The Most Tender Pressure Cooker Pork Roast

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If you know anything about The South, then you know that all of our favorite things revolve around food. We literally can not make it to a function, a gathering, a party, a get-together without thinking about, or cooking, food. It’s one of the things that I love about Louisiana, our food is amazing.

I’ve heard a lot about the pressure cooker taking away the fun of cooking. Obviously, these people have never tried cooking a pork roast for 18 hours in an indoor oven when its 1,000 degrees outside in Louisiana. Your house begins to feel like a sauna and it gets old really quick.

Any person in their right mind wants the yumminess that comes from the most tender pressure cooker pork roast. If you haven’t tried this yet, you’re totally missing out.


After trial and error on different pressure cookers, and by requests and comments of our readers, we have edited this recipe to note a better process that will work for ALL pressure cookers. You can check the comment section for reference.

P.S.: We know that the measurements listed are a little “extreme”. This is because this is A LOT of meat and A LOT of gravy. You will need a good amount of seasoning to be sure that your meat tastes great without seasoning afterward. However, you can adjust the amounts as needed and to your preference.

The most tender pressure cooker pork roast: The Fervent Mama- Any person in their right mind wants the yumminess that comes from the most tender pressure cooker pork roast. If you haven't tried this yet, you're totally missing out.

When I was a kid, I thought everyone ate like us. I mean jambalaya, crawfish pi-ya, file gumbo-o! Aren’t those just common things everywhere? Rice and gravy was the main dish for many, many nights and there was absolutely no fuss about it.

But then I started traveling a little and realized people got it really, really wrong in the food department (sorry, not sorry). Southern food is my jam. It has the most special place in my heart and it would probably be the only thing I missed about moving out of the south. I hate the heat- gimme snow!

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By the way, isn’t Alabama still considered The South? Because I was about ready to revoke their southern status this weekend. I was up there visiting family and someone said that rice and gravy is gross. Gross? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that in my life. Rice and gravy is a southern staple.

The most tender pressure cooker pork roast: The Fervent Mama- Any person in their right mind wants the yumminess that comes from the most tender pressure cooker pork roast. If you haven't tried this yet, you're totally missing out.

My favorite thing about a pork roast is how versatile it is. You can eat it with rice and gravy, pork carnitas, pork tacos, BBQ pork. Down here in the south, the pork shoulder is often referred to as the boston butt. That’s the best cut of the pig to make a great pork roast.

The most tender pressure cooker pork roast: The Fervent Mama- Any person in their right mind wants the yumminess that comes from the most tender pressure cooker pork roast. If you haven't tried this yet, you're totally missing out.

Always score the top of your meat before you season it. This will help the seasoning reach the top of the meat, and as the roast cooks, the fat renders and helps the roast continue to be moist. I always score, season, and then stuff. Onions give the best flavor!

The most tender pressure cooker pork roast: The Fervent Mama- Any person in their right mind wants the yumminess that comes from the most tender pressure cooker pork roast. If you haven't tried this yet, you're totally missing out. The most tender pressure cooker pork roast: The Fervent Mama- Any person in their right mind wants the yumminess that comes from the most tender pressure cooker pork roast. If you haven't tried this yet, you're totally missing out.

Next, you’ll want to sear your roast on both sides. Fat side down first, then bottom. While the bottom sears, pour the rest of your onions over the top. Guys, barely any effort and you’re almost done prepping the most tender pressure cooker pork roast you’ll ever eat.

The most tender pressure cooker pork roast: The Fervent Mama- Any person in their right mind wants the yumminess that comes from the most tender pressure cooker pork roast. If you haven't tried this yet, you're totally missing out.

This is what your pork roast will look like when it’s done. Look at those caramelized onions, that beautiful pork color, and if you look hard enough you’ll see the bone pulling away from the meat in the bottom right corner. Just be careful taking it out of the pressure cooker, because it will fall apart!

TIP: If you’ve ever cooked a pork roast that was tough, you probably didn’t cook it long enough. The longer you cook a pork roast, the more tender it will be. If I was cooking this is the oven or crock pot, I’d cook it 12 hours. In the pressure cooker, sometimes I go up to four depending on how large the cut is.

