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Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Quick Pickles

Homemade barbeque sauce and spicy quick pickles take these Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches to the next level. Perfect for your next party or for your family meal plan.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot, pork
Servings: 10 sandwiches

Ingredients

For the pulled pork:

  • 4 lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup water or stock
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup chili garlic sauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the pickles:

  • 1 cucumber seeded and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

Make the barbeque sauce:

  • In a small bowl combine the ketchup, chili garlic sauce, syrup, vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Taste and adjust to your preferences!

Start the pulled pork sandwiches:

  • Turn on the “Saute” function of your Instant Pot, and hit the “+” button to turn on high.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, and paprika. Cut the pork shoulder into 3 or 4 equal sized pieces, and season on all sides.
  • When the front of the Instant Pot reads “HOT”, add the canola oil. Sear the pieces of pork on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary, until the pork is browned on all sides. Remove the pork and set aside.
  • Add the water to the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. (Note: this is called deglazing!)
  • Add the sliced onion, and set the seared pork on top of the onion. Pour half of the prepared barbeque sauce over the pork and place the lid on the Instant Pot, turning the vent to the sealed position.
  • Set the timer for 45 minutes on high pressure using the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” setting. It will take 10-15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, then the 45 minute timer will begin.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
  • Remove from the pot and shred with two forks. Add ½ - ¾ cup of the cooking liquid to the shredded pork, and discard the rest.

Make the quick pickles:

  • While the pork is cooking, make the quick pickles. Add the sliced cucumber, garlic, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes to a jar or other heat-proof container.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Heat over medium-high heat to a low simmer until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
  • Pour the liquid into the jar with the cucumber and spices. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes, or until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Assemble the sandwiches:

  • Prepare 10 sandwich rolls or 20 slider buns.
  • Place a generous portion on each bun, topping with the reserved barbeque sauce and as many pickles as you like.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • The quick pickles and sauce can be made in advance! Store in the fridge for up to two weeks. 
  • This recipe makes 10 "normal" sandwiches, but can also be used to make sliders as pictured.