Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

Instant Pot pork shoulder is easy, but it takes a while to cook. When I think of Instant Pot, I think instant. Don’t we all? When I first read about Instant Pot pork shoulder, I wasn’t sure if I believed it would take nearly an hour to cook! An hour in the Instant Pot. Admittedly, I don’t use my Instant Pot as much as many people, so I haven’t had the experience of cooking for an hour.

Anyway, this Instant Pot Pork Shoulder recipe is easy and delicious. It’s easy, but it will probably take you about an hour to cook. So yes, it does take time.

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

So what is pork shoulder?

A pork shoulder is a large piece of pork with fat. That extra fat adds flavor but also keeps the meat tender. You can find it bone or boneless. It’s usually not overly expensive; in fact, I found mine for $2 a pound. For 2.5 pounds or roughly $5, I was able to feed my husband and me (a runner family who eats probably twice as much as the regular family).

The pork shoulder comes from the pig’s shoulder region. Pork shoulder is sometimes called pork butt or Boston butt, but the pork shoulder is neither. It’s the shoulder. You may also see this cut labeled as pork butt or Boston butt, but this is actually shoulder meat.

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

What is the difference between pork shoulder and pork butt?

And also, why is typing pork butt so fun?

The pork shoulder contains less fat and is cut from the thinner end of the shoulder. The pork butt is cut from the fattier side of the shoulder is usually thicker.  Pork butt is better for pulled pork, while pork shoulder is better for slicing and eating whole.

Does it Really Take Up to an Hour to Cook Instant Pot pork shoulder?

I originally found pork shoulder in the grocery and thought this would be a quick, easy meal. I bought it before realizing pork shoulder does take a while to cook. Cooking in the oven takes roughly 40 minutes per pound! It can take nearly 3 hours cooking it low and slow.

Cooking it in the instant pot for about 15 minutes per pound. While that is still much longer than I anticipated, it’s much faster than roasting it in the oven. I also forgot that before the pressure cooking begins, the instapot needs time to get to the right temperature (which often adds another 15 minutes).

In the Instant Pot, you should cook pork shoulder for 15 minutes per pound. What does that mean? That means that you set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes per pound. If the roast is 3 pounds, you set it to pressure cook for 45 minutes.

Then after the pork shoulder cooks, it takes time to release all of the steam. So, in short, yes, Instant Pot pork shoulder still can take an hour to cook. While it makes sense to type it out, I had no idea. I just saw a cheap piece of meat I can make in 20 minutes, like tri-tip. 

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

Before you make this Instant Pot pork shoulder, ask yourself:

  • Do you want to cook a cheap piece of meat that isn’t chicken?
  • Do you want something easy and new to cook in your instant pot?
  • Do you want to appear fancier than you are with a nice large piece of meat?

If you answered yes, this Instant Pot pork shoulder recipe is for you.

Instapot Pork Shoulder Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot


  • 1 2-3 lb Pork Shoulder
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic


  • In a mixing bowl combine salt and pepper.
  • Rub pork with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add seasoning.
  • Select the Sauté button to heat the Instant Pot. Once hot, add 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Add pork shoulder and sear on all sides for 3-4 minutes each side.
  • After seared cancel the saute setting and remove the pork from the Instant Pot and set aside.
  • Add chicken stock, BBQ sauce, garlic, and, carrots to the Instant Pot.
  • Shut and lock the Instant Pot. Don't forget to set the steam release valve to Sealing.
  • Select the Meat/Stew or Pressure Cook button and set the cook time to 15 mins per pound of pork. (yes 15!)
  • When cooking has finished, allow to sit for 5-10 mins then release to the steam valve.
  • Remove and enjoy!
  • Optional Step: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To brown the edges, remove the pork 10 minutes early and place in a roasting pan. Cook pork in oven for 10 minutes.
Keyword dinner, instant pot, pork, pork shoulder

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe me

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Conclusion:

I really enjoyed cooking instant pot pork shoulder. I would have never guessed meat so cheap would be so tasty. It’s definitely one of my more favorite recipes to cook. If you are looking for an inexpensive but tasty dinner, this instant pot pork shoulder is great.  On a day I have more time, I will probably try and cook it in the oven and see how I like it there.

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Recipe

You can see more recipes here.

Questions for you:

Have you made pork shoulder? 

What is your favorite instant pot recipe? 

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