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Instant Pot Pork Butt

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Enjoy juicy, shredded pork in a fraction of the time with this Instant Pot Pork Butt recipe.  Turn it in to BBQ Pulled Pork or serve as a pot roast for a delicious, budget-friendly dinner.

instant pot pork butt pieces in white bowl

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Pork is a budget-friendly alternative to beef and can deliver juicy, tender meat when pressure cooked in the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. This Instant Pot Pork Butt is fall off the bone tender, and melts in your mouth.

Serve it up on a hamburger bun with your favorite bbq sauce or even coleslaw. Or serve alongside some mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies for a savory, shredded pork roast.


Pork Butt: Pork butt is actually the upper shoulder of the pig. You may also see this cut of meat called Pork Shoulder. You can use either in the recipe and you can use bone-in or boneless.

Dry Rub: The dry rub consists of:

  • brown sugar
  • chili powder
  • ground cumin
  • onion powder
  • garlic salt
  • salt
  • pepper

Braising Liquid: The wet ingredients consist of:

  • water
  • apple cider vinegar
  • ketchup
  • liquid smoke (optional, but adds a nice smoky flavor)
ingredients for instant pot pork butt with labeled text


How to Make Instant Pot Pork Butt

  1. Mix all of the dry rub ingredients together and rub all over the pork butt.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the water, vinegar, ketchup and liquid smoke, and pour into the Instant Pot.
  3. Place the seasoned pork butt in the liquid. (No trivet – you want the meat sitting in the liquid.)
  4. Close and seal the lid valve and cook on high pressure for 85 minutes.
  5. Allow natural pressure release for 15 minutes, and then open valve to release remaining pressure.
  6. Shred the meat or cut into chunks and serve!

Sides for Instant Pot Pulled Pork

shredded pork butt in white bowl with instant pot

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between pork butt and pork shoulder?

Pork butt (also known as Boston butt) and pork shoulder both come from the shoulder of the pig. Pork butt is higher on the front leg and has more fat. Pork shoulder is the lower section of the foreleg and is a bit leaner. Pork butt is the ideal cut for braising and shredding.

Can you freeze shredded pork butt or pulled pork?

Yes, you can! Once the meat is cooked, let it cool completely and cut into chunks or shred. Store in a freezer bag with all of the air squeezed out. This will keep for up to 3 months. If you have a vacuum sealer, your pulled pork will keep even longer.

What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?

Because pork butt has more marbling and is a more uniform shape than pork shoulder, it is the ideal cut of meat for pulled pork because the braising allows for super tender meat that falls apart.

More Instant Pot Dinner Recipes

instant pot pulled pork on hamburger bun with bbq sauce

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Instant Pot Pork Butt Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings

Instant Pot Pork Butt (Pulled Pork)

instant pot pork butt on hamburger bun with bbq sauce

Enjoy juicy, shredded pork in a fraction of the time with this Instant Pot Pork Butt recipe.  Turn it in to BBQ Pulled Pork or serve as a pot roast for a delicious, budget-friendly dinner.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 42 minutes


  • 5 pound pork butt (or boston butt or pork shoulder), bone-in or boneless
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients and rub all over the pork butt as a dry rub.
  2. In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together water, vinegar, ketchup and liquid smoke.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into the Instant Pot.
  4. Place the dry-rubbed pork butt in the liquid. Do not use a trivet. You want the pork sitting in the liquid.
  5. Close the lid, seal and cook on high pressure for 85 minutes.
  6. Once cooking time is complete, allow to natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
  7. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure, then remove the lid.
  8. Remove and cut into chunks and serve as pot roast... or shred and return to the instant pot to soak up some extra flavor in the juices.
  9. Serve on sandwich with your favorite sauce, on a salad, as tacos, or however you like.


Variations: Pork butt and pork shoulder are actually two different cuts of meat, but you can use either in this recipe. Feel free to mix 3/4 cup bbq sauce with your pulled pork for delicious barbeque.

Storing: Your cooked pork butt will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If freezing, I recommend freezing the meat in the braising liquid.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 649Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 651mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 53g

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collage of pulled pork and instant pot pork butt

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By on October 2nd, 2022

About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. The voice behind Feast for a Fraction. I've been a penny-pincher all my life, but still have a taste for nice things. I'm here to show you that you can eat (and live) well on a budget. From recipes and DIY tips to ways to make extra money, we'll be in control of our budgets together!

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