These Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are super tender in a fraction of the time, and perfectly seasoned!
Carnitas 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You’re going to LOVE this super simple recipe!
HELPFUL PRODUCTS TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with warm tortillas, avocado slices, pico de gallo and lime wedges. Enjoy!
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