This instant pot Boston butt recipe is perfect for AIP and paleo pulled pork. It is incredibly simple, delicious, and relatively fast.
It's significantly faster than using a slow cooker, yet still produces super tender and flavorful meat.
You may also want to check out these other instant pot recipes:
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Ingredients for Instant Pot Boston Butt
- Pork Butt- Also known as pork shoulder. You could also use pork loin or tenderloin if needed but they don't get quite as tender. See notes below for more info on this.
Try to get pasture-raised pork if possible. I've been getting mine from ButcherBox lately and the quality is incredible. Plus I like that the pigs are raised crate-free.
- Bone Broth
- Apple Cider Vinegar-If you don't have apple cider vinegar, you could probably use white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar instead. They can be substituted 1:1 for apple cider vinegar. However, keep in mind that balsamic vinegar is sweeter than apple cider vinegar. Thus, you may want to add slightly less maple syrup (maybe 1-2 tbsp less) to compensate.
- Maple Syrup-Honey would work as well.
- Coconut Aminos- If you're not sensitive to soy and/or not doing Paleo/AIP you can substitute soy sauce. Use about 1 tbsp soy sauce +1 tbsp honey or maple syrup in place of the 2 tbsp of coconut aminos.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt-Any sea salt will be fine. Even regular salt works in the recipe if you're not following AIP/Paleo
How to Cook Pork Butt in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Cut the pork shoulder into 3-4 chunks and put them in the Instant Pot.
Step 2: Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
Step 3: Pour over the meat.
Step 4: Cook on high pressure for 65 minutes.
Step 5: Once the timer goes off, allow steam to naturally release.
Step 6: Shred pork with 2 forks and you're done!
Pulled Pork FAQ's
What is the Best Cut of Meat for Pulled Pork?
Pork shoulder/pork butt produces a more flavorful pulled pork. This is because of the higher fat and connective tissue content.
Pork Tenderloin vs Pork Loin
What's the difference? Pork loin and pork tenderloin come from different parts of the animal. Pork tenderloin is thin and small while pork loin is wide and thick. Pork tenderloin is a little more tender and more expensive than pork loin. Tenderloin and loin both work for pulled pork but you may need to adjust your cooking time.
Can I Use Pork Loin to Make Pulled Pork?
Yes. Pork loin is leaner than pork shoulder and costs more but works well for pulled pork. It may need more time to cook in order to become nice and tender and may require a little more sauce as it can dry out more easily than the pork butt/shoulder.
How Much Pulled Pork Per Person
How Much Pulled Pork Per Person?
The rule-of-thumb is 1/3 pound or 5.33 oz (cooked weight) per person. For reference, a raw pork butt only yields about half its weight in cooked meat. For example, a 4-pound roast will yield about 2 pounds of cooked meat.
This 1/3 pound per person rule of thumb means that a 3 1/3 pound raw roast will feed about 5 people. A 6 2/3 pound raw roast will feed about 10 people. A 13 1/3 pound roast will feed about 20. You get the idea.
Some Things to Consider:
Will you be serving it with or without bread/buns? 5 oz of cooked meat is about right for the average hamburger bun. If not serving buns, you may need a little more meat per person or just round things out with extra sides.
Will there be a lot of kids? Kids generally eat less than adults so you may need a little less per person if there are a lot of kids.
My Boston Butt is Bigger than 4 Pounds- What Do I Do?
This shouldn't be a problem but will depend on the size of your instant pot. Many pork shoulder/butt roasts are closer to 7 or 8 pounds. Just cut it into 7 or 8 pieces (vs. 3-4 for a smaller roast). Make sure there's enough room in your instant pot. For reference, I've got a 6 qt instant pot and can easily fit a 7-pound roast if it's cut up.
You'll also likely need to double the sauce/liquid that goes with it and increase the cooking time from 65 minutes to 80-90 minutes.
For bigger roasts, two batches may be necessary.
Can I Cook it Faster than 65 Minutes?
Yes, but it will not come out as tender. I tried cooking a roast for 50 minutes on high pressure. It was cooked through but it was tougher and a little harder to shred. If possible, let it cook for at least 65 minutes. A little longer is even better.
What Temp for Pulled Pork?
195-205 degrees Fahrenheit is an acceptable range to aim for. It will be cooked through by about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it will not be tender enough to pull apart until at least 180 degrees.
How Should I Serve This?
This pulled pork is, of course, great by itself but here are some other Paleo-Friendly ideas for serving it:
- Serve over a baked sweet potato, sweet potato noodles, or fries.
- Serve wrapped in lettuce.
- Serve on Paleo tortillas or buns.
- Though this pulled pork doesn't need BBQ sauce, KC Naturals makes an AIP-friendly BBQ Sauce if you feel the need for a good sauce. Alternatively, you could try my Nightshade-Free BBQ Sauce or Pineapple Bacon Dipping Sauce recipes.
What to Serve with Paleo Pulled Pork
Here are a few sides that go great with pulled pork:
- No Mayo Broccoli Salad
- Air Fryer Loaded Jicama Fries
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Grilled Pineapple
- Salad- Try Blueberry Kale Salad with Cinnamon Honey Dressing, Roasted Cauliflower Arugula Salad, or Raspberry Avocado Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
How to Reheat Pulled Pork
To reheat pulled pork without drying it out, you'll want to heat it at a low temp to retain moisture. Adding some liquid also helps.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the pulled pork in a baking dish with some of the leftover juices it was cooked in (if available). Otherwise, use a little broth or apple juice (not too much though).
- Cook it for about 30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
I hope you love the recipe. If you made it, please leave a rating and/or comment. I'd love to hear from you!
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Instant Boston Butt- Paleo Pulled Pork
- Cut pork shoulder into 3-4 chunks and place in Instant Pot,
- Mix all other ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour mixture over pork. Close lid, turn steam valve to "sealing" and set on high pressure for 65 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, allow the steam to naturally release for about 15 minutes. Then do a quick release of the remaining steam by turning the steam valve to "venting." Be careful not to allow the steam near your arms or face- I often put a towel over the valve for the release.
- Carefully remove lid and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Shred with 2 forks and serve.