How To Roast Pork In The Instant Pot

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This Instant Pot recipe for pork roast will become a family favorite. The salt and pepper mixture creates a tasty crust and seasons the drippings for an out-of-this-world gravy.

This Instant Pot recipe for pork roast will become a family favorite. The salt and pepper mixture creates a tasty crust and seasons the drippings for an out-of-this-world gravy.

This recipe and method are for a pork butt or pork shoulder. If you have a pork loin, get instructions for how to cook it in the Instant Pot over here. Or, if you’re looking for a traditional New Year’s Pork and Sauerkraut recipe done in the Instant Pot, check out this one.

First, what is a Pork Butt?

The cut referred to as a butt roast or Boston Butt is actually from the front of a pig. The shoulder area to be exact. The shoulder is divided into two cuts the top rectangular part and the lower triangular part. Historically, the top rectangular portion was a less popular cut. Butchers in colonial New England took these less popular cuts and packed them in wooden barrels for storage and transportation. The barrels used were called butts. So now you know. Interesting, right?

Now on to an easy and relatively quick recipe for pork roast. I know, this sounds a bit like an oxymoron.  Pork shoulder roasts generally benefit from long cooking times. With the introduction of the Instant Pot, an updated electric pressure cooker, that has all changed. In about an hour you can have a fork-tender pork roast on the table.

There are two things that I really love about my Instant Pot (this is the one that I have).

The first is the sauté function. Using it creates a lovely, caramel-colored layer on the pork. Which means I don’t have to pull out another pan and get it dirty. Love it!

After searing the roast, I remove it from the Instant Pot and put the trivet that was included to get the roast up out of the cooking liquid and off the bottom of the pot. I think it helps to maintain the color from the searing as well as ensuring that the bottom doesn’t burn.

Now, if you like a crisp crust on your roast you’ll need to use the oven after the Instant Pot has done its work – I have instructions for that in the recipe. Or you can read about it in my post How to Roast Pork Perfectly. If you want more ways to cook pork to perfection, try my pork chop recipe, or my pork loin recipe.

The second thing that I love is the fact that once the lid is locked on and cooking time is set, I’m free to focus on something else. While the roast is cooking I have time to prepare one of my favorite side dishes to serve with pork, an Irish version of mashed potatoes called colcannon. It’s delicious served with butter or with my Instant Pot Gravy recipe, my traditional gravy recipe, or if you don’t have pan drippings, try this recipe out.

 

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Instant Pot Roast Pork


  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6

Description

This Instant Pot recipe for pork roast will become a family favorite. The salt and pepper mixture creates a tasty crust and seasons the drippings for an out-of-this-world gravy.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 12 lb. pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken broth or water
  • 1 onion cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder and stir to combine.
  2. Rub pork roast with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with the salt mixture on all sides.
  3. Select the Sauté button to heat the Instant Pot. When “Hot” is displayed, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Add the seasoned pork roast and sear on all sides, approximately 4 minutes per side.
  5. When roast has been seared on all sides, press Cancel and remove roast from the Instant Pot. Place on a plate and set aside.
  6. Add the broth or water to the Instant Pot, scraping any bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  7. Place the trivet in the bottom or the Instant pot. Lay the roast on top of the trivet and arrange the onions and garlic around.
  8. Cover pot, lock on the lid, and set the steam release valve to Sealing
  9. Select the Meat/Stew or Pressure Cook button and set the cook time to 30 minutes.
  10. When the cooking cycle has finished, allow the pot to sit for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release by moving the valve to Venting.
  11. Optional Step: To crisp the crust, preheat oven to 425˚ F while the roast is resting.
  12. Remove the pork to a sheet pan or roasting pan if using crisping method. Place in preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  13. If not using the crisping method: Remove the pork to a cutting board.
  14. Carve the roast into 1/2” slices

Notes

For a quick out-of-this-world gravy, follow my Instant Pot Gravy recipe.

