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Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Cooked in the Instant Pot, This Easy Pulled Pork Is Fall-Apart Delicious

This Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork is an incredibly easy and crowd pleasing meal. With only 4 ingredients and a few simple steps you'll have a delicious and versatile shredded pork that can be used in so many delicious ways!

instant pot dr pepper pulled pork
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This incredibly delicious pulled pork literally falls apart. It doesn’t get any easier or tastier than this!

From pulled pork bbq sandwiches to pork tacos to pork nachos, the possibilities are awesome! I had never made pulled pork before, so I was worried about being successful. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make pulled pork in the Instant Pot.

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instant pot dr pepper pulled pork
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It’s so much faster than making it in a slow cooker, and it was so easy to shred once the pork was cooked.

It was a HUGE amount of pork, 8 lbs. to be exact. I thought we would have to freeze some of it, but it turns out in a few days it was all gone! That’s what 5 kids will do to any dreams of saving food in the freezer.

The first thing I made was pulled pork sandwiches, this was the family favorite!

instant pot dr pepper pulled pork sandwiches
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With the leftovers, I also made shredded pork tacos and a couple days later, I made shredded pork nachos!

All 3 meals were delicious and they were enjoyed by all 5 kiddos alike.

Kitchen Prep Tools, Utensils & Appliances

Here is a list of the kitchen prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

Prep Tools & Utensils

These are the items I used to prep and make this recipe:

  • One thing I can’t stand is handling raw meat with my bare hands. So, I use these metal tongs anytime I’m handling raw meat. I’ve tried both plastic and silicone tongs but these metal tongs have always been the best.
  • For measuring the Dr. Pepper, I used my one cup measuring cup. It’s very convenient for measuring small volumes of liquid. Since I was measuring two cups of barbecue sauce, I used my four cup measuring cup for that.
  • I shredded the pork on my favorite cutting board. It’s not only beautiful but well constructed and just the right size.
  • This prep bowl is one of my favorites because it’s heavy and doesn’t move around a lot when mixing things in it. I used it to mix the barbecue sauce into the shredded pork.
Appliances & Cookware

This recipe calls for 8 lbs. of meat. That’s a lot of meat! My 8-quart Instant Pot handled it without a problem though.

Instant Pot Accessories

Make sure to check out my post on Must-Have Accessories for the Instant Pot. You’ll find a complete list of all the top accessories that can be used with your Instant Pot.

How To Make Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Like I said, I had never made pulled pork before so I was a little intimidated. I looked through so many recipes. Some called for brine while many called for a rub. It all sounded like too much effort and complication. I mean, I have 5 kids and don’t have time for concocting some super duper rub that requires a laundry list of spices. I needed something simple that everyone would love. So, I came up with this recipe.

 

Gather The Ingredients

4 ingredients. That’s it!

No brine. No rub. Just pork, Dr. Pepper, barbecue sauce and an onion.

BBQ Pulled Pork Ingredients
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Ingredients for Pulled Pork
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Delicious fall apart pork in about 2 hours!

Brown the Pork Shoulder

First, you’ll want to use the Sauté feature on the Instant Pot to brown the pork.

Instant Pot Saute Feature
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I cut the 8 lbs pork shoulder into 4 pieces to make it easier to handle and made sure to get each piece nice and brown on all sides.

Browning Pork Shoulder In The Instant Pot
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You can set the pork aside after browning it.

Sauté the Onion and Then Mix in the Dr. Pepper & Barbecue Sauce

Place the chopped onion in the Instant Pot and sauté for about 3 minutes.

Saute Onions In The Instant Pot
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Then mix in the Dr. Pepper and the barbecue sauce. This is our favorite barbecue sauce.

Dr. Pepper, Bar-B-Que Sauce And Onions Are The Base For This Pulled Pork
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Cook The Pork Shoulder

Arrange the pork in the Instant Pot. The 8 lbs. of pork fit perfectly into my 8-quart pot.

