Instant Pot Carnitas (Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork)

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time and make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.

Cut short cooking time & make this Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas)! Crispy & Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork is so addictive to eat. Add a scoop of refreshing Salsa for tacos, burritos, or tamales.

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Mexicothis beautiful & warm country – holds a dear place in our hearts, as it was one of the stops in our Honeymoon trip. 🙂

Streets of Cozumel Mexico

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Our stay was waaay too short and there’s so much more to this colorful place than just the magnificent Chichen Itza, fun snorkeling, and the relaxing beaches…

Tacos & margaritas are calling my name… 😛

Mexican Food - Cozumel, Mexico
Tacos de Pescado (Beer-battered Mahi-Mahi fillet with shredded cabbage, light mayo + chipotle sauce), with a yummy Mangorita!

Every time Jacky & I have Mexican food, the sweet memories from our Honeymoon would bring a smile to our faces. Mexican food is our Happy Food. 🙂

So, we’re more than thrilled to share this Mexican Carnitas Recipe – a delicious Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork with you.

The savory browned crisp edges with juicy & tender pork meat is so irresistible to eat!! 

Manners don’t really matter anymore as we couldn’t help but fight over the crispy bits…hehe~

Wrap the crispy & juicy pork with warm crisped tortilla, with a scoop of refreshing Salsa with a squeeze of lime. A mouthful sensation full of exciting & satisfying bites! 😀

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time and make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.

Carnitas are normally made by simmering pork in lard for hours until tender & juicy.

And what’s amazing with Instant Pot Carnitas is it’s so simple & much quicker to make!! 🙂

5 Simple Steps to Make Pressure Cooker Carnitas:

  1. Cube Pork Shoulder Meat
  2. Marinate Cubed Pork
  3. Pressure Cook Marinated Pork
  4. Crisp Pressure Cooked Pork
  5. Shred & Eat!! 😀 😀

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time and make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.

You’ll Enjoy Instant Pot Carnitas (Pressure Cooker Carnitas) Because:

  • Simple & easy to make, yet addictive to eat!
  • Great texture & flavor – crisped browned edges + juicy & tender meat
  • Shorter cooking time comparing to the traditional or slow cooker methods
  • Versatile dish – can be made into tacos, burritos, tamales, or eat with rice…
  • Made with mostly whole, real ingredients

Instant Pot Carnitas (Pressure Cooker Carnitas) are Great for:

  • Mexican fiesta celebrations (e.g. Cinco de Mayo)
  • Outings, Picnics, Potlucks…
  • Holidays, Dinner Parties, Gatherings…
  • Game Days, Football Parties, Men’s/Ladies’ Night, Taco Bar Parties…

Ingredients for Instant Pot Carnitas (Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork)


Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas) Ingredients
  • 3 ¼ pounds (~1475g) pork shoulder meat (pork butt meat), cut into 2 – 2 1/4 inches cubes
  • 200ml (~4/5 cup) unsalted chicken stock

Marinade

Optional

Tools for Instant Pot Carnitas (Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork)


Instructions for Instant Pot Carnitas (Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork)


Preparation

Ingredient

4 (13g) garlic cloves, crushed
1 (200g) medium onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon (2g) cumin seed, ground

First prepare the above ingredients.

Step 1
Prepare Pork Shoulder Meat

Ingredient

3 ¼ pounds (~1475g) pork shoulder meat (pork butt meat)

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): cut pork shoulder (pork butt) meat into 2 inches cubes

Remove rind and bone from the pork shoulder meat. Cut pork shoulder meat into cubes (~2 – 2 1/4 inches cubes)

*Pro Tip: Don’t throw away the excess fat!

Step 2
Marinate Pork Shoulder Cubes

Ingredients

Cubed pork shoulder + fat
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Crushed garlic cloves
Chopped onion
Ground cumin
1 teaspoon (2g) cinnamon powder or 1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) light soy sauce (not low sodium soy sauce)
55ml juice from 1 fresh orange

Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

Inactive Time (for Marinating): 20 mins

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Marinating pork shoulder (pork Boston butt meat)

Place pork shoulder cubes & fat into the Instant Pot’s inner pot.

Season very generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Add 4 crushed garlic cloves, chopped onion, 1 tsp (2g) ground cumin, 1 tsp (2g) cinnamon powder, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, and juice (55ml) from 1 orange to the inner pot.

Mix well and let the meat marinate for 20 minutes.

Step 3
Pressure Cook Pork Shoulder Cubes

Ingredient

200ml (~4/5 cup) unsalted chicken stock

Pour ~4/5 cup (200ml) unsalted chicken stock in the inner pot.

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): pouring chicken stock in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

Close lid and pressure cook at

  • Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 30 minutes
  • Pressure Release Method: 15 minutes Natural Release

Release the remaining pressure after 15 minutes and open the lid carefully.

