Use your electric pressure cooker to save time on this classic family dinner. Instant Pot Pork Butt cooks without sacrificing texture or flavor. A perfect hands-off dinner ready in half the time it takes to oven braise.
A pork shoulder roast may be the simplest cut of meat to cook. You can season the heck out of it. And due to its generous marbling it’s easy to prepare using any form of heat. Grilling, smoking, oven roasting … and yes, even pressure cooking. It’s a forgiving cut of meat.
Beautiful with flavor, this Instant Pot Pork Roast is a recipe that can easily be prepared for your Sunday family dinner, or as a showcase main course for any holiday gathering.
It all comes together easily once you blend the spice mix and sear the meat. Then let your pressure cooker take over to finish the job.
Seasoned beautifully with Rosemary, Thyme and Fennel, let’s take a look.
Table of contents
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pork Shoulder Boston Butt: Pork shoulder, also called pork butt or “Boston butt” is generally sold as a five to ten pound boneless roast at the grocery store. But they can also be sold bone in. Look for boneless when cooking a pork roast for dinner, and bone in when slow cooking to shred for Shredded Pork Tacos or pulled pork sandwiches. That bone will always add flavor, but ruins the look of the roast when displayed for a dinner entree that needs to be attractively sliced. Like for this Instant Pot Boston Butt roast. If your only choice is to purchase a 8- 10 pound boneless roast, cut the roast in half and freeze the remainder for another day.
- Onions: Sweet, white or yellow, cut into rings.
- Dijon Mustard
- Garlic Cloves
- Neutral Oil: Use canola or vegetable oil here. Olive oil is not a neutral flavor oil and has a lower smoke point. Canola or vegetable with heat hotter and sear that meat quicker and better.
- Seasonings: Bay leaves, fresh rosemary and thyme.
- White Wine: Wine is classically used to deglaze pans after searing meat. It not only is a great tool to help release meat particles stuck to the pan, but it also adds flavor.
- Chicken Broth
- Fennel: If you’ve never cooked with fennel, you’re in for a treat. It’s easily found in the produce department at the grocery store. Not only does it add another layer of texture, but bring with it a mild anise or licorice flavor.
- Mustard: If you don’t have Dijon mustard on hand, substitute with plain yellow mustard, honey mustard or even a spicy brown mustard.
- Garlic: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon good quality garlic powder.
- Seasonings: If you don’t have fresh thyme or rosemary, substitute 1 teaspoon each dried rosemary and dried thyme.
- Wine: If you don’t have white wine, just omit and use chicken broth to deglaze the pan.
- Fennel: If you can’t find fresh fennel, substitute 1 teaspoon fennel seeds.
Pro Tip: When substituting dried herbs for fresh, a good rule of thumb is 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Some herbs season better when used in dried form. Oregano is a good example.
Instant Pot Pork Roast, Step by Step Instructions, It’s Easy
- Cut the pork butt in half or several pieces if needed.
- Step 1: Sear the pork butt stove top. Heat a large fry pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the pieces of pork roast. You may need to work in batches if your pan isn’t large enough. Brown pork roast on all sides. About 10 – 12 minutes total. Remove to a plate.
- Step 2: Deglaze the pot by adding the white wine. Add mustard and cook for 1 minute, scraping the bottom bits.
Pro Tip: Don’t skip searing the meat. This is a crucial step in getting the most flavor out of this meal. Searing creates what is technically called Maillard reaction. Maillard reaction is the process where a crust is created. Simply stated, it’s responsible for the complex flavors and aroma that makes bread taste toasty, and a grilled or seared burger taste charred. It’s a technique that brings science to your cooking skills.
- Step 3: Select the Saute function on the pressure cooker. When the pot is hot, add one tablespoon of neutral oil. Add the white wine liquid from the sauce pan, then add the fennel and onion. Cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook about 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add dijon mustard, stir and cook for one minute.
- Step 4: Add the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and chicken stock along with the pork seared shoulder and any juices that have collected on the plate. Press Stop/Cancel on the pressure cooker.
- Step 5: Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, making sure the pressure release valve is in the lock position. Set the timer to cook for 35 minutes (or 15 minutes per pound). Once the cooking time is up, let the pot natural pressure release for 15 minutes. Then do a quick release. When the float valve goes down, remove the pork roast to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Common Questions About Instant Pot Pork Roast
A pressure cooker cooks a tough cut of meat like a pork shoulder butt roast in a fraction of the time it takes to cook it in the oven. And with it’s sealing properties, serves a very tender piece of meat.
