Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe

Want to make
Chef Notes
Cooking Type
Instant Pot
Date Made
Bon Appetit
Rating /5
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Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Pearl Jones
It takes almost zero prep and just 35 minutes of cook time to turn pork shoulder into a tender, shreddy version of itself. The final crisping happens in a nonstick skillet, which gives you ultimate browning with almost no cleanup.


Makes enough meat for about 24 tacos
Corn tortillas, pico de gallo, lime wedges, guacamole, pickled onions, chopped cilantro, shredded cabbage, and/or crema (for serving; optional)


Place pork, jalapeños, garlic, salt, oregano, pepper, coriander, and cumin in Instant Pot. Toss with your hands until well combined. Seal lid and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
Release pressure manually. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a large bowl; fish out jalapeños and garlic and discard. Shred meat with two forks or your hands. Pour cooking liquid over meat and toss to combine.

Step 3

Working in batches, transfer shredded pork to a large nonstick skillet set over high heat and cook, undisturbed, until underside is well browned, about 5 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until some of the edges are caramelized and crisp, 5–7 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Cover with foil to keep warm and moist.
Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Pearl Jones
Do Ahead: Carnitas (without crisping) can be made 3 days ahead. Shred, toss with cooking liquid, and let cool; cover and chill. Crisp just before serving.
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  • These were the BEST tacos I’ve ever made (and possibly ever had?). An excellent recipe & very easy to follow. I served them when we had a guest over and she also raved about them. This is now our one & only go to recipe for tacos! You won’t want to make any others again.
  • Excellent - I love not having to brown the meat first, and honestly don't miss it. I used a 5 lb roast, 2 minced chipotles, 1 Tbls kosher salt, 4 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 2 tsp of each of the other spices, and added 1 tsp each garlic and onion powder. I seasoned the meat, tossed it with the aromatics, covered and refrigerated it the night before. In the morning, I threw it all in the Instant Pot and added 1/4 cup orange juice (it sounded good to me) to cook. SO SIMPLE!!! The pressure was still releasing at 30 minutes so I manually released the rest to stop the cooking. There was a ton of liquid at the end, and the flavor and tenderness are incredible. Will crisp the meat this evening to serve, so this makes a terrific make-ahead meal for a crowd. 2 thumbs up!
  • Can you make this without a pressure cooker? Slow cook in the oven?
  • This is the ONLY carnitas recipe I will ever use again! I'm amazed with such few ingredients and no extra liquid at how amazing this turned out - trust the recipe, your IP will turn out fine. I subbed in some canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for the jalapenos since I'm not a fan of them, but I think it would be fine to leave out the chipotle peppers/jalapenos altogether. In the past I've always broiled my carnitas, but throwing them in the skillet resulted in the BEST crisping I've ever had! I'm hooked on this recipe and will definitely be using it in the future.
  • I wish I could check off 10 stars for this recipe!!!!! OUTSTANDING!!!!! The only thing I tweaked was adding half a squeeze of an orange and cut up an onion. The best carnitas recipes I've ever made!!!!!!!
  • This recipe is a winner! So easy and so flavorful! Definitely crisp the cooked pork in a cast iron pan after, makes a world of difference. Followed the recipe exactly and have made many times, don't change a thing! Except 3 lbs of pork cooks down to feed only about 4 hungry people, so I typically double the recipe.
  • This was fabulous, easy, and quick! I didn't add any liquid to the pot and at first, I did get the "food burn" warning but I just left it alone and it went away a minute later. 35 minutes was the perfect amount of time for me for tender fall-apart pork. I also chopped the pepper and garlic a little smaller and didn't discard them. Crisped it up in a cast-iron skillet and it was sooooo good!!! Trust the recipe!
  • Fabulous! Made as written and despite being skeptical that I wouldn't get a burn warning with no additional liquid, this recipe works. You DO NOT need additional liquid. I might tweak the seasonings a bit next time but then again, I might not. Others have made some nice suggestions. I crisped mine in a cast iron skillet. Oh, so good!!
  • With a look of stunned realization, my wife actually admitted, "You might be the better cook." I subbed country style ribs and halved the comino because it's not my favorite. Served on corn tortillas with cilantro and red onion, classic sides of Spanish rice and refried black beans. I think my wife has transitioned from "Aw, he's so cute when he cooks," to "I don't think I could have made this as well" since my BA quarantine culinary journey began. Thank you, Gaby!
  • I love carnitas, and with the pandemic making eating out a challenge I decided to try this one. Yum with a capital Y! I trimmed the fat off the shoulder, but there was more than enough juice. I also used the broiler to crisp it, worked great. Next time I’ll probably experiment with the spices, perhaps chipotle instead of jalapeño, an onion, and some citrus. Still a great recipe though. Thanks!
  • Loved this recipe! I ended up only mixing half the cooking liquid back into the shredded meat and used the other half (mixed with chicken stock) to make pinto beans in the instant pot. Both were delicious :)
  • Great simple recipe, will try the tweak from the comment on 06/05/20 next time!
  • This is so good! I've made it a few times now and tweaked it to where it's perfect for us. I add some chili powder and smoked paprika, a diced onion, a cup of broth, and use canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of the jalapeños. I shred it onto a baking sheet and broil it for a few minutes to crisp the edges. It's delicious.
  • Very easy! I too was skeptical about the lack of liquid, but trusted Gaby and I am so glad I did! I put the really fatty side burner side down and upon opening the lid was shocked by the amount of liquid. So delicious!!
  • Good recipe, tastes great and easy prep. Unfortunately read the 2 inch pieces as 2 pieces instead of the actual 2 inch pieces. My fault of course, had to cook the meat longer as a result.

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