The Most Tender Pressure Cooker Pork Roast

The Most Tender Pressure Cooker Pork Roast

Yield: About 12 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 3 + lb. pork roast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • 1 tbs cayenne
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 packs brown gravy mix
  • 2 cups water


  1. Score the top of your pork roast.
  2. Season with all dry seasonings.
  3. Stuff the roast with 1/2 onion and all garlic.
  4. Place oil in pressure cooker and turn to sear.
  5. When hot, sear roast on top side (fat side) first for three minutes.
  6. Flip and sear for 3 more minutes on bottom.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining onion over the roast.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the two packets of brown gravy mix with the two cups of water. Pour this mixture over the roast. 
  9. Close and lock lid.
  10. Cook on High pressure for 3 hours. Personally, I like to cook my roast in 60-minute intervals with a 5 minute NPR (the small no pressure release lets some steam escape and we aren't splattered with hot gravy!) By cooking in shorter intervals, I'm able to adjust the time to my size roast and be sure that the gravy has adequate seasoning during cook time. 
  11. If roast is not fall apart tender after 3 hours, cook on high pressure in 20 minute intervals with manual release until meat is tender.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Look, I’m still not done sharing all my favorite pressure cooker pork recipes. You may be wondering what comes next, but I’ve got plenty up my sleeve. Pork chop gravy, pork and beans, ham, brats. It’s all coming in due time. Still, I promise that pork isn’t the only thing that I cook. But isn’t it so yummy though?

Do you have a recipe that you’d like to have transformed to a pressure cooker version? Link your favorite recipe, or write it out in the comments and we’ll do our best to make the best version of it just for you!


  1. are those pepper amounts correct?

  2. l anthony says:

    I used this as written.By FAR best I have ever ate. Will be using pressure cooker more often now that YOU have shown me not only have fast it cooks but how full of flavor! Thank u.

  3. Rick Meadows says:

    Hi Brooke,
    I was just wondering if there was a per pound cooking guide for pressure cooking meats. I usually buy a 7 to 9 lb whole, bone in, pork picnic roast. How long do you think this would take to cook? I would probably use beef broth instead of the gravy packets though, as I’m on the ketogenic diet and can’t have the flour or carbs that would be in that. Thanks for your, or anyone else help.

  4. CarolAnn Maxwell says:

    I made this roast today. Hands down the very best roast I have EVER made! I’ve never used our pressure cooker (always made me nervous), but my husband walked me through it (he’s super-excited that I did it). My roast was just under 3 pounds (about 2 3/4). I checked it after 1 hour and it was already awesome. After the 2nd hour it was fall apart delicious. I am full as a tick and very proud of myself, lol! So good!

  5. This is the first time I am trying this recipe…..I am a bit confused about the NPR of 5 minutes……if you aren’t releasing pressure and opening the lid how are you checking the progress of the roast/gravy?? Are you meaning after the 5 minutes of resting you do a pressure release and open the lid to check before setting it for the next 60 minutes??? That’s what I’m assuming so that is my plan for today. Thanks for the inspiring recipe!!

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      You’re right, Carol! Hope it came out great!

  6. Hi Brook,

    Sorry, I too am confused!! You are saying you prefer not adding the 2 cups of water, so do you not use the two packets of gravy mix either?

    I am using a Power Cooker with a 7 lb Boston Butt, what would you suggest the cooking time to be for that?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi, Missy. We have updated our post to reflect the correct process. Please refer to our recipe card for instructions!

    2. Hi how are usually cook my roast with potatoes carrots and onions but I don’t see any comments about that. At what point would I have this or is this not a good idea with a pressure cooker?

      1. Brooke Poston says:

        You can definitely do it in your pressure cooker! What you’ll do is when the meat finishes cooking, wait 10 minutes and then release the pressure. Add in your veggies and cook for 3 minutes HI pressure, 5-minute natural release, then release the pressure again!

  7. Christina Tackett says:

    I cannot thank you enough. This is the best pork roast I have ever ate or cooked. I am not one to toot my own horn, hubby said, I should on this one. πŸ˜‰
    The only thing that I was a little confused about (which was NOT your fault) was my pressure cooker has temps, like a typical oven. So when you said cook it on high, I had to guess on the temp. Again not anything to do with your recipe.