Browned Pork Shoulders In The Instant Pot
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Close your Instant Pot and set to sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 100 minutes. Do a NPR (natural pressure release) for 25 min, and then release any remaining pressure before opening the pot.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Settings
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Shred The Cooked Pork

Remove the pork from the Instant Pot, place on a cutting board and shred with a pair of forks. Note: when you remove the pork from the Instant Pot, be careful because it will try to fall apart on you.

Pulled Pork In The Instant Pot
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Pork Shoulder Is So Easy To Shred
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Fall-Apart Pulled Pork
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What I Made With My Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

For pulled pork sandwiches, I added more barbecue sauce to the shredded pork and mixed it in well. Since my family loves Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, that’s what I used. I then served it with pickles on a potato bun! Yum!

Mixing Bar-B-Que Sauce Into Shredded Pork
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Making A Pulled Pork Sandwich
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Pulled Pork Tacos

For the pork tacos, I heated up some leftover pork on the stove and served it on warm tortillas. I didn’t season the pork with anything additional. I topped with pico and sour cream.

Pulled Pork Nachos

For the nachos, I heated the remaining leftover pork on the stove and then seasoned it with Longhorn Steakhouse Grill Seasoning. Next, I placed tortilla chips on a cookie sheet and sprinkled the pork on top of the chips. I then topped the chips with shredded cheese, jalapeños, black beans, corn, pico de gallo and put them in the oven at 375 degrees until the cheese melted. After removing the nachos from the oven, I added sour cream.

Pulled pork 3 different ways!

I hope you will give this pulled pork a try and let me know how it turns out. Or, maybe you can come up with another way to eat it!

If you still don’t have an Instant Pot, make sure you check out my post on why I’m loving mine!

Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder cooked in Dr. Pepper and barbecue sauce.

Rating
4.85 from 20 votes
Servings
24 sandwiches
DifficultySuper Easy
Cooking Method(s)
  • Instant Pot
IP Pressure LevelHigh
IP ProgramManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
1hour:40minutes
Pressure Release
25 minute NPR
Total Time
2hours:25minutes
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
Feed a crowd with this incredibly easy and delicious Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork recipe. The succulent shredded pork can be used in so many ways!
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Category: Burgers & Sandwiches, Pork
instant pot dr pepper pulled pork
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Ingredients

  • 8 lbs pork shoulder cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cups sweet onion chopped
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce

Directions

  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and let warm.
  • Brown the pork shoulder in the Instant Pot. Remove once it has browned on all sides.
  • Add the chopped onion and Sauté in the pork fat for 3 minutes. Now is a good time to deglaze the bottom of the pot if there are any pieces of meat stuck to the bottom.
  • Add the Dr. Pepper to the onion and stir. Then add your favorite barbecue sauce to the pot and stir.
  • Place the pork shoulder into the Instant Pot, turn the Sauté mode off and then close the lid.
  • Ensure that the pressure release handle is set to sealing.
  • Cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', High Pressure for 100 minutes.
  • Once the Instant Pot has completed cooking, use the natural pressure release NPR method. I usually let it NPR for 25 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
  • Ensure that all the pressure has been released before opening the pot.
  • Carefully remove the whole pork from the Instant Pot. It's going to want to fall apart on you as you are taking it out 🙂 You can discard the liquid in the Instant Pot (it's mostly fat from the pork).
  • Place the pork on a cutting board and shred. You now have a delicious pulled pork that can be used to make so many different meals.

Nutrition Facts

While every effort is made to correctly calculate these nutritional facts, they should be used as general guidance as they may not be 100% accurate.

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 385mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Notes

Some things you should know about this Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork recipe.

Reheat on the stove. If you’re making any of my serving suggestions with the leftover pork and are pulling it out of the refrigerator, make sure you heat the pork on the stove beforehand.

