These instant pot carnitas are amazing, and oh so easy to make.
I am a huge fan of carnitas, and love to make it at home. When I have a ton of time, that is. You see, while carnitas isn’t all that difficult to make, it does take a long time. It’s that slow and low cooking method that makes this Mexican pulled pork dish so delicious.
Well, the instant pot is changing all of that. This nifty little kitchen gadget is cutting the time to make pork carnitas by at least half. And these instant pot carnitas are just as good as the oven made kind.
The pork dish is so versatile, too. You can use it in burritos or tacos. It’s really delicious in lettuce wraps as well. Or, you can just serve up the meat with some rice and beans, some garden fresh salsa and chunky guacamole and go to town. Personally, that’s my favorite way to have instant pot carnitas.
Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe
A quicker version of the classic Mexican pulled pork dish. This is made in an Instant Pot, and cuts the time down by at least half.
15 minPrep Time
1 hr, 15 Cook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
- ¾ c. chicken broth, preferably organic
- ¾ c. fresh orange juice (approximately 2 large oranges)
- 3 T. lime juice
- 1 T. chili powder
- ½ t. smoked paprika
- 1 t. dried Mexican oregano
- 1 t. ground cumin
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3½ - 4 lbs. pork shoulder roast, trimmed and cut into 6-8 chunks
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 medium jalapeno, diced
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
- In a medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth, fresh orange juice, and lime juice with the chili powder, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, and ground cumin. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and set aside.
- Push the “Sauté” button on Instant Pot. Once the display reads “On,” add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the pork shoulder pieces to the container. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and cook until pork is browned on all sides, approximately 1-2 minutes per side.
- Note: DO NOT use lid while using the “Sauté” function on an Instant Pot!
- Once browned, transfer seared pork to a plate and repeat this process with additional olive oil and the rest of pork. Remove browned pork from the Instant Pot and set aside.
- Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to the instant pot, along with red onion, jalapeno, and fresh garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes. This is optional, but really helps build the flavor.
- Add browned pork back to the pot and pour chicken broth/orange juice mixture over top. Add lid and seal, making sure the steam release handle is positioned toward “Sealing.”
- Press the “Manual” button and set the time to 30 minutes at high pressure. Once the cooking time is up, allow 20-25 minutes for the “natural release” of the steam inside the Instant Pot. After that time, perform a manual “quick release” to vent any remaining steam to release lid, if necessary.
- A few minutes before the steam is fully released, preheat oven broiler to high and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Transfer pork to the prepared baking sheet and gently shred with two forks. Drizzle with ¼ cup juices from the Instant Pot and toss to combine before spreading into a thin, even layer.
- Place pork under broiler for 4-5 minutes, then remove from oven and add a little more juice before turning the meat to brown the other side.
- Place back under broiler for another 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nice and crispy on the edges.
- Once pork is under the broiler, press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot to reduce the cooking liquid by one half while the pork is broiling.
- When finished broiling, remove baking sheet from oven and serve immediately with the reduced cooking liquid, fresh lime wedges, and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Doesn’t that sound amazing? I like to finish my carnitas with a squeeze of fresh lime. It just elevates the flavors that much more. Even better, this Instant Pot Carnitas is low carb, and Paleo and Keto friendly. And it has ZERO Weight Watchers Freestyle Points, just like the Mexican Shredded Chicken. YAY! You can have some of your favorite foods on whatever meal plan you’re following.
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!