Hello friends, Nicole here today with a super tasty recipe I made recently. I’ve heard so much about smoked paprika and liquid smoke recently that I wanted to give these ingredients a try. Since my husband and I really like to use instant pot pork to change things up from having chicken all the time, I put together this quick recipe to give these smoky flavors a try. Let’s make some smoky and sweet marinated pork in the instant pot, shall we?

Make the perfect side of fries to go with this! Check out Chef Eric’s Air fryer Sweet Potato Fries Recipe.
Don’t like sweet potatoes? Well, here’s an irresistible appetizer for you: Spicy Bacon Cheese Fries

food arranged on a cutting board to show final results of this pork recipe


  • Pork
image of the ingredients used in smokey and sweet pork made in the instant pot

Dry Ingredients:

  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • salt
  • onion powder
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder

Liquid Marinade:

  • Chicken stock
  • BBQ Sauce
  • soy sauce (low sodium is best)
  • maple syrup
  • liquid smoke
  • cornstarch

Dry Rub Activate

photo of the dry ingredients at the bottom of a silver bowl for sweet and smokey instant pot pork chops

I started out making the dry rub because I wanted it to sit on the meat for a while. In hindsight, if I had made the dry rub and let it marinate overnight, this would have been even more flavorful. In a bowl, I put together all my dry ingredients, except the cornstarch. Stirred them together and then covered my instant pot pork with the rub. Set this aside and make your liquid marinade.

Liquid Marinade

image of combined liquid ingredients

Get out another bowl, or rinse the leftover dry spices from the bowl and add in all your liquid ingredients. You still want to save the cornstarch. We use that after cooking the pork. I used a whisk to combine all my ingredients because the maple syrup is thick and did not want to blend with the chicken stock without it.

Seer Your Pork

Turn your instant pot onto the sauté setting. Put a little oil in the bottom and then add your pork for a bit on both sides. Flip the meat using tongs. Once you have a nice browning on each side, turn the instant pot off and clear out any burnt seasonings on the inner bowl. If you do not do this, your instant pot will most likely give you a “burning food” warning when you start to pressure cook.

Pour in your liquid marinade and add your pork to the inner pot. Set your instant pot to High Pressure and normal. Set the timer for 3 minutes. When the timer is done, let it naturally release the pressure. This will take about 12 to 15 min. then you can carefully remove the lid and pull the meat out with tongs.

Pork in the bottom of an instant pot ready to be pressure cooked.

Making The Gravy

Here’s where we add the cornstarch. I’m going, to be honest, I did not measure mine. But I feel like I used about 3 tablespoons. You may wish to add more or less, depending on how thick you would like your gravy/sauce to be. If you’re not doing keto, this sauce would be amazing on mashed potatoes.

Set the instant pot to sauté mode on medium and simmer the sauce until it becomes the thickness you want. Add the cornstarch to about 1/4 cup of water and whisk it until the cornstarch is dissolved. Then add the mix to your instant pot. Whisking as it simmers will help the sauce to thicken up. Once it reaches the thickness you want, turn off the heat.

The extra sauce can be stored for up to 2 weeks. Great for dipping! 🙂

two images of smokey and sweet marinated pork separated through the middle with the title to be used for Pinterest

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food arranged on a cutting board to show final results of this pork recipe

Smoky and Sweet Instant Pot Pork

Cook Time 3 minutes
natural release 12 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American


  • Instant Pot
  • Tongs
  • measuring cups and spoons


  • 1 Pork tenderloin or cut chops

Dry Rub

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sweet and Smoky Sauce

  • 1 cup chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce of choice (I used mesquite flavor to match my liquid smoke)
  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch to make gravy.


  • Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub the dry ingredients onto the pork then set aside.
  • Whisk together: the broth, syrup, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and bbq sauce; set aside.
  • Heat your oil of choice in the instant pot with it turned to saute mode and low. Take the spice-rubbed meat and seer the sides until golden brown. With tongs, remove the meat and clean the inner pot of any burnt seasoning. Carefully add your liquid and return the pork to the pot.
  • Secure the lid and set your instant pot/pressure cooker to high and the valve to the sealed position. Set the timer for 3 minutes. When the time is up, let it naturally release pressure for 12 to 15 min. Press the release before removing the lid.
  • Use tongs to remove your pork from the liquid.

Making Gravy

  • Turn the instant pot to saute on medium. Add your cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water to the simmering sauce in the pot. Whisk until you achieve the desired thickness. Turn off all heat.
  • Let your pork set for at least 5 min before cutting.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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