Instant Pot Kick-Butt Carnitas

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recipe by Bruce Weinstein

  • Time icon
    Total Time
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

There are a million different sauces and glazes for carnitas, a Mexican staple. After a trip eating our way through Texas last year, we became enamored of the mix of lime and basil, a sort of nouveau Southwestern tweak on the classic. The lime marmalade will not only provide the essentially sour pop but offer some sugar which will be crucial in the next step: frying the pieces of cooked pork to render them irresistibly crunchy. Beyond • You must halve the recipe for a 3-quart cooker. • You can fry the pork right in the Instant Pot, using the SAUTÉ function on HIGH or MORE. Because the surface area of the pot is smaller than that of a skillet, you’ll need to work with a greater number of batches. • For a more savory dish, reduce the lime marmalade to 1/3 cup and add 1 tablespoon soy sauce. • For a sweeter dish, substitute orange marmalade for the lime. • Serve with lots of corn or flour tortillas, sour cream, and purchased pico de gallo.

Inspired by:

recipe updated Jun 12, 2020


  • Fresh garlic icon
    Fresh garlic
    2 tbsp (17g)
  • Pork shoulder icon
    Pork shoulder
    5¼ cups
  • Chicken broth icon
    Chicken broth
    1.5 cups (374g)
  • Lime marmalade icon
    Lime marmalade
    about ½ cup (120g)
  • Fresh basil icon
    Fresh basil
    about ¼ cup (11g)
  • Ground cumin icon
    Ground cumin
    2 tsp (4g)
  • Salt icon
    1 tsp (6g)
  • Vegetable oil icon
    Vegetable oil
    4 tbsp (59ml)


  • kCook icon Whisk
  • kCook icon Wooden spoon
  • kCook icon Stove
  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Large serving bowl
  • kCook icon Serving plate
  • kCook icon Cutting board
  • kCook icon Frying pan
  • kCook icon Inner pot

Step preview

  1. Add chicken broth, lime marmalade, fresh basil, fresh garlic, ground cumin and salt to the inner pot
  2. Whisk until marmalade is dissolved
  3. Add pork shoulder to the inner pot
  4. Mix until well combined
  5. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  6. Pressure cook - Meat, High, 40 min
  7. Cancel - Keep warm
  8. Natural release
  9. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board
  10. Skim excess surface fat from the sauce
  11. Heat - Sauté, Normal
  12. Heat until just boiling
  13. Simmer until reduced while stirring frequently - approx 7 min
  14. Transfer sauce to large serving bowl
  15. Add vegetable oil to a clean frying pan
  16. Heat on stove - medium heat
  17. Transfer one third of the pork to the frying pan
  18. Cook until brown and crisp while stirring occasionally - approx 5 min
  19. Transfer cooked pork to a clean serving plate
  20. Repeat until all the pork is browned
  21. Ladle sauce over pork
  22. Serve
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