Instant Pot Carnitas

Buttery tender with crispy bits throughout this instant pot carnitas recipe makes the perfect dish for meal prep–rice bowls, tacos, or burritos, you can enjoy carnitas in endless ways.

When you go to Chipotle what protein do you normally get on your bowl, taco, or burrito? For me, I always want something that I don’t make often so that means I’m getting carnitas or barbacoa. I have a thing about getting the same exact thing that I can easily make at home when I eat out–anyone else like this? Now, I know not everyone eats pork and that’s fine but I do enjoy it from time to time and it’s a nice switch up! If you don’t eat pork, this post is certainly not for you but I have tons of chicken and seafood recipes that you can check out right here on the blog. For those of you who are interested, these instant pot carnitas are the one! So easy to make and pack exceptional flavor.

Ingredients you’ll need for instant pot carnitas:

Carnitas are traditionally something that you slow cook but with the rise of the electric pressure cooker, you no longer need to wait for hours to enjoy a slow-cooked taste! Just throw all the ingredients below in your instant pot and you have buttery shreddable carnitas in no time.

Pork shoulder chopped into pieces
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Oregano
Chipotle chili powder
Cumin
Bay leaf
Kosher salt
Olive oil
Chicken broth
Mojo marinade
Green bell pepper
Chipotle pepper
Garlic
Onion
Sofrito
Lime juice
1 orange


Tools you’ll need
Instant pot

How to make instant pot carnitas from scratch

  1. Clean pork shoulder and chop into manageable chunks so that it will cook faster in the instant pot
  2. Pat pork pieces dry with a piece of paper towel then mix spices together to create a blend then generously season the pork well drizzling with olive oil so that the seasoning sticks
  3. Set instant pot to saute and allow it to heat up, once hot drizzle olive oil and sear pork pieces until browned on each side, about 2 minutes
  4. Once the pork is brown all over, add chicken broth, onion, chipotle pepper, garlic, sofrito, juice from an orange, lime juice, mojo marinade, and bay leaf to the instant pot
  5. Give everything a good stir being sure to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the instant pot and cover the lid, set to manual high pressure for 30 minutes
  6. Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release and then remove pork pieces and shred with two forks
  7. Set the instant pot back to saute and allow all the juices to simmer for 10 minutes and intensify in flavor
  8. Pour all the juices over the shredded carnitas (about a cup) on a sheet pan lined with foil and broil on high for a couple of minutes until a few of the top pieces become crispy

Common questions

Can I use bone-in pork?

Yes, you can but you’ll have to adjust the cooking time accordingly, this will take longer.

Can I use the slow cooker?
Yes, same method but cook on high for 4 hours and low for 8-12 hours.

Can you freeze this meal?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked carnitas in a vacuum-sealed bag or container to enjoy at a later date

More recipes to try

Lobster roll

If you make these instant pot carnitas be sure to tag me at @asiliglamcooks on Instagram so that I can re-post.

Instant pot carnitas

Buttery tender with crispy bits throughout this instant pot carnitas recipe makes the perfect dish for meal prep–rice bowls, tacos, or burritos, you can enjoy carnitas in endless ways.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Pork shoulder chopped into pieces
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • splash of mojo marinade optional
  • 1/2 Green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 4 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp Sofrito
  • 1/2 Lime juiced
  • 1 orange juiced

Instructions

  • Clean pork shoulder and chop into manageable chunks so that it will cook faster in the instant pot
  • Pat pork pieces dry with a piece of paper towel then mix spices together to create a blend then generously season the pork well drizzling with olive oil so that the seasoning sticks
  • Set instant pot to saute and allow it to heat up, once hot drizzle olive oil and sear pork pieces until browned on each side, about 2 minutes
  • Once the pork is brown all over, add chicken broth, onion, chipotle pepper, garlic, sofrito, juice from an orange, lime juice, mojo marinade, and bay leaf to the instant pot. Give everything a good stir being sure to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the instant pot and cover with the lid, set to manual high pressure for 30 minutes
  • Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release and then remove pork pieces and shred with two forks
  • Set the instant pot back to saute and allow all the juices to simmer for 10 minutes and intensify in flavor
  • Pour all the juices over the shredded carnitas (about a cup) on a sheet pan lined with foil and broil on high for a couple of minutes until a few of the top pieces become crispy

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