Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

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  • Time icon
    Total Time
    1hr 10mins
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon
based on 2 ratings

Traditionally, carnitas are slow cooked for hours in a large copper cazo (pot) filled with manteca de cerdo (pork lard) and stirred occasionally with an oversize (4- to 6-foot) wooden spoon. While the resulting little pieces of crispy fried pork are absolutely irresistible, the reality is: Ain’t no one got time for that. But with the Instant Pot® you can enjoy a healthier and more flavorful version of carnitas in about an hour. Make a feast out of this easy weeknight meal by serving with Frijoles Borrachos and Classic Mexican Rice, or serve the carnitas as a simple taco filling and top with chopped onion, cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and your favorite salsa. To crisp up your carnitas, spread them out on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 425°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Inspired by:

recipe updated Jun 12, 2020


  • Lard icon
    2 tbsp (about 26.1 g)
  • Pork shoulder icon
    Pork shoulder
    1.022 kg (about 4 cups)
  • Coarse salt icon
    Coarse salt
    1 tsp (about 5 g)
  • Ground cumin icon
    Ground cumin
    1 tsp (about 2.1 g)
  • Black pepper icon
    Black pepper
    ½ tsp (about 1.07 g)
  • Orange juice icon
    Orange juice
    1 cup (about 264 g)
  • Lime juice icon
    Lime juice
    ¼ cup (about 60 g)
  • Bay leaves icon
    Bay leaves
    2 (about 0.4 g)


  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Inner pot

Step preview

  1. Add lard to the inner pot
  2. Pre-heat until hot - Sauté, More
  3. Then add pork shoulder to the inner pot
  4. Fry until light golden - approx 8 min
  5. Season with coarse salt, ground cumin and black pepper
  6. Add orange juice and lime juice to the inner pot
  7. Top with bay leaves
  8. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  9. Pressure cook - Manual, High, 25 min
  10. Natural release
  11. Discard bay leaves
  12. Shred pork using two forks
  13. Serve
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