This Instant Pot recipe for pork roast will become a family favorite. The salt and pepper mixture creates a tasty crust and seasons the drippings for an out-of-this-world gravy. #instantpot #pork #dinner #dinnerrecipe #easyrecipe #recipe #porkshoulder

57 Responses to “How To Roast Pork In The Instant Pot”

  1. Christina Ortega — August 5, 2019 @ 4:01 pm (#)

    Does the pork roast have to be defrosted?
    We have a 4 pound frozen pork roast with bone in that we would like to cook.

  2. Nancy — June 15, 2019 @ 7:51 pm (#)

    Thank you for this great recipe!  I made about a 3 or 3&1/4 lb chefs prime roast and my husband absolutely raved about it! It came out so tender and juicy.  I used the meat/stew setting for 45 minutes – it was perfect.  I thought it was slightly pink at first, but while letting it rest it finished cooking.  In addition to the salt & pepper and garlic powder I also added some smoked paprika and Bell’s Poultry Seasoning to the rub.  I followed your link and made a great gravy as well.  Thanks again! 

  3. Bonnie — June 8, 2019 @ 6:14 pm (#)

    What if I have a 7.5 lb pork butt??? How long should I cook???

  4. Bruce P — March 10, 2019 @ 12:22 am (#)

    I like you recipe, I am going to try it with a 9.5 lb. fresh picnic pork roast bone in cut in half. I will follow up.

  5. Lesan — March 9, 2019 @ 8:12 pm (#)

    This was fantastic! I paired it with your recipe for colcannon and it was perfect! My kids, ages 8 & 5, even devoured it. Thanks for a quick and easy delicious recipe!

  6. Tonya W. — March 3, 2019 @ 1:03 pm (#)

    I’m not a fan of pork shoulder so I hope this recipe changes my mind.
    It seems easy and not a lot of ingredients and it’s done within an hour.
    I will write an review after tonight’s dinner.
    Thank you 

  7. Derek Whitman — February 20, 2019 @ 10:37 pm (#)

    I used a 4LB roast and its not done!!!

  8. Theresa — February 14, 2019 @ 1:20 am (#)

    Just tried this recipe as my first using a instant pot and im sooooo pleased! I was really torn about cooking times but after a ton of reading, I decided to cook my 4 lb pork shoulder, cut into four pieces, for the same exact time as this recipe and it the best pork I’ve EVER had! Thank you!!

    • Christine Pittman — February 19, 2019 @ 11:58 am (#)

      Theresa, I’m so happy it turned out for you and that you liked it so much. Thanks for letting us know!

  9. Renee — January 27, 2019 @ 8:57 pm (#)

    I have found so far that every roast recipe I have tried the meat is never quite done in the time given. So I put it back in for 10 more minutes and it comes out perfectly. Duly noted. Add ten minutes to all recipes! The flavor was absolutely amazing.

    • Christine Pittman — January 31, 2019 @ 12:00 pm (#)

      Renee, I’m glad you figured it out. I’m starting to think that all Instant Pots are not the same since what works in mine doesn’t always work in others. It is probably to do with the size differences. I should start stating what size my instant pot is. It’s 8qt.

  10. Gail davis — January 26, 2019 @ 12:04 pm (#)

    I have a 3.25 lb pork roast, do i cook it longer than 30 minutes

    • Christine Pittman — January 31, 2019 @ 12:05 pm (#)

      Gail, I’d start with 45 minutes and see how it is.

  11. Carl — January 20, 2019 @ 3:20 pm (#)

    I cooked this tonight, and the family all agreed it is the best pork they have ever had! So moist and lots of flavor.

    • Christine Pittman — January 31, 2019 @ 12:09 pm (#)

      Carl, That’s fantastic! I’m so happy you all liked it. Thanks for letting me know!

  12. Ashley Darling — January 19, 2019 @ 1:11 pm (#)

    Any suggestions on making a already smoked Boston Butt in the instant pot!?? I can’t find any information. 

    • Christine Pittman — January 31, 2019 @ 12:10 pm (#)

      Hmmm interesting. Is it fully cooked like a ham? As in, are you really just heating it through? Or does it actually need to be cooked also? I don’t have recipes for this in the instant pot but if it just needs to be heated through, I’d look for Instant Pot Ham recipes and see what times they give for that. If it needs to be cooked, then I’d follow the instructions for the roast pork above. If you try it, please do come back and let me know what you did and how it worked. I’m really curious!

