Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 12 servings

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This Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork is a twist on a classic. It’s cooked to tender and juicy perfection, then smothered in a sweet, tangy, slightly spicy honey balsamic sauce.

overhead image of instant pot pulled pork in pressure cooker with tongs.
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Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients Needed:
  2. How to Make Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork
  3. Instant Pot Pulled Pork FAQs
  4. Tips and Notes
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. More Instant Pot Pork Favorites
  7. Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork Recipe

This Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork is a new favorite dinner recipe! It’s based off of my own Crockpot Balsamic Pulled Pork, which we love big time.

While both versions are incredibly delicious, I do love my instant pot.

Why? Because it’s so darn quick. Crockpots are great for planning ahead, but when I’m in search of an easy dinner close to dinner time, the instant pot is where it’s at.

This Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe is made up of tender and juicy shredded pork tossed with a simple yet incredibly flavorful sweet and tangy honey balsamic sauce. It’s so versatile and takes just 10 minutes to prep!

Looking for more instant pot pulled pork recipes? Check out my Instant Pot Pulled Pork or my Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Cranberry BBQ Sauce!

Be sure to serve it up on a Brioche Bun with Homemade Coleslaw, Corn on the Cob and Easy Potato Salad

Ingredients Needed:

ingredients needed for instant pot pulled pork.
  • Pork Roast: you’ll need 4 pounds of boneless pork roast. Shoulder or butt are best! They have great fat content that breaks down and makes the meat even juicier as it cooks.
  • Chicken Broth: you can also use water, but it won’t be quite as flavorful. No broth? Try vegetable broth or apple juice instead (if using something sweetened, you may want to reduce the sugar).
  • Seasoned Salt and Garlic Powder: simple seasonings that pack a ton of flavor.
  • Honey Balsamic Sauce: we’re making a homemade honey balsamic sauce with balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. I know, I know — ketchup. Ketchup packs a ton of sweet/savory/tangy flavor in one tiny package!
  • Cornstarch and Water: makes up a cornstarch slurry which helps thicken the sauce, if needed.

How to Make Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork

This instant pot pulled pork recipe takes a quick 10 minutes to prep!

  1. Brown the pork: Cut the pork into 3-4″ cubes, then season well with seasoning salt and garlic powder. Heat oil in the instant pot and sear the pork cubes until browned. Remove and set aside.
  2. Deglaze the pot: To the instant pot, pour in broth or water — be sure to scrape the bottom well so nothing is stuck on.
  3. Pressure cook: Add the pork back in, cover with the lid, and cook for 60 minutes. Release the pressure and remove the pork. Let it rest while you make the sauce.
  4. Make the sauce: Drain the juices from the instant pot, reserving and straining 1 cup. Pour that back into the instant pot along with vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil on sauté and allow to thicken. If needed, make a cornstarch slurry and whisk that in, little bits at a time, to thicken further. Serve over shredded pork.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork FAQs

What is the best cut of pork to use?

I think pork shoulder or butt work best for instant pot pulled pork. They’re both well-marbled enough that they become perfectly tender in the pressure cooker.

How long do you cook pork in an instant pot?

I cook the pork in the pressure cooker for 60 minutes and it comes out perfectly. Don’t forget to cut your pork into cubes so it cooks evenly and all the way through. I

Can I use frozen pork in this recipe?

Definitely, but there will be a few differences:
You likely won’t be able to cut your pork, so it will take significantly longer to cook. Aim for 2 hours on high pressure for one whole 3-4 lb pork roast.
You won’t really be able to season and sear, so simply add the frozen roast, seasoning and liquids to the Instant Pot to pressure cook.

Can you overcook pulled pork in the instant pot?

In theory, yes, but it would be pretty difficult. Since the instant pot requires a liquid to come to pressure, it is an incredibly moist cooking environment. You would have to overcook it for quite some time in order to really dry it out.
Additionally, since pork shoulder and pork butt are tougher cuts of meat, they hold up really nicely in the pressure cooker.

How to store:

Leftover pulled pork will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge, then warm in the microwave or on low on the stove until heated through.

tongs picking up pulled pork from large bowl with buns in the background.

Tips and Notes

  • Cut the pork into cubes. Cutting the pork up into 3-4″ cubes ensures that it cooks all the way through. If you leave it whole, it will need longer to cook.
  • Use chicken broth. While water does work as the instant pot liquid, I prefer to use chicken broth. It adds tons of flavor!
  • Brown the pork first. Searing the pork in the instant pot before pressure cooking gives it a better texture and another layer of flavor.
  • Scrape the bottom. After searing and before pressure cooking, be sure to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Stuck bits of food can cause a burn notice.

Serving Suggestions

While it’s pretty difficult to not just eat this Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork straight out of the instant pot, there are plenty of other delicious ways to serve it. Here are some ideas:

instant pot pulled pork on brioche bun on black plate.

More Instant Pot Pork Favorites

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Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork

5 from 6 votes
This Instant Pot Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork is a twist on a classic. It's cooked to tender and juicy perfection, then smothered in a sweet, tangy, slightly spicy honey balsamic sauce.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Time to build and release pressure 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Cuisine American
Course Instant Pot, Main Course
Servings 12 servings
Calories 331cal

Ingredients

  • 4 lb boneless pork roast (shoulder or butt is best)
  • 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  • Preheat Instant Pot on saute and cut pork roast into 3-4" cubes.
  • Combine seasoning salt and garlic powder and rub all over pork.
  • Add oil to Instant Pot and sear pork chunks on all sides until golden brown. You may have to do this in batches.
  • Remove pork from Instant Pot and add broth or water. Scrape the bottom well to remove any stuck on bits on the bottom (this helps to prevent the burn message).
  • Add pork back to the Instant Pot with the broth, put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and cook on Pressure Cook, high, or Manual, high, for 60 minutes.
  • When the cook time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes before opening the valve to release remaining pressure.
  • Remove pork and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before shredding.
  • Drain the juices from the Instant Pot and strain. Add 1 cup of cooking juices back into the Instant Pot.
  • Add vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil on saute and cook until slightly reduced.
  • If desired, stir together corn starch and water and add to sauce to thicken. Shred meat and add to the sauce in the Instant Pot. (*Note: if you have a smaller pork roast or you like less sauce, place the meat in a bowl and add just the amount of sauce you desire to the meat and stir to combine).

Nutrition Information

Calories: 331cal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 689mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords instant pot pulled pork

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Emma says

    Hi! I have a question. I only want to cook 2 pounds of meat. Would I need to chang the cook time? Thanks.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Emma! I’ve only tested this with 4 pound of meat but you would likely have to reduce the time by a little. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

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