Pork shoulder roast can be labeled several different ways at the grocery store. Boston Butt, and and pork Butt all refer to cuts of meat that all come from the shoulder of the pig. They can be packaged bone-in or boneless. A picnic shoulder is taken from a section lower than the shoulder. And a pork loin roast is cut from a different section and is a much leaner cut of meat. For a visual, I like this Pork Cuts 101 diagram from Smithfield
A roast labeled as Pork Loin Roast is a much leaner cut of meat and substantially less fat. It will cook faster than a pork shoulder roast and tends to dry out easily. Avoid this cut of meat for this recipe and save it for an oven roast recipe where a brine is involved to add moisture.
Yes, a pork roast can yield a lot of servings. If you have leftovers, allow the meat to cool, and then package into an airtight container. I like using freezer safe zip-lock style bags. They’re easy to squeeze the air out and will store more efficiently in the freezer. Store in the freezer for three months. When ready to use again, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat. I’ve also used leftovers to make simple pulled pork sandwiches.
A pork roast weighing 2 – 4 pounds will fit nicely in the Instant pot and will feed 4 – 6 people. If the Pork roast is 4+ pounds, cut the roast in half before searing stovetop.
Many 6-quart Instant Pot recipes begin with 1 cup of water. For this recipe, we’re adding 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup of white wine. The wine is used to deglaze the pan, so some of the liquid will cook off. In the end, you’ll have plenty of liquid left over in the Instant Pot in case you’d like to make some gravy.
Don’t have a pressure cooker? This recipe can easily be adapted for oven roasting. Just follow the instructions through the searing process, then:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Set the meat on a rack set in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 325 degrees.
Continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the roast reads 185 degrees F, about 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and
Tips on Searing A Pork Shoulder
There’s a bit more to it than simply throwing a chunk of meat in a hot skillet. Let’s take a look at how to successfully sear meat.
- Pat meat dry before searing. Excess moisture will interfere with browning.
- Use the right pan. Culinary School taught me to heat a French steel pan over medium high heat, adding oil as soon as the pan was hot. A cast iron skillet also works very well here.
- Don’t over crowd the meat. Use tongs to turn the meat as soon as it easily releases from the pan.
- Searing meats in this manner makes it taste roasted instead of boiled. The crust that searing creates adds a wonderful layer of flavor.
- Be careful with searing, you don’t want to burn the outside of the meat.
Instant Pot Boston Roast Recipe
Fennel, ultra-fragrant rosemary and thyme are good partners for Dijon and wine. And a lovely seasoning for pork.
You’ll find this lineup absolutely brimming with exciting flavor.
I hope you give this pressure cooker pork roast a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And leave a comment about your experience.
What to serve with Instant Pot Pork Butt
- Oven Roasted Cast Iron Skillet Potatoes
- The Most Remarkable Tossed Salad
- Green Vegetable Medley
- Chile Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Bourbon Frosting for dessert.
And if you’re looking for more pork recipes, don’t miss my Pork Category. You’ll find lots of mouthwatering recipes. Including one of the most popular pork recipes on my site for Crockpot Country Style Pork Ribs.
Pork tenderloin is also one of America’s favorite choice for an easy and delicious pork dinner. Take a look at my recipe for Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. It’s a “how to” and a tasty recipe all in one post.
And if you love big-showy roasts, don’t miss my Prime Rib Roast Recipe. It’s a fool-proof method for cooking a perfect standing rib roast.
- Instant Pot Risotto with Peppered Beef
- Pressure Cooker Corned Beef Sliders
- Instant Pot Chipotle Mac and Cheese with Chicken
- Pressure Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup
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If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. And write a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback.
White Wine Braised Instant Pot Pork Roast
- 1 6-quart Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil Vegetable or Canola works well here. Divided.
- 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast cut in half, or large chunks
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 fennel bulb sliced
- 1 large onion sliced
- 4 garlic cloves smashed and peeled, no need to chop
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 3 bay leaves
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large rosemary sprig
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Stove Top Sear: Sear the pork roast halves stove top. Heat a large fry pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add two tablespoon of the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the pork roast. You may need to work in batches if your pan isn't large enough. Brown pork roast on all sides. About 10 – 12 minutes total. Remove to a plate.
- Deglaze the pot by adding the white wine.
- Select the Saute function on the pressure cooker. When the pot is hot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of neutral oil, then add the fennel and onion. Cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook about 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add the white wine liquid from the fry pan,
- Add mustard, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and chicken stock along with the pork shoulder and any juices that have collected on the plate. Press Stop/Cancel on the pressure cooker.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, making sure the pressure release valve is in the lock position.
- Set the timer to cook for 45 minutes (or 15 minutes per pound). Once the cooking time is up, turn pressure cooker off and let naturally release for 15 minutes, then do a quick release. When the float valve goes down, remove the pork roast to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Place some of the rosemary leaves around the pork. Serve with roasted potatoes and broccoli.
Instant Pot Pork Butt … It’s What’s For Dinner
This recipe was first published in March of 2019 and updated with step by step instructions April of 2023.
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.