This Instant Pot Pulled Pork is a weeknight meal lifesaver! It takes less than an hour and makes 8 pulled pork sliders piled high with tender, juicy meat and coated in a decadent orange sauce. There won’t be a drop or scrap left behind!
We’re used to waiting hours for slow cooked meat dishes. But it doesn’t have to be that way! This recipe makes a tender, tangy serving of orange pulled pork sliders right in your Instant Pot.
The whole process takes 45 minutes. The Instant Pot pulled pork is cooked in a combination of lemon juice, soy sauce, white wine, and a bit of garlic and ginger. The result is juicy, flavorful meat that melts in your mouth.
The orange sauce is even easier to make. Just throw everything into a pan and let it simmer for just a bit. It all cooks down into a beautiful amber sauce that’s so rich and flavorful you’ll want to just eat it with a spoon! The aroma is AMAZING.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Pork – Either boneless loin roast or pork shoulder. Either way, you want 2 pounds worth.
- Cooking Sauce – The meat will cook down in a combination of:
- Lemon Juice – To tenderize and flavor. You might use orange juice instead for a stronger orange flavor overall, and a bit more sweetness.
- Soy Sauce – You generally want to use a light soy sauce, but a dash of dark as well adds a bit more flavor.
- Marsala Wine – You could also use any dry cooking wine, such as Madeira or dry sherry.
- Garlic & Ginger – Use fresh ground, minced, or grated rather than powdered for maximum flavor.
- Orange Sauce – Along with sugar, cornstarch, and salt, this sauce includes:
- Orange Juice & Zest – You’ll need quite a few oranges to get enough juice, so it’s worth going with store bought for this recipe. Just one orange will give you plenty of zest.
- Cinnamon – For an earthy spice. Nutmeg will be your closest substitute.
- Red Pepper Flakes – This seasoning gives just a touch of heat. Cayenne pepper, chili powder, or paprika are all possible alternatives.
- Cloves – A bit sweet and bitter, and common in Asian cooking. Nutmeg, allspice, or cardamom are acceptable as well.
- Buns – I use sliders, but your favorite sandwich bun will work just fine!
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT PULLED PORK
1. Make the Cooking Liquid. Whisk together all of the cooking liquid ingredients and let sit while preparing the Instant Pot.
2. Cook the Meat. Lay the meat in the pot and cover with the cooking liquid. Lock the lid and seal the venting valve. Cook using the “meat” setting.
3. Shred. Once cooking is complete, release the vent valve and uncover. Using two forks, shred the meat while searching for and removing excess fat. Cover with the lid while making the orange sauce so it stays warm.
4. Make the Orange Sauce. Add the sugar, orange juice and zest, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, red pepper flakes, and cloves to your saucepan. Heat over medium and stir regularly until the mixture thickens.
5. Plate & Serve. Plate the buns, top with the Instant Pot pulled pork, and pour the orange sauce over the meat. Serve immediately!
Can I make slow cooker pulled pork in an Instant Pot?
Yes, you can easily convert slow cooker pulled pork slider recipes to work with your Instant Pot. The general rule of thumb is that 8 hours of slow cooking time on low, or 4 hours on high, translates to 25-30 minutes of cook time in the Instant Pot.
Why is my Instant Pot pulled pork tough?
You likely have not given it enough time to cook. The longer you allow the meat to cook in the cooking liquid, the more tender it becomes. So if the result is a bit tougher than you’d like and is not shredding easily, give it a bit more time.
Luckily, the process is much quicker in the Instant Pot. Make sure that your Instant Pot is set to “sealing,” not “venting,” so that the meat cooks properly.
How do I reheat Instant Pot pulled pork sliders?
If you foresee having leftovers, I recommend storing them without the sauce. Return the meat to the pot along with a bit of water and heat with the “steam” function. If you’ve retained any of the cooking liquid, use that instead. You can also whip up a bit more in no time!
If you happen to have leftovers with the sauce already poured over top, reheat in the microwave in 30 second bursts.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking March, 2017, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in July, 2022.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sliders
- 2 lb boneless pork loin roast or pork shoulder
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup marsala wine or other dry white wine
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp ground ginger or fresh grated ginger
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 8 slider buns or 4 regular sandwich buns
- Combine the cooking sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
- Place pork in the Instant Pot and pour cooking sauce over. Close lid and venting valve, then press meat setting to start cooking.
- When meat is done, release vent valve and open lid. Shred pork using 2 forks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Cover with lid to keep warm.
- In a saucepan, place sugar, orange juice, zest, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, red pepper flakes and ground cloves. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until thickened. The sauce should be a thick amber to almost clear color at this point.
- Serve sauce over pulled pork on slider buns.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.