Pressure Cooked Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of those foods that can be the foundation of many meals the entire family will enjoy. You can make sandwiches, wraps, salads, or even a loaded pork potato. The cooking method of pulled pork can also vary from on the grill, to in the oven, slow cooker, or pressure cook it. And when it comes to how to season your pulled pork, you probably change it up every time or from time-to-time. And that’s the beauty of a staple. You can play and try new things.

I tried a pork shoulder roast (a.k.a Boston butt) pressure cooked in our Ninja Foodie for the first time. Again, not an ad, but the best birthday gift I’ve gotten in a while. Hands down, the juiciest, and most tender pulled pork that I have ever made at home. Best part? It only took an hour to cook a 4lb pork roast!

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Start with your preferred pork roast. I used a 3-4lb pork shoulder roast and allowed it to come to room temperature before seasoning it. For a no-fuss flavor packet, try the McCormick Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork packet. Again, not an advertisement of any kind. The rest of the ingredients come straight from the back of the package. You’ll need ketchup, cider vinegar, and brown sugar. But, wait, Rebecca… that is not brown sugar! Glad you spotted that.

Brown sugar is one of those pantry staples you take for granted that you have at home until you run out. That is what appears to have happened to me. Just when I needed it, there was none to be found. So I improvised and used Truvia Baking Sugar. It is a sugar substitute made from stevia, and it was in my cabinet. Turns out, if I make this again it will be with the Truvia and not brown sugar. I can’t claim that it did anything magical with the taste; all I know is it tastes fantastic and is tender. The bonus is there was less sugar overall, however, let me be clear, that was not my intention, and it wouldn’t make that big of an impact since most of the seasoning cooks off and ends up discarded. It helps flavor and tenderizes.

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As mentioned, I allowed my pork roast to come to room temperature before messing with it. It makes a difference in keeping the meat tender and well seasoned. Whisk all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl. For a pressure cooker, you will need to trim all the visible fat off your pork roast and then cut it into 6-8 even chunks. Then bath it in the seasoning.

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The longer you can allow it to marinate the better. If you leave it overnight in the refrigerator, still allow the pork roast to come to room temperature before putting it in the pressure cooker. Prepare your pressure cooker with a cup of water and rack on the lowest rung.

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Add in your pork roast pieces trying not to overlap them if possible. Set your pressure cooker on high and for 60 minutes. All the pressure to naturally release (meaning don’t touch the button) for 10 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure.

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Look how pretty! Remove pork roast and in a medium to large bowl take two forks and get to shredding or pulling the pork apart. If it turns out as ours did, the son-of-a-gun falls apart on you!!!

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I prefer to leave my pulled pork dry and allow individuals to add their amount of BBQ sauce. If you prefer to go ahead and get it sauced up, then now would be the time. Pulled pork is a versatile protein to have in the refrigerator for the week. You can use it as a sandwich, wraps, on salads, or my new found way to eat it: pulled pork potato!

To complete this meal, I topped a baked potato with low-fat sour cream, pork, and paired it with green beans. You can have fun with the sides, go traditional with coleslaw or get creative. Let me know if you try it!

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Rebecca Turner