How Long To Cook Frozen Pulled Pork In Instant Pot?

Are you craving some delicious pulled pork but only have frozen meat on hand?

No need to worry! With an Instant Pot, you can have perfectly cooked and tender pulled pork in no time.

But how long should you cook it for?

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps of cooking frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot and provide some helpful tips to make the process even easier.

So, grab your favorite BBQ sauce and let’s get started!

How Long To Cook Frozen Pulled Pork In Instant Pot?

When it comes to cooking frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot, the cooking time will depend on the size of your meat.

If your pork shoulder is already cut into two-pound pieces, add 10 minutes to the cooking time when cooking from frozen. However, if you have a four-pound pork shoulder that is frozen solid, you will need to cook it for 90 minutes to achieve fall-apart tender meat. Additionally, add five minutes of cooking time per pound because it’s frozen. This means that a four-pound frozen pork shoulder may take up to one hour and 50 minutes to cook.

It’s important to note that if you’re using frozen pork that has not been cut into four chunks, you’ll need to increase the pressure cooking time to one hour and 20 minutes to yield fully cooked and tender pork.

Gathering Your Ingredients And Equipment

Before you begin cooking frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot, you’ll need to gather the necessary ingredients and equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:


– Frozen pork shoulder or pork butt

– Dry rub spices (onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper)

– 1 cup of BBQ sauce (or substitute with beer, chicken stock, or root beer)

– Optional: Apple juice for added flavor


– Instant Pot (6-quart size is recommended)

– Cutting board

– Paper towels

– Small bowl for mixing spices

– Slotted spoon for transferring meat

– Meat claws or two forks for shredding

Make sure to have all your ingredients and equipment ready before starting the cooking process. This will help ensure a smooth and stress-free cooking experience.

Preparing The Frozen Pulled Pork

Before cooking frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot, it’s important to properly thaw and prepare the meat. The best way to thaw frozen pulled pork is by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. This slow thawing process ensures that the meat stays moist and doesn’t dry out.

However, if you’re short on time, you can use the cold water method. Simply place the frozen pork in a leak-proof bag and submerge it in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the meat is fully thawed. It’s important to note that this method can cause the meat to lose some of its moisture, so be sure to pat it dry before cooking.

Once the pulled pork is thawed, you can season it with your desired rub or spices. You can also add any additional ingredients such as BBQ sauce or broth. It’s important to note that when cooking frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot, you’ll need to add extra liquid to ensure that there’s enough moisture to create steam and build pressure.

Before cooking, make sure that the Instant Pot is set to “sealing” and not “venting”. This will ensure that the pressure builds up inside the pot and cooks the meat evenly. Once you’ve added your thawed and seasoned pulled pork to the Instant Pot, set the timer according to the size of your meat and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for pressure cooking.

After cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. This will ensure that the meat is fully cooked and tender. Finally, use a fork or tongs to shred the pulled pork and serve it with your desired sides or toppings.

Setting Up Your Instant Pot

Before you start cooking your frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot, there are a few things you need to do to set it up properly. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Whisk together minced garlic, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and rosemary in a small bowl. You can add chili powder if you want to add some heat.

2. Rub olive oil over the frozen pork shoulder to prevent it from sticking to the pot.

3. Pour beef broth into the Instant Pot. Beef broth is the best cooking liquid for this cut of pork, but you can also use vegetable broth if you prefer.

4. Place the frozen pork shoulder in the Instant Pot and pour the balsamic vinegar mixture on top of the meat.

5. Close the lid and seal the steam valve on your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

6. Press the meat/stew button and adjust the cook time to 1 hour and 45 minutes total (or 22 minutes per pound of meat you’re using).

7. When done, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release steam. This is an important step to keep the meat moist and tender.

8. Lift the lid and slice or shred the meat. Put it back into the pot with the sauce to coat.

9. If you want a thicker sauce, remove the pork and cover it to keep it warm. Set the pot to sauté mode and add 1/2 cup of your hot liquid into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk until smooth and add it back into your pot. Stir and allow it to bubble and thicken. Then turn off the pot and put pressure-cooked shredded pork back into the thick sauce.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to cook frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot that’s tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Don’t forget that you can also make this recipe ahead of time and freeze it for later use!

Natural Release Vs. Quick Release

After the cooking time is complete, you have two options for releasing the pressure in your Instant Pot: natural release or quick release.

Natural release means allowing the Instant Pot to cool down on its own, without manually releasing the pressure. This process can take around 20-30 minutes, depending on what you have cooking in your Instant Pot. It’s important to plan accordingly and not rush this process, as it allows the meat to continue cooking and become even more tender. Once all the pressure has been released naturally, the Instant Pot will beep to let you know it’s safe to open the lid.

On the other hand, quick release involves manually releasing the pressure by turning the valve on top of the Instant Pot. This method is faster but can result in tougher meat if not done correctly. It’s important to follow your recipe’s instructions carefully to determine which release method is best for your frozen pulled pork.

In general, natural release is recommended for frozen pulled pork in an Instant Pot as it allows for a more even cook and tender meat. However, if you’re short on time, quick release can be used as long as you’re careful not to overcook or dry out the meat.

Shredding And Serving The Pulled Pork

Once the cooking time is complete, it’s time to shred and serve the pulled pork. First, carefully remove the Instant Pot lid and transfer the pork to a platter. Using a pair of forks, shred the pork into bite-sized pieces.

Next, mix a small amount of the barbecue sauce into the pulled pork for added flavor. You can serve the pulled pork as a pile on a plate or as sandwiches in buns with optional pickles and coleslaw. Pass around extra barbecue sauce for people to add at the table.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover pulled pork in 2-3 cup portions in freezer storage bags for up to 3 months. To heat from frozen, place the frozen pulled pork in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of apple juice and cook on high for 10 minutes.

Another option is to thaw the pork overnight in the fridge and then reheat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. If you’re planning ahead, you can also freeze the seasoned pork and barbecue sauce in a gallon-size freezer bag or round container and prepare it from frozen using your Instant Pot.