Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

by Hong Diep
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Tender, juicy and crispy carnitas are so easy to make in the Instant Pot!

Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines. It’s so comforting I could eat it every day! I love making carnitas because it’s an easy meal to make and a crowd pleaser. You can make it ahead of time for a large gathering and just crisp up the meat on a skillet or broil in the oven.

If you want to be extra fancy and create an interactive dinner, you can setup an electric griddle and crisp the pork on the table!

I did this once while glamping and everyone loved it! Just make sure you have a long extension cord!

This recipe makes a large batch and I happily eat tacos for an entire week. You can also freeze the meat in the pork juice for a few months and have an easy dinner for the days you don’t feel like cooking.

I love finding ways to use pork butt because it’s an inexpensive cut of meat and the fat creates great flavor for succulent carnitas!

The lime and orange gives the meat a subtle citrus flavor and the jalapeños and chipotle pepper give it an extra smoky spicy kick! So delicious!


I love tacos and rice bowls but carnitas are so versatile and you can serve Instant Pot Carnitas in:

  • Burritos
  • Tacos
  • Rice bowls
  • Quesadillas
  • Enchiladas
  • Taquitos
  • Nachos

I even used the meat, added BBQ sauce and made a quesadilla for a quick lunch this week.


I love having carnitas tacos with all the fixings. Guacamole, cheese, cilantro and pickled onions are always a must for me. You can also serve with:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Elote corn
  • Guacamole
  • Chips & Salsa
  • Cojita cheese
  • Pickled onions
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro

We also have four Cholula hot sauce varieties that we always eat with Mexican food.

Make this recipe and thank me later!

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas


  • 4 pounds pork butt boneless
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce optional
  • 1/2 cup water
Pork Rub Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Cut the pork butt into 2-3 inch chunks. Mix pork rub seasoning in a bowl and then coat each piece of meat. 
  • Heat the Instant Pot on sauté mode high, for five minutes, add oil and sear the pork. Work in batches and don’t overcrowd the pot. Brown the pork on each side for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Once all the pork is seared, return the meat to the Instant Pot. Squeeze orange juice and lime juice over the meat and add the orange and lime into the pot. Add garlic cloves, onion, jalapeño, bay leaves, chipotle pepper and water.
  • Place the lid on, lock and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  • Let the Instant Pot natural release completely or natural release for 10 minutes and then vent until the valve drops. Carefully open the lid and place the pork into a bowl and shred or chop the meat.
  • Strain the juices with a sieve into a large bowl.
  • In a skillet on medium high heat, spread a layer of meat in the skillet and drizzle some pork juice with fat in the pan. Crisp the meat until the liquid has evaporated and the bottom is golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the meat.


  • A quick way to crisp the meat is to layer the meat on a cookie sheet, drizzle juices and broil on high until golden. This does not create the same crispiness as in the pan but is a good alternative to serve if you are feeding a large crowd.
  • Searing the meat is optional but I highly recommend it for extra flavor!


Calories: 342kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 43g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 136mg, Sodium: 766mg, Potassium: 861mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 136IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 3mg

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