Instant Pot Ultra Electric Pressure Cooker

Step 4
Crisp Pork Shoulder Cubes

Ingredients

Pressure cooked pork shoulder cubes
Kosher salt
Cooking liquid (optional: 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil)

Baking tray
Broiler

Transfer the pork shoulder cubes onto a baking tray.

*Pro Tip 1: Now is a good time to take a bite and see if the pork cubes are salty enough. If the pork cubes are not salty enough, add more kosher salt into the cooking liquid. Taste & adjust accordingly.

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): remove pressure cooked pork shoulder from Instant Pot Ultra

Drizzle some of the cooking liquid on to each piece.

*Pro Tip 2: The cooking liquid should be mostly fat. If not, mix ¼ cup (63ml) cooking liquid with 2 tbsp (30ml) of vegetable oil and drizzle over each piece of pork. The fat & oil will protect the meat from drying out and the surface will crisp faster.

Place pork shoulder cubes under a broiler or the top rack of a preheated 450°F toaster oven until the surface is crisped. Roughly 8 – 10 minutes.

Flip the pork shoulder cubes, drizzle each piece with more cooking liquid and place in the oven again until the surface is crisped.

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): crispy Mexican pulled pork

Step 5
(Optional) Heat Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

8 – 12 corn tortillas
Salsa (pico de gallo)

If you are serving the Carnitas with corned tortillas, you can heat up the corn tortillas when the pork is browning in the oven.

Our Pico de Gallo Recipe: Homemade Salsa Recipe

Make Easy Mexican Homemade Salsa Recipe (Pico de Gallo)! Excite your taste buds with this refreshing Salsa Fresca as a side dish, dip, or topping for tacos.

Step 6
Serve Pressure Cooker Carnitas & Enjoy

Ingredient

Optional: 1 lime

You can shred the Pressure Cooker Carnitas with forks or leave them as chunks.

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Crispy Mexican pulled pork

Place piping hot Instant Pot Carnitas on top of the warmed corn tortillas with a spoonful of salsa (Pico De Gallo). Finish off with a squeeze of a lime.

Ta da! Serve immediately & eat!!! 🙂

*Pro Tip: After crisping the carnitas in the oven, try to eat immediately or else the meat will dry out if you let it sit for too long.

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time and make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.

Cooking Tips for Instant Pot Carnitas (Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork)


What is Pork Shoulder (Pork Butt) Meat?

Pork Butt Meat or Boston Butt is one of our favorite cuts of pork. It’s the upper part of the pig’s shoulder, above the picnic shoulder cut in the front legs.

It’s marbled with enough fat to keep the meat moist while cooking. So, remember to pick a piece of pork butt with some nice marble and fat.

*Caution: What we aim for is crisp on the outside and moist & tender on the inside. Don’t overcook the pork shoulder meat in both the Instant Pot & oven, or they will be dry inside!

*Little Shopping Tip: Pork Shoulder Meat (already a cheap cut) is usually quite a bit cheaper in Asian markets marked as Pork Butt Meat or Char Siu Meat. So if you have Asian market near you that sells fresh meat, go check it out. 😉

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4.9 from 37 reviews
Instant Pot Carnitas (Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork)
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 
Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time & make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Party Food, Snack, Easy
Cuisine: Mexican
Serving: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 3 ¼ pounds (~1475g) pork shoulder meat (pork butt meat), cut into 2 – 2¼ inches cubes
  • 200ml (~4/5 cup) unsalted chicken stock
Marinade
Optional:
  • 8 – 12 corn tortillas
  • Salsa (pico de gallo)
  • 1 lime
Instructions
  1. Prepare Pork Shoulder Meat: Remove rind and bone from the pork shoulder meat. Cut pork shoulder meat into cubes (~2 inches). Keep the excess fat.
  2. Marinate Pork Shoulder Cubes: Place pork shoulder cubes & fat into the Instant Pot’s inner pot. Season very generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves, chopped onion, 1 tsp (2g) ground cumin, 1 tsp (2g) cinnamon powder, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, and juice (55ml) from 1 orange to the inner pot. Mix well and let the meat marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Pressure Cook Pork Shoulder Cubes: Pour ~4/5 cup (200ml) unsalted chicken stock in the inner pot. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 30 minutes + 15 minutes Natural Release. Release the remaining pressure after 15 minutes and open the lid carefully.
  4. Crisp Pork Shoulder Cubes: Transfer the pork shoulder cubes onto a baking tray. Now is a good time to take a bite and see if the pork cubes are salty enough. If the pork cubes are not salty enough, add more kosher salt into the cooking liquid. Taste & adjust accordingly.

    Drizzle some of the cooking liquid on to each piece (The cooking liquid should be mostly fat. If not, mix ¼ cup (63ml) cooking liquid with 2 tbsp (30ml) of vegetable oil and drizzle over each piece of pork). The fat & oil will protect the meat from drying out and the surface will crisp faster.