Yes, it does say 100 minutes. I know 100 minutes seems like a lot of time but this is how you’ll get a pork shoulder that will be fall-apart good! I’ve tried cooking the pork for a shorter time but it didn’t turn out nearly as tender and juicy.

Kitchen Tools

This is a list of the kitchen tools, utensils and appliances I used to make this recipe.

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Serving Suggestions

Here are a few ideas for serving your Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Mix the desired amount of your favorite barbecue sauce into the shredded pork and serve on a bun! This makes for some amazing pulled pork sandwiches.

Tacos. Feel free to try mixing your favorite taco or meat seasoning into the shredded pork. Serve on a warm corn or flour tortilla and add your favorite taco toppings. Some topping suggestions: pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro and sour cream.

Nachos. Mix your favorite taco or meat seasoning into the shredded pork. Place tortilla chips on a cookie sheet and sprinkle the pork on top of the chips. Top with all your favorite nacho toppings. Some suggestions: shredded cheese, jalapeños, black beans, corn, pico de gallo, black olives and sour cream.  Place the nachos in the oven at 375 degrees until the cheese is melted.

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  • Lali says:

    Hi Val,
    I’m waiting for the invitation to try the pulled-pork bites in order to attest the truthfulness of such a mouth-watering story. Love you!

  • Jennie Sulfridge says:

    Just added these ingredients to this week’s grocery list! I know the girls will love it!

  • Jennifer Schwenker says:

    May have missed it, but how many folks will this recipe feed? Thanks!

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Jennifer! It feeds a crowd. I have a family of 7 and we ate pulled pork bbq sandwiches, as well as tacos and nachos from one batch. (Not on the same day of course!!)

      • Jennifer Schwenker says:

        Thank you!!

      • Jennifer Schwenker says:

        Do you have to deglaze the pot? Scrape of burned on pork? With wooden spoon? After adding dr pepper?

        • Valerie Cooper says:

          Yes Jennifer, on the video you can see after browning the meat, I remove it and deglaze the pot with the onions and the liquid. Hope it turns out great for you!

          • Barbara Chisholm says:

            Can I cut this receipe in half? If so how long do I cook? And do I just cut everything in half? Nee to using IP. Thank you!

          • Valerie Cooper says:

            Hi Barbara! You can definitely cut it in half. If you make 4 pounds, you can cut it into approx 2 pound pieces, which is what I did. You cook it for the same amount of time and you don’t need to adjust any of the other ingredients! The IP cook time should be according to the thickness of the meat, not the amount and that’s why if you cut it into 2-pound pieces you’ll use the same cook time. Hope this helps and is clear! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

          • Barbara Chisholm says:

            Awesome thank you so much!

  • Olivia says:

    I would love this recipe (and others!) converted for the instant pot mini! We are blessed to have our birds leaving the nest and our 3 quart mini makes plenty for our small family.

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Olivia! Thanks for stopping by. I haven’t made it in the 3 qt yet, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I cut my meat into 2-pound pieces so I’d say you can do 2 pounds, 1 chopped onion, 1 cup Dr. Pepper and 1 cup bbq. I would still cook it for 100 min since the cooking time in the IP depends on the thickness of the meat and not the amount. Certainly, you need to make sure you don’t overfill your 3 qt. I’m estimating the amount of liquid since like I said, I’ve never made it in the 3 qt. If you feel that’s too much liquid, you can reduce it a bit. Please let me know how it turns out! Merry Christmas! (By the way, I just got a 3qt so hopefully, I’ll have some 3 qt recipes available soon!)

  • Lauren Eisen says:

    i am going to make this later using an 8 quart duo. don’t i need to use more liquid than the 1 cup of dr pepper? to me bbq sauce does not count as liquid since it is thick

  • LouAnn B. says:

    Hi Valerie,

    Do I still cook the Pork for 100 minutes using 4-5 lbs in the 6qt Instant Pot? Recipe is easy, and sounds yummy!
    Thank you!

