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North Carolina Instant Pot Pulled Pork

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This North Carolina Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe is flavorful, tangy, and delicious. Covered in a vinegar-based barbecue sauce and pressure cooked until it shreds beautifully.

instant pot pulled pork on bread as a sandwich

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One of my favorite things about North Carolina is the bbq. Fact is, North Carolina has the BEST bbq… at least in my opinion. 

I’m a huge fan of vinegar based bbq and prefer it over other kinds of bbq. There’s just something about the tanginess of vinegar and pork that makes my taste buds dance.

I used to make this recipe by placing a huge bone in pork butt in my slow cooker and let it cook all day on low. But now, I use my Pressure Cooker. It cooks much faster without compromising on the same great flavor and the texture is just as amazing.

pulled pork on white plate

How to make North Carolina Instant Pot Pulled Pork?

I start by cutting 3 lbs of pork butt into 3 large pieces. I don’t use the bone when making it in the pressure cooker and cutting it allows my meat to cook a little quicker.

I then rub my pieces with a nice homemade bbq rub. You can follow that recipe or buy some from the store.

pork pieces covered in rub

Once my meat is fully covered, I set it aside and make my vinegar based bbq sauce. Vinegar based bbq sauce is very liquidy, so it’s the perfect sauce to use in your Instant Pot. Sauces that are too thick can cause the dreaded “Burn” signal in the Instant Pot. This sauce won’t do that.

Prepare the vinegar bbq sauce by whisking together apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper flakes, and water.

vinegar bbq sauce in glass

Place pork pieces in the Instant Pot insert and pour 1 ½ cups of the vinegar based bbq sauce over the pork, reserving the remainder of the sauce for later.

pork pieces in instant pot

Cover and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Once done cooking, allow the Pressure Cooker to naturally release for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. 

Remove pork from Instant Pot and serve. Pour reserved Vinegar Bbq sauce over meat for more flavor.

instant pot pulled pork on bread

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Enjoy 🙂

Looking for more Instant Pot Pork Recipes? Try this Instant Pot Pork Chops with Gravy Recipe.

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4.8 from 10 votes

North Carolina Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Tangy and delicious vinegar based pulled pork recipe made right in the Instant Pot.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot pulled pork
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 393kcal
Author Tanya


Vinegar Bbq sauce


  • Whisk Vinegar Bbq sauce ingredients together, set aside.
  • Rub bbq rub over pork pieces, making sure all pieces are fully covered. Place pork in Instant Pot and pour 1 ½ cups of vinegar bbq sauce and liquid smoke in insert. Cover and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes, allow Instant Pot to naturally release for 10-15 minutes. Quick release remaining pressure.
  • Remove pork pieces from Instant Pot and shred. Drizzle with remaining vinegar bbq sauce when serving. Enjoy 🙂



Notes: This BBq pork has been prepared in the Instant Pot DUO . I have also used the Ninja Foodi to prepare it as well.


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 946mg | Potassium: 961mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 630IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 5mg
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Recipe Rating

Carolyn G

Sunday 10th of January 2021

This is now a family favorite......great balanced spices and super juicy and tender. Only one problem......not one bite of pork left!!! Can’t wait to fix this again YUM 😋


Sunday 10th of January 2021

lol, so glad you liked the recipe :)

Bill W

Saturday 10th of October 2020

This is amazing! I browned mine after applying rub on convect roast for 20 minutes and then cooked in instant pot. Amazing!


Saturday 10th of October 2020

Thanks Bill! And great idea with the browning :)

Jami Ramey

Wednesday 16th of September 2020

I absolutely LOVED this recipe! I made it in my instantpot tonight and couldn't believe how good it was in under an hour and 15 minutes! I could eat that sauce over ice cream. Heck! I could drink it alone! I loved it! Will definitely make this often!


Monday 31st of August 2020

As a NC expat living in California it’s certainly hard to find anything that resembles Carolina BBQ (which means vinegar based pork; I don’t recognize the rest). This was great- I used about half of the ketchup, and you don’t notice the mustard. Agree with other posters that more chili flakes will only help it. Definitely recommend this recipe!!! Thank you!


Monday 31st of August 2020

Thank you so much Kevin :)


Monday 17th of August 2020

Do you need to add the liquid smoke?


Sunday 23rd of August 2020

@Tanya, where do you add it? im very new to this


Monday 17th of August 2020

Hi Tessa, you can leave it out.