    Place pork shoulder cubes under a broiler or the top rack of a preheated 450°F toaster oven until the surface is crisped. Roughly 8 – 10 minutes. Flip the pork shoulder cubes, drizzle each piece with more cooking liquid and place in the oven again until the surface is crisped.
  5. (Optional) Heat Corn Tortillas: If you are serving the Carnitas with corned tortillas, you can heat up the corn tortillas when the pork is browning in the oven.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Place piping hot Carnitas on top of the warmed corn tortillas with a spoonful of salsa (Pico De Gallo). Serve immediately!
Notes
*Total Cooking Time: cooking time did not include inactive marinating time.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12 Calories: 373 Fat: 26.4g Carbohydrates: 3g Sugar: 1.4g Sodium: 165mg Fiber: 0.3g Protein: 29.3g

Other Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe


Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time and make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. This is one of my favorite recipes! My husband REALLY likes the pork carnitas from a local Mexican restaurant, so of course I had to try to find a recipe to make at home. (My friends tease me that my philosophy is, “Why buy it when you can make it?” I think these are as good if not better.
    The only thing I do differently is that I crisp mine on the stove in an iron skillet. I didn’t get the crisp I wanted from the oven.

    When I buy a pork butt, I can usually get 3 recipes out of it. I cube the meat all at once and freeze it. Makes for an easy fix!

  2. I’m going to make this for a family reunion in a couple of weeks — how many would you say this recipe serves?

    1. Hi Lisa,

      The amount of meat will serve 12 people. You will just need more corn tortillas to serve more people than 4 – 6 people.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  3. Hi Amy and Jackie : )
    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I am making it right now to serve tomorrow. Do you have any input on how to best store the meat until I serve it in around 24h?

    I guess the fridge, but is it better to take the meat out of the cooking liquid and store it “dry” in a separate container, or better leave it in the cooking liquid?

    Thank you so much for your response 🙂

    Pepper

    1. Hi Pepper,

      Was working on the website so didn’t response in time 🙂

      It is best to store the meat in the cooking liquid for better flavor.

      Please take care!
      Jacky

    2. Thank you for getting back to me : )

      I did store the meat in the broth, broiled it when the guests arrived, and it was delicious.

      But next time I will try and make it just right before it goes into the broiler, I feel the meat is more tender that way.

      But thank you again for this easy and very tasty recipe 🙂 🙂

  4. Hi! I’m planning to make this for a birthday party. So I’ll be making several batches. I was wondering can I double the recipe and pressure cook in the instant pot? And if so, for how long?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Diana,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It will work fine. You will want to decrease the cooking time by 1 – 2 minutes as the get up to pressure time will be longer.

      Please take care & have a great party!
      Jacky

  5. Hi, just wanted you to know I made the carnitas and refried beans according to your recipes and thoroughly enjoyed them. Thank you for your efforts. I have saved so many of your recipes which I intend to make as time permits.

  6. So ridiculously yummy!!! Made this for the first time for Cinco de Mayo, and everyone gobbled it up. Thanks for a wonderful recipe – I’ve always loved carnitas at our local Mexican restaurant, and am excited to be able to make them at home now!

  7. Have made this recipe three times now and it is one of my favorite IP recipes!!

    Last night, I made this for two people who LOVE pork and two who are not huge fans of pork (had other dishes for them). The pork lovers and pork haters all agreed that these carnitas were AMAZING.

    I also made a pinneapple salsa (with red bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime) to put on the tacos and the flavors complimented each other very nicely. This recipe will definitely stay in my rotation!

  8. Made this recipe tonight with a Pork Picnic roast. Was concerned this cut would not be moist, tasty and easy to shred, however I was so pleased at the quick response to my email questioning this cut of meat, that I was ready to defrost my roast right away. Wow…this was a beautiful meal. Included the cinnamon–loved it…Used left over store bought orange juice–did not find it overly sweet and I loved how placing the pork cubes, with its juices, under the broiler led to lucious crispiness. Served with home made guac, jasmine rice and black beans, a white queso jalapeño dip & tortilla chips and roasted broccoli spears. I didn’t even bother to wrap my carnitas serving in a tortilla. Just ate it straight up with rest of my dinner sides…Stunning. Keeping this recipe on our dinner rotation! Thx 🙂

  9. I have a Pork Picnic cut of meat from the grocer. Will this cut work, too? It is NOT a Pork Shoulder or a Pork Butt.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Linda,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Pork picnic cut is also from the shoulder portion as well so it will work just fine.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  10. Omg. This is amazing. I would suggest this to anyone. We all love this and will eat this again. We made our own gauc salsa. All I can say is delicious.

