Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas

This Instant Pot Carnitas recipe is quick and easy to make in the pressure-cooker, and it’s SO flavorful and juicy and delicious!

These Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas are quick and easy to make, and cooked with the most delicious Cuban mojo sauce marinade! |

Are you all as in love with the Instant Pot as I am?

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little reluctant last year to dive into the craze when everyone started cooking with them.  Pressure cookers used to scare the crap out of me growing up, and I didn’t have room in my apartment for any more kitchen appliances, and frankly, I was already perfectly content with my slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pans, and steamer, thankyouverymuch.  But after hearing enough friends rave about their Instant Pots and the 5 million brilliant things that they are able to do, I finally bit the bullet and broke my I-don’t-buy-things-on-Black-Friday resolution and ordered one for half price that day on Amazon.  (Ok, and then let’s be honest, promptly stared at it sitting there in my kitchen for about a month.  Resistant to change much? 😂)

But, once I finally swallowed my pride and geared up my courage to set that knob to “sealing” and give it a try, I could not believe how quickly and how perfectly it cooked so many of my favorite recipes!  My favorite slow cooker barbacoa beefteriyaki chicken, and beef stew all ready to go in less than an hour!  My favorite butternut squash soup, lentil soup, and potato soup all ready to go in less than 40 minutes!  No-soak beans ready in 45 minutes! Perfectly-cooked rice in 15!  Pasta in 8!

All the things!  Less time!  And so far — perfectly cooked, every time!

As someone who nerds out over efficiency in life, I admit that I’m now 100% sold on this thing.  (And recommending it to everyone who asks.)  And my favorite recipe thus far that I’ve been recommending to my friends?  These incredibly juicy, crispy flavorful, and super-speedy Instant Pot Carnitas.

These tasty Instant Pot Carnitas are tossed with a pineapple salsa, and marinade with a delicious citrus mojo sauce! |

Well, really, you can make just about any kind of carnitas with this method (including the ingredients in my traditional Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas recipe, which I totally love).  But lately, I’ve been hooked on cooking with Cuban mojo sauce, which is a yummy (and ultra-easy) marinade made with lots of fresh citrus juice and lots and lots of garlic.  Two of my faves.

Crispy Pork Carnitas are so easy to make in the Instant Pot! Check out this delicious recipe, marinade with a citrus garlic Cuban mojo sauce. |

Simply sear some big chunks of pork in the Instant Pot.  (Love its speedy “Saute” setting!)  Then pour in your marinade, and set it to pressure cook for 30 minutes on high, and then naturally vent for 15-20 minutes afterwards.

Then once the pork is ready to go, give it a good shred with two forks.

This Instant Pot Pork Carnitas recipe is quick and easy to make, and SO delicious! |

Then — my favorite tip for any sort of slow-cooked (or pressure-cooked) meat — transfer it to a large baking sheet and pop it under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp up those edges.  Remove, toss the pork with some of the remaining juices, then broil and toss again.

The most amazing Instant Pot Carnitas recipe!! Quick and easy to make, and marinated in a Cuban mojo sauce with lots of citrus and garlic. Perfect for tacos, burritos, salads and more! |

And then in less than an hour, this amazing batch of crispy, juicy, ultra-tasty pork carnitas will be yours to enjoy.

These delicious Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos are easy to make, and sprinkled with a yummy pineapple salsa. |

Feel free to serve it up in tacos like I did…

This simple Pineapple Salsa recipe is easy to make, and so sweet and delicious! |

…with this simple pineapple salsa that I made (or you can stick with traditional chopped onions and cilantro, to make them “street taco” style).

These Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos are marinated in an easy mojo sauce, and SO delicious! |

Or, of course, feel free to use the carnitas however else you’d like — burritos, rice bowls, salads, quesadillas, youuuuu name it.  Can’t to go wrong with these guys.

Cheers to fancy new technology making life a little easier…and even more delicious. 💛


Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas

These Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas are super quick and easy to make with a pressure cooker, and marinated in the most delicious Cuban mojo sauce!


Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-5 pound) lean boneless pork roast, excess fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 batch mojo sauce (see below)
  • for serving: chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fresh salsa (I used the pineapple salsa below)

Mojo Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup beer (or chicken stock)
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Optional: Fresh Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 cups finely-diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup finely-diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely-diced
  • salt and pepper


To Make The Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, prepare the mojo sauce (see below).
  2. Season pork chunks on all sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Click the "Saute" setting on the Instant Pot.  Add oil and half of the pork, and sear -- turning every 45-60 seconds or so -- until the pork is browned on all sides.  Transfer pork to a separate clean plate, and repeat with the other half of the pork, searing until browned on all sides.  Press "Cancel" to turn off the heat.
  4. Pour in the mojo sauce, and toss briefly to combine. Close lid securely and set vent to "Sealing".
  5. Press "Meat", then press "Pressure" until the light on "High Pressure" lights up, then adjust the up/down arrows until time reads 30 minutes.  Cook.  Then let the pressure release naturally, about 15 minutes.  Carefully turn the vent to "Venting", just to release any extra pressure that might still be in there.  Then remove the lid.
  6. Turn on the oven broiler to High.
  7. Shred the pork with two forks.  Then transfer it with a slotted spoon to