Instant Pot Pulled Pork & Michigan Cherry BBQ Sauce

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Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Michigan Cherry BBQ sauce is the stuff midwest picnic dreams are made of. This straightforward yet precise method yields the best texture and well-developed flavors without an all-day cook time.



Canola oil

2.5lb bone-in pork shoulder

3 cups Vernors ginger ale

Salt and pepper

For the Cherry BBQ Sauce-

1 cup frozen pitted tart Michigan cherries

1 cup ketchup

½ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper.

Heat the inside of Instant Pot using the “Saute” function. Add a few tablespoons of Canola oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Brown the pork shoulder on all sides. Transfer browned pork to a plate.

Slowly pour 1 cup of the Vernors into the pot, scraping down any browned bits from cooking the meat. Make very sure to loosen any stuck-on bits before proceeding as it can affect the pot’s ability to pressurize properly. Return browned pork shoulder to the pot and add remaining Vernors. Do not exceed the max-fill line. The pork should be almost completely submerged in the liquid.

Secure the Instant Pot lid in place and make sure the steam vent is closed. Set the pot to cook using “Manual Cook” set on HIGH pressure for 90 minutes. At the end of 90 minutes, do not release the steam valve. Allow the pressure to release on its own for at least 20 minutes before releasing the valve.

While the pork is cooking, prepare the Michigan Cherry BBQ sauce:

In a large saucepan, combine the tart cherries, ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently until thickened, about 30 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender and pulse until very smooth. Makes about 2 cups.

Heat oven to 425°F.

Shred pork and transfer to a 9×13-inch baking pan. Add barbecue sauce and stir to coat.

Roast the pork for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until glazed and browned.

Serve with toasted buns, white cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and sliced pickles.

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