    Again, THANK YOU
    Sincerely, Christina

  8. Great recipe! My youngest can’t eat chiles of any kind, so I seasoned this with salt, mustard powder, ground ginger, ground coriander, and a touch of cinnamon and allspice. I stuffed it and topped it with chopped onion, then used some spiced apple cider and a little capful of apple cider vinegar for the liquid. I made a roux-style gravy out of the drippings. It was a little salty for my taste, meaning I probably cooked the drippings down too far before turning it into gravy. But it was delicious! Even my picky children gobbled it up.

  9. I have 31/2 lb center cut pork roast. Please let me know if the 3 hr pressure cooking is still recommended.

  10. Shauna Corder says:

    Can you cook two 3lb roasts at the same time?

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      As long as they fit into your pressure cooker without overfilling, then yes. You may want to cut them in chunks to help them fit and you may need to adjust cooking time depending on how you cook them. But this same process will work.

      1. I thought 30-40min. Will 3 hrs not over cook? Does it start to fall off the bone the longer you have cooking? New to this. Thanks
        New Zealand

        1. Brooke Poston says:

          Hi, Mike!

          It is up to personal preference and I like when the ham falls apart- although this may but a southern thing. I’m from South Louisiana, and we tend to do things pretty different here. lol

          So, yes. This does start to fall off the bone!

  11. I have a question about the spices. Do you actually use 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper with this recipe? I used 1/2 tsp and that was quite spicy. I’ll admit I am a spice wimp but I cant imagine how hot 1 tbsp would be! My roast was smaller, just under 2 lbs and I added potatoes, carrots and green beans in the last 20 min of cooking. Very good just a tad spicy.

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi, Debbie! I have a two-part answer to your question, so please hold tight.

      The first is that yes, we do use that much spices. We’re from the south and we LOVE spicy food. I guess I should have mentioned that part. BUT, the reason we add that much is that with 3 lbs of meat and gravy, there’s gonna be a lot to season. We don’t add any seasoning to the meat or gravy after cooking, and we always think it comes out AMAZING. Usually, my roasts are at least 3lbs though! But, you can always adjust to your preference. πŸ™‚

  12. Crystal Taylor says:

    I’m wanting to try this yummy sounding recipe, but have some questions!
    My pork roast is only a pound and a half; do I use the same amount of time for cooking?
    Also I do not have any brown gravy packets on hand. I was going to make my own, but I only have Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base not the beef bouillon granules the DIY gravy packet calls for:-/
    What do you suggest?!

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Crystal! Your roast will be cooked fully in about 30 minutes, but to make it tender, you’ll want to cook it longer. I’d suggest about an hour to make it pull apart tender. For the gravy, you can opt out of the packets and it is an au jus style. Adding the bouillion will make it have an intenser flavor, but not thicken like the gravy mix will. However, you can always remove the roast, turn your cooker to the saute function, and then add a mix of 1-1 water and cornstarch, stirring until it gets to a thicker consistency. Let me know if you have any more questions! Happy cooking!!

  13. The might help folks with traditional pressure cookers, I have a stove top pressure cooker and cook pork roasts fo 50 min on high, that includes extra time for high altitude . Fall apart tender. 3 hrs sounds really long but sounds like that is not a misprint. Maybe the electric ones are quite different.
    The time is started when it’s up to pressure, then after 50 min just turn off heat and let it depressurize that way.

  14. Unfortunately, these directions did not work well in my traditional pressure cooker.
    The gravy mixture scorched badly and imparted the burnt flavor throughout the roast.
    I’m an experienced pressure cooker user but have never used gravy mix in it before.
    I believe the results would have been better had I used plain water and made the gravy separately.
    The most disappointing thing is that I used a fresh (not store bought) pork roast. πŸ™

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Marie! When you say traditional pressure cooker, do you mean a stovetop version or electric? I’m so sorry to hear that our recipe didn’t work for you! I’ve tried this recipe multiple times on two different types of electric pressure cookers, but never a stovetop. It’s so hard to determine why some recipes work out and some don’t. It’s the nature of cooking with a machine. I hope you try it again with a little variation! Let us know how it turned out!

