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Instant Pot Carnitas

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This Instant Pot Carnitas recipe is amazing! Seriously fall-apart tender and can be used in a variety of recipes. We use this carnitas recipe in salads, tacos, burritos, lettuce wraps, enchiladas and even our easy tamales recipe

Have you been looking for a good carnitas recipe? This instant pot carnitas recipe is so yummy and is pretty easy to make.

Printable Recipe Card at the bottom of the post!

My family loves Mexican food, so we find all kind of fun ways to use up the carnitas. You can even make a huge batch at once and freeze the meat for future dinners.

You will notice that this recipe has a few optional steps. You can skip these steps if you are looking to save time. For example, you do not have to saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno before cooking the pork. Doing so does add more flavor.

You can also skip the step of shredding the pork and tossing it back in with the cooking liquid and putting it in the broiler before serving.

Several people have asked if they could skip this step. The short answer is yes! However, this isn’t a step that I would skip. Broiling the carnitas only takes a few extra minutes and it’s so worth it in terms of the additional flavor that it adds. Believe me, you’ll love getting those crispy edges!

So dang yummy!

What cut of pork is carnitas?

Carnitas are traditionally made using a marbled boston butt or picnic ham cuts of pork. You’ll typically find these around 6 to 13 pounds in size.

What goes with pork carnitas?

I personally feel like carnitas tacos are the best! You can also use carnitas for nachos, enchiladas or just as a protein with a side of rice and beans.

Can you batch cook and freeze carnitas?

Yes! However, if you are going to freeze the carnitas, I would skip the broiling step until the day you serve it. That way it’s nice and browned with a good crisp.

How do you shred the meat?

It’s actually super easy! Just get two forks and start pulling the meat apart. Your carnitas should be super tender and will probably fall apart nice and easy for you.

Instant Pot Carnitas

Important Note: Different Instant Pot models offer different features and buttons. 

Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth, fresh orange juice, and lime juice with the chili powder, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, and ground cumin. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and set aside.

Step 2

Push the “Sauté” button on Instant Pot. Once the display reads “On,” add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the pork shoulder pieces to the container. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and cook until pork is browned on all sides, approximately 1-2 minutes per side.

Note: DO NOT use lid while using the “Sauté” function on an Instant Pot!

Step 3

Once browned, transfer seared pork to a plate and repeat this process with additional olive oil and the rest of pork. Remove browned pork from the Instant Pot and set aside.

Step 4

*Optional Step: Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to the container, along with red onion, jalapeno, and fresh garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Step 5

Add browned pork back to the pot and pour chicken broth/orange juice mixture over top. Add lid and seal, making sure the steam release handle is positioned toward “Sealing.”

Step 6

Press the “Manual” button and set the time to 30 minutes at high pressure. Once the cooking time is up, allow 20-25 minutes for the “natural release” of the steam inside the Instant Pot. After that time, perform a manual “quick release” to vent any remaining steam to release lid, if necessary.

Step 7

A few minutes before the steam is fully released, preheat oven broiler to high and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Transfer pork to the prepared baking sheet and gently shred with two forks. Drizzle with ¼ cup juices from the Instant Pot and toss to combine before spreading into a thin, even layer.

Step 8

Place pork under broiler for 4-5 minutes, then remove from oven and add a little more juice before turning the meat to brown the other side. Place back under broiler for another 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nice and crispy on the edges.

Step 9

Once pork is under the broiler, press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot to reduce the cooking liquid by one half while the pork is broiling.

Step 10

When finished broiling, remove baking sheet from oven and serve immediately with the reduced cooking liquid, fresh lime wedges, and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

These instructions are for the IP-Duo series but should be pretty similar with all models. 

Note: These Instant Pot Carnitas go great with this Instant Pot Puerto Rican rice! Seriously, this is a must try recipe. I had never tried Puerto Rican rice before but I was soooo impressed!

 

Looking for a good carnitas instant pot recipe? This authentic Mexican food instant pot recipe is to die for! You have to try this instant pot carnitas recipe.

Want more Instant Pot Recipes? Check out this awesome list of over 100 Instant Pot Recipes! You will find every possible Instant Pot recipe that you can think of on this list! Seriously, soups, desserts, chicken, pasta dishes and so much more!

 

Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? You can grab one on Amazon!

This instant pot carnitas recipe is sure to be a hit in your home!

If you enjoyed this instant pot carnitas recipe, you will FOR SURE want to try my Homemade Pozole Recipe!

Get your instant pot carnitas printable recipe here:

Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Carnitas

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Mexican dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 - 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 - 4 lbs pork shoulder roast, trimmed and cut into 6-8 chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 2-3 fresh cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

      In a medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth, fresh orange juice, and lime juice with the chili powder, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, and ground cumin. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and set aside. 

      Push the “Sauté” button on Instant Pot. Once the display reads “On,” add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the pork shoulder pieces to the container. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and cook until pork is browned on all sides, approximately 1-2 minutes per side.

      Note: DO NOT use lid while using the “Sauté” function on an Instant Pot!

      Once browned, transfer seared pork to a plate and repeat this process with additional olive oil and the rest of pork. Remove browned pork from the Instant Pot and set aside.

      *Optional Step: Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to the container, along with red onion, jalapeno, and fresh garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes. 

      Add browned pork back to the pot and pour chicken broth/orange juice mixture over top. Add lid and seal, making sure the steam release handle is positioned toward “Sealing.”  

      Press the “Manual” button and set the time to 30 minutes at high pressure. Once the cooking time is up, allow 20-25 minutes for the “natural release” of the steam inside the Instant Pot. After that time, perform a manual “quick release” to vent any remaining steam to release lid, if necessary. 

      A few minutes before the steam is fully released, preheat oven broiler to high and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Transfer pork to the prepared baking sheet and gently shred with two forks. Drizzle with ¼ cup juices from the Instant Pot and toss to combine before spreading into a thin, even layer. 

      Place pork under broiler for 4-5 minutes, then remove from oven and add a little more juice before turning the meat to brown the other side. Place back under broiler for another 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nice and crispy on the edges. 

      Once pork is under the broiler, press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot to reduce the cooking liquid by one half while the pork is broiling. 

      When finished broiling, remove baking sheet from oven and serve immediately with the reduced cooking liquid, fresh lime wedges, and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

If you want a hearty and dairy-free dinner or lunch idea, you have to try this roasted tomato and fennel soup.
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Sudzy

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

These carnitas are excellent!! So flavorful. Don’t skip the broiler. The slight crispiness is perfect

Edgardo Pruett

Sunday 22nd of March 2020

I really like how you wrote about Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe .

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Monday 2nd of March 2020

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