Includes Dry Rub Recipe for Chicken or Pork
Memorial Day is coming and you’re probably planning to grill, but if the weather is sketchy or more meal choices are desirable, pulled pork is an excellent and easy choice. Plus, you can make it in your Instant Pot, which frees up other cooking methods for additional menu items.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, just use this rub. Then, slow-cook your meat in the crockpot (at least 6, up to 12, hours on low).
First, the dry rub. A couple of years ago, I started using dry rub and was hooked! Talk about easy!! For pulled pork, it is used to marinate the meat before cooking and it helps infuse wonderful flavor into the meat. Using this method, I have made both chicken and pork cutlets on the grill.
I also have to say that I’m not exactly sure why it is called “rub.” It is a mix of dry spices that I simply sprinkle over the meat, trying to cover all surfaces. I then wrap the seasoned meat up in plastic and give the flavors from the spices time to seep into the meat. I like to allow at least an hour at room temperature for this, but if you are someone who plans ahead you could season and wrap the meat the night before and refrigerate overnight for this step.
Tip: Be aware that because of higher sugar content, the rub is prone to burning. Therefore, I recommend a lower heat/longer cooking time when grilling with this rub.
Basic components: brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix together and sprinkle or rub on your meat.
Before cooking, I prefer to wrap the seasoned meat in plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag for at least an hour to allow everything to marinate.
Dry Rub for Chicken or Pork
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1-1/2 TB paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Mix all ingredients and then sprinkle on meat before cooking. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
For pulled pork, many people like to use a shoulder roast. General guidelines say that you will need 1/3 -1/2 pound of meat per person. Once cooked, a bone-in shoulder roast will lose about 40% of its weight. If this sounds like a lot of math, take my approach: just buy country-style ribs.
These aren’t actually ribs, they’re long strips of meat cut from the blade end of the loin close to the shoulder. They are meatier and contain little or no bones. So for me, this feels like a winner! A higher percentage of meat from essentially the same part of the animal as a shoulder roast. Most recipes for pulled pork tell you to start by cutting up your roast. Since country-style ribs are already cut up, you can skip that step!
Now, a purist will tell you that pulled pork is best made long and slow. So if you have the time, use this rub, sauté your meat on the stove top and then place it in a crock pot with some liquid on low for 10-12 hours. If you are like me and simply do not plan things quite that far ahead, the Instant Pot will make short work of the job.
Season your pork ahead of time and cover it to marinate for at least an hour. Use the sauté function on your Instant Pot to sear the meat for a few minutes on each side (use a teaspoon of oil for this).
Leave the meat in your Instant Pot, add a little liquid (I recommend ¾ cup of water or broth for about 5 pounds of meat). Seal and set Instant Pot to the Meat/Stew setting (18 minutes) and let it cook. When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to vent naturally before opening. Shred meat using two forks. Pulled pork can be served with buns, coleslaw and barbeque sauce as preferred. It also makes a fantastic bowl meal with brown rice and a vegetable.
Now you can sit back and enjoy your holiday and the delicious food you’ve cooked!
Pulled Pork by Instant Pot
- 5 lbs pork country-style ribs
- 2 TB dry rub
- 1 tsp oil olive or other
- ¾ cup water or broth
- Turn on your Instant Pot to the sauté function. Add the oil, then the meat. Sear the meat for at least 2 minutes for each side or edge.
- Turn off the sauté function and add the liquid.
- Seal the Instant Pot and turn on the Meat/Stew setting (18 minutes).
- Once the cooking cycle is done, allow the Pot to vent naturally before opening.
- Shred meat with two forks and serve.