Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

4.96 from 24 votes
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This tender and juicy Instant Pot Pork Shoulder is elegant, flavorful, and easy to make! You’ll love the tender slices of juicy pork and savory onion sauce with wine, herbs, and garlic.

Close-up shot of a cooked pork shoulder garnished with parsley.


Pork shoulder often brings to mind dishes like pork carnitas, pulled pork, or how to make barbacoa, all of which are great options. However, I love to mix it up by adding a splash of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc and a generous amount of garlic to create this recipe for Instant Pot Pork Shoulder. It’s fancy enough for special occasions yet simple enough for a weeknight dinner. How about settling on a Sunday supper for the perfect balance?

What Is Pork Shoulder?

As the name states, pork shoulder is cut from the shoulder, making it a tough cut that’s usually sold more cheaply than other, more tender pieces of pork. You can sometimes find it labeled “pork butt” or Boston butt,” and it can be boneless or bone-in.

Ingredients For Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

  • Pork Roast: You’ll need about 3 to 4-pound bone-in pork shoulder roast.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Butter and Olive Oil: For browning and sautéing.
  • Onions: I used yellow onions, but you can use white onions, too. Slice them thinly.
  • Garlic: You’ll need a lot of garlic to flavor this roast – I used about eight.
  • Herbs: Thyme, rosemary, and a couple of bay leaves.
  • Wine: Dry white wine is best, although a dry rose is also a good option. The wine does not need to be expensive, but do avoid cooking wines that have been treated with salts and preservatives.
  • Chicken Broth: I used low-sodium chicken broth, but you could also use water.
  • Cornstarch and Water: To thicken the sauce at the end of cooking.

How To Cook Pork Shoulder In The Instant Pot

This cooking method involves three simple steps: browning the meat and other ingredients, cooking the meat, and then making the sauce. Let’s take a look at each one, and how they work in the instant pot!

  1. Brown the Pork Shoulder. Set your Instant Pot to the “Saute” function. If you have to choose a temperature setting, choose “Medium.” Add the butter and olive oil to the instant pot and let the butter melt. Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels and season it with salt and pepper. Brown the pork on all sides
  2. Create the Cooking Liquid. Take the browned roast out of the instant pot and set it aside. Stir the sliced onions into the instant pot and season with salt. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs, wine, and chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pot.
  3. Pressure-Cook the Pork Shoulder. Place the pork shoulder into the cooking liquid; lock the lid, make sure the valve is set to sealing, and then set to pressure cook on “High” for one hour. Once the hour is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes before quickly releasing the remaining pressure.
  4. Make the Onion Sauce. Transfer the cooked pork shoulder to a cutting board. Set the instant pot to “Saute” on “Medium.” Make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and pour about half of it into the simmering liquid in the instant pot. Whisk until the liquid thickens into a sauce, adding more cornstarch if it isn’t thick enough. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper, and adjust as needed.
  5. Enjoy! Use a sharp knife to slice the pork, and serve it with the onion sauce and your favorite sides.
Overhead image of a cooked Pork Shoulder in a serving plate with a fork stabbed inside of it at the bottom right.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Cut to Fit: If your pork shoulder is too large to fit comfortably in the instant pot for browning, use a sharp knife to cut it into a few larger pieces. Brown each piece separately, and then finish cooking them all together.
  • Remove the (Cooked) Fat: This cut is typically very well marbled, so when you are slicing or pulling the meat, feel free to remove any large pieces of fat and discard those. Do not remove fat before cooking the roast, however, as it adds a ton of flavor.
  • Troubleshooting Texture: If you find that the pork shoulder isn’t very tender, it probably needs a bit more time to cook. The pork shoulder will be even better if you let it cook to an internal temperature of 180˚F and up to 200˚F if you plan to shred it. You can serve the pork at 165˚F, but it won’t be tender enough to pull apart. If you let it cook to 200˚F, the pork will be even softer. Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check for doneness.
  • Pulled Pork: You don’t have to slice this recipe if you don’t want to. It also makes beautiful pulled pork and gravy.

What To Serve with Pork?

Serving this pork roast is so tasty with a side of Crispy Smashed Potatoes. You can also try my Creamy Mashed Cauliflower for a unique spin or this family favorite Garlicky and Cheesy Cauliflower Broccoli Bake. You also can’t go wrong with a big sheet pan full of caramelized Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables.

A fork tearing into a cooked pork shoulder.


To refrigerate leftovers, place the meat and any gravy in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

To reheat, place the desired portion in a skillet over low heat. Cover, and allow to heat until the pork reaches a safe internal temperature.

