Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas

18 50 720
Ingredients Minutes Calories
Prep Cook Servings
15 min 35 min 6
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas
Health Highlights
I’ve perfected a porktastic Instant Pot Carnitas recipe that will rival what you'd order at your favorite taqueria!


1 1/3 kg Pork shoulder, whole (boneless)
2 tsp Kosher salt (more to taste)
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Red pepper flakes (crushed)
1 tsp Oregano, dried (crushed; preferably Mexican)
1 medium Orange
6 clove(s) Garlic (peeled)
1 large Yellow onion (peeled and quartered)
1 leaf Bay leaf (dried)
1 tbsp Ghee (avocado oil; lard; or favorite high temperature cooking fat (optional))
1 small White onion (finely diced)
2 tbsp Cilantro (coriander) (minced)
1 head Lettuce, butterhead (Boston) (leaves removed; washed and spun dry; or Siete’s grain-free tortillas are awesome as well.)
2 avocado(s) Avocado (Hass avocado; peeled and sliced)
2 large Radish (thinly sliced)
2 medium pepper(s) Jalapeno pepper (sliced; optional)
1 cup Salsa, ready-to-serve
3 fruit Lime (quartered)


  1. Grab your boneless pork shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt) and cut it into 2-inch cubes.
  2. Plop the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss well to coat. Then, transfer the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot insert.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface, making sure you don’t peel into the white pith, ’cause that stuff is bitter. Add the strips of orange zest to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, quartered yellow onion, and bay leaf.
  4. Cut the bald orange in half and juice it. Pour the juice into the Instant Pot insert and stir to distribute.
  5. Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Make sure the valve on the lid is pointed at the "Sealing" position. Press the  “Manual” button (or “Pressure Cook” if you have the new IP-DUO Plus60) and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. (Stovetop pressure cooker users should cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.) Then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes).
  6. If the pressure hasn’t completely released after 20 minutes and you’re hungry, manually vent the pressure by turning the release valve on the lid. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. You can shred and serve the pork as-is, or store it in the fridge (with all the liquid/fat) for up to 4 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).
  7. If you prefer crispy carnitas, heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat.
  8. Grab the pork out of the fridge and dig out the pieces of carnitas. Shred the meat up with your fingers.
  9. Once the pan is hot, add the pork and fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired crispness.
  10. While the pork is getting crispy, combine the diced white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Also, wash some butter lettuce leaves, slice up the avocados, radishes, and jalapeños. Grab your favorite salsa, and cut up some lime wedges.
  11. Last but not least, grab your plate and assemble your own delicious tacos!

Nutrition Facts

Per Portion

Calories 720
Calories from fat 486
Calories from saturated fat 154
Total Fat 54 g
Saturated Fat 17.1 g
Trans Fat 0
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 25.4 g
Cholesterol 168 mg
Sodium 1242 mg
Potassium 1386 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 8.2 g
Sugars 6.7 g
Protein 42 g

Dietary servings

Per Portion

Fruit 0.7
Meat 2.5
Vegetables 2.0

Energy sources