant Pot to high pressure and add the browned pork and sauce mixture. Close the lid and make sure the vent is sealed.
Cook for 55 minutes on high pressure. Let naturally release for 10 minutes and then manually release the pressure.
Shred the pork. Remove the pork from the Instant Pot, leaving the juices behind. Shred with a fork or chop into pieces. Then mix together with remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. Serve!
FAQs and Tips for Making Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
Not all BBQ sauces are gluten-free! Gluten is often used as a thickener or flavoring in BBQ sauce. Be sure to check the labels of your BBQ sauce before using.
Yes, if you do not have an Instant Pot but have a slow cooker, you can make this BBQ pulled pork! Just brown the pork in a skillet on the stove instead of in the pressure cooker as written in the recipe. Then, proceed with the rest of the recipe but cook the pulled pork in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
Cook the pork shoulder until it reaches an internal temperature of 190⁰F. It is best to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
Shoulder cuts should be cooked to 190⁰F as the connective tissue needs to be rendered down. Loin roasts, chops, and tenderloin should be cooked at 145⁰F for the best flavor and safest temperature.
Generally, the cook time in the Instant Pot is 15 minutes on high pressure for every pound of pork. With 3 lbs of pork, I like to go a bit longer and cook mine for 55 minutes so it shreds super easily.
Pulled pork is so versatile! You can use it for pulled pork sandwiches, loaded tater tots, nachos, salads and more!
Here’s what to serve with your BBQ pulled pork
- Roasted Corn and Bacon Red Potato Salad
- Easy Cabbage Dill Coleslaw
- Summer Brussels Sprout Kale Salad with Strawberries
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
Want more gluten-free Instant Pot recipes? Try these!
Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder (cut into 8 pieces)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups bbq sauce (divided)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- Add the brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and sea salt to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
- Cover every part of the cubed pork in the spice rub.
- Set Instant Pot to the sauté setting and add the oil. Once hot, add the pork and sear on each side, about 3 minutes per side. You will probably need to do this in 2-3 batches. Place pork on a clean plate after browned. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- With a wooden spoon, scrape off the browned bits. You can add a tablespoon of water or two to help scrape up the browned bits if needed.
- Whisk together 1 cup of the BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, and orange juice.
- Set the Instant Pot to the High Pressure Cooking setting. Add the browned meat to the pressure cooker. Pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the top. Stir to make sure the pork is completely covered by the sauce.
- Twist on the top and make sure the valve is at “sealed.” Cook on high pressure for 55 minutes.
- Let naturally release for 10 minutes, and then put the valve on quick release.
- Turn pressure cooker off and carefully remove the top.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the pork to a large bowl, leaving the liquid behind.
- Either shred the pork or chop into smaller chunks.
- Mix with the remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. Serve!