    1. Hi Paola,

      Happy to hear your family enjoys this!
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  11. This was very good. We couldn’t stop eating it. Will this also work with steak tacos? Or will you be posting a steak taco recipe?

    1. Hi LL,

      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      We will probably publish another recipe for steak taco in the future!

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  12. Hi Amy & Jacky
    I am going to make this recipe but have a question about servings. At the beginning of the recipe it says makes 4 -6 servings however, the Nutrition info says 12 servings. Would you please let me know whether this makes 6 or 12 servings. Thanks for all of your great recipes for the IP. I got mine at Christmas and do love it.

    1. Hi Lola,

      Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      The amount of meat will serve 12 people. You will just need more corn tortillas to serve more people than 4 – 6 people.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  13. I made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing! Will absolutely make again (and again, and again). We used a different cut of pork (I think it was shoulder blade boneless roast, if I recall correctly) as we couldn’t find the one specified, but it was fine.

  14. I’m making this dish just for two. What’s the best method to store the leftovers for later consumption? Straight from instant pot to freezer or freeze after crisping? How can we keep it moist when reheating? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Marina,

      Late Reply (We were on a trip to Asia)! Thank you for your question 🙂

      Straight from Instant Pot to freezer will work better. You can reheat the carnitas with sauce with the pot in pot method.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  15. Thank you for a delicious recipe! I have made this several times, and it is always delicious. Crisping it at the end in the broiler is easy and quick, and I love that I do not have to turn on the big oven for hours at a time. The flavors in this dish are just terrific. I tell all IP people about your excellent recipes & website. Again, thanks.

  16. Can I use the sear option on my IP at the end instead? Will this change the cooking time in the IP? My oven doesn’t have a broiler.

    1. Hi Victoria,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. Using the saute option will work fine!

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  17. Third time making this and wow do my husband and I love it! Thank you sooo much for helping us eat a healthier version of one of our favorites.

    1. Hi Jeni,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!
      Happy to hear your husband enjoyed the recipe as well

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  18. I made this recipe the other night for a crowd! I had 14 people for dinner. I did a taco, nacho, and Carnitas bar. It was a huge hit! I had so much taco meat left because everybody ate the Carnitas! Definitely going to make this for the rest of our lives! Delicious and easy! Thank you

    1. Hi Darlene,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      So happy to hear that!
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi Christina and Stephens,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!

      Happy to hear your 11 year old is cooking already!!

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  19. Hello! I’ve been looking for an instant pot carnitas recipe & this is the closest I have found to my own so I’m very excited to try this. I’m new to IP and I only have a 3qt so I would have to cut this recipe way down. If I only use 1.5lbs ofmeat would the cooking time change? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen,

      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Holiday 🙂 Thank you for your question.

      The cooking time will be the same for cutting or doubling a recipe in general.

      Please take care & have a wonderful weekend
      Jacky

    1. Hi Joseph,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The sauce is probably too thick and will prevent the Instant Pot from generate enough steam to get up to pressure.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  20. I want to make this for a party I am having and let guests serve themselves throughout. How would you suggest I keep this warm without making it too soft? I’m ok with it losing some of its crisp but I don’t want to ruin it completely. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      You can use the keep warm function in the Instant pot. The meat will become more dry (moisture will evaporate no matter what) as time goes by.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  21. My neighbor made these for us and they were delicious! I was not surprised it was one of your recipes, all others I have tried have been awesome! I wonder if this one could be crisped using the blow torch you have used in other recipes?

  22. This was the very first recipe I made in my new Instant Pot. I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. It’s exactly what I was wanting. The entire family enjoyed them. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  23. I’ve made other carnitas recipes, but this one beats all of them. Ever since this recipe came in the weekly mail from Amy + Jacky, it’s been the ONLY way I make carnitas. the flavor is deeper, and the finish under the broiler gives it the crisp I need.

  24. I have been using this recipe for years,
    It is great. I’ve added a couple of indgreants that puts it over the top.
    Sauteed onions & mushrooms to mix with the shredded pork. Then a slice or
    of munster cheese over meat
    20-30 seconds in microwave, depends
    On size of serving. Add some salsa verde.
    You will be glad you tried this.

  25. After browning, what would it hurt to put the meat back in the juices and serve out of that. Wouldn’t this keep it from drying out? Your thoughts?

    1. Hi Loyd,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      After browning, the surface will have a yummy crisped crust. Putting the meat back into the juice will soften the crust.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  26. I really want to make this but using chicken thighs maybe? Can you recommend how long I should cook it for? My husband doesn’t eat pork 🙁

    1. Hi Dres,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The spice may not be the most ideal for chicken thighs, but they will work. It will take roughly 6 minutes and 10 minutes natural release.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  27. Hi! This is one of my absolute favorite recipes for the IP. My family devours this and beg for more.

