Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

PrimalThanks to everyone’s new best friend, the Instant Pot, this BBQ pulled pork is on the table in two hours, with very little work from you. The BBQ sauce just might be the BBQ sauce you’ve always been searching for. It’s tangy, spicy, slightly sweet, and takes about 5 minutes to make. It’s easy to imagine brushing this sauce over brisket and grilled chicken, not just pulled pork.

The recipe for the BBQ sauce starts with blackstrap molasses for its depth of flavor and thick, syrupy consistency. Only a tablespoon, so the flavor of molasses doesn’t overwhelm the sauce, but you still get a nice dose of magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. This BBQ sauce is yet another delicious way to work blackstrap molasses into your diet.

The BBQ sauce is drizzled over the pork when it comes out of the Instant Pot. By now, you’ve probably heard about the Instant Pot, a pressure cooker that cooks in a fraction of the usual time. It’s an especially handy appliance for meat lovers, making it easy to turn a large cut of meat into a flavorful meal. This delicious recipe is a perfect example of what the Instant Pot can do, turning BBQ pulled pork into a simple hands-off meal.

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes, plus 90 minutes in the Instant Pot

Servings: 6


BBQ Sauce

  • 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 pieces (1.4 kg to 1.8 kg)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (5 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (2.5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (2.5 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided (10 ml to 1.2 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses (15 ml)
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili paste) (15 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos (5 ml)


instant pot

In a small bowl mix together coriander, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon and 2 teaspoons/10 ml salt.

Rub spice mix on pork. (If possible, let the meat sit out 30 minutes, so the meat comes to room temperature)

Press the “sauté” button on the Instant Pot. Add a drizzle of oil. Add the pieces of pork, browning on 2 sides before adding ¾ cup (180 ml) water to deglaze the bottom of the pot.

Cover and lock the lid. Press the “Keep warm/cancel” button, then press the “manual” button and set the pot to cook for 90 minutes under high pressure. Make sure the valve is in the “sealed” position. When 90 minutes has passed, let the pressure come down naturally.

While the pork cooks, whisk together the blackstrap molasses, garlic, honey, gochujang, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos and remaining ¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) salt. Set aside.

Remove the pork from the liquid in the pot. When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred with a knife or fork.

Pour the BBQ sauce over the pork and mix it in well. If you want to warm the pork back up, either put it back in the Instant Pot for a few minutes (with all liquid removed), or spread the meat out under the broiler for a few minutes (careful, so it doesn’t burn).

Serve warm or at room temperature. Cool, crisp cucumbers and cilantro are tasty garnishes.


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