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Instant Pot Carnitas

Want the best short cut in town for making delicious, tender and flavorful carnitas? All you need to do is grab your Instant Pot and a few simple ingredients and you’ll be on your way to the tastiest carnitas you’ve ever made!

carnitas in a bowl with two spoons

Culinary traditions in Mexico go back centuries.  Carnitas is a dish that’s been made nearly the same way for generations and varies only slightly from region to region. 

Carnitas consists of roasted pork made with herbs that is eaten either by itself or in other dishes.

Traditionally, the pork is fried in pork fat.  My Instant Pot Carnitas recipe will show you how to make a healthier version in a fraction of the time… without skimping on taste!

Carnitas is a versatile dish.  Use it in tomales, tacos, burritos, bowls, or salads.

ingredients for carnitas in an instant pot

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Carnitas…

  • boneless pork shoulder
  • jalepeno peppers
  • sweet onion
  • minced garlic
  • oregano
  • chili powder
  • salt
  • peper
  • chicken broth
  • orange juice
  • lime juice
  • tomato paste
  • brown sugar

I prefer using a boneless pork butt (shoulder) but you can use bone-in as well with the same results.

ingredients for carnitas in an instant pot

How To Make Carnitas In An Instant Pot…

  1. Dice peppers, onions, and garlic.  Stir together in a sauce with seasonings and remaining ingredients.
  2. Cut port into 2-3 inch cubes
  3. Add to Instant Pot along with sauce
  4. Cover, seal, and set to high pressure for 30 minutes
  5. Allow natural pressure release
  6. Remove pork from Instant Pot and shred, adding spoonfuls of juice as desired

If youd like crispy, more traditional carnitas, place cooked meat on a baking sheet and broil for 5-10 minutes until the end are crispy. 

cooked carnitas in an instant pot

Pro Tips:

I prefer using a boneless pork butt (shoulder) but you can use bone-in as well with the same results.
 
You can leave the pork in one large chunk if you’re short on time, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time to 60-75 minutes.
 
Browning under the broiler is optional.  It makes the carnitas crispy and more like what you would find in Mexico.
 
Make a big batch and freeze in portioned containers for quick dinners.  This recipe is a great starting point for lots of Meal Prep recipes.  Try it in Meal Prep Carnitas Bowls.
 
Serve it with Fresh Mango Salsa and chips.
 
If you like this recipe, try my Instant Pot Shredded Beef.
carnitas in a bowl with two spoons
carnitas in a bowl with two spoons

Instant Pot Carnitas

Print Recipe
Want the best short cut in town for making delicious, tender and flavorful carnitas? All you need to do is grab your Instant Pot and a few simple ingredients and you’ll be on your way to the tastiest carnitas you’ve ever made!
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Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Pressurize:25 mins
Total Time:1 hr 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 jalapeno peppers diced (ribs and seeds removed)
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons jarred minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions

  • Finely dice peppers, onions and garlic and stir together in a sauce with seasonings and remaining ingredients
  • Cut pork into smaller 2-3 inch cubes
  • Add to Instant Pot along with sauce
  • Cover, seal and set to high pressure for 30 minutes
  • Allow natural pressure release
  • Remove pork from Instant Pot and shred, adding back spoonfuls of juice as desired
  • If you’d like crispy carnitas, place on a baking sheet and broil for 5-10 minutes until the end are crispy

Notes

  • Use boneless or bone-in pork butt (shoulder) for identical results
  • Increase cooking time to 60-75 minutes if pork isn't cubed
  • Browning under the broiler is optional
  • Freeze in portioned containers for quick dinners

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 126IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 12
Calories: 214kcal

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