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4.96 from 144 votes

Instant Pot Carnitas (Crispy Mexican Pulled Pork)

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time & make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.
Servings 4 - 6
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins


  • 3 ¼ pounds (~1475g) pork shoulder meat (pork butt meat) , cut into 2 – 2 ¼ inches cubes
  • 200 ml (~cup) unsalted chicken stock




  • 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.
  • 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, ½ - 1 tsp (1g - 2g) cinnamon powder, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, and juice (55ml) from 1 orange to the inner pot. Mix well and let the meat marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Pressure Cook Pork Shoulder Cubes: Pour ~ 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.
  • 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.
  • (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.
  • Serve & Enjoy: Place piping hot Carnitas on top of the warmed corn tortillas with a spoonful of salsa (Pico De Gallo). Serve immediately!


*Total Cooking Time: cooking time did not include inactive marinating time.
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Author: Amy + Jacky
Calories: 373kcal


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 29.3g | Fat: 26.4g | Sodium: 165mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1.4g