  13. Lance — January 14, 2019 @ 7:17 pm (#)

    I’m new to the InstantPot and from what I have found so far from three uses is that the most important thing to cook time is roast thickness and whether or not it has a bone in it. For example, a 2.8 lb chuck roast nearly 2″ thick at 45 minutes with a 15 minute natural release was overcooked and somewhat dry despite all the fat (& I folded it over to fit inside my 8 qt DUO), but a 2.5 lb nearly 4″ thick at 50 minutes with a 15 minute natural release was fall apart melt in your mouth awesome.

    I did a 4.75 lb pork roast for 70 minutes with a 15 minute natural release and it was overcooked and very dry, but it was under cooked and bloody at the bone. I would say that I probably should have cut slabs of meat off each side of the bone and then cooked the pieces for much less time like maybe 30 minutes. So what I don’t understand is why it seems so hard to find recipes that take these things into account? This is what can make the difference between awesome melt in your mouth meal and terrible one, but many recipes don’t even mention roast size at all. Just cook times and some don’t even mention that. Why isn’t more attention paid to this important factor?

    • Christine Pittman — January 15, 2019 @ 10:31 am (#)

      Lance, I’m not sure. We have told you the roast size for this recipe. I hope that was helpful.

  14. Chandra — January 9, 2019 @ 2:40 pm (#)

    This may sound crazy but I want to make sure.  When you sear the meat are you doing it with the instant pot open just like you would on a stove?  I’ve only boiled eggs in mine so I want to make sure I’m doing everything right.

    • Christine Pittman — January 14, 2019 @ 1:28 pm (#)

      YEs, use the saute function and then treat the inner pot of the instant pot as though it was a regular pot/pan on your stove. Leave it open.

  15. Laurs — January 8, 2019 @ 2:22 pm (#)

    I plan on making this this weekend. I have the same cooker as you except it is 6 qt and not 8 qt, so do I
    use the same amount of chicken broth or smaller amount?

    • Christine Pittman — January 14, 2019 @ 1:32 pm (#)

      Laurs, same amount.

  16. Debbie — January 3, 2019 @ 8:27 pm (#)

    Hi your recipe was delicious I am a first time instant pot person.   I checked the temp it was 150 but when we cut into the bone in pork roast it was red in the middle after the second slice.    What did I do wrong??

    • Christine Pittman — January 4, 2019 @ 1:29 pm (#)

      Debbie, I’m not sure. I usually do a boneless pork butt or shoulder for this. That can affect things. I need to specify that more clearly. But regardless, if a thermometer stuck in the center of the meat, not near the bone, reads 150, you should be fine. Note that some people prefer their pork more well done, over 160. The US Pork Board now says that 145F is safe. It could be that you’re not used to seeing pinker pork.

  17. Teresa Shank — January 1, 2019 @ 8:42 am (#)

    I don’t have a trivet for my pot.  Will that matter?  

    • Christine Pittman — January 1, 2019 @ 1:14 pm (#)

      Teresa, No, not that much. You don’t need to have the trivet. The roast just ends up a bit damper without it it. If you have a steamer basket that can handle heat you can use that. Or you can set the roast over some whole carrots or even a few balls of aluminum foil.

  18. Maria — December 27, 2018 @ 1:11 pm (#)

    Thank you thank you thank you. I made a fantastic 3 lb pork shoulder following your recipe. I have a dry meat aversion, so I decreased cooking time by 5 minutes to 25 minutes. My plan was to cook 25 minutes, slow release for 10 and then check the internal temperature. I wanted it to be around 140 before resting it. It was 150 and I panicked, but this has taught me that oven temperature and instant pot temperature are different. My roast was moist and soft, perfect flavor and color. Best roast I’ve ever eaten!

