Originally a recipe for the crock pot, this super tasty & easy pulled pork is now my go-to recipe for the instant pot (although my egg bites are a close second). Super simple, with three-ingredients. Both methods gives great results, but with a time-savings of more than 8 hours, the instant pot wins hands down! Now I can even make it when I come home for work and have it ready for dinner!
Pork shoulder (aka “Boston butt” roast), fresh garlic, and red Hawaiian sea salt. That’s all you need. I can’t express how much Trilo and I *love* this pulled pork. We use street-taco sized tortillas, and top with shredded lettuce, cheddar, onions, and cilantro for perfect carnitas. Makes for a really tasty meal!
We even cook this super tasty and easy pulled pork instant pot recipe in bulk (8+ pounds), vac-seal, and pack it with us when we head out for several weeks camping out in the Nevada desert. By making sure it has lots of juice and fats sealed with it, it heats up on the flat-top griddle perfectly. There’s nothing like juicy pork in a harsh environment … heaven!
A Word About Salt
It’s no secret, salt rates highly in our house. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you we probably have a dozen different types of salt in the cupboard. Each one has different properties, and flavor profile. That’s why you *need* to stick to the recipe on this one point: Red Hawaiian Sea Salt. Not french gray, not black lava. Red. Hawaiian. Trust me on this.
Now on to this super tasty and easy pulled pork instant pot recipe.
- 2.5 lb Boston Butt roast boneless or bone-in
- 2 cloves Fresh garlic sliced
- 1 Tbsp Red Hawaiian sea salt coarse or ground
- Gather your ingredients and tools.
- I used a 2.5 pound pork butt, bone-in roast this time. I usually use a boneless roast and cut it into a couple of chunks. This time, I left the roast whole since it has a bone. I don’t think for a roast this size it makes a difference if you cut it into chunks or not. In the future, I’m not going to cut it. I think it stays moister in one piece.Tip: You can do larger roasts (as I often do). The cook time in the instant pot doesn’t change if you make larger or smaller amounts. You may want to cut a bigger roast into even-sized chunks to facilitate better cooking.
- Red Hawaiian sea salt. That is the salt to use. No, you can’t substitute other salt. Trust me. Run back out to the store and get this stuff, I’ll wait.
- Slice the garlic into 2-3 slices per clove (more if they are big cloves).I used 2 garlic cloves for my 2.5 pound roast. If you are a massive garlic fan, feel free to use more. I don’t like my pulled pork to be overly garlicky, so I tend to use less.
- With a sharp knife, stab the roast. You want to make deep punctures all around the roast. Be sure to do the sides as well.
- As you make a hole, slide a garlic slice into the hole. Push the garlic deep inside the roast. As the roast cooks, the meat shrinks. If you don’t push them deep, they will pop out. Pressing the garlic deep into the meat, the pork will get infused with the garlic flavor.
- You are going to coat the meat with the red Hawaiian sea salt. When I did this in the crock pot, I was able to be very liberal with the salt. However the way pressure cookers work, the salt gets infused into the meat, so it is really easy to over-salt things. I found 1 tablespoon was just the right amount for this roast.Note: Trilo and I are huge fans of salt. If you are trying to restrict your salt intake, or just don’t really like much salt, you may want to dial it back a bit. You can always add more later.
- Sprinkle the meat on all sides with the salt, patting it so it sticks.
- Add 1 cup of water to your instant pot and set the meat right in the water. No trivet is needed.Cook on manual, high for 90 minutes. Then leave in the pot on warm, lid closed and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Open the lid and enjoy the wafting flavors that rise from the pot. The meat should be fall-apart tender. (You can close it up and cook longer if it isn’t done).
- With a big slotted spoon, lift the meat out of the pot into a large bowl. Be careful, it will be very hot.Tip: At this point I like to remove the (very soft) garlic slices from the meat, since I don’t like my pork too garlicky.
- Shred the meat to your liking. I prefer to have it more chunky, while Trilo likes it well shredded. A couple of forks work great for this.I like to store the meat in a container, and pour some of the cooking juices and fat over top of it. (The fat helps to keep the meat moist when reheating.)
- Use the meat to make tacos, or I like to add it to a salad. Use your imagination! Enjoy!