Instant Pot Carolina Style Pulled Pork (Gluten Free, Paleo)

Pulled pork is easy to make, full of flavor, and is super versatile. It’s the perfect batch cook food and can be used on nachos, sweet potatoes, spinach bowls, vegetables, and as a main dish all on its own.

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Carolina style pulled pork is great on nachos made with Artisan Tropic cassava and plantain strips. Their chips are super fresh, crispy, and delicious. I teamed up with Artisan Tropic to bring you the recipe for the pulled pork & goat cheese nachos pictured below, so you can find the recipe on their website.

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Instant Pot Carolina Style Pulled Pork

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prep 10 mins
cook 90+ mins
total 1 hour 40+ mins
yield 12 servings depending on size of roast


  • 1 onion

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 TBS dry mustard

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

  • 1 tsp smoked sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 4-5 lb pork shoulder

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos

  • 2 TBS molasses


  1. Place the onions into the Instant Pot.

  2. In a small bowl whisk together onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, cinnamon, cayenne, smoked sea salt, and black pepper.

  3. Trim the roast of any excess fat and cut into three equal size pieces. I start by cutting the off the bone piece first and then slice the remaining chunk into two. Using a pairing knife cut small slits into the pork and tuck in the garlic cloves. Coat the pork pieces with spice rub and place in the Instant Pot.

  4. In a small mixing bowl whisk apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, and molasses until well combined. Pour sauce into the Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid, making sure the vent is sealed.

  5. Select the “Manual” button and set to 90 minutes on high pressure using the “+” button. When it’s done cooking it will beep and switch to the warm setting. Allow the pressure to release naturally before opening.

  6. Remove the pork and onions and shred with two forks or claws. To thicken the sauce hit cancel and then press the saute button. Allow liquid to cook down until desired consistency.


Carolina Style Pulled Pork (AIP Version)

For those of you following the AIP, the Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook has a fabulous recipe for Carolina Style Pulled Pork. It’s just as delicious, without those pesky nightshades.

Carolina Style Pulled Pork (Slow Cooker Version)

I like making this in my Instant Pot since it consistently delivers tender and flavorful pulled pork, but you can easily adapt this recipe for the slow cooker. Skip cutting the roast into pieces. Follow the rest of the directions for the rub, garlic, and sauce.  Add the onions, roast, and sauce to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

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