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4.96 from 24 votes

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

This Tender and Juicy Instant Pot Pork Shoulder is elegant, full of flavor, and easy to make! You’ll love the tender slices of juicy pork and savory onion sauce with wine, herbs, and garlic.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Natural Release: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6


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  • Press the “Saute” function on the instant Pot and add the butter and olive oil to the pot.
  • In the meantime, pat dry the pork shoulder with paper towels and season it well with salt and pepper. Place the pork in the Instant Pot and brown for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove the browned pork from the IP and set aside.
  • Add the sliced onions to the Instant Pot, season them with a pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more olive oil if needed.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in the dried thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves; cook for 15 seconds. Pour in the wine and cook for about 20 seconds.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chicken broth while scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Return the pork shoulder and all its juices back to the IP. Close the lid, turn the knob to the sealing position, and pressure cook at HIGH PRESSURE for 60 minutes; then do a Natural Release for 15 minutes. Release the remaining pressure and remove the lid.
  • Pull out the pork shoulder and transfer it to a cutting board.
  • On the IP, press the “Saute” function.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water. Add half of the cornstarch mixture to the IP and cook until thickened. Add the remaining mixture if you want it thicker.
  • Taste the onion sauce and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Slice the pork shoulder and serve with the onion garlic sauce.


  • Size Of Pork: If the pork shoulder is too big for the Instant Pot, cut it into larger pieces before browning and cooking.
  • Remove the Fat After Cooking: Feel free to discard any large fat pieces while slicing or pulling the meat – but leave the fat on during cooking for flavor.
  • Tender Pork: If the pork isn’t tender enough, simply cook it a bit longer.
  • Serving Options: You can serve the pork shoulder sliced and complete with gravy, or you can shred it and mix it up with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Safe Internal Temperature for Pork

  • Safe cooked temperature for pork is 145˚F. However, pork shoulder needs more time. While you can finish cooking a pork shoulder when the internal temperature registers at 165˚F to 180˚F, if you plan to serve it as pulled-pork, let it cook to 190˚F and up to 205˚F.


Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 575mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Sherri says:

    Tried this tonight and it was amazing! Perfect flavor profile to still add a few more seasoning and make carnitas with the leftovers. Ate it tonight with smashed garlic and Parmesan new potatoes and bacon green beans.

    1. Katerina says:

      That sounds like a delicious combination! Glad to hear it turned out amazing and you have plans for the leftovers too. Enjoy! Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Tamara says:

    Hi there! This looks so yummy. Could it be done in a slow cooker instead of instant pot? If yes, do you have a recommendation for temp and how long? Thanks in advance!

    1. Katerina says:

      Yes, you can make this in the slow cooker set on Low for 8 hours.

  3. Donna says:

    I’m a shitty cook & so not surprised this didn’t work for me even tho I never changed a thing.

  4. LEWIS KAPELKA says:

    I am an executive chef who worked for Sheraton hotels and resorts in a five star restaurant and this recipe is awesome and so easy to do and besides being juicy the flavors blend perfectly. Kudos to you for your ideas.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank you so much! I am very happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

  5. Barb says:

    I jazzed this recipe up with turmeric, grated ginger and garlic powder
    It turned out fantastic cooking it 85 minutes with natural release.

  6. Grace says:

    You mentioned cutting larger shoulders if they don’t fit in the Instant Pot to brown. How does that affect the cooking temperature now that you have smaller pieces?

    1. Katerina says:

      In my experience, cutting it into two pieces did not change the cooking time.

  7. Phil says:

    Made it to the detail of the recipe. I wouldn’t change a thing. Mashed potatoes and a vegetable on the side..what dinner memories are made of.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great to hear! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  8. Jacquie says:

    I have a boneless pork shoulder. How long should I cook it in the instant pot?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      A 3-pound pork shoulder may need about 50 to 60 minutes of cooking at High Pressure, then another 15 minutes natural release.

  9. Olivia says:

    Thanks for the great looking recipe! Do you know if I can make this earlier in the day and keep it on warm in the instant pot for several hours or will that make it mushy? Or is it better to cook it and then warm it later in a skillet. Thanks!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      If it’s for an hour, it’s okay, but several hours will definitely make it mushy. You can either make it earlier in the day and then heat it up in a preheated oven, or, if you have a slow cooker, use that instead of the Instant Pot. Slow Cooker on LOW will take about 6 to 7 hours to cook a 3 to 4 pound pork shoulder.