Instant Pot Pork Shoulder is easy to make with minimal prep time, made with just pork shoulder, broth, and seasoning, pressure cooked until it shreds easily with a fork!

I make this recipe using my Easy Dry Pork Rub, but you can use your favorite seasoning blend. If I’m making pulled pork, I also serve it with Sweet & Spicy Gluten Free BBQ Sauce.

Shredded instant pot pork shoulder in a bowl on a table.

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder is a great budget-friendly dinner, made with pork shoulder covered in a dry spice rub that’s seared on all sides, then pressure cooked until it’s fork-tender. You can remove the roast from the instant pot and serve it in slices, or you can shred completely for pulled pork. 

Pressure cooking is perfect for this cut because it breaks down any toughness in the meat and makes a really tender and flavorful dish. You can serve this with barbecue sauce, or just sliced over rice or mashes potatoes.  

Ingredients You’ll Need

Individual ingredients for instant pot pork shoulder.

Pork Shoulder. This recipe will work with pork shoulder or boneless pork butt, and both are budget-friendly cuts of meat that are also really delicious and perfect for a family meal.

Pork shoulder is a cut that’s taken from the shoulder of the pig, from right above the front leg. It can also be called “picnic roast”. This cut of meat is perfect for the instant pot, slow cooker, or in a slow-roasting process. You could also use it for a stew. 

If your pork shoulder came with skin-on, you can trim that off, along with any large pieces of fat.

Broth. Use a regular vegetable broth, just make sure it’s gluten free. This keeps the bottom of the pan from giving the “burn” notice, and it also adds some flavor to the meat. 

The pork will release a lot of water while cooking, which can be made into a gravy if you serve it roast-style. 

Butter. I recommend using unsalted butter, so you can add the amount of salt you want later. Butter helps with the searing process and adds some flavor. 

Olive Oil. Use extra virgin olive oil to help brown the meat while keeping the butter from burning in the high heat of the instant pot, when it’s on the saute function. 

Spices. The spices are really up to your taste preference. I recommend my Easy Dry Pork Rub. You can also try Ranch Seasoning, Fajita Seasoning, or just keep it really simple with some kosher salt and black pepper. 

How to Make Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

Step by step photos for how to make instant pot pork shoulder.
  1.  Set the instant pot to saute mode. While that’s heating up, cut the pork roast into three even pieces and pat them dry with a paper towel. Evenly rub each piece with the seasoning. Add the butter and olive oil to the instant pot. Once it’s mostly melted, brown the pork for about 2-3 minutes on each side, making sure to get each side as well as the top and bottom. If your instant pot is smaller, you may have to work in batches. 
  2. Once browned, remove the meat from the instant pot and turn off the saute mode. Add the trivet and broth, then place each piece into the pot, resting next to each other. 
  3. Lock the instant pot lid in place and turn the valve to sealing position. Set for 60 minutes on high pressure. Once the timer is up, allow to natural release for 15 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. Make sure the pork has reached an internal temperature of 145°F on a meat thermometer. Remove the pork from the instant pot to a bowl and let it rest for 3-5 minutes, then shred with a fork before serving.

How to Make Pork Gravy

You can use the dripping leftover in the bottom of the instant pot to make a really nice pork gravy. I’ll make this if I’m not planning on doing a BBQ pulled pork, or if I don’t have bbq sauce on hand.

You can still shred the pork, then top it with the gravy and serve it over mashed potatoes. This gravy also works great with other cuts of pork, like pork chops or pork tenderloin.

  1.  Remove all of the meat and the trivet from the instant pot. Place a strainer on top of a large bowl, and carefully ladle the liquid over the strainer. Remove and discard any big pieces in the strainer. Let the liquid sit for about 5 minutes, then use a spoon to remove some of the fat that comes to the top of the liquid.
  2. Turn the instant pot back on, using the saute function. If there’s a small amount of liquid remaining, it should cook off in a few minutes. Add 4 tablespoons of butter. When melted, sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of gluten free flour, whisking until the butter begins to turn brown. 
  3. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of gluten free vegetable or chicken broth, and 1 cup of the pork cooking liquid, whisking everything together. Whisk often until the mixture begins to thicken, then turn off the heat. Add salt and black pepper to taste. You can also add garlic, thyme, or rosemary to taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my instant pot pork shoulder tough?

Pork shoulder gets more juicy and tender the longer it cooks, so if it’s still tough after being in the instant pot, you may need to add more time.

