Transport yourself to warm, summertime barbecues, even in the middle of winter, by taking just one bite of this Low FODMAP Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork slathered with low FODMAP BBQ sauce. Sweet, savory and a little bit sinful: this low FODMAP BBQ pulled pork may turn out to be one of the best things you ever put in your mouth. I'm serious! Fall-apart tender and full of flavor, the Instant Pot makes this delectable Southern barbecue dish enjoyable year-round! And it's Paleo (without the bun) and gluten-free. Spicy food warning: although low FODMAP, this recipe contains some spicy ingredients (like ancho chili powder and cayenne pepper), which may still be a trigger for some people with IBS.
Adapting Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork for Low FODMAP
I don't think it's any secret that I love using my Instant Pot, but there are two recipes in particular that made me fall in love with it: this Instant Pot Pork Chop One Pot Meal recipe by Frugal Hausfrau that I later adapted for Low FODMAP, Paleo and Whole30; and this Easy Pulled Pork Recipe for Instant Pot by Slick Housewives. I tried making low FODMAP pulled pork in the Instant Pot in a wide variety of ways but could not come up with a better way of doing it. I could, however, adapt the original recipe for low FODMAP and also create an original low FODMAP BBQ sauce recipe to go with it.
Cincinnati Pulled Pork
My adoration for pulled pork started long before the Instant Pot came to be. It started when I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, which lies across a river from Kentucky and is heavily influenced by Southern US culture. It is sometimes even referred to as "The Gateway to the South."
In the 1800's, hogs were a major source of income for farmers and meat processors in the area, so much so that Cincinnati came to be known as "Porkopolis" and led the country's overall meat packing industry. While it no longer leads the country in meat packing, the historical influence of how the city came to thrive still lives in its public art and food.
I only lived in Cincinnati for 2 years and have not been back in over a decade, but it's one of my most favorite places I've ever lived and one of the most underrated cities in the US. Food, arts, and culture are at the forefront of city life - the way they should be.
Anyways, I was introduced to pulled pork at Cincinnati restaurants and food events and just fell in love with it. I've ordered pulled pork in restaurants in other cities over the years, and nothing has compared to what I tasted in Cincinnati - until this pulled pork recipe.
The equipment I use to make this Low FODMAP BBQ Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot includes:
- 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker
- Paper towel
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Small bowl
- Whisk or fork
- Large plate
- Plastic spoon for scraping
- Slotted spoon for scooping
- Serving platter or large bowl
- 2 forks for pulling pork apart
Low FODMAP Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork: Ingredients & Success Tips
This low FODMAP pulled pork recipe doesn't require many ingredients as most of its flavor comes from the low FODMAP BBQ sauce; however, there are a few things to note:
I typically use a 3 pound cut of pork shoulder with this recipe, but a larger cut (up to 4 pounds) should also work. I buy my pork shoulder in bulk from Costco as it's the cheapest and a great cut of meat.
Low FODMAP BBQ Pulled Pork Dry Rub Ingredients
Instead of brown sugar as the original recipe calls for, I use maple sugar, which is derived from pure maple syrup and is low FODMAP and Paleo compliant. If you aren't concerned with FODMAPs, you can also use the same amount of coconut sugar, which has a similar taste to brown sugar and is another Paleo sweetener option.
Instead of garlic and onion powder, I use dried chives to add some garlicy-oniony flavor without the FODMAPs. Dried chives actually add a ton of great flavor to meats. I have started using them regularly in my recipes as a substitute for garlic and/or onion powder.
Ancho Chili Powder
I use ancho chili powder as it has a sweeter flavor than regular chili powder; but then again, "regular" chili powder works for this recipe, too, if you don't have ancho chili powder on hand. "Regular" chili powder in the US and Canada is typically a blend of spices including chili pepper - make sure the chili powder blend you use does not contain garlic or onion powder for low FODMAP. Warning: Although low FODMAP in small quantities, chili powder contains capsaicin, which can lead to adverse symptoms for some people with IBS.
Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon & Cayenne
I use kosher salt and ground black pepper to enhance the flavors and cinnamon and cayenne to add some sweetness and heat. When I first saw the original pulled pork recipe call for cinnamon, I thought it might be too sweet for meat, but it adds so much great flavor to the pork.
