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Instant Pot Pork Butt

bowl of pulled pork

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5 from 13 reviews

This is the easiest Instant Pot Pork Butt recipe! No prep work, just add all of the ingredients to your pressure cooker. Warm spices like smoked paprika and cinnamon plus sweet & tangy apple cider vinegar and orange juice give the pork incredible flavor. The meat is unbelievably tender!

This tender shredded pork can be used in tacos, burritos, rice bowls and sandwiches. You can add barbecue sauce after it's cooked to make pulled pork. You can add it to a salad bowl with shredded cabbage, carrots and cucumber + your favorite salad dressing. You can serve it with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, corn on the cob or cabbage or coleslaw. It's really versatile!

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 15 minutes to reach pressure + 80 minutes cooking time + 20 minutes natural release = 2 hours

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • One 4 to 5 pound pork butt or pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces (bone-in or boneless)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (or other liquid, like water, beer or pineapple juice)

 

Instructions

  1. To prevent the cooked pork from being too fatty and oily, use a knife or kitchen shears to trim excess fat from the meat. You don't have to trim it all off, just the thicker chunks of fat. 
  2. Place the 4 pieces of pork butt in the Instant Pot.
  3. Sprinkle the salt and sugar over the meat.
  4. Sprinkle the spices over the meat (smoked paprika, garlic powder, cinnamon). Use a fork or your hands to turn and mix the meat so the spices are spread out a little more evenly over the pieces of pork.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar and orange juice.
  6. Press the Manual/Pressure cook button and program the Instant Pot to cook for 80 minutes at high pressure.
  7. When the cooking time is complete, let the pressure release naturally for about 20 minutes.
  8. Use tongs to lift the meat out of the pot. Use your hands or two forks to shred the meat. Taste the pork and add more salt if needed.
  9. You can serve the meat as is, or make it crispier (carnitas-style) by spreading it out on a foil-lined sheet pan and putting it under the oven broiler for 5 to 8 minutes. Or, you can crisp it up in a hot skillet. 

Notes

The cooking liquid is really flavorful and can be served with the pork if you want. It will be very oily though - use a fat separator to remove some of the oil or use a spoon to skim oil off the top of the pot. You can also make the pork a day before eating it and put the cooking liquid in the refrigerator over night. The fat will harden on the surface and be easier to scoop off.

Searing the meat before cooking it under pressure is optional. I always sear meat before I cook it in the oven, but it's not as necessary when using a pressure cooker. 

The cooked pork can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze the meat for up to 3 months in a sealed freezer bag.