  15. Stupid question. What exactly do you mean when you say “stuff the roast with the onion and garlic”?

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Diane! That’s a term my grandma uses that I’ve just picked up. She uses a knife and makes little slits into the roast and then takes minced onion and garlic and “stuffs” it into the slits and holes. πŸ™‚

      1. I also wondered that. Glad we have that covered

  16. Klare Phillips says:

    Hi. I have an old fashioned pressure cooker. You know the kind with the little top that sits over the hole where the steam comes out and rocks, making a bunch of noise? It also lets steam escape. Would I need more water for this kind of pressure cooker than the new digital ones? It seems like If I cooked anything for 2 hrs it would run out of liquid and burn.

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi, Klare! I have to be honest here and say that I have no experience with old-fashioned pressure cookers. I’ve only used an electric pressure cooker, so I’m not much help on this one. Maybe one of our readers can chime in and help.

      I do know that there are some Pressure Cooker gurus in our Facebook Group that have used both styles, feel free to join in and ask your question there!

    2. I too have a traditional stove-top pressure cooker. I plan on trying this recipe making a couple changes based on comments of failed attempts. Instead of gravy mix, I am going to use the lipton soup/dip packets that don’t have any thickening agent like the gravy mixes do. On my cooker, the thing that adjusts pound of pressure has 3 choices: 5, 10, or 15. I’ll try it at the 10 level and instead of setting it at the higher heat that causes it to wiggle and make noise the recommended 5 times a minute, I’ll cook at a bit lower heat to induce the wiggle/noise maybe 3 times a minute. I definitely will release the pressure every hour to check, then add quartered potatoes plus carrots the last hour. Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  17. I love this recipe! I’ve made it 3 times now. The first two times, I made it without the gravy mix and with 1/2 cup of water. I think I prefer that to the latest version, but it always turns out wonderful. Even my pickiest eater wolfs this down! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Amanda! I love it when our readers come back for our recipes and even more when they create variations of them! We’ve done both ways too!

  18. My instant pot only lets me set it for 120 minutes max on high pressure. Are you using the slow cooker setting or the manual pressure setting?

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Janae! We are doing this using the manual method. I usually cook the roast in 60-minute intervals, with a 5 minute NPR between (so we aren’t splattered with hot gravy!). This way, we are able to check the roast and also taste the gravy to see if it needs any extra seasoning. If for some reason you can’t do this, you can definitely cook it for 120, check the roast, and the start the time again. It won’t hurt it! πŸ™‚

      Also, we made a small change to the recipe! Be sure to check it again before you cook!

  19. Stacie Valle says:

    How much water did you add so that it can build pressure?

    1. Brooke Poston says:

      Hi Stacie! For this recipe, I don’t use any water. By browning the roast first, it creates a good base for pressure building. The roast will release many juices as it cooks as well, so extra water isn’t needed. However, if you are still questioning, feel free to add about 1/2 cup water before you close and lock the lid. It shouldn’t affect the overall taste or recipe. πŸ™‚

      1. I am very confused. It says 2 cups of water in the ingredients and in the directions it says when to pour the water in? So which is it, 2 cups of water, no water, or a 1/2 cup of water lol? Making tonight so hope I get a quick answer.

        1. Brooke Poston says:

          Hi, Pam! Sorry about the confusion. In testing, I cooked this recipe in a number of ways. Actually, I never use the same recipe every time- I don’t know if I should be admitting that. lol

          With my pressure cooker, I don’t usually add any water, as the roast creates it’s own juices as it pressurizes, which leaves enough for it to cook. However, there are some people who didn’t receive the same results, so I tested the same recipe in another brand of pressure cooker, and I couldn’t get the pot to come up to pressure. So, I edited the recipe to reflect the best method for unified results.

          Some of these comments are from the previous edit. Yet you are free to test as you see fit! I prefer no water for more of an au jus gravy, or the least amount of water. If you do 2 cups, I suggest a gravy packet so you don’t have a bland gravy. But if you choose to use 1/2 cup or below that, your gravy should be perfect!

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