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Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Roast (Pork Butt)

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Roast is the easiest way to make delicious, fall-apart meat right in the Instant Pot. Dressed up for Sunday dinner or dressed down for pulled pork sandwiches, this pressure cooker pork butt is fit for a holiday feast or a weekday family dinner.

Close up of shredded instant pot pork roast topped with green herbs

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INSTANT POT PORK SHOULDER ROAST RECIPE

This Instant Pot pork shoulder roast recipe is revolutionary: I’m talking about eliminating eleven hours of cooking time. If you have ever wondered if it’s possible to make fall-apart meat in an Instant Pot, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible! 

This pork shoulder blade roast is savory, tender, and perfect for any occasion.

INSTANT POT PORK BUTT OR INSTANT POT PORK SHOULDER

There are three different meat cuts that work well for this Instant Pot pork shoulder roast: pork butt, pork shoulder, or pork shoulder blade roast. You might also see a cut at the grocery store labeled “boston butt,” which works as well. 

Simply put, pork butt has nothing to do with the actual butt. Each cut comes from the pig’s shoulder region. 

Imagine a pig shoulder, then divide it into an upper and lower segment. The upper segment is the pork butt. The lower section is the pork shoulder. 

Let me break down the different cuts within the upper and lower pork shoulder.

Top view of Instant pot pork roast in white bun on dark plate next to another sandwich and dipping sauce on a teal cloth next to bowl of shredded instant pot pork roast

Upper shoulder:

  • Pork butt
  • Boston Butt (nicknamed after old school shipping practices!)
  • Pork shoulder blade roast
  • Lots of fatty marbling
  • Best for stewing or shredding

Lower shoulder:

  • Pork shoulder
  • Picnic shoulder
  • Picnic roast
  • Less marbling
  • Best for roasting or broiling

These cuts are usually vacuum sealed and about the size of a small children’s shoebox.

Packaged raw bone-in pork shoulder butt roast

Bone-in pork roast in Instant Pot

All cuts come with the option to buy either boneless or bone-in.

I usually purchase a bone-in pork roast because it has more flavor than a boneless pork roast.

After pressure cooking, the bone will slide right out, so you don’t need to worry about it!

HOW LONG TO COOK PORK SHOULDER ROAST INSTANT POT 

For this pork shoulder roast recipe, cook for 120 minutes (2 hours) with a full natural pressure release (NPR). This means you let it naturally release until the pin drops on the Instant Pot lid.

After about 30 minutes, the pin may still be on but if you touch the lid, it will probably drop instantly. I’d recommend a 20-40 minute NPR.

I previously made this recipe in the slow cooker and it required 12-15 hours. Cooking a pork butt roast in the Instant Pot definitely cuts down the time!

HOW LONG TO COOK 2 LB PORK SHOULDER IN INSTANT POT

My recipe calls for a 6-8 pound pork roast.

If you have a smaller pork roast (like a 2 pound pork shoulder/roast), I’d recommend a 45-60 minute cook time with a 20-30 minute natural pressure release.

If you have a larger pork roast but you want to cut it into chunks, you can also decrease the cook time.

HOW TO MAKE PORK SHOULDER ROAST INSTANT POT

Though a pork shoulder blade roast takes a while to cook, the preparation is relatively simple. First, flour and season the roast. Then sear each side in piping hot oil until the whole thing is brown and crispy.

Close up of entire cooked Instant Pot pork roast
This is what the pork roast looks like after searing.

This is what the pork roast looks like after searing.

PAN SEAR VS. INSTANT POT SEAR

I have several recipes that sear meat directly in the Instant Pot, such as Brown Butter Garlic Chicken Thighs, Coconut Pineapple Chicken Curry, and Instant Pot Chicken Teriyaki Bowl

My first attempt at this pork roast recipe, I seared it in the Instant Pot. I DO NOT recommend it. Let me explain why.

The Instant Pot doesn’t get quite as hot as a pan on the stove. It took roughly 10-15 minutes PER SIDE to sear. Even then, it didn’t get very crisp.

Furthermore, the Instant Pot saute feature times out at 30 minutes. I had to constantly monitor the pot. 

Finally, the pressure cooker was sauteing for about an hour and it got super hot. The pot would not seal and come to pressure because it was too “loose” from being so warm for an extended period of time.

I found that pan searing the pork butt roast worked best. Preheat a large cast iron pan or dutch oven on the stove on medium high heat.

Sear the floured and seasoned pork roast on each side for 6-10 minutes, or until browned and crispy on all sides. 

Place the seared roast into the Instant Pot and turn your focus back to the pan that you used to sear the roast. 

To that pan, add the onion and garlic and saute for a bit, then add the chicken broth and soy sauce to deglaze.

Pour that mixture over the roast in the Instant Pot, and the roast is ready to cook! 

Lock the lid and set the Instant Pot to cook for 120 minutes with a full NPR. That’s it!

Top view of shredded instant pot pork roast in white bowl on a red patterned surface

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

To make pulled pork, follow this recipe for Instant Pot pork shoulder roast. You’ll end up with beautiful, fall-apart meat right in the Instant Pot that shreds easily for pulled pork. 

You can even use your own seasoning blend to vary the flavor. The most important thing is to cook the pork for the full two hours in the Instant Pot! This ensures the pork roast shreds easily for pulled pork.

Instant Pot pork roast with gravy

You will be left with a lot of liquid from the pork roast after pressure cooking. This cooking liquid makes an excellent gravy! 