    That being said, we are having a party for ~15 people so obviously I can’t just make one pork shoulder! I was wondering what recommendations you would have for doubling this recipe (I have two 6 qt IP and planned on making 2 double batches simultaneously)

    Thanks for sharing such delicious recipes!!
    Adrianne

    1. Hi Adrianne,

      thank you for your kind words and sorry for the late reply!

      I would recommend reducing the cooking time by 1 – 2 minutes as the get up to pressure time will be longer.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  28. Oh my! I’ve had this recipe on my “must try” list for weeks & finally made it this evening….sooooooo DELISH & EASY!

    I’m not an adventurous cook, but the way you break down recipes with the step-by-step & tips, I’m eager to try new things.

    Thanks again for the time & effort you commit to each recipe!

  29. Hi – I noticed most of your recipes uses unsalted chicken stock, surprisingly I’m unable to find this in some markets. Is it possible to mix low sodium and regular broth with water to make it as close to unsalted?

    1. Hi Yolie!

      thank you for your question 🙂
      Yes, that will work. Please taste and adjust accordingly as you will need less seasoning in the end.

      Take care
      Jacky

  30. Hello
    I would like receive the Instant pot Recipes in french I undrestand English but not all words.
    I need help whith dictionary
    If Possible many Thanks

  31. hi Amy and Jacky,
    Thank you for this stunning recipe. I have used it on multiple occasions and this is by far my favourite. Today the pork shoulder was sold out, however I picked up roughly equal amounts of pork riblets, pork belly and pork loin (adding up to ~1.4kg). Would you recommend continuing with this combination and/or adjusting the cooking time?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Michelle,

      thank you for your question and kind words 🙂

      Pork belly and riblets are excellent choice.
      I may recommend leaving the Pork loin out as they can become tough.

      Are they all chopped up already? If so, it will take roughly 18 – 20 minutes and natural release.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  32. I am going to make this today or tomorrow, I am allergic to cinnamon. IS there an alternative spice to use that will work? Or can I just leave it out? I know clove is sometimes a good substitute but I’m not a huge fan of clove.

    1. Hi Pam,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Clove and nutmeg are a good substitute for cinnamon. You can also just leave it out as well.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  33. I love this recipe! I’ve made it probably 4-5 times now. My grocer never has a pork shoulder as small as what you used so mine are usually around 6-8 pounds. To compensate, I use 1 full cup of my homemade chicken broth (also made in my IP). I do not double the spices, but I do add some orange zest and double the garlic (yum!). I have used both a cinnamon stick and powder (not at the same time), and both imbue the same flavor. Because the shoulder is so big, I save half to eat during the week, usually with cilantro-lime rice, pico de gallo, lettuce, and cheese. Very tasty! Later in the week I use the leftovers in fried rice or in soup. This week I’m using it as a topping for some Thai curry soup. So good! The remaining half I place in the freezer and put all of the remaining fat skimmed off the top of the broth in with the meat. I thaw it in the fridge when I’m ready for it. Maybe it’s because I put the fat in with it, but the meat always seems most after being frozen. Thank you!

  34. How would you adjust the cooking time for pork sirloin? I know it’s not the ideal cut but it was on sale and really inexpensive. I absolutely love your recipes and want to give this one a try. Thanks!

    1. It was 3.75lbs, bone-in. I cut it off the bone and into chunks of a similar size to what you recommend. Those are marinating now. So, there’s probably fought 2.5 lbs. I just know it’s a drier cut. I really appreciate it.

  35. I fixed this recipe last night. It was fabulous and definitely doing again. Wish I had a larger pork loin, only had about 2
    1/2 #, so I could have some left overs. Will get a bigger one next time I go to the store. Your recipes are great. Thank you.

  36. Ummmmm. Wow. I have no other words. Absolutely amazing! I would expect nothing less from y’all. Thanks for everything you do! This was absolutely delicious.

  37. I’ve been wanting to make this from the moment I saw the recipe. Also honeymooned in Mexico and spent three months there as a student (too) many years ago! I am having a very low key 40th birthday celebration in a few weeks and we are planning a BBQ and buffet of home made sides. I am now seriously tempted to use this as one of my dishes!

    I’m used to catering for a crowd in a professional kitchen, but working out of my impractically small kitchen at home, with a 6 year-old and 9 month old in tow and a husband often away on business, prep is far more complicated and in the messy reality of day to day life! So, this wonderful recipe and making use of my pressure cooker could very well be the answer here ?

    Would be great to have your thoughts on a few points please!

    I’m thinking that I can crisp this up over charcoal, hopefully it would work and would get a nice smoky flavour. I’m considering cooking it ahead of time and freezing it, in its cooking liquid, without crisping it up, and then thawing and doing the last step from room temp on the day. Any reason this wouldn’t work?

