Smoky Pulled Pork

This is my new weekly favourite dish, and it’s beyond simple to prepare. I’ve finally become more comfortable with my Instant Pot, and have started trusting it it’s magical abilities to shorten cooking time and produce the most tender and delicious meals. 

Below, I present to you the mouthwatering glory that is pulled pork!

Pulled pork with some avocado and tomatillo green salsa on the side.

It all start with this big hunk of meat.

My big shoulder of pork, clocking in at 4.54 lb.

You need a good solid pork shoulder, which I picked up for $3.49 a pound. Make sure there is a decent amount of fat throughout the cut, as this is going to make your dish super tender and juicy. I’d suggest a shoulder cut.

You need to cut it up into chunks between about half a pound and a pound. This will ensure it is cooked evenly and quickly.

Try to find a pork shoulder with a decent amount of fat. It’ll add so much flavour!

The most labour intensive part of this whole thing is measuring out your spices. Oh and chopping an onion. Besides that, you don’t need to have gone to culinary school to pull off this beauty.

I love the smoky flavour imparted from the smoked paprika, and the cumin takes it over the edge. I usually make my own chicken broth to add to this, allowing the pork to almost melt into a rich, umami broth of chicken goodness. Store bought is fine (major Barefoot Contessa fan over here) if you don’t have the time to make your own.


Nicely spiced pork shoulder.

This pork dish is best served on tortillas or tacos, or on a bed of crisp greens. Serve alongside some rice if you’re in the mood, or with some potatoes. For kids, I’d suggest filling a hotdog roll with it, and topping with a bit of cheese. 

This is what the pork looks like immediately after cooking. It still needs to be pulled/shredded. 

Honestly this meal is so versatile, and it’s been enjoyed as dinner and even a Mexican twist breakfast, with some scrambled eggs, salsa and tortillas.




3-4 lbs Pork Shoulder Roast (Pork Butt), cut into 1/2lb or 1lb chunks

1 onion, cut into eighths

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste

Spice Rub

3 T Brown Sugar

2 T Smoked Paprika

2 t Salt

1 t Pepper

1 T Chili Powder

2 t Cumin

1/4 t Cayenne Powder (optional), for heat

  • I added a tablespoon of gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper) for an extra kick.


  1. Mix the spices together for the rub. Remove 2 tablespoons and set aside for later.

  2. Rub all sides of the pork roast chunks generously with the spice rub. Set meat aside.

  3. Cut the onion into 8 pieces (cut in half and then half again. Put the onion into the inner cooking pot of the pressure cooker.

  4. Pour the chicken stock into the the pot over the onion.

  5. Set the pork chunks on top of the onions.

  6. Place the lid on and lock in place. Set the steam release knob to the sealing position.

  7. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual Button (or use dial) and then the + or – (or dial) to choose 65 minutes.

  8. After the cooking time has finished, let the pot sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Then turn the steam release knob to the Venting position (or push button) to manually Quick Release the remaining pressure/steam.

  9. When the pin in the lid drops down, open it and remove the meat to a large bowl. Use a slotted spoon to get the onions out and add to the meat. Use two forks to shred the meat.

  10. Sprinkle the reserved spice rub and 1/2 teaspoon salt onto the meat. Mix well. Taste and add more salt if desired.

  11. Use a large spoon (or a fat separator) to skim off the fat from the cooking liquid. Then add 1/2 cup of the liquid to the meat and mix in. You can add more of the liquid to the meat if you like it more moist.

  12. Serve on buns, or over rice or potatoes, or in tortillas.



How do you like to serve your pulled pork?

Let me know in the comments below.

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