Yep, you can! I know it might go against most BBQ enthusiasts' deeply held belief that pulled pork should only be cooked low and slow, but I don't have 8 to 12 hours to devote to smoking when I'm busy at work all day or the weather is too cold; I want another solution. The solution is as easy as it is controversial; it's using the instant pot after one hour of smoke. I know, I know, you're thinking that's not authentic BBQ, but I challenge anyone to try it and tell me it's not a good technique. There's low and slow, hot and fast; let me introduce you to what I call hot and super fast.
Don't get me wrong, this will never replace my long pork shoulder cooks that yield undeniably excellent results. I wouldn't say this method is better than low and slow, but it is terrific. I had the idea to try this in January. I had a craving for pulled pork, my smoker was in the garage, and it was just too cold for a long cook. I had just picked up an instant pot from Amazon; I think I paid $79.00 for it, but you can click this link to check the current price. My plan was to just put the pork in the Instant Pot and shred it; being accustomed to my usual smoked pulled pork, I just knew this wasn't going to be satisfying. So, I thought, why not just put an hour of smoke on it, then pressure cook and see what happens? Well, I'm glad I did.
Let me break down the whole process for you. I have a 6 quart Instant Pot, so it's not the largest, which means I'm limited on the pork roast size I choose. I typically use a picnic roast, usually around 2.5 or 3 lbs; the local Walmart usually has a reasonably large selection of various pork roasts.
The next step is to evenly cut the roast up into 3 sections and season it with my favorite rub (I'll be posting the recipe for my pork rub soon).I put it in the fridge and fire up the coals for the grill. Once the grill is up and running, I put a few hickory chunks on the coals and add the pork; generally, I prefer Applewood, but the Hickory gives the meat a little more intense smoke flavor since it's only smoking for an hour. After the hour of smoking, I put the pork in the instant pot for another 60 minutes with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, then do a natural release, then shred it up and enjoy! It’s a simple recipe, worth a try.
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