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Instant Pot Carnitas (with video)

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Instant Pot Carnitas is an easy and tasty way to serve up carnitas! You have a tender and juicy seasoned pork that is pressure-cooked then broiled for a toasty texture. 

pork carnitas

Serve these pork carnitas with corn or flour tortillas and all your favorite toppings. This is one recipe you will be coming back to make again. 

I used this pork meat as the filling in my Instant Pot tamales recipe, they were insanely good!

Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot pork carnitas is the perfect way to use up a pork butt, in my opinion. You cut back the cook time tremendously and end up with an incredible meal to serve your family. 

Skip the crockpot and make tender pull apart shredded pork in just an hour and fifteen minutes or cook time.  Grab your Instant Pot and let’s get cooking.

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pork carnitas recipe

The Best Pork Carnitas Instant Pot Recipe

  • Easy
  • Loaded with flavor
  • Tender pull-apart pork
  • Juicy 
  • And so simple to make and serve 

What is not to love about this easy carnitas dish. Whip this up for any and every occasion. 

pressure cooker carnitas

How to Make Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Start by prepping your pork bit and cutting it into pieces, I did anywhere from an inch to three inches. Season and then cook on sauté onions the instant pot. 

Browning the outside will add flavor and lock in moisture. Once done remove all meat and the use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pressure cooker. 

Add in your beer, orange juice, lime, garlic, and seasonings. Stir and then toss in your meat. 

instant pot pork roast

Seal and cook for an hour and fifteen minutes followed by 15-minute natural release. Shred meat and place on a baking sheet. Spoon some liquid onto the shredded pot. 

Toss in the oven and cook on broil till it becomes crispy and golden brown. 

instant pot pork carnitas recipe

What Can I Make With Pork Carnitas

Carnitas are such a great staple meat to whip up. You can create tacos as I did here, fill quesadillas, burritos, use the meat for tamales, and more.

I have even used this meat to make a loaded taco salad with all our favorite fixings. Try my Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Tacos as well!

Craving More Instant Pot Dinners

  • Instant Pot Freezer Meals | I share 30 Instant Pot Freezer Meals that you can make ahead of time, freeze, and then whip up later for the ultimate easy dinner recipe.
  • Easy Instant Pot Rigatoni | Love Italian Sausage and pasta? Try my rigatoni for a cheesy and creamy pasta dish made in your pressure cooker.
  • Crumble Burgers | Loose meat burger or crumble burgers, whatever you call it this recipe is dynamite.
  • Instant Pot Firecracker Chicken | Love spice? Check out this juicy and spiced up chicken recipe that taste better than takeout.

What Cut Of Pork To Use For Pork Carnitas Recipe

Carnitas can use pork butt, which is what I purchased or you can also buy what is called a pork shoulder or Boston butt.

Depending on where you live, you might find pork is called different names. Pretty much any pork roast will work for this recipe.

boston butt carnitas

Can You Use Pork Chops For Carnitas

No, you will find pork chops or pork tenderloin don’t work for making carnitas. You need a higher fat pork that will render down as it cooks.

This gives it a rich and flavorful aspect but then also you have a very tender and easy to pull the meat.

instant pot pork carnitas recipe (1)

Topping Ideas For Instant Pot Carnitas

  • Red Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
crispy carnitas recipe

Instant Pot Carnitas

Yield: 24 tacos
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 38 minutes

Instant Pot Carnitas is the ultimate dinner recipe. Crispy carnitas that is made into tacos for a tasty weeknight dinner the whole family will enjoy. A quick and easy way to make your favorite carnitas at home.


  • 7-8 pound Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt Roast (cut into cubes)
  • salt and pepper to season diced pork
  • 2 (12 ounce) Lager Beers ( I used Samual Adams)
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 3/4 cup lime juce (freshly squeezed)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Lime Wedges (1-2 limes)

Optional Items

  • Flour or Corn Tortillas, Chopped Onions, Chopped Tomatoes, Salsa, Guacamole, Queso Fresco, etc.


  1. First you want to start by cutting up your pork roast into cubes. Then season it generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Using the saute feature on your Instant Pot heat 1 1/2 tablepoons of oil up, and then batch cook your pork pieces. You might need to add extra oil as you cook, so if needed pour more canola oil in as you cook the pork.
  3. You want to brown up the outside of the pork on all sides. When you are done browning sliced pork then turn the saute feature off.
  4. Now you will want to pour in your orange juice, 1 beer, fresh lime juice, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Make sure to remove any stuck on food to prevent getting the burn notice when you go to cook.
  5. Now you will add in the seasonings - cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper, and stir. If your meat isn’t covered fully in liquid, pour in some or all of the 2nd beer. You want your meat covered.
  6. Pour in your seared pork and put the lid on your pressure cooker. Make sure the valve is in the sealed position. Cook on High for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to naturally release for 15 minutes, and then quick release any leftover pressure.
  8. Remove your pork pieces and place on a baking sheet. Use meat claws and shred your pork.
  9. Take your liquid in the Instant Pot and spoon around 1 cup of liquid over the shredded pork. This will help to keep it moist.
  10. Turn the oven to broil and place your baking sheet with pork into the oven. This will give you a crispy carnita, this step is optional. This takes around 4-5 minutes max.
  11. Once your pork is crispy, remove from the oven and serve how you would like.


With this crispy carnitas recipe we made it into tacos, but feel free to use meat for quesadillas, burritos, tamales or any other type of dish you want to serve this pork carnitas with.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 39g
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