How to make BBQ Pulled Pork and save 5 hours using a pressure cooker.
“It’s no sin to get sauce on your chin.” – Bishop Tutu
Pulled pork happens to be one of our favorite things to eat.
When we go to barbecue festivals like the Roc City Rib Fest or barbecue restaurants like Famous Dave’s we inevitably get at least one pulled pork sandwich and slather on the sauce. But, until recently, I've never made it at home.
"It's no disgrace to get sauce on your face." - anon.
This month we got a lot of pork in our meat CSA share though High Point Farms, and one of the cuts happened to be pork butt. I had never cooked a pork butt before so I immediately did what I do when I need recipe inspiration: I searched Google. * It turns out pork butt isn't from the pigs bottom! It’s actually called a Boston Butt and is part of the shoulder. It’s also the cut used most often in pulled pork, and almost all of the recipes that included it in their ingredient list were for pulled pork in one form or another.
"It doesn't hurt if you get sauce on your shirt." - Heloise (ok, sorry i'll stop)
Here's our Pulled Pork Recipe Video because I just can't wait any longer to share it.
Most of the recipes online involved hours upon hours of cooking in a crock-pot or smoker. Sometimes as long as 12 hours! Would I wait that long. Yes. Ok. Fine I would, but I'd rather not. Of course, I decided to use the pressure cooker and shave the time down to a little over 1 hour.
I found a few different ways to cook pulled pork in the pressure cooker, and at first wasn’t sure which one to use.
The first method I found on the blog I Eat Mostly Meat, a paleo diet site. He made his own barbecue sauce and cooked the meat in it directly for only 16 minutes before using the natural release method.
The next recipe I found on Food.com and involved cooking the meat completely covered in water and adding the barbecue sauce after it was cooked. The chef here cooked it for 1 hour with natural release, and then used store bought sauce.
Since there was a huge difference in the cooking times, I decided to consult a pressure cooker cookbook to see if they had a recipe and how much time was recommended for this cut of meat. In Miss Vickie book she suggested 35 - 40 minutes using at least two cups of liquid and natural release for pork butt, but didn’t have a pulled pork recipe.
I decided to use a combination of the two methods. I would use store bought sauce that we had on hand (next time we are definitely making our own barbecue sauce), mixed with a little bit of water and cook the meat directly in that. The pork wouldn’t be covered in water, but we would use the recommended two cups of liquid, and I wouldn’t have to take the time to simmer and make my own sauce.
(Super Easy) Pulled Pork Recipe:
3 - 4 lbs pork butt (cut into chunks if needed)
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
1 cup water
garlic powder, onion powder, paprika - to taste. About half a teaspoon
Buns for sandwiches
Step 1: Cut and Spice
Start by adding the spices to the pork once you've cut it into several pieces.
Step 2: Brown
Then add the olive oil to the pan and brown each side well. After browned, the pork out to rest on a plate; add the garlic and onion to sauté, until they are just translucent. (I didn’t take the pieces out, and just added the onions and garlic directly on top of the meat; it was do-able but difficult to stir and get everything cooked. Although it’s a little inconvenient to remove the meat, I definitely recommend taking it out of the pan for this step).
Step 3: Add the rest of the ingredients
Add 1 cup barbecue sauce and 1 cup water, and mix well, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan and deglaze. The meat won’t be covered, but it should be sitting in a delicious barbecue sauce mixture. Add the meat back to the pressure cooker and lock the lid.
Step 4: Bring to pressure and cook for 60 minutes
Bring to 15 psi. Immediately reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting to maintain pressure, and set the timer for 1 hour. (I chose 1 hour instead of 40 minutes because I really wanted to make sure the meat would be falling apart fork tender and not cooked but still tough).
Step 5: Natural release, Open and Rest
When the time is up remove the pressure cooker from all heat and follow the natural release method. When equalized carefully open the lid and remove the meat setting it aside. It will be very fragile, so be careful when you try to move it. Cover with tin foil and let is cool for a little while to lock in the juices then using two forks shred the meat.
Step 6: Add some sauce and serve
Add back some of the sauce and juices from the pot and place a heaping portion on your favorite sandwich roll.
“Strong the sauce in this one truly is.” – Yoda
Enjoy! And the best part is, you can cook this year round.
How did your's come out?
Traditional method: pulled pork smoker recipe
About Pork Butts
Thanks for reading.
"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia ChildWhy learn pressure cooking?
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