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi LouAnn! If you have 4-5 pounds and you cut it into 2 pieces of approximately 2 pounds each, then you would still cook it for 100 min. My pieces are approximately 2 pounds each and that’s what the cook time is based on. It really is an easy recipe! I hope you enjoy it!

  • Robert Lawrence says:

    This is a great recipe it made the best pulled pork. We have 4 to 6-pound bags of carnitas meat here that works great. I was skeptical of the 100 minutes of cook time. A lot of other recipes do 60 to 70 minutes, but I tried it with about 4 lbs of meat and it was perfect. I remember reading one comment where they toss out the juice, I don’t I am single so I often freeze the pork and the juice freezes nicely and keeps the meat from getting freezer burn. I agree that there is a lot of fat but once everything cools down it is easy to scoop off the fat and the juice is great. Thanks for the recipe. This was great!

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Robert! I am so happy you loved my pulled pork recipe! I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting about it! Definitely a great idea to freeze it with the juices! I do get a lot of people skeptical about the cook time, but it really needs it, and it makes for perfection! Once again, thanks for stopping by!

  • Tonia says:

    So if you know you will need to make another dish with the pork, do you still cook it all in the BBQ sauce/coke mixture then add the taco season later?

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Tonia! Yes, the cooking process would be the same. Take the pork out of the liquid to shred and discard the liquid. You would only omit the step of adding bbq sauce AFTER cooking. Hope this helps!

      • Tonia says:

        I thought the recipe said to cook with the coke and 2 cups of BBQ sauce. So are you saying don’t not add extra? Sorry, just trying to make sure I make it correct and not have it taste funny. Thank you.

        • Valerie Cooper says:

          Hi Tonia! No worries, better to ask questions and be sure! So there are two parts of the recipe where you use bbq sauce. First, you use the 2 cups for cooking. After cooking is done, you take out the pork, shred it and discard the liquid. You will be doing all this with no change. Then, as you see in the video, I add bbq sauce again to make bbq pulled pork sandwiches. This is what you’d skip since you will be using your pork for something other than sandwiches. Does this make better sense? Please let me know!

  • Dede says:

    Hello Valerie,

    I made this last night. I had a 4lb roast that I cut into 2 pieces. It seemed to take awhile to get the pieces browned on all sides. They never got that browned. I’m not sure why they didn’t I had it on saute. The meat turned out tender it easily shredded. My husband complained it was too dry.
    I didn’t add more bbq sauce after I let him add it. He doesn’t like a lot of sauce.

    What should I do the next time, so it’s not dry? My 8qt duo doesn’t show 100 minutes. I set mine at 1:40.

    Tonight I’m making tacos with the left overs.

    Thank you,
    Dede

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Dede! Thanks for your comment. It definitely shouldn’t be dry, but keep in mind you have to add bbq sauce after it’s shredded in order to use it as a bbq pulled pork for sandwiches and such. I usually discard the liquid after cooking since it’s mostly fat, but you can always take a little of the liquid and mix it with your shredded pork. An hour and 40 minutes is perfect. Some models show the time in hours. Did you do the Natural Pressure Release?

      • Dede says:

        I did do the 25 minutes npr. I never thought about adding some of the juice back in before serving. I’m freezing the rest and will make him the tacos on our next camping trip! Thank you Dede

  • Dede says:

    I used leftovers for tacos tonight. I heated the leftover meat added a little water to moisten the meat.
    Then I added the the taco seasoning. My husband really liked it.

    Thank you,
    Dede

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Happy to hear the tacos turned out good!! I think for you since your husband doesn’t like too much sauce, it would be a good idea, as I mentioned above, to add a little of the leftover liquid to the pork after you shred it. Hope this helps!

  • Lisa says:

    I’m going to make this in my 6 quart Duo. Do you think I’ll be able to fit all 8 pounds, or should I scale the recipe down? TIA!