I make this pork roast in the Instant Pot, then I strain the cooking liquid into a large pot.

When I make this in the slow cooker, the cooking liquid reduces down a lot, so it’s very flavorful and ready to make into gravy.

If you would like to make this Instant Pot pork roast with gravy, you can do this in one of three ways:

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin Meal
If you like this recipe, you’ll love my Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (they cook at the same time!)

HOW TO MAKE GRAVY FROM INSTANT POT ROAST DRIPPINGS

Method 1: Reduce the liquid  

Skim the fat off the top of the cooking liquid using a skimmer or fat separator, then reduce the strained liquid down to about 3 cups. If you have 6+ cups of liquid, you can also remove a couple of cups of broth to reduce the time it takes to make the reduction.

Simmer the liquid for 30-45 minutes on the stove (or in the Instant Pot on saute mode.) This means you’ll let the water evaporate out to concentrate the flavor. 

Make either a cornstarch slurry (mix 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons cold water) or a roux (mixing 2 tablespoons butter with equal parts flour until it forms a paste), then whisk one of these mixtures into the liquid until it thickens.

Bring the gravy to a boil, then turn off the heat immediately.

Method 2: Don’t reduce the liquid

Make a roux using equal parts butter and flour. In a small pot on the stove, whisk together the flour and butter until it’s slightly bubbly (I use about 2 tablespoons of each to start)

Ladle in 2 cups of the strained cooking liquid (not reduced) and whisk until it’s thickened. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, or garlic powder.

The cooking liquid will not be as flavorful as the first method so add additional chicken bouillon or flavor enhancer to bolster the flavor.

Method 3: Cornstarch

Ladle 2 cups of the cooking liquid into a pot and bring to a boil.

Whisk in a cornstarch slurry (mix 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons cold water until smooth) and cook until thickened. 

Season to taste.

Instant Pot Roast in a white bowl with spoon and parsley sprinkled on top
If you’re interested in making a BEEF roast, read my post where I tested an Instant Pot vs Crock Pot beef roast and all the results.

How to Serve Instant Pot pork roast

I like to serve this Instant Pot pork roast just like I’d serve beef pot roast: with mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables, such as Instant Pot Broccoli or Air Fryer Green Beans

It’s also delicious used as a sandwich or taco filling (pictured.)

Instant Pot pork roast can be used in any recipe that uses pork (stroganoff, enchilada filling, top your ramen, etc.) I also love serving pork roast with fresh Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce!

Instant pot pork roast in white bun on dark plate next to another sandwich and dipping sauce on a teal cloth next to bowl of shredded instant pot pork roast

INSTANT POT PORK SHOULDER ROAST WITH VEGETABLES

I don’t recommend adding vegetables to this pork roast recipe, unless you like your vegetables to be incredibly soft and close to puree.

You may add onions, carrots, and celery to this recipe for additional flavor, but please note they will be very, very soft.

Instant Pot pork butt recipes

Check out my most popular pork butt recipe, Instant Pot Kalua Pork! It’s a super easy, crowd-pleasing 3-ingredient meal! 

This is just like the Hawaiian pulled pork that you’ve had at restaurants or a luau!

WHAT TO SERVE WITH INSTANT POT PORK ROAST

These are some of my favorite veggies to serve with a pork roast! The salt potatoes make a great substitution for mashed potatoes. 

About Lisa

Lisa childs holding an instant pot lid with a mickey instant pot

Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-

Subscribe to her website, follow her on Instagram at @tried_tested_true, follow her on Pinterest, and find her on Youtube at Tried Tested and True. She is passionate about giving home cooks confidence using their Instant Pots. Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter to hear from personally from her weekly! Learn more about Lisa.

Graphic of The Best Ever Instant Pot Pork Roast with 2 pictures of a pork roast and 1 picture of an Instant Pot
Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Roast

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Roast

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
NPR: 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Roast is the easiest way to make delicious, fall-apart meat right in the Instant Pot. Dressed up or dressed down, this pressure cooker pork butt is fit for a holiday feast or a weekday family dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning*
  • 6-8 pound bone in pork roast, Boston butt, pork shoulder roast, or picnic roast
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

    1. Preheat a large cast iron pan or dutch oven on the stove on medium heat high heat. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and seasoning. Flour the roast all over.
    2. Add oil to the pan and swirl until shiny and hot. Add the floured pork roast and sear on each side for 6-10 minutes, or until browned and crispy on all sides. Place the browned pork roast into the Instant Pot.
    3. To the pan on the stove, add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and soy sauce to deglaze. Scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, then pour over the pork roast in the Instant Pot.
    4. Lock the lid, cook for 120 minutes and allow a full natural pressure release. Remove pork to a serving dish and shred. Serve.

Notes

  • *If you don't have Montreal Steak Seasoning, use your favorite garlic-based seasoning OR substitute with 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, 2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoon onion powder, and 2 teaspoons paprika. Mix together and use 1-2 tablespoons in the roast.
  • See notes in the post about options to make gravy with the cooking liquid.
  • I have tested this recipe searing the roast in the Instant Pot and the stove. Using the Saute feature on the Instant Pot is not as hot as the stove, so it will take almost 60 minute to sear the roast. When the pot is that hot, it will become "loose" and may not seal and come to pressure. I recommend pan searing the roast on the stove.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 5372Total Fat: 393gSaturated Fat: 144gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 212gCholesterol: 1644mgSodium: 1662mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 426g

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