Instant Pot Pulled Pork is moist and fall-apart tender with a Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce that’s a perfect blend of sweet and tangy. This pulled pork is delicious on its own, but even better when paired with Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce, homemade slider buns, and homemade coleslaw.
If you’ve ever made pulled pork, you probably know that it’s generally cooked at a low temperature for a long time. What if you could make incredible fall-apart tender and melt in your mouth pulled pork in a fraction of the time? Well, you can in an Instant Pot.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sliders
I used the following ingredients for the pork: Boneless pork butt, cider vinegar, bay leaf, paprika, dark brown sugar, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried thyme. For the Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce, I used onion, garlic, Bourbon whiskey, salt, freshly ground black pepper, chili sauce, tomato paste, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, light brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce. I know that this sounds like a lot of ingredients, but everything came together very quickly.
Making the Dry Rub and Brining the Pork
For the dry rub, I added paprika, dark brown sugar, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried thyme to a jar with a lid. Then, I screwed on the lid and gave the jar a couple of shakes to make sure that all of the ingredients were well blended together. Next, I mixed water with brown sugar, some of the dry rub, and a bay leaf in a large bowl. I poured the brining liquid on the pork which I had placed in a large plastic container and refrigerated it for 24 hours. I could also have used a 2 gallon Ziploc bag to hold the pork and the brining liquid.
Making the Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce
First, I combined chopped onions, garlic, and bourbon in a 10-inch skillet. Then, I simmered the onions, garlic, and bourbon over medium heat until the onions began to soften, about 10 minutes. Next, I added the salt, pepper, chili sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce. After stirring the sauce to combine everything, I brought it to a boil. Then, I reduced the heat to medium-low and simmered the sauce for about 20 minutes. After letting it cool for about 15 minutes, I transferred the sauce to a blender and puréed it until it was smooth.
Putting The Instant Pot Pulled Pork Together for the Sliders
I removed the pork from the brine, rinsed it well, and patted it dry with paper towels. Then, I cut the pork into four pieces. Next, I rubbed the remaining dry rub over all of the pieces.
I added a bit of vegetable oil to the Instant Pot set on Sauté and browned the pork pieces in two batches on all sides. When the pork was browned, I removed it from the Instant Pot. Then, I deglazed the pan with a cup of the Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce and some cider vinegar. After I returned the pork to the Instant Pot, I secured the lid and turned the vent to “sealing”. I selected Meat/Stew (high pressure), Normal, and 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes, I let the vent naturally release. The pork was perfectly moist and fork tender! I removed it from the liquid and used two forks to shred it.
As a final step, I poured the liquid from the Instant Pot into a fat-separator. After letting the liquid sit for about 5 minutes, I carefully poured it into a saucepan. I ensured that I left the fat behind! Then, I boiled the liquid for about 10 minutes to reduce and thicken it. Finally, I added the pulled pork to the saucepan and stirred to combine everything.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce was out of this world. The pork was moist and fall-apart tender, and the sauce was a perfect blend of sweet and tangy. Yum!
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sliders with Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce
- ¼ cup Dark Brown Sugar
- ½ Tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ Tablespoon chili powder
- ½ Tablespoon paprika
- ½ Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 quart of water
- ¼ cup Kosher salt
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons dry rub
- 1 dried bay leaf
Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce
- 1 small onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup bourbon whiskey I used Jack Daniels, but any brand will work
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) chili sauce
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons 80 grams packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce or to taste
- 3 pound boneless pork butt
- Remaining dry rub
- 1 cup Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- Combine all dry rub ingredients. Store in airtight container.
- Mix together water, brown sugar, kosher salt, and dry rub. Pour over pork in a plastic container or 2 gallon Ziploc bag, making sure that pork is completely covered. Add bay leaf. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but up to 24 to 36 hours.
Bourbon Infused Grilling Sauce
- Combine the onion, garlic, and bourbon in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Mix in the salt, pepper, chili sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Purée in blender until smooth. If too thick, add water to desired consistency. Yield: About 2 cups.
- Remove pork from brine; rinse well. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut pork into four pieces. Sprinkle on dry rub, and massage it into the pork, making sure that the pork is covered on all sides.
- Select Sauté on Instant Pot. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Working in batches, brown pork pieces on all sides; remove. Deglaze Instant Pot with 1 cup of Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce and ½ cup of cider vinegar.
- Return pork to Instant Pot. Secure the lid and turn the vent to sealing. Select Meat/Stew (high pressure), Normal, and 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, allow vent to naturally release.
- Remove pork; shred with two forks.
- Degrease liquid from Instant Pot; add to saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Return shredded pork to liquid; stir well to Bourbon Infused Barbecue Sauce and coleslaw.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings.