Eastern North Carolina pulled pork is vinegar-based with a bit of kick. This is our favorite recipe – made ready for the Instant Pot!
Instant Pot BBQ
Before I met Forrest, I didn’t realize how many different definitions for the ideal pulled pork (or bar-b-cue sauce there were!
I grew up in Colorado, and pretty much anytime we had pulled pork, it would be slathered in a sweet and tangy red sauce.
So imagine my surprise when I was dating Forrest, and when he invited me to have some Eastern Carolina pulled pork.
I was not expecting a vinegar sauce that had no tomatoes anywhere near it! Let alone the expectation to top it with a coleslaw that was also vinegar-based.
Fortunately, I realized pretty quickly how delicious it was, and I’ve loved it ever since. Now whenever people talk about barb-cue sauces, I always make sure to ask what region it’s from. Because it really does vary SO much (even in North Carolina there are a couple of different sauces).
Anyways, I shared a few years ago an Eastern North Carolina Barbecue Sauce recipe a while ago.
I usually make the pork in a slow cooker, but since I love my Instant Pot so much, I thought I should make an Instant Pot recipe.
If you are in a hurry, there are vinegar-based sauces (we like Scott’s), and you can just pour that over the pork before you cook it!
It turned out better than I expected – it tasted just like it had been slow-cooked for hours.
The beauty of a pressure cooker, right? With lots of summer parties coming up where pulled pork is often the centerpiece, I thought it was time that I finally share this recipe.
I’ve been sitting on it for a while, waiting for the right time to release it…and that time is now!
This is perfect for summertime (or anytime!)
Traditionally, you top this kind of pulled pork with a vinegar-based slaw recipe.
We always base ours off of this recipe – but instead of getting all the individual ingredients for the vegetables, we just buy a bag of coleslaw. It works great!
- 1-2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 3-4 lb boneless pork butt (cut into 2” thick chunks)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tabasco)
- Cut pork into a few pieces so it fits nicely in the Instant Pot. You don't want any piece to be more than 2-3" thick.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute and heat oil.
- Sear the sides of the pork for a few minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Set aside ½ cup.
- Add remaining sauce to pork. Put lid on Instant Pot.
- Set for 90 minutes high manual pressure. Let pressure release naturally.
- Mix in reserved sauce.
- Serve with cole slaw on a bun.
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Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.