Easy Instant Pot Kalua Pulled Pork

Easy Instant Pot Kalua Pulled Pork you can make in your pressure cooker or crock pot! It’s a great freezer staple and makes for lots of quick and easy meals! Especially tasty as barbecue pulled pork!

Easy Smokey Pulled Pork in bowls over rice

Easy Instant Pot Kalua Pulled Pork

This Easy Instant Pot Kalua Pulled Pork is a bit more elevated than your regular ol’ straight-up pulled pork.  Not a ton, but just enough to give it a little extra depth of flavor.  But not enough to overwhelm.  And not enough to lock it into one specific flavor category or usage.

It’s versatile and can be used in multiple meals.  Like a little black cocktail dress, right?  Supposedly a woman’s main closet staple.  (Not that I would know, since I neither own one nor have any occasion to wear one.)  Add the right accessories, dress it up or down – same dress, endless different looks.

Same with this Instant Pot Kalua Pulled Pork – add a few extra spices or ingredients, and you can use it any variety of dishes.  Go Latin American flavors to use in tacos, burritos, salads or nachos.  Pair it with a great barbecue sauce and some amazing coleslaw and you’ve got some killer pork sandwiches.   Add in some sweet and maybe a little spicy, maybe a nice pineapple chili sauce, and you’ve got great Asian-Pacific fusion.

Want to save this recipe?

Easy Smokey Pulled Pork sandwiches on rectangular plate

This Easy Instant Pot Kalua Pulled Pork is super easy to make in your pressure cooker, but you can do it in your slow cooker too if you’d rather.  Make up a large batch and bag the leftovers for use in future meals.  It is a great “freezer staple” to have on-hand for quick meals or snacks!

Ingredient Notes

You will need to have the right kind of pork roast.  For this, you want a shoulder roast.  Do NOT get sirloin or loin roast.  It is too lean and will not shred.  You want the shoulder, often referred to as the butt or Boston butt roast.  No substitutions.

You’re also going to want some Red Alaea Hawaiian sea salt if you can get your hands on it.  I love this stuff from San Francisco Salt Company, and buy it by the 2lb bag.  While you’re there, you might want to also pick up some of the Black Lava Hawaiian salt…it’s amazing!  But for this recipe, you just need the Red Alaea.  (I actually keep small jars of both the Red Alaea and the Black Lava on my counter next to my stovetop. I use the stuff on just about everything.)

If you don’t have easy access to Hawaiia sea salt, you can use kosher salt instead.

For the smokey flavor, you’re going to need some Liquid Smoke.  My local store carries two flavors – Mesquite and Hickory.  I vote Hickory, but you can use Mesquite if that’s what you’ve got.

Easy Smokey Pulled Pork in freezer bag

Easy Smokey Pulled Pork in bowls over rice

Easy Instant Pot Kalua Pulled Pork

Servings: 10 servings
Course: Freezer Meal Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
An easy smokey pulled pork you can make in your pressure cooker or crock pot! It's a great freezer staple and makes for lots of quick and easy meals!
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Save Pin Recipe


  • 1 5- lb pork shoulder butt roast
  • 5-6 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Red Alaea Hawaiian sea salt fine grain, (or kosher salt)
  • 1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke Hickory if available
  • 1 cup water


  • Trim excess fat from pork roast.  Using a sharp knife, make 5-6 large slits in the roast, and insert the peeled garlic cloves.  Try to distribute evenly throughout roast.  Sprinkle salt evenly over both sides of roast.
  • Place roast in bottom of slow cooker or pressure cooker pot.  Pour Liquid Smoke over roast.  Then carefully add the cup of water around sides of roast.

To Cook In Pressure Cooker:

  • Cook on High pressure for 90 minutes with natural pressure release. 
  • When pressure has released, remove pork from pressure cooker and shred with two forks.

To Cook in Slow Cooker:

  • Cook on Low for 12-16 hours until pork is tender.  
  • Remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks.

To Freeze:

  • Place measured amounts of shredded pork into freezer ziptop bags.  Label and date, then freeze.  Pull out and thaw to use in quick meals.


You can use kosher salt if you don't have access to Red Alaea.  Or go really wild and try a smoked gourmet salt.  😉
I prefer the Hickory variety of Liquid Smoke, but any of them will do in a pinch.


Serving: 10servings | Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 200mg | Sodium: 767mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook @MakeAheadMealMom!

Similar Posts


  1. YUM! This looks fantastic- so simple and so much bold, juicy flavor in that pork! Definitely need to try this soon.

    1. I’ve done up to 7lbs without adding additional time (still 90 min). If it’s much bigger or has a huge bone I usually cut it into a few smaller pieces so it will cook better. You can always try 90 min and then if not done add an additional 10-15 minutes.

    1. Yes, on this one you would cook first and shred and then freeze, so then you can pull out the already-cooked pork for fast meals later on. You could also prep it to freeze before cooking if you wanted, thought there really isn’t much to prep. I do the Carnitas recipe both ways like that – freeze some before cooking, and then some I cook and then freeze after once it is already cooked. So you could do this Kalua pork the same way if you wanted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating