Succulent and flavorful pulled pork doesn’t have to take all day! This root beer braised pork is made quick and easy in the instant pot.
Pulled pork is one of our favorite party meals. Usually it takes all day on the smoker or in the slow cooker, but it doesn’t have to.
This root beer pulled pork can be made on a weeknight with the help of a pressure cooker!
I have long been curious about those pulled pork recipes that are braised in soda (or maybe pop depending on where you live.) I bought some root beer a while back to give it a try.
But life is busy and I was having issues thinking to make it early enough to actually get it done. Braising in a slow cooker is easy to do, but it does require planning as it takes a while.
Plus, if you want to brown the meat first you have two whole dirty pans. The inhumanity of it all!
So I finally got my wits about me and made it in an electric pressure cooker instead. That solved both of my problems!
First, you can brown the meat right in the instant pot. So there is no dirty skillet to clean. Secondly dinner is done in just over an hour by the time it’s all said and done.
You don’t have to suffer all day smelling deliciousness that won’t be edible for hours upon hours! The aromas will be around just long enough to get you ready for a fabulous supper.
What to do With Leftover Pulled Pork
A big batch of pulled pork an economical way to feed a crowd, but you certainly don’t have to have a party to enjoy it. I often make extras for the expressed purpose of having plenty of leftover pulled pork to turn into other things.
In fact, pulled pork leftovers are super versatile. They are one of my favorite things to repurpose.
These leftovers would be fabulous is creamy BBQ pulled pork spaghetti. It is an unexpected twist on a BBQ dinner.
If spaghetti isn’t what you are craving, maybe you’d prefer a bbq pulled pork rice skillet. It’s an all in one meal that’s made right on the stove top.
If you haven’t tried bbq pulled pork enchiladas yet, you are really missing out. The sour cream cheese sauce is out of this world.
In fact, now I’m worried I don’t have nearly enough leftovers to make all of these good dinners. I need to put more pork butt on my grocery list!
What are your favorite ways to use pulled pork leftovers?
How to Make Pulled Pork in a Pressure Cooker
There are several benefits to using a multi cooker to make this tasty pork recipe. The most obvious is that it really cuts down on the cooking time due to the pressure cooking so you get tender pork in a fraction of the time.
The first thing you want to do is select your cut of meat. Using a boston butt or pork shoulder roast works better than a leaner cut of meat.
All the fat and connective tissue breaks down as you cook it, leaving you with flavorful tender meat that is easy to pull and great to eat.
Cut your meat into chunks that are easy to handle and apply a dry rub if you want. In this recipe, I kept it simple but you can use your favorite seasonings to flavor up the pork.
Now using the sauté function, brown the meat in a little bit of oil. I like using oil with a higher smoke point like vegetable or avocado, this isn’t the time to use your extra virgin olive oil.
Let it get good and brown, there is lots of flavor in those little browned bits on the meat and the bottom of the pot.
Once all of the meat is browned, add it back to the pot and add some braising liquid. In this recipe we used root beer, but you can also use Dr. Pepper or even some beer or apple juice.
Now put the lid on your pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. It can be tempting to do a quick release, to get the best results let it naturally release for at least 15 minutes.
Now use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the liquid. If you want to add some of the liquid back to the pork, you will want to remove some of the fat first.
A fat separator is a good way to do that, otherwise you can just ladle the grease off the top. You likely won’t want all of the cooking liquid anyway.
Now shred the meat with your hands, forks or meat claws. If you chose the right cut of meat and it is cooked through, it should practically fall apart.
Add some reserved cooking liquid back to the shredded pork if desired. Or add your favorite BBQ sauce (or both!)
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Otherwise freeze it for up to 3 months.
Head over to check out my tips, tricks and recipes for indoor pulled pork goodness! I share more ways to make great pulled pork in the slow cooker and oven too.
Root Beer Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot
- 4-6 pounds pork butt shoulder
- salt and black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3 cups root beer
- desired amount of barbecue sauce
- Cut pork butt into several large chunks, about fist size or slightly larger is good. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in instant pot, using the saute function. Once the oil is hot, brown the pork a few pieces at a time. Work in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan.
- Add all of the meat back into the pressure cooker, then add garlic powder and root beer.
- Put the lid on the instant pot, then cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Do a natural release for at least 15 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure.
- Reserve 1/2-1 cup of cooking liquid, with any grease removed.
- Shred pork, then add back the desired amount of cooking liquid. Add your favorite barbecue sauce to taste.