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Lisa! I would do 6 pounds in a 6 qt. to not overfill. You still need to cut them into approximately 2-pound pieces. The rest of the recipe ingredients can remain the same. Cooking time would also stay the same. Enjoy!!

  • Jo-Anne Kumitch-Huxter says:

    Hi, I was just wondering when you say NPR at 25 minutes how do you do that ??? I was thinking that NPR means it just automatically does it and you don’t have to touch it. SO when you push the manual button and set the timer to 100 do you have to vent it somehow at 25 minutes? I have never used an insta pot before.Thanks for your help…. I didn’t see anything in the video.

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Jo-Anne! Sorry this comment got lost in the shuffle and I’m just now seeing it. NPR means you do nothing and you let the pot release steam on its own. The 100 minutes will finish and then the pot will start counting up. When the upwards countdown reaches 25, you can then release the rest of the pressure left over manually by switching the valve from sealing to venting. The display will read “L 0:25”. I just released a video on my facebook page in helping understand all this. Hope you can stop by there and watch it. It should be helpful! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  • Katherine says:

    I made this recipe tonight. It turned out great!! The only thing I might do differently is to add a little salt, but if you aren’t a salt nut like me, you would be fine without it. I had about 4 pounds of pork in my 6 qt Crock Pot Express pressure cooker and used one onion and 1 cup of Dr. Pepper. I set it for the 100 minutes on the meat setting and I love how it came out. While it doesn’t have the crusty edges of pork in a smoker, it is super easy and delicious. Thank you!

  • Anna says:

    HI Katherine, would this work the same with a pork loin? I have about 2lbs defrosting as we speak and would love to make pulled pork.

    • Hi Anna! Pork loin is a much leaner meat than shoulder/butt. Not the best option for pulled pork. If you must use it, the time will definitely be a lot less than what my recipe calls for. Hope this helps!

  • Nydia says:

    Hola Valerie, if you were using a 6qt. pot would the same amount of time apply. Using less amt. of pork 6lbs. versus 8.
    Really have enjoyed receiving your recipes. Thanks…

    • Hola Nydia! Thanks for your kind comment. You would still cook for the same amount of time. Make sure to cut up the pork into approximately 2 pound pieces. No need to adjust the other ingredients either. Enjoy!!

  • Gayle says:

    Hi Valerie. Could I use boneless country style pork ribs instead? I have about 4.5# and how long do I cook it?

    • Hi Gayle! You can certainly use the same liquid and sauce, but the time will be way different. I don’t have a recipe for pork ribs, so you’d need to check on the time for that. It’ll probably be more like 20 mins rather than 100. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Lacy says:

    I made this yesterday and did 4lbs of pork shoulder in my 6 qt, other ingredients were the same as the recipe. It turned out great. We had sandwiches the first night and two sheetpans of nachos the next night. We will be making again next week and will probably do tacos. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Hi Lacy! I’m so happy you enjoyed the pulled pork! I love making nachos and quesadillas with it! Now I’m hungry! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on your results!

  • Amy says:

    Hi Valerie! I am planning to make this for the folks staying at our local Ronald McDonald House, however, we only have 90 minutes to prepare. If I cut my pieces smaller and use two pots, cook for 60minutes and natural release for 20, do you think it will turn out?

    • Hi Amy! It should work for you if you cut it into smaller pieces. Cook it for as long as you can. I did it once a long while ago because we didn’t have as much time, so I cut it into smaller pieces. I can’t remember how long I cooked it for though but it worked out. I hope it turns out perfect for you!! Keep me posted.

    • Ann says:

      God bless your big, beautiful heart and thank you for your time at the Ronald McDonald House! My grand baby has been battling cancer and we’ve stayed at those houses and eaten the meals the volunteers have prepared and let me tell you, it was a blessing!! ❤️ #neuroblastomanana

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