Instant Pot Cuban Mojo Pulled Pork

This fragrant, cumin scented mojo pulled pork is juicy-tender, with a citrusy sauce that all comes together in a fraction of the time in the Instant Pot.

5 from 1 review

This fragrant, cumin scented mojo pulled pork is juicy-tender, with a citrusy sauce that all comes together in a fraction of the time in the Instant Pot.



For the mojo pulled pork:

For the additional mojo sauce:

  • 1 cup / 240 ml reserved, strained cooking liquid
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove crushed or minced garlic, optional, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • optional, but lovely: minced fresh oregano and / or cilantro


BROWN: Cut the pork into four equally sized pieces. In a well-oiled skillet over medium heat, cook the pork in batches as needed until it is fully browned on both sides, about 7 – 10 minutes per side. Add the browned pieces to the stainless steel insert of the Instant Pot, making sure they sit below the max fill line.

BLEND: Add all of the remaining ingredients for the pork except the bay leaves to a wide mouth Mason jar or blender pitcher. Blend until completely smooth in the jar with an immersion blender or using your blender.

COOK: Nestle the bay leaves in with the pork and pour the marinade over the top. Close the Instant Pot lid and set the cook time for 60 minutes at high manual pressure with the “keep warm” feature set to “off”. Once the cooking time is complete, let the pork natural release for 30 minutes, then manually release the very little remaining pressure.

SHRED: Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pork to a plate carefully, since it will be very tender and likely to break up as you attempt to remove it from the cooking liquid. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes or so, until cool enough to handle. (I like to use that time to make the extra mojo dipping sauce). Using gloved hands or two forks, gently pull apart the pork until it is in chunks or as shredded as you like, transferring it to a mixing bowl as you go.

STRAIN: Place a fine mesh sieve over a 4 cup / 960 ml fat separator and carefully strain the cooking liquid from the Instant Pot, discarding all of the garlic solids & the bay leaves. Reserve 1 cup / 240 ml of the strained, de-fatted cooking liquid for the base of the additional mojo sauce.

COAT: Use as much of the remaining strained cooking liquid as you like to gently coat the mojo pulled pork until it is glistening but not swimming in extra liquid. Taste and add any additional salt if you would like to. I like to also add a little of the rendered fat from the cooking liquid, too, as it helps to keep the pork especially tender & juicy, but you can choose not to do that if you prefer. Make sure to add any extra salt before adding the fat. Let the pork rest while you make the sauce – it will absorb the extra liquid added as it sits.

MIX: To the reserved cup of strained cooking liquid, add all of the mojo sauce ingredients. Stir to combine, taste & adjust seasonings to your liking. Add the fresh minced herbs if you like. Serve the mojo pulled pork with the extra mojo sauce on the side to drizzle over the pork or whatever you choose to accompany it.


  • Resist the urge to chop the pork smaller! I have tested this recipe multiple ways & times, only to find that cutting the pork down into 2 – 3 inch chunks results in a significantly drier, paler end result even with a reduced cook time.
  • Reserve the rest of the strained & de-fatted cooking liquid and add it to the pork if you’re reheating leftovers later for other meals.
  • For AIP, leave out the cumin in both the cooking liquid and additional mojo. I like to add some 2 teaspoons of dried cilantro to the cooking liquid and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground dried lime, too, if I have it. (This is the dried lime, sometimes labelled as dried lemon or limon omani).