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Pork Carnitas in small tortillas on a white platter garnished with lime and cilantro

Instant Pot Mini – Pork Carnitas

Instant Pot Mini – Pork Carnitas are my favorite because they are easy to make, so flavorful, and fall apart tender!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword pressure cooker pork carnitas recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 3 - 4 servings
Calories 363 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton


  • 2 Tbsps Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Mexican Oregano (or regular)
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Powder (use 1/4 tsp or more for spicier)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs Pork Shoulder / Pork Butt,* cut in 3" chunks (can also use Country Style Ribs)
  • 1/2 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Cinnamon Stick, about 2-3 inches long
  • 4 cloves Garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice


  1. To a mixing bowl, add the oil, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, coriander powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

  2. Add the pork chunks to the spice mixture and toss to cover all of the meat with the mixture.

  3. Press the Sauté button 2 or 3 times until "More" is highlighted. When display reads “Hot” add the meat. Cook until browned on all sides, but not done. Remove from pot and set aside.

  4. Add onion, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick  and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze (get those brown bits off the bottom) You might need to add a splash of water to help the deglazing.

  5. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly.

  6. Add the orange juice and stir.

  7. Add the meat back in to the pot and just nestle it down into the juice (it won't be covered).

  8. Place the lid on the pot and set the Steam Release Knob to Sealing.

  9. Cancel the Sauté function by pressing Cancel

  10. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the time to 30 minutes using the + or - button.

  11. When the cooking cycle has ended and the pot beeps 10 times, let it sit for 15 minutes. It will start naturally releasing the pressure. The counter on the display will begin counting up in minutes.

  12. When the display reads L015, turn the steam release knob to Venting and release any remaining steam/pressure. There may not be any left, and that's okay. When the pin in the lid drops down it is safe to open the lid.

  13. BEFORE you stir, take a spoon or a small measuring cup and skim off the extra fat that is on top and discard. It's a lot easier doing it this way than pouring it into a fat separator!

  14. Stir the meat and transfer to a serving dish. If you like your carnitas in tacos, you might want to drain them a little. That sauce has a lot of flavor, so use it if you can!


  1. You can broil the carnitas to get some crispy bits if you want to. Just put them on a baking sheet and pop them under a 450 degrees (F) broiler until they reach the desired crispness.

  2. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, cilantro, cheese, avocado, and serve in tortillas, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*1 1/2 pounds makes about 4 servings of 2 tacos each, by my measurements. If you want less, only use 1 pound of meat, but keep the recipe as is.