Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Carnitas

These delicious carnitas are perfect for a crowd, or you can save some in the fridge or freezer for later.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12


  • 2.5 pounds pork shoulder (with or without bone; also called Boston butt)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and pressed or minced
  • 1 medium orange halved
  • 1/2 medium lime


  • Cut pork shoulder into 4 or 5 large pieces (approximate the same size for even cooking).
  • Pour water into bottom of Instant Pot insert. Combine spices and salt and rub onto pieces of meat evenly. Place meat in Instant Pot.
  • Top meat with chopped onion and garlic.
  • Cut orange in half and place cut-side down on top of meat (do not squeeze juice out first).
  • Press Manual to set Instant Pot to High Pressure and increase time to 80 minutes. NPR (Natural Pressure Release) for at least 15 minutes before releasing pressure valve.
  • Separate meat with a fork. Remove meat from Instant Pot and place on a foil-lined sheet pan, sprinkle with juice of half a lime, and cook in 400-degree oven for 10 minutes to brown and crisp.


These carnitas are delicious served over salad or in a small taco-size tortilla. Top with sliced avocado or guacamole, fast fresh salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream if desired.
Keyword instant pot carnitas

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