    I have a regular pressure cooker, 6ltr, no IP. Am I right to assume that if I time it from when it reaches full pressure and use natural pressure release x15 mins it will work the same, even with increased batch size? And do you increase the liquid proportionally to any increase in the weight of the meat?

    I’m so looking forward to trying this out! Hopefully it will bring some extra ‘sunshine’ to proceedings in UK spring time!

    Many thanks in advance x

    1. Hi Penny,

      thank you so much for your comment 🙂 Happy Birthday to you in advance!!

      1) I’m considering cooking it ahead of time and freezing it, in its cooking liquid, without crisping it up, and then thawing and doing the last step from room temp on the day. Any reason this wouldn’t work?

      The result will not be as moist, but It will work. You will want to choose a well marbling piece of meat as freezing tend to dry out the meat.

      I have a regular pressure cooker, 6ltr, no IP. Am I right to assume that if I time it from when it reaches full pressure and use natural pressure release x15 mins it will work the same, even with increased batch size? And do you increase the liquid proportionally to any increase in the weight of the meat?

      If your pressure cooker is a stovetop version with 15 PSI, I would recommend reducing the cooking time to 27 minutes and 15 minutes natural release.

      No need to increase the cooking time for increased batch size. The liquid can also be kept the same as well.

      Take care & have fun cooking!!
      Jacky

  38. This was sooo good! The only thing I did different was I ended up marinating it for a few hours and I used tangerines since I was too lazy to get oranges and it still tasted delicious.. Thanks for a great recipe..

  39. Wow, I sure misread your instructions. Since 4/5 cup isn’t generally recognized as a typical U.S. measurement, I read that to be 4 to 5 cups. The milliliter amount really means nothing to me volume-wise, so I didn’t catch my error. Fortunately, it still tastes really good. I just have a boatload of broth now. 🙂

    I really like the crisping up in the oven. Thanks for providing the recipe! Will make this again.

    1. Hi Dami,

      Sorry about the 4/5 cup, but I am happy to hear about the result in the end!
      Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      Have a great weekend
      Jacky

  40. Good Afternoon, I wasnt able to find light soy sauce, should i use less sodium or reg soy sauce ? thank you in advance! and can’t wait to make this tonight

  41. I tried this tonight, and it was absolutely delicious! I especially liked using the broiler to crisp the pork. So many recipes call for frying the cooked pork in fat to crispen it, and in my mind, your recipe probably saved a few calories! Thank you!

  42. Hello!
    Made this last night and it was ah-mazing!! I am wondering if you have any suggestions on what to do with the leftover liquid? I am wondering if it’s possible to make into a noodle soup dish or anything else to avoid wasting all that good stuff!

    Janny

    1. Hi Janny,

      Sorry for the delay in response as we are in the middle of moving!
      thank you so much for your kind words and question 🙂

      I would probably simmer it down a little & thicken it with a roux or with cornstarch and serve it as gravy for pan-seared pork chops with some pasta on the side!

      Please take care & have a great week
      Jacky

    1. Hi Sara,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      We use true stock for our recipes, but broth will also work.

      Make sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly if you are using broth.

      Have a great week!
      Jacky

  43. Hi Team,
    Love all your recipes. Any Aon why you don’t recommend searing/browningthe cubes first before you throw in the pressure cooker?

    -Andy

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      The meat will brown better and retain more moisture with less surface area.

      Have a great weekend!
      Jacky

  44. Hi Amy,

    I read your instructions wrong and used 4 cups of broth instead of just 1!! Does this mean I’ve deluded flavors? Help!

    1. Hi Kimy,

      thank you for your question.

      Yes the flavor will be deluded. You will want to add more spice & seasoning at the end of pressure cooking.

      Have a great weekend
      Jacky

  45. I so want to try this, but I am allergic to citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime etc). What could I substitute for orange juice? I suppose it is acid + sweetness that is needed – some sort of vinegar and sugar perhaps?

    1. Hi Lucy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      I would use chicken thighs and cooking time will be 6 minutes + Natural release.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

    1. Hi Laura,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Pork loin may not be the best cut for this as they are quite lean.

      I would recommend using 5 – 8 minutes + Natural release.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  46. Hi Jacky and Amy, I made this today, a freezing cold winters day, and it made my house smell wonderful (I grated in the rind of 1/2 the orange for extra sunshine)! And, I had fun making all the sides: cilantro rice, black beans, salsa. My husband, my 2 year and my cat thank you!
    P.S. Any ideas on what to do with the leftover sauce in the pot? I strained all the fat off to use for grilling the pork at the end. It smell so wonderful, seems a shame to throw away.
    Thank you!

    1. So happy to hear from you Tai 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      The sauce will go very well with any pork recipe. Pan-Seared Pork chops drizzled with the sauce will be great!

