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Easy Instant Pot Carolina CocaCola BBQ

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

Few things are as ingrained in the Southern consciousness as Bar-B-Que! We take our football and tailgating seriously and after that it would have to be our BBQ. No, it is not steak as in Texas or Chicken like up North. No! Carolina BBQ is from a pig and a pig only. This is as sacred to a Carolinian as Semolina Wheat is to an Italian for pasta or Volga Stergin Eggs are to the Russian's for caviar.

Most of us don't own a smoker or have hours to make Bar-b-que at home so let me teach you a technique that is easy enough for a weeknight meal and good enough for the most deserving BBQ palette. It all starts with that quintessential brown liquid of American celebration. No, not Bourbon, Coca-Cola. This meat is great for a BBQ sandwich on toasted bread with cheese. You can also roll it up in a tortilla or my favorite pork nachos.

For this recipe you will need an Instant Pot. They are a great piece of equipment to have in your kitchen but you can make this work with hours in a crockpot but the meat will not be quite as tender.

Start with a Boston Butt. It is an inexpensive cut of meat so it won’t break your budget. Cut the meat into four to six pieces. I have my butcher do this for me because it saves so much time and its very hard to butcher yourself with the bone in. Sprinkle the meat with about a half a teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder and my secret ingredient for all pork...

Wait for it...?


Oh, cumin, how I love thee, let me count the ways.

Cumin makes pork have that sweet, smoky, earthy taste that makes pork taste like pork.

Then, pop your pork pieces into the Instant Pot and crack open that can of Coke. Pour the Coke into your Instant Pot and close the lid. Turn the valve to sealing. Then, cook the meat for 40 minutes on High Pressure and let the pot release naturally for about 20 minutes or longer if you have time.

Once your done cooking, carefully open the lid and remove the pieces of pork to a plate. Then, pour off the used Coca-cola.

Put the pork back into the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Keep the Instant Pot on the warm setting.

Now, comes the easy part. You can make your own BBQ sauce but it really turns out just as good if you will use a good store bought brands. I use Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet and Sticky Fingers Carolina Classic but you can certainly experiment. Using two sauces gives many nuances to your meat. Mix the sauces together in a 1:1 ratio, you'll need about a cup total.

Pour the sauce into the meat and stir the sauce into the meat until the meat/sauce ratio is as you like it. I prefer a bit more sauce so adjust according to your taste. You can also add a bit more salt or pepper at the point if you need to adjust the seasoning. Let the sauce warm through.

Viola! The perfect BBQ meat and all in about an hour with little muss or fuss.

How We Eat This...

We eat this over tortilla chips as nachos (my favorite), in a taco or sandwich with Hawaiian Rolls and cheddar cheese. I even add caramelized red pepper and onions to my tacos. Make sure to butter your tacos and heat them in a skillet. Dang it‘s good!

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