(Last Updated On: July 9, 2022)
This flavorful BBQ pulled pork for sliders is made in the instant pot and is smothered in a delicious dry rub seasoning mix and a liquid sauce mix that give the pork its savory taste. To make the BBQ pulled pork super tender, we must cook it in the instant pot for 65 minutes.
Sliders are a great way to server this pulled pork using Hawaiian rolls. At our house, we call them pulled pork sandwiches. But first, the pulled pork must be made, and this recipe will guide you through it all.
🧂 What’s in this BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe?
There are lots of seasonings in this pulled pork recipe. There are dry ingredients and liquid ingredients:
The dry rub ingredients are brown sugar that is mixed together with chili powder, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, cumin powder, fennel seeds, and cayenne pepper.
The liquid seasoning sauce is mixed together with barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth, and liquid smoke. Then, the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients are stirred together and poured over the pulled pork in the instant pot.
👩🍳 Key Ingredients for This Easy BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe
- 3-5 pounds of boneless pork shoulder or butt roast
Dry Rub Seasoning Spices
- 2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Liquid Seasoning Sauce Ingredients
- One cup of barbecue sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- One cup chicken broth (water is okay for less sodium content)
- 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
🥣 How to Make BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe (Step-By-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Step 1. Cut up the Pork
This recipe uses approximately 3 to 5 pounds of pork shoulder roast; however, you can choose any of your favorite cuts of meat (like pork butt), whichever you prefer. Then, cut the pork roast into large chunks.
Step 2. Mix the Dry Rub Seasoning Spices
In a medium-sized bowl mix all of the dry rub seasoning spices together – the brown sugar together with the chili powder, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, and the fennel seeds.
Step 3. Rub the Pork
Rub each pork roast chunk with the dry rub seasoning spices on the front, then fold it over and do the back, sides, and underneath. Save any leftover dry rub seasoning spices for later. We will add the leftover dry rub to the liquid seasoning sauce explained in step 7 below.
Step 4. Add Olive Oil to the Instant Pot
After that, get the instant pot ready by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of the instant pot.
Step 5. Turn Instant Pot on Sauté
Then, set the instant pot on sauté.
Step 6. Put the Seasoned Pork into the Instant Pot
Place the pork chunks with the dry rub spices on them in the instant pot. Brown the pork chunks on sauté for about 5 minutes. Brown on all sides of the pork, turning as they are browning, but some pink left in the pork is okay.
The pulled pork has browned for about 5 minutes with the dry rub seasoning spices on it. In the next step below, we will make the liquid seasoning sauce.
Step 7. Mix the Liquid Seasoning Sauce
Mix the liquid seasoning sauce ingredients in a bowl – 1 cup of Barbecue sauce together with 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup of Chicken broth (or water to cut sodium content), and 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke.
As mentioned above, if there is any dry rub seasoning spices leftover, add the extra dry ingredients together with the liquid seasoning sauce now. We certainly don’t want to throw any good spices away!
Step 8. Add Liquid Seasoning to Instant Pot
Pour the liquid seasoning sauce over the browned pork roast chunks in the instant pot. Lift each piece of pork roast so the liquid seasoning sauce gets underneath all of the pork chunks.
Step 9. Set the Instant Pot to Manual
Set the instant pot to manual and set the time for 65 minutes. After 65 minutes, let the instant pot release naturally, which takes about 20 minutes.
The photo below shows what the pork roast chunks look like after it has been cooked in the instant pot for 65 minutes and then slow released for 20 minutes.
Step 10. Pull the BBQ Pulled Pork Apart
Then, take 2 forks and gently pull apart and separate the tender pulled pork in the instant pot. You don’t have to pull every single piece of pork apart though; just so it is the right size to put on a slider.
💡 Final Thoughts for This Flavorful BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe
It is time to eat this easy pulled pork recipe! If you are not ready to serve dinner yet, you can put the lid back on the instant pot and press the “slow cook” button until you are ready for dinner. If you followed the directions in this post, you should have some tender made pulled pork ready to serve on sliders. Cooking this recipe is simple and quick. The longest part is just waiting for the instant pot to do the cooking.
Serve this pulled pork on rolls for sliders or bigger buns for sandwiches. They taste great on Hawaiian rolls. Also, some side dishes can be Caesar salad, potato salad, French fries, or anything else that sounds good to you. Finally, if you have leftover pulled pork, try making this delicious pulled pork nacho recipe.
💙 More BBQ Pulled Pork Recipes You Will Love
- Pulled Pork Nachos – This recipe uses left over BBQ pulled pork that was cooked and shredded in the instant pot.
Flavorful BBQ Pulled Pork for Sliders (Instant Pot)
- 3-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast (or butt roast)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Dry Rub Seasoning Spices
Liquid Seasoning Sauce
- 1 cup barbecue sauce (any brand)
- 1 cup chicken broth (water is okay for less sodium content)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (any brand)
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke (any brand)
- Cut the pork roast into large chunks.
- In a bowl, prepare the dry rub seasoning spices.
- Rub the dry rub seasoning spices all over the chunks of pork. Add any extra dry rub seasoning spices to the liquid seasoning sauce that will be made in the instructions below.
- Add the olive oil to the bottom of the instant pot.
- Set the instant pot on sauté.
- Put the pork in the instant pot and brown on all sides for about 5 minutes. Some pink showing is okay.
- In a bowl, prepare the liquid seasoning sauce. Mix 1 cup of barbecue sauce, any brand will do, 1 cup of chicken broth (or water for less sodium), 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke. Stir this together.
- Pour the liquid seasoning sauce all over the browned pork, underneath it too.
- Cook pork roast chunks in the instant pot on manual for 65 minutes. After 65 minutes, let the instant pot release naturally, which takes about 20 minutes.
- Remove the instant pot lid and use 2 forks to pull apart the pork chunks.
- Pulled pork can be served over rolls, especially Hawaiian rolls.
- Some suggested side dishes can be Caesar salad, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, French fries, or your favorite chips.
- If you have any leftover pulled pork and want to make something different for dinner the next night, try some easy-to-make pulled pork nachos.
- You can substitute out the chicken broth and use water instead if you want less sodium content.