Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are tender and very flavorful meat made in your electric pressure cooker. Amazingly, you can have these pressure cooker carnitas in about an hour!
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
Today was a scorcher in the Pacific Northwest! When I say that I mean the temperature outside is 86 degrees! My sister lives in Arizona, and right now she probably wishes it was only 86! They are enjoying 100 degrees with a side of thunder and lightening! No thanks!
This girl right here is used to an average temp of 60. We don’t have air conditioning as it didn’t seem worth it to pay for one that we’d use maybe 2 weeks out of the year. But right now I kinda wish we had one! Oh well. It beats the rain!
I like to cook no matter what the weather is doing, so on to the Carnitas!
Because of the heat, there was no way I was using my oven today. Thank goodness for my Instant Pot! I just love it! Electric pressure cookers are so popular, and it has a lot to do with the fact that you are less likely to blow the lid off of one of these. They have a lot of fail safes built in.
The best part about using it to make my Instant Pot Pork Carnitas is that I don’t have to use the oven and make my kitchen hotter. That and these amazing Carnitas are done, tender and flavorful, in just under an hour!
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Watch the video showing how I make Instant Pot Pork Carnitas.
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are incredibly delicious and easy to make. Ready in under an hour!
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Adobo Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 3 lbs Pork Shoulder, cut into large chunks
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Powder (or more for extra heat)
- 1 Jalapeño Pepper, chopped
In a mixing bowl add the olive oil and spices. Mix well.
Add the pork chunks and stir them to make sure they are completely coated with the oil/spice mixture. Set aside.
Chop the onion into a 1/2 inch dice or so.
Pour the orange juice into the Instant Pot inner liner.
Add the cinnamon stick.
Add the pork chunks and the chopped onion to the pot and stir just to combine.
Place the lid on the IP and set knob to the Sealing position.
Press the Pressure Cook (or Manual button) or dial, and use the +/- buttons to adjust the time to 35 minutes. Make sure it is set to High Pressure.
After cooking cycle ends, let it sit and naturally release pressure for 15 minutes.
Then Manually release the remaining pressure.
When the pin on the lid drops, and it is safe to open the lid, open it facing away from you, to be safe. Not the kind of facial you want!
Remove meat to a plate or bowl and shred, using two forks. Don’t shred too much as you want to have some slightly bigger pieces.
Very carefully strain the liquid in the pot, (saving the onions, and discarding the cinnamon stick) into a fat separator.
Pour as much of the degreased liquid as you want into a large serving bowl with the pork and the onions, and mix well.
Serve warm on your favorite tortillas, on a bun, over a salad, over corn bread.
Garnish with whatever you like. Cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, green onion, salsa, Cotija cheese, sour cream, lime juice.
Resources to make Instant Pot Carnitas recipe and more
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Hi Sandy, just want to let you know that I tried your recipe for the carnitas, and it turned out great. I did tweak it just a little, but basically it was still your recipe that I followed. The only minor changes that I made was to use about a 1/4 cup of pork fat to brown the pork in, and I cooked the pork in the inner pot on the “meat/stew” program, normal setting, for 35 minutes, with a full “natural pressure release”, which turned out to be about 20 minutes. After removing the pork from the IP, I placed it onto a rimmed tray, smashed them a bit, spooned some of the de-greased broth over them, and broiled them for 2 minutes, on high element heat setting. Then turned them over, brothed them again, and broiled for another 2 min.. Oh yeah, in lieu of the cinnamon stick, I use 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder.
Your recipe was terrific. The family loved these carnitas, and it took only a fraction of the time it normally took me on the stove in a dutch oven. Thanks again.
This is a Five Star rating even if the recipe ratings comments won’t let me click the stars! It’s a keeper.
We just made this recipe in our new Instant Pot. We’re from Texas and have eaten some good carnitas. This recipe is my favorite above all of the restaurant versions I’ve tried. We even made the rice like at the end of the video. Everything came out perfect and delicious, so flavorful. It was a party for my taste buds.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. These Carnitas are amazing! The best I’ve ever had. We don’t bother going to Mexican restaurants the Carnitas anymore. They all pale in comparison. After I shred them I put them on a baking sheet and throw them underneath the boiler for a while to give them a little crispiness. Oh my gosh, so yummy.
Hi Eva! Thank you for the great feedback, and for taking the time to review this carnitas recipe! I’m so happy that you enjoy it!
These Carnitas are amazing! The best I’ve ever had. We don’t bother going to Mexican restaurants the Carnitas anymore. They all pale in comparison. After I shred them I put them on a baking sheet and throw them underneath the boiler for a while to give them a little crispiness. Oh my gosh, so yummy.
That’s great, Eva! Thank you for your review! Love some carnitas!