  19. Donna — December 26, 2018 @ 2:08 pm (#)

    Another Christmas-dinner success to report — thanks for a great recipe! My Instant Pot was brand-new under the tree yesterday morning and by 2:30 pm it was producing a delicious Christmas roast. I did a 4-lb center cut bone-in roast, set it for 1 hour and finished in the oven as directed. It was perfect and the gravy was too. I made a few additions that I can recommend: just a splash of red wine in with the broth (I know you have to go easy when combining pressure cooking and alcohol, so I kept it to no more than a splash) and a teaspoon of dried rosemary added to the rub.

    • Christine Pittman — December 27, 2018 @ 9:46 am (#)

      Donna, That sounds fantastic! I’m so happy you like your new Instant Pot, and this recipe too. Merry Christmas!

  20. Katie — December 26, 2018 @ 12:07 am (#)

    I followed this recipe using a 3.5 lb bone-in roast. I followed your advice, so after 50 min, followed by a 10 minute release, I then put the roast in a 475 degree oven for 10 more minutes. Delicious! This recipe saved Christmas.

    • Christine Pittman — December 27, 2018 @ 9:46 am (#)

      Katie, That is wonderful to hear. I’m glad you liked it. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

  21. Susan — December 22, 2018 @ 5:31 pm (#)

    My 4.77 lb. pork shoulder is bone-in — does that affect the cooking time?

    • Christine Pittman — December 24, 2018 @ 2:26 pm (#)

      I don’t think so since the weight increases for bone. A pork shoulder or butt is typically 15 minutes per pound in the instant pot. I’d go for 1 hour and 10 minutes then a natural release for 10 minutes then turn the knob to Venting. Check with an instant read thermometer. I am 95% sure it will be done but if not, you can always do another 10 minutes. It won’t take long to heat up and get going because it’s already hot. Hope that helps!

  22. Darlene hale — December 17, 2018 @ 8:24 pm (#)

    I’m confused. I want to cook an 8 pound should pork roast. Some articles say you don’t increase time with larger roasts while the instant pot chart says 15 minutes per pound?

    • Christine Pittman — December 19, 2018 @ 9:03 pm (#)

      For an 8 pound pork shoulder I’d do it for 40 minutes. Do a natural release and then use an instant read thermometer. If it’s at 145-160F, you’re good to go. If not, pressure cook for another 10-20 minutes. I’m sorry I can’t be more exact here. I’ve never cooked a roast that big in my instant pot. But I just did a 4 pound one and I set it for 20 minutes and it was perfect. I’m going with that. 2 hours is way too long (which is what you would get with 15 minutes per pound). Hope it helps a bit.

  23. Julie — December 16, 2018 @ 8:52 pm (#)

    This was so good! I had a 4.5 lb roast and set the instant pot for an hour. It was flavorful and tender.

    • Christine Pittman — December 17, 2018 @ 2:37 pm (#)

      Julie, So happy you liked it!

  24. Jerry Falke — December 6, 2018 @ 7:15 pm (#)

    Christine:

    Thanks for your recipes. I’m a real newbie at cooking anything, but in February my wife of 54 years had a stroke so I’m suddenly, at age 81, the chief cook and bottle washer. Actually, I’m loving the challenge as cooking vents the frustrations.

    You had some questions raised on the timing for the larger roasts, so I thought I’d pipe in. The pork shoulder roast I bought weighed 5.6 lbs. so I doubled the ingredients for the roast (not the gravy) and cooked it in the Instant Pot for 55 minutes on Meat/Stew after sauteing this monster on all sides. Turning it was a bear. The internal temp after this timing was 170° and, after an additional 10 min. in the oven @ 425° it rose to 173°. Served with sweet potato and roasted asparagus. Really yummy and I’ve got enough left for another 4 meals since there are only the two of us. If you tell me how to attach pix, I have three I’d like to share.

    • Christine Pittman — December 11, 2018 @ 3:03 pm (#)

      Jerry, Thanks for the information and your tips. That sounds amazing. I’m excited for you and your new cooking adventures. Have fun! (No, I don’t think there is a way to attach pictures here).

  25. Shelley Cook — December 3, 2018 @ 5:42 pm (#)

    I bought an 8 lb roast. Any idea on time I should cook it?  I’m brand new at this instant pot thing!