Warning: Even though it hasn't yet been tested for FODMAPs, cayenne pepper is generally thought to be low FODMAP, although also contains capsaicin, which can be a trigger for some people with IBS. It can be omitted from this recipe without much sacrifice to flavor.
Garlic-Infused Olive Oil
To add more garlicy flavor and seal the seasonings and juices in the meat, I sear the seasoned meat in garlic-infused olive oil, which I would buy by the gallon if it were only available that way.
Low FODMAP BBQ Sauce
The original recipe calls for Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, which I love but can no longer tolerate. Therefore, I wrote this recipe for low FODMAP BBQ Sauce specifically for this pulled pork recipe. It is sweet and tangy and complements the pork so well. You can potentially use bottled, store-bought low FODMAP BBQ sauces instead (about 4 cups or 32 ounces should do it), but some BBQ sauces are thicker/starchier than others, and I can't predict how this recipe will work with other sauces. If the sauce you end up using is particularly thick, you can always add more water to the pot to try to prevent the dreaded burn error (dun, dun DUN!).
Serving Options: Low FODMAP & Paleo
As I eat gluten-free grains now and then, I eat my low FODMAP pulled pork on a gluten-free bun like the one pictured below; however, if you want a straight-up Paleo and low FODMAP option, I suggest serving it on buns made with slices of russet potatoes and having BBQ pulled pork sliders, which could be a fun appetizer or dinner option. Serving this low FODMAP pulled pork on a baked potato is another Paleo option. Or, you could make a low FODMAP pulled pork lettuce wrap and use green leaf or butter lettuce like a tortilla. If you're not concerned with FODMAPs, I've heard that pulled pork is pretty yummy on a baked sweet potato.
Low FODMAP Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
- 3-4 pounds pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
Low FODMAP BBQ Pulled Pork Dry Rub:
Low FODMAP BBQ Sauce:
- 4 cups low FODMAP BBQ sauce, homemade or store-bought, divided*
- 1 cup cold water
- If using it, start by making a full batch of my Low FODMAP BBQ Sauce, or make it a day in advance to achieve even better flavor.
- While the BBQ sauce is simmering, dry pork shoulder with paper towels and chop into 6 equal(ish) pieces.
- In a small bowl, add low FODMAP pulled pork dry rub ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Cover each piece of the pulled pork on all sides. I typically just dip each piece into the rub, or you can apply the rub to the pork with your hands.
- Once the BBQ sauce is done simmering, remove from heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Hit the "Sauté" button on your 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker, and add the garlic-infused olive oil. Once the display reads "Hot," using tongs, add half of the pork pieces and sear each side for 1 minute. Remove seared pork to a plate and repeat for the remaining pieces of pork.
- Once all of the pork pieces are seared and removed from the pot, hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot and slowly pour 1 cup of cold water into the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon.
- Once the BBQ sauce has cooled for 10-15 minutes, add half of the sauce to the Instant Pot and stir to combine with the water. Add all of the pork back into the pot and cover with sauce on all sides. Scrape any pork juices left on the plate into the pot using a spatula (leave no flavor behind!).
- Close the lid, set pressure release valve to sealing, hit the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button, and set timer for 60 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle has completed, hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot and quick release pressure. Open lid, and using a slotted spoon, carefully remove pork to a platter or bowl. Using two forks, pull pork apart. Add the remaining BBQ sauce (as much as you'd like - you may not need all of it) to the pork and stir to coat. Serve on a gluten-free bun (not for Paleo), potato bun, baked potato or sweet potato (not for low FODMAP), or another starch of your choosing.
- Chili powder and cayenne: While low in FODMAPs, chili powder and cayenne are spicy and can still be a trigger for some people with IBS. While ancho chili powder typically only contains powder from chilis, "regular" chili powder is typically a blend of multiple spices. Make sure the one you use does not contain high FODMAP ingredients, like garlic powder or onion powder.
- Low FODMAP BBQ Sauce: Some store-bought BBQ sauces are thicker/starchier than others. If your sauce is particularly thick, you can always add more water to the pot to try to prevent burn errors.
- Cooking time does not reflect the time required to make the low FODMAP BBQ Sauce.
- Nutritional information below does not include Low FODMAP BBQ sauce.
- Adapted from Slick Housewives