BBQ Pulled Pork Necks: An Instant Pot Recipe

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Firsthand Foods utilizes as much of the animal as possible—it is part of our mission to be sustainable.  We’ll be highlighting some less popular but definitely delicious cuts in our recipe section from time to time to help our customers become familiar with how to cook and prepare a wide range of meat products.

Pork neck is often used in southern and Asian cultures.  It is a perfect cut for roasting, braising or stir-fry.  It is also budget-friendly and can be utilized in some recipes that call for more expensive cuts.  Pork necks have great marbling, which makes the meat moist and flavorful.

I love pulled pork barbecue, especially when it’s made using whole hogs.  But that’s out of the question for most people.  In this recipe, I pulled out my new Instant Pot to pressure cook the seasoned and browned pork necks, but you can also do this recipe in a traditional pressure cooker or slow cooker (on low for 6 hours).  The addition of the Spanish paprika gives just enough smokiness to make you think it was done on a barbecue pit.  For that true North Carolina style, I added a vinegar-based local sauce and coleslaw.  Freeze any leftovers for later…if there are any!


  • 2 – 2 lbs. packages Firsthand Foods Pork Necks
  • 1 small onion – halved
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. Spanish paprika
  • 3 Tbs. cooking oil
  • 3 ½ c. water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. stone ground mustard
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste


  1. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, salt, pepper, and Spanish paprika.  Rub mixture on the pork necks and set aside.
  2. Using the sauté feature of the Instant Pot, brown the pork necks on each side and set aside.
  3. Turn the sauté feature off and pour in the water, vinegar, mustard, and tomato paste.  Whisk to combine.
  4. Add the pork necks and onion to the pot.  Seal with lid and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.  Release pressure using the natural release method.
  5. Remove the cooked pork necks from the pot and set aside to cool.
  6. Once the pork necks are cooled, separate the meat from the remaining fat and place in a pot.  Pour your favorite barbecue sauce over the meat and heat gently until heated through.

Serves 4-6