Make sure you’re cooking it on the High Pressure setting, and allowing it to naturally release for the full amount of time so the muscle and fat have a chance to properly break down. 

Is pork shoulder the same as pork butt?

Pork shoulder and pork butt are both from the shoulder area of the pig, but from opposite sides. Pork shoulder tends to have slightly less fat, while pork butt contains more fat.

Pork butt roast is a little better for recipes like pulled pork, but both will work well. 

Storage

Refrigerate leftover pork shoulder in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 

Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 months. 

More Pork Recipes

How to Make Pork Shoulder in the Slow Cooker

Pork shoulder works really well in the slow cooker, because the low and slow process helps break down the muscle fibers. This results in a soft, moist cut that melts in your mouth. A lot of electric pressure cookers have a slow cooking option. 

  1. Rub the meat with any dry spice mixture or brown sugar mixture you’d like. In a large skillet, add olive oil and butter and sear the pork shoulder on all sides. 
  2. Add the pork shoulder to the slow cooker with 2 cups of chicken stock or vegetable broth. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the shoulder is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork. If your roast is larger than 3-4 pounds, you might need to increase the cooking time.
  3. If you want to discard the liquid and add BBQ sauce, then remove the meat from the slow cooker before shredding. If you don’t mind the liquid and are serving the pork pieces over potatoes or rice, shred the pork directly in the slow cooker and serve.
  4. If you want to make gravy, after removing the meat use a slotted spoon to remove any big pieces from the leftover liquid in the slow cooker. In a separate bowl, make a cornstarch slurry with 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch and a small amount of cold water. Add to the slow cooker and stir everything together until it thickens, along with any spices you’d like (try rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper).

Recipe Variations

  • If you’re making pulled pork, shred and mix with BBQ sauce. You can serve it with coleslaw and gluten free hamburger buns. This is great for pork sandwiches the next day!
  • You can also try pork tacos by shredding the pork and serving with tortillas, salsa, cheese, chopped fresh vegetables, and lime wedges.
  • You can make this spicy by adding some red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. If you want it sweeter, use a spice blend that has brown sugar.

Cooking Tips

  • The cook time can change depending on how big the cut of meat is. This recipe is meant for a 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast that is cut into 3 even pork pieces. 
  • You can also add some vegetables to help turn the cooking liquid into more of a stock, like yellow onion, celery, carrots, or even some herbs like fresh rosemary.
  • You could use beef broth instead of chicken or vegetable, but the flavor will be a little different. Just make sure it’s gluten free.
An instant pot with cooked pork shoulder on a trivet with drippings below.

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An instant pot with cooked pork shoulder on a trivet with drippings below.

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder is easy to make with minimal prep time, made with just pork shoulder, broth, and seasoning, pressure cooked until it shreds easily with a fork!
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Resting Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3 pound pork shoulder roast, boneless, cut into 3 even pieces
  • 4 tablespoons dry pork rub
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup vegetable broth , gluten free

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot

Instructions
 

  • Set instant pot to saute mode. Pat the pork roast pieces dry with a paper towel. Evenly rub each piece with the seasoning. Add the butter and olive oil to the instant pot.
  • Brown the pork pieces for 2-3 minutes on each side. If your instant pot is smaller, you may have to work in batches.
  • Once browned, remove the meat from the instant pot and turn off the saute mode. Add the trivet and broth, then place each piece into the pot, resting next to each other. Lock the instant pot lid in place and turn the valve to sealing position.
  • Set for 60 minutes on high pressure, then natural release for 15 minutes. Quick release the remaining pressure. Make sure the pork has reached an internal temperature of 145°F on a meat thermometer.
  • Remove the pork from the instant pot and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and shred with a fork before serving.

Notes

Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!
Storage
Refrigerate leftover pork shoulder in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 
Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 months. 
Cooking Tips
  • The cook time can change depending on how big the cut of meat is. This recipe is meant for a 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast that is cut into 3 even pieces. 
  • You can also add some vegetables to help turn the cooking liquid into more of a stock, like yellow onion, celery, carrots, or even some herbs like fresh rosemary.
  • You could use beef broth instead of chicken or vegetable, but the flavor will be a little different. Just make sure it’s gluten free.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 2g (1%)Protein: 18g (36%)Fat: 12g (18%)Saturated Fat: 4g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 68mg (23%)Sodium: 175mg (8%)Potassium: 327mg (9%)Fiber: 0.2g (1%)Sugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 186IU (4%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 31mg (3%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
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