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  47. Hi! I made these using the manual setting as you suggested and they were amazing! Your homemade Pico de Gallo was the best I’ve ever had, incredible! This is a great recipe to make a big batch to use for so many things – tacos, bowls, enchiladas, etc. Your blog is the best, so we’ll done, love the instructions and pictures, just great!!!

  48. Thank you for this recipe. If I owned an Instant Pot for no other purpose, this carnitas recipe would be worth it! We’re from San Diego but we live on the road full-time. Sometimes, it’s tough to find Mexican soul food. I doubled this recipe and it worked perfectly. I had fresh tangerines, so I used that for the juice. I love your blog and will start following. Again, thank you.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Since we are cooking the meat in uniform cubes, the cooking time will be the same.

      You will want to increase the spice by about 30 – 50%.

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking
      Jacky

    2. Amy + Jacky, may I ask why the spices would only be increased by 30-50% if the amount of pork is doubled? I will probably be using a 6-7 pound pork shoulder as well. Thanks!

    3. Hi Heather,

      Sorry for the late reply as we are still in the middle of moving.

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Since we are not adding any more liquid ingredients, adding too much spice will make the flavor overpowering.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi Sharon,

      So happy to hear from you 🙂 Hope you are enjoying this holiday season.

      Lemon juice will work, but you will probably need to add some kind of sugar to compensate for the loss of orange juice sweetness.

      Happy New Year & Have a great week!!
      Jacky

  49. Is the oven step necessary or can the pork be eaten right out of the Instant Pot? I know it won’t be as crispy, but if it still tastes good and is safe I am very tempted by this recipe. Thank you!

  50. Hi! I’m noticing most of your recipes say “High Pressure”, but my LUX60 does not have that capability. What setting would I use instead?

    1. Hi Wendy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The LUX60 operates in High Pressure (The DUO60 operates in High and Low pressure) so the recipes will work just fine!

      Use the Pressure Cook/Manual button for our recipes unless specified.

      Happy New Year & have a great weekend
      Jacky

  51. Do you have a slow cooker cook time for this by any chance? I’m making this for a batch meal swap and not everyone has an instant pot.

  52. This saved me a ton of time and was every bit as good as the version I spend hours making in the crock pot. Great recipe and wonderful photos and instructions. I’m so glad I found your site and have already used three of your recipes 🙂

    -Collin-

  53. Made this tonight to go inside enchiladas. I tasted the meat first and it is ridiculously good! I’m already planning to make more for nachos this weekend! Thank you Amy & Jacky for this deliciousness! 🙂

  54. hi-do I have to broil it? was thinking I’d just shred it and eat it like that. It’s in the IP now and the house smells awesome!
    I struggled cubing the meat. I had a HUGE cut of meat, as we are family of 6. Any suggestions on making cutting it easier?

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      You don’t have to broil it if you don’t want to. It will make it more tasty and a little crispy.

      You can cut the huge piece of meat into smaller pieces first. A very sharp knife will also help!

      Take care & have a great week
      Jacky

  55. Is marinating this overnight going to make a difference?

    In addition to my other question I meant to ask if you think cooking this in a puree of charred tomatillos would be good, or maybe just adding that at the end?

    1. Hi Nick,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      The marinade will penetrate a little more into the meat overnight.
      The acid in the orange juice can make the surface of the pork meat a little mushy after about 18 hours or so.

      I would also add the tomatillos in the beginning so the flavor is more blended in. Please taste and adjust according 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  56. Hi! I made this recipe tonight and it is delicious! I’ve yet to try a single recipe of yours that my husband and I have not loved! My only question is that I have seen in some recipes that they brown the meat before pressure cooking. I know in general browning can make a big difference in depth of flavor. Is there a reason why we do not brown the meat before hand in this recipe?

    1. Hi Ashley,

      So happy to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      We are using the reverse searing technique (browning or caramelizing at the end) as this will not only increase the depth of flavor, but also add some crispiness to the the pork meat.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  57. We LOVE these carnitas! I’d like to cook ahead….. and freeze? Thought I could finish IP process, freeze and then thaw and put in the oven when we’re ready to eat. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Kasey,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      This method will work just fine. The trade-off is the pork meat will be slightly drier.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  58. I have dried guajillo peppers I would like to add. Do u know anything about them and if they would tast ok in this. Also…how would u reccomend I prepare/use them?

    1. Hi Shawna,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Dried guajillo peppers are great for making your own chili powder along with other dried peppers.

      De-seed & Toast the dried guajillo peppers in a dry skillet for a few minutes on each side and then grind them into powders.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi Katie,

      So good to hear from you 🙂

      It will work! Carton orange juice is usually quite sweet so please adjust the seasoning accordingly.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  59. I am making this “on the go”, is there a function on the Instant Pot that will allow me to eliminate the oven? I don’t have access to one or a toaster oven.

