★★★★★

Instant Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork

Hawaiian Pulled Pork with a sticky pineapple glaze is quick and easy when you use the Instant Pot! Served in a bowl or on toasted buns, this shredded pork is an explosion of taste.

Hawaiian pork on a bun with bbq sauce and coleslaw with a side of chips and pickles. Instant pot in background.

When it comes to favorite meals, a hot sandwich piled high with shredded pork and toppings is up there on the list. I’ve written about making Instant Pot Pulled Pork before and delicious variations like Root Beer Pulled Pork.

Today’s Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe is like no other. Pressure cooked with a garlic ginger pineapple sauce, this pork is imbibed with equal parts sweet, sour and savory flavors.

You need to add this Instant Pot recipe to your dinner menu this week!

Instant Pot Kalua Pork

This recipe is loosely based on the traditional Hawaiian pork called Kalua Pork. It’s made by slow roasting a pig covered in banana leaves in a pit for hours.

Delicious, but not something most of us can manage on a typical weeknight.

[Give me a moment while I imagine what our neighbors would do if I brought a whole pig out of the house and started roasting it in the front yard. . . .Okay, back to the pork. ]

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When you don’t have hours to wait, this Instant Pot Kalua Pork version is a life saver. And you don’t have to dig a pit or become a neighborhood spectacle!

This pressure cooking method makes flavorful pork that falls apart at the touch of the fork. I’m so happy to have discovered how easy it is to make in the Instant Pot.

Between prepping, cooking and pressure releasing, this dinner was ready in under 90 minutes and most of that time is hands off.

I started with Kalua Pork as my inspiration and I added pineapple and lots of garlic and ginger to the sauce to complement the fork tender meat. We enjoyed our Hawaiian Pulled Pork on buns topped with homemade coleslaw and everyone wanted seconds.

What kind of pork do you need for pulled pork?

With so many different kinds of pork available in the meat department these days, it’s difficult to keep track of which ones should be used in which dishes.

For this recipe, you’ll need boneless pork shoulder. Shoulder is available in both bone-in and boneless cuts, so unless you want to de-bone it yourself, check before you buy.

Pork Butt vs. Pork Shoulder: Pork Butt is also commonly used in pulled pork. However, it is a tougher cut of meat and needs a longer cooking time. That’s why, for instant pot pork, you need to make sure to use the shoulder.

Step by step photos showing how to make Instant Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Recipe

To make this pork, start by sauteeing chunks of pork shoulder in the Instant Pot with olive oil. By cutting your shoulder into chunks, you can cut down the cook time!

Deglaze the pot with water and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape off any pieces of meat stuck to the bottom and sides.

For the sauce, mix pineapple juice with chicken broth, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and ketchup. Mix in garlic, ginger and chili powder. Add the sauce to the pot with the pork along with pineapple chunks.

To cook in the Instant Pot:

Seal the valve and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 60 minutes. When the cooking time ends, allow the pot to naturally release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release of remaining pressure.

Remove the pork pieces from the instant pot and shred on a cutting board or serving plate. Transfer the shredded pork to a serving bowl and drizzle some of the remaining juices from the pot over it to keep it juicy!

Pulled pork on a plate with pineapple and coleslaw. Pressure cooker in background.

Serving Suggestions

For sandwiches:

This pork was so good in a sandwich! I love to use a sturdy bun like a Kaiser Roll. A toasted hamburger bun works, too! I highly recommend coleslaw on top.

For Pulled Pork Bowls:

You can also enjoy Hawaiian Pulled Pork bun-less. Spoon it into bowls with extra fresh pineapple chunks and coleslaw for a satisfying meal, no bread needed.

What to serve with Hawaiian Pork:

We love serving this pulled pork year round with all our favorite salads.

From Broccoli salad to potato salad, they all pair perfectly.

Add a side or baked potatoes or roasted broccoli and zucchini if you prefer a warm vegetable.

Whip up a batch of garlic bread or serve with homemade applesauce.

Instant Pot Hawaiian Pork sandwiches on a white plate with pressure cooker in background.

Tips and Tricks

  • Sauce – Feel free to adjust the ratios of pineapple juice to broth and water to your liking. If you want more sweetness, replace some of the broth with pineapple juice or visa versa.
  • To make it spicier – Add more chili powder or red pepper flakes to increase the heat. You can also squeeze a little hot sauce into the sauce before or after cooking.
  • For more smoky flavor – 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke added to the sauce ingredients mimics the smoky flavor of roasting pork in a pit
  • How to store – Hawaiian Pulled Pork will keep well in the fridge for 3 days. For longer storage, transfer to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. It makes a great freezer meal!

More Weeknight Dinner Recipes

Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Hawaiian Pulled Pork with a sticky pineapple glaze is quick and easy when you use the Instant Pot! Served in a bowl or on toasted buns, this shredded pork is an explosion of taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3lb boneless pork shoulder, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks

Instructions

  1. Turn on Instant Pot and select SAUTE. Add olive oil and when it's warm, add in the chunks of pork. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pot.
  2. Add in the water and deglaze the pot by using a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits stuck to the bottom. Turn off.
  3. Mix the pineapple juice, chicken broth, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic, minced ginger and chili powder in a bowl to make the Hawaiian mixture. Add to bottom of pot with the water, and give it a stir.
  4. Add the pork back into the pot, followed by the pineapple chunks.
  5. Close the Instant Pot, and turn the valve on top to "SEALING." Select HIGH PRESSURE for 60 minutes and let the pork cook.
  6. After the cook time is complete let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before quick releasing the rest of the pressure.
  7. Remove the pork pieces from the Instant Pot, transfer to a cutting board or wide plate and shred.
  8. Place shredded pork in a serving bowl and add some of the cooking liquid so it remains juicy.
  9. Serve on buns with coleslaw, or make a pulled pork bowl with more pineapple chunks and slaw.

Notes

  • You can swap around the proportion of pineapple juice, water and broth to your liking
  • For a more smoky flavor, add in 1 Tbsp liquid smoke with the other liquids.
  • Increase chili powder or add hot sauce or red pepper flakes for more heat. Or omit chili powder if you prefer less spicy.
  • Store in fridge for 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for 2-3 months
  • Recipe tested in a 6qt Instant Pot. Results may vary in other pressure cookers.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 40g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

With juicy pineapple and a hint of spice, Hawaiian Pulled Pork brings a touch of the tropical to your dinner table. When you make it in the Instant Pot, you can have fork tender pork ready in no time.

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 20, 2020

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