Instant Pot Chipotle Pulled Pork

This instant pot chipotle pulled pork is a breeze to put together and works great in all sorts of dishes—tacos, burritos, ramen noodles, salads, or just on its own. This versatile and tasty pulled pork recipe is just what you need for meal prep or feeding a crowd. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to give any classic pork dish a smoky, spicy twist!

Why Marci Loves This Recipe

  • Super simple ingredients
  • Sweet from the brown sugar and pop, a bite of spiciness in each bite from the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • The best thing about this recipe, it feeds a crowd on a budget!
  • Can use the pulled pork to top on baked potatoes, in tacos, eat by itself to stay keto/low carb (see notes below on how to make keto friendly!)
  • Cooks quicker in the instant pot versus the oven or slow cooker.
  • Easily transports in the Instant Pot and keeps warm. I've taken this recipe to the race track so many freaking times!
  • Everyone loves this recipe!

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Ingredients Needed for Chipotle Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot

  • pork butt/shoulder
  • chipolte peppers in adobo sauce
  • dr. pepper - or any flavor, I've done cherry pepsi as well as that's all I had on hand. If you are making for a keto or low carb version, replace the soda with 1 cup of water or chicken stock/broth.
  • light brown sugar - if doing keto/low carb, use my favorite brown sugar sweetener alternative, Sukrin Gold (grab that link to purchase on Amazon as that's the only place I can find it. I make like $.02 off each bag!)
  • onion

How To Make Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot

Start by placing your Dr. Pepper (water or chicken broth/stock if doing low carb), onion and brown sugar in the bottom of the instant pot. Next, add the pork butt (with the fat side up) and top with the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Set on High Pressure to cook for 3-4 hours. I typically let it go to 3 1/2 hours and then check it. If I can easily remove the bone, I'll add an additional 30 minutes until the bone comes out with ease.

Remove the bone and any excess fat. Shred the pulled pork and enjoy!

Variations to Chipotle Pulled Pork

  • Pineapple Chipotle Pulled Pork: Add some pineapple chunks and juice to the recipe for a sweet and tangy twist on traditional pulled pork.
  • Mango Chipotle Pulled Pork: Swap out the pineapple for mango, and add in some lime juice for a tropical flavor profile.
  • Barbecue Chipotle Pulled Pork: Mix in your favorite barbecue sauce with the shredded chipotle pork for a saucy, smoky version of pulled pork.

Serving Instant Pot Pulled Pork

  • Serve over rice or quinoa for a hearty meal.
  • Make tacos or burritos by topping with your favorite fixings such as cheese, avocado, and salsa.
  • Serve on a bun with coleslaw for a classic pulled pork sandwich.
  • Use in quesadillas or enchiladas.
  • Serve on top of a loaded baked potato for a satisfying meal.
  • Use as a filling for savory hand pies or empanadas.
  • Enjoy with some cornbread and your favorite barbecue sides for a Southern-style feast.
  • Add to nachos or loaded fries for a flavorful twist on classic snacks.

How to Store and Reheat Instant Pot Pulled Pork

  • To store: Let the pulled pork cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze: Place cooled pulled pork in a freezer-safe container or bag and label with the date. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat: Thaw frozen pulled pork in the fridge overnight before reheating. You can heat it up on the stove, in the microwave, or even back in your Instant Pot by using the sauté function. Add a splash of water or broth to help moisten the pork if needed.

Tips for Making the Best Instant Pot Pulled Pork

  • Use a boneless pork shoulder or butt for this recipe. You can also use bone-in, but it may take longer to cook.
  • For extra flavor, sear the pork in a hot skillet before adding it to your Instant Pot.
  • If you can't find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you can substitute with chipotle powder or canned chipotles in tomato sauce.

FAQs about Instant Pot Pulled Pork

  1. Can I make this recipe without an Instant Pot? While an Instant Pot makes this recipe quicker and easier, you can still achieve similar results by slow cooking the pork in a traditional slow cooker or Dutch oven. Just follow your preferred method for cooking pulled pork and add in the chipotle peppers and Dr. Pepper. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or high heat for 4-6 hours.
  2. How spicy is this pulled pork? It has a medium level of spice from the chipotle peppers, but you can adjust the amount to your desired heat level or omit them altogether for a mild flavor.
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