Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

These Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are super tender in a fraction of the time, and perfectly seasoned!

These Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are super tender in a fraction of the time, and perfectly seasoned!pinterestCarnitas are a pulled pork that is typically braised in the oven or slow cooker for hours, creating a tender piece of meat. With the help of the pressure cooker, you can have that same tenderness and juicy flavor in a fraction of the time!

Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe

  • Start by cutting up your pork into smaller chunks of meat. I typically quarter the pork roast (for this recipe I used two 2.5 pound roasts).
  • Season the pork with salt and pepper and then sear directly in your pressure cooker on the SAUTE function until browned on all sides.

Season the pork shoulder blade roast with salt and pepper then sear in the pressure cooker until browned on all sides.

What Cut Is Used For Carnitas?

  • If you’re going to slow roast your pork carnitas, in a pot in the oven or in your slow cooker, you’ll want to find a cut of pork that has ribbons of fat running throughout to help keep the pork nice and moist.
  • For best results you’ll want to use a PORK SHOULDER or PORK BUTT roast.
  • Since we’re quickly cooking these carnitas in the pressure cooker, make sure to trim as much of the fat off the outside as you can.

Rub the pork carnitas seasoning over the seared pork and place in the pressure cooker, along with some chicken broth, orange juice and lime juice.

How to Make Simple Carnitas in the Instant Pot:

  • Once you’ve seared the pork pieces sprinkle them with a combination of spices before placing them in the pressure cooker.
  • Add a cup of chicken broth, some freshly squeezed orange juice and lime juice to the pot.
  • Toss in a couple bay leaves, place on the lid and bring to high pressure for 80 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before fully releasing pressure.

This Instant Pot Pork Carnitas recipe makes for the most tender pulled pork ever! It falls apart with just a touch of the fork!

How To Make Crispy Pork Carnitas

  • Once the pork is done in the pressure cooker you’ll remove it and gently shred it into smaller chunks.
  • Then you’ll turn the pressure cooker to SAUTE mode and reduce the liquid till it’s down to 1 cup left.
  • Toss the shredded pork in the reduced sauce and spread into an even layer on a baking sheet.
  • Broil the meat for about 5 minutes, then use a spatula to flip it over and broil for an additional 5 minutes.

Turn regular pork carnitas into the BEST pork carnitas you've ever had by broiling the meat after it's been cooked. DELICIOUS!

By broiling the meat in the reduced sauce you’ll get little bits of caramelized and crispy pork that is seriously irresistible!

How Are Carnitas Served?

  • Once you have all that delicious crispy pork carnitas, you can serve it in a multitude of ways.
  • Wrapped up in a corn or flour tortilla, topped with fresh pico de gallo, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Serve it in a cheese quesadilla, in a burrito, on top of a salad… the options are endless!

What I love most about this recipe is that it makes a LOT of pork carnitas. I can use the leftovers for quick lunches throughout the week or freeze it and serve it again another night.

OMG! These Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are seriously SO GOOD! I couldn't stop eating the pork off the tray!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe:

  • To easily convert this instant pot recipe to the slow cooker, just brown the pork in a skillet on the stove top, prior to placing the pork in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until the pork is tender and able to be pulled apart easily.
  • Transfer the juices from the slow cooker to a pot on the stove top and reduce the liquid to 1 cup.
  • Continue with the rest of the recipe as written.

DELICIOUS! This super easy Pork Carnitas recipe is ready in a fraction of the time and tastes amazing!

You’re going to LOVE this super simple recipe!


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Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

DELICIOUS! This super easy Pork Carnitas recipe is ready in a fraction of the time and tastes amazing!

These Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are made in a fraction of the time, but still super tender with crispy, caramelized edges!

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 30 min.
  • Cook Time: 80 min.
  • Total Time: 2 hr. 10 min.
  • Yield: 22 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 5 lbs. boneless pork shoulder blade roast, trimmed and cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sazon (found in the Mexican aisle)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Heat the pressure cooker on SAUTE mode until hot. Season the pork pieces with salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pressure cooker and sear the pork on all sides until browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Remove pork from pressure cooker and set aside. Combine the cumin, garlic powder, sazon, oregano, chili powder and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and rub into the pork pieces.
  3. Pour the chicken broth, orange juice and lime juice in the pressure cooker and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pot and remove any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Carefully place the pork into the liquid and toss in the bay leaves.
  4. Close the lid and make sure the valve is in the sealed position. Set to HIGH pressure for 80 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before fully releasing the pressure.
  5. Carefully remove the pork from the pressure cooker to a large bowl or cutting board and shred into smaller chunks. Meanwhile turn the pressure cooker to SAUTE mode and reduce the liquid till it’s about 1 cup (about 10 to 15 minutes). Toss the pork in the reduced liquid.
  6. Spread the pork into an even layer on a baking sheet and turn your oven’s broiler to high. Place the pork about 6 inches from the broiler and cooker for 5 minutes, use a spatula to flip the meat over and cook an additional 5 minutes, until browned and crispy on the edges.
  7. Serve with warm tortillas, avocado slices, pico de gallo and lime wedges. Enjoy!


*I use an 8 quart instant pot for this recipe.

Keywords: Pork Carnitas, Instant Pot Pulled Pork


DELICIOUS! This super easy Pork Carnitas recipe is ready in a fraction of the time and tastes amazing!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
23 Responses
  1. Devon

    I made this and we used half for tacos (amazing) and half I mixed with BBQ sauce for pulled pork sliders and that was also amazing. The crispy bits plus BBQ sauce…mmmmm. Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Yes! You can definitely cook this in a crockpot. I would still sear the pork, then cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the pork falls apart easily. Then follow the remainder of the instructions listed in the recipe.

  2. Nancy

    I made the recipe exactly as you stated and it turned out wonderful both times. I freeze the extra and it’s as good warmed over. The Sazon is a must with its distinctive flavor. A good homemade pico de gallo is the piece de resistance. I’ve never had the equal in any restaurant and the Instant Pot makes it so easy.

  3. Bethany

    Soooo Good!!! I only had pork chops but the recipe still worked great. I only cooked it in the instant pot for 45 minutes which was perfect for the 9 bone in chips I had. Followed all the other steps accordingly. The only other change was the spices. I didn’t have the “Sazon” so I looked it up and found that I could just use turmeric and paprika as a substitute. Everyone loved it!!!

  4. Laura

    I made this and OMG… my whole family loved me just a bit more! Excellent recipe. The cherry on top was broiling it for 5 minutes each side. Cheers to that! Thank you!!!

    1. Lisa Hierstein

      Truly amazing! I’ve made this twice. My family loved it. I have a different brand of pressure cooker and it worked well. My only substitution was I used pork tenderloin because I couldn’t get a shoulder roast. I added 4 strips of bacon for the fat and less time.

      1. Jennifer Geddes

        Why do other carnitas recipes say to cook only for 30, Instant Pot site says 15??? I’m confused about the variety of cook times using an InstantPot.

        1. This is for a large amount of pork, so in order to get it to be really tender, it’ll need to cook longer. Cooking it for a shorter amount of time will still result in cooked pork, but it wont be nearly as tender.

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Shawn Syphus Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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