Pulled pork in serving dish with cilantro garnish

When it comes to making delicious family dinners, it’s easy to run into some issues. First, it can be hard to choose a dish that pleases everyone. Second, it’s hard to find the time, especially after a busy day! If you’ve ever struggled to find a tasty, simple, crowd-pleasing meal for the family, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, this easy Instant Pot BBQ pulled pork recipe will save you from that stress in the future.

Recipe developer and food blogger Susan Olayinka from The Flexible Fridge has a perfect BBQ pork recipe that packs in plenty of flavor with minimal effort or expertise required. This BBQ pork is incredibly easy to make, especially thanks to the Instant Pot. All you need to do is season and marinate the pork shoulder, then the Instant Pot will do all the cooking, making it an ideal recipe for busy parents who want a quick and delicious weeknight meal.

"The Instant Pot did all the hard work, so this is perfect for families who are busy during the week," Olayinka says of this recipe. If you’re looking for a meal that’s the perfect combination of flavor and simplicity, give this easy Instant Pot BBQ pulled pork recipe a try.

Gather the ingredients to make this easy Instant Pot BBQ pulled pork

Ingredients sitting on a cutting board

Before you can let your Instant Pot do its thing, you have to gather the proper ingredients to make this easy BBQ pulled pork. Of course, you’ll need pork shoulder steaks, and you’ll also need salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder to season it. Additionally, you’ll need some Coca-Cola and BBQ sauce for the marinade (there are some pretty great store-bought BBQ sauces to choose from). Olayinka notes that the Coke helps tenderize the meat and doesn’t add any flavor. So, if you have a different soda on hand, like Pepsi or Dr. Pepper, you could use those instead to get the same result.

Season your pork shoulder

Seasoned meat sitting on a plate

After you’ve sorted all of your ingredients, you can go ahead and season your pork shoulder steaks. You might also want to cut the shoulders into smaller chunks so they’ll all fit into the Instant Pot, depending on their size. Once you do that, go ahead and add your pork shoulder to a medium bowl. Add the salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder and make sure that the pork is evenly coated with these seasonings. Then, let your pork sit in the bowl for 15 minutes to allow the seasonings to really infuse into the meat.

Add your pork shoulder and liquid ingredients to the Instant Pot

Bubbling liquid in a pot with pork

Once your seasoned pork has sat for 15 minutes, go ahead and grab your Instant Pot. Put your pork shoulder inside. Additionally, you’ll add your Coca-Cola (or soda of choice) and BBQ sauce to the Instant Pot. Now you’re at the part where the Instant Pot will do all the work! Allow your pork to cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. After that, let your Instant Pot release the pressure naturally for 25 minutes, completing the cooking process.

Remove the pork from the Instant Pot and shred it

Two forks shredding pork in dish

Now that your pork is done cooking in the Instant Pot, you can remove it and put it into a large mixing bowl. Then, you can begin to shred the meat by using two forks and pulling the pork apart with each hand.

You’ll notice how tender the pork is. Olayinka notes that the Instant Pot helps greatly with that aspect. "Usually pulled pork takes quite a while to get tenderized on the stove," she explains. "The Instant Pot makes it so much easier." Once you’ve shred your meat to a desired consistency, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Add BBQ sauce to the pork, serve, and enjoy!

Fries and a pulled pork sandwich sitting on a plate

After you’ve finished shredding your meat, you can go ahead and add the remaining BBQ sauce and mix it all together. Serve the pulled pork while warm, and enjoy!

There are many ways to enjoy pulled pork, though Olayinka notes that it tastes wonderful on a brioche bun with a side of sweet potato fries. As for drinks, she also finds that kombucha or any fizzy drink serves as a complement to the flavors of the pork. Of course, the pork is also delicious on its own, making it a truly versatile and classic dish. Give this easy Instant Pot BBQ pulled pork recipe a try for your next family dinner — something tells us that it will be a total crowd-pleaser.

  • 6 (32-ounce) pork shoulder steaks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 cups Coca-Cola
  • ¾ cup BBQ sauce, divided
  • cilantro for garnish
  1. Place the pork shoulder in a large mixing bowl and add the salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the steaks to the Instant Pot and add the Coca-Cola and ¼ cup of BBQ sauce.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Let the Instant Pot release the pressure naturally for 25 minutes.
  4. Using tongs, remove the pork shoulder from the Instant Pot using tongs to a large mixing bowl.
  5. With two forks, begin shredding the pork.
  6. Pour in the remaining ½ cup of BBQ sauce and mix everything together until well incorporated.
  7. Serve while the pork is still warm, optionally garnished with cilantro.