    1. Hi Holly,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      You can use a skillet over the stovetop or use saute high function on the Instant pot with a clean inner pot to caramelize the carnitas at the end.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  60. Its recipe is amazing simple, it is possible to use a normal pressure cooker of 22 lt. to prepare two or three times more meat.

    Best regards, José yo Canary Island

    1. Hi José,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      With a 22 litres pressure cooker, you can prepare 2 – 3 times more meat!

      I would reduce the pressure cooking time to 27 minutes to avoid overcooking.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  61. What if my pork shoulder is frozen- do I need to thaw it completely or just enough to be able to cut it up? Otherwise I can’t wait to make this! (It’s making my mouth water)

    1. Hi Hilary,

      It will depend on the temperature. Food is usually safe for up to 2 hours at room temperature, but you can marinade it in the fridge during the summer just to be safe.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  62. I made this and the flavors are absolutely wonderful! This recipe is a tried and true keeper! Mahalo for sharing! Do you think the seasonings would work with chicken or beef as an alternative to pork?

  63. I have an 8 pound piece of meat. I cut into 2 inch pieces. I will add spices and such, but do I need to increase the pressure cooking time? Thanks!

  64. I plan on making tonight. I only have 4 cups of the unsalted chicken stock. Would I have to add more liquid to this?

    1. Hi Greta,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It is 4/5 (80%) of 1 cup (200ml) of unsalted chicken stock. So it will be less than 1 cup (250ml) of chicken stock.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  65. This recipe was great! We followed all of the ingredients and the instructions for the Instant Pot portion, but did not use the oven. Instead, I poured all of the liquid into a fat separator, then fried the meat up in the fat. We had delicious tacos and did not have a single bite left at the end of the meal.

    Previously, I’ve spent hours making it on the stove…will not go back!

  66. Wow! Delicious.. Followed exactly as written but used OJ vs oranges. This is a keeper. Tip – BJs has great pricing on pork!

    1. Hi Viviane,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      the 1475g is weighted without bones. If you cut them into 2 inches cubes, the cooking time will be the same regardless of the amount.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. We are so happy you liked the recipe.

      Thank you so much for your kind words Samantha 🙂

      Congrats on your first Instant Pot meal as well!

      Take care & have an awesome weekend
      Jacky

  67. Is it necessary to marinate it? I usually dont marinate anything when using Instant pot since it kind of marinates it on its own. Wondering if you tried it without marinating it and what were results.

    1. Hi Sal,

      It’s great to hear from you again 🙂
      Hope you have been doing well.

      1.5 inches in thickness will be fine. Get the thickest one! 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  68. Hi Amy and Jacky,

    Thanks for the reply. Fat fingers does it again. I meant that I had a 6 lb piece of meat. I think I will definitely double the spices. Does the liquid need doubling though? Is there a general rule regarding liquids when doubling a braising recipe? Thanks in advance for your help!!!

    1. Hi Natalie,

      you will not have to double the liquid as the meat juice will also get extracted while cooking 🙂

      In general, you only need the meat to partially submerge in the liquid for braising so 1 cup of total liquid will be enough!

      I would probably reduce the cooking time by 1 minute as the get up to pressure time will be increased due to the amount of meat in the pressure cooker 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  69. Hi Amy and Jacky,

    I plan to make this tomorrow with a 4 lb piece of meat instead (as we will be 8 people and I want leftovers). Should I double all the other ingredients? And do you think the cooking time would still be 30 mins?

    Thanks for all your recipes. I will say if I’m looking for a particular recipe, your site is the first place I go to see if one exists!!

    1. Hi Natalie,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂
      We used 3 1/4lb of pork shoulder meat for this recipe so a touch more ground cumin seed will do!
      As long as the 4 lb piece of meat is cut into 2″ cubes, the cooking time will be the same.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  70. You guys did it again! I tried making this carnitas recipe last weekend and it was very successful. The meat cooked just right – crispy outside and succulent inside. We made your salsa recipe and they turned out great too! Would be awesome if you have some guac recipe. I know that there are plenty of them on the internet but I just really trust you guys 🙂

    1. Hi Gmarvels,

      So happy to hear the results!!!
      thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      We just had a wonderful guacamole in a restaurant yesterday. I have just added it on our long to-make list

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  71. Hi Amy & Jacky,

    This recipe is perfect as I have leftover tortillas in need to be finished.

    I want to ask if there’s any big difference in taste/flavor if I use store-bought OJ (Simply Orange brand), instead of juice from a fresh orange? Also, can I use ground/powdered cumin instead? If so, would I still use 1 teaspoon of it?

    Thank you, and thanks again for sharing all these great recipes with all of us! 🙂

    1. Hi Fiona,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      Store-bought OJ are usually more sweet than fresh orange juice. So you may have to adjust the sweetness a little.

      1 tsp of ground cumin will work in place of cumin seed 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

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