    • Christine Pittman — December 4, 2018 @ 9:25 am (#)

      Shelley, I’ve never cooked a roast that big in my instant pot. If it’s a pork shoulder or butt, I’d try 60 minutes and then a 10 minute natural release (wait 10 minutes before turning the valve) then release the pressure by turning the valve. Then I’d use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature. If it’s high enough, and I think it will be, you’re good to go. If not, I’d do another 10-15 minutes with another 10 minute natural release and test it again. If you’re cooking a pork loin though, I’d start with a lower amount of time because those roasts are leaner and dry out so easily. I’d start with 40 minutes and 10 minute natural release then check with an instant read thermometer. I don’t know if it will be done at that point. If not, then do another 10 minutes with 10 minute natural release. Good luck and do let me know how it turns out!

  26. Deborah Sproule — November 29, 2018 @ 12:40 am (#)

    We have the Instant Pot DUO80 which we just got. We cooked a 4 lb Pork butt roast using your recipe, our very first thing to cook! It was too big to cook as one piece so we cut it into 4 portions and handled each as a mini roast. Browning each and then cooking all together. The recipe book that came with our Instant Pot has a grid in the back pages which says to cook a pork butt roast 15 minutes for every pound. So we put it on for 1 hour. Forget cutting it into 1/2″ slices, this meat just fell apart into small and large chunks and is so tender it practically melts in the mouth. Super delicious!!! We have lots of amazing broth from it too, some we used on our meat, the rest we are going to use to create a delicious stew for tomorrow’s dinner as needless to say, with only two of us, we have lots of meat left! And the delicious looking fat, we’re going to crisp that up in the oven tomorrow, we couldn’t wait to eat to do it tonight! Thanks!!!

    • Christine Pittman — December 4, 2018 @ 10:00 am (#)

      Deborah, Thanks for your comment. I’m delighted that you’re enjoying your instant pot and that you liked this recipe. Have fun!

  27. K — November 18, 2018 @ 10:37 am (#)

    do I need to add time if I include potatoes carrots and onions with the roast?

    • Christine Pittman — November 20, 2018 @ 2:44 pm (#)

      Kelli, No, it should be ok. I haven’t tried it but I’m 95% sure that adding carrots, potatoes and onions will take the instant pot a bit longer to heat up to fully pressurized. That time difference should take care of things. If you try it, please come back and let everyone know how it turned out!

  28. Shea — October 29, 2018 @ 5:34 pm (#)

    Is it possible to do this from frozen, or does it have to be thawed?
    I seem to lack the ability to plan ahead….

    • Christine Pittman — November 14, 2018 @ 11:53 am (#)

      Shea, I really don’t know. If it’s a smaller roast, I’m sure it will work if you adjust the time. But I can’t guarantee it.

  29. Cath — October 25, 2018 @ 6:19 pm (#)

    Everything was good added carrots but I should of cooked it for 40 -45 min. Instead of 30 had to cook in oven to get to pork temp. But was good

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 11:56 am (#)

      Cath, do you remember how many pounds your pork roast was? I did a 3 pound one last night and it was good at 30 minutes. But now I’m wondering if there is variation or something.

  30. Sherry Clark — October 15, 2018 @ 8:48 pm (#)

    I made this tonight for some friends and it was wonderful! My roast was larger so I ended up having to cook for 50 minutes. I used arrowroot powder for the gravy and it was a perfect paleo meal. This is sure to be a new family favorite.

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:02 pm (#)

      Sherry, that sounds amazing. I love the arrowroot idea. Thanks for letting me know!

  31. Lisa — October 15, 2018 @ 12:54 pm (#)

    Is the cooking time longer if using a much larger picnic shoulder? say 7 lbs?

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:04 pm (#)

      Lisa, Yes. I’d say go with 45 minutes with a natural release. But I actually need to do some testing for different sizes and find out for sure. That’s just what my gut is telling me.

  32. Janice Terrio — September 27, 2018 @ 8:14 am (#)

    If my pork came out dry, did I cook it too long or not ling enough?

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:40 pm (#)

      Janice, it depends on what cut of pork you have. If it’s a pork butt or shoulder, then it might not have been done long enough. If it was a loin, it might be over done.

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