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Pulled Pork on Pretzel Bun

Pulled Pork [Instant Pot or Slow Cooker]

An incredibly quick pulled pork recipe that takes pulled pork to a new place that doesn't rely on barbecue sauce to make an insanely flavourful dish. With all the ingredients being household staples, it's just begging to be thrown into your recipe rotation.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 363kcal
Author: Lauren


  • Instant Pot or Slow Cooker


  • 3 ½ lbs pork roast shoulder or butt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon neutral oil canola, vegetable, avocado
  • 2 onions largely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 473 ml beer 1 tall boy or 1 ½ regular cans


Instant Pot

  • Turn the Instant Pot to the saute high setting and add in the oil. Allow it to heat up.
  • Season pork generously with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the salt and pepper pork to the Instant Pot to brown it on all sides. You want a nice crust. It's okay if bits get stuck to the bottom. Remove the pork to a plate and set aside.
  • Next, lower the pot to medium (still on saute) and add the chopped onions and garlic into the Instant Pot. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant - about 5 minutes. Next, add in the chili powder, paprika, coriander and bay leaves. Continue to cook for an additional 2-4 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and beer. Allow to come to a light boil and then return the pork to the Instant Pot. DO NOT MIX IN TOMATO PASTE - place it on top of the other ingredients.
  • Change the settings to pressure cook (high setting) and set the timer to 55 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to run its course, and once it's finished, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for an additional 10 minutes. If you're using a larger or smaller roast, you may need to add/subtract 5-10 additional minutes of cook time per pound of pork.
  • Once the meat is fork tender, remove the pork from the Instant Pot to a plate and turn the Instant Pot back to "saute" on high. Allow the sauce to boil, then lower it to medium to maintain a simmer. Stir the whole time. If the sauce is too thin, you may add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoon water to form a slurry. Allow it to simmer until it has reached the desired thickness.
  • Take 2 forks and shred the pork into a pulled pork texture. Return it to the pot and allow it to absorb the sauce for around 5 minutes.
  • Serve with carb of choice (buns, mac and cheese, sliders, etc) and a vegetable side. I recommend coleslaw or salad.

Slow Cooker

  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the pork to the pan and until brown all over. Transfer pork to slow cooker.
  • In the same skillet used to brown pork, add onions, garlic, chili powder, paprika, coriander and bay leaves. Fry ingredients while stirring occasionally, until onions are fragrant (about 5 minutes).
  • Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and beer to the pan, scraping any brown bits. Bring to a boil until thickened slightly. Pour sauce into slow cooker.
  • Pour sauce into slow cooker, cover and cook on low until pork is tender, 8 to 10 hours. Once cooked, transfer pork to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 10 minutes. With two forks, shred or "pull" pork.
  • Meanwhile, pour liquid from slow cooker into large saucepan and skim off fat. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil vigorously until reduced to 3 cups (750 mL), about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Add pulled pork to reduced sauce mixture and lower heat to simmer until hot, about 4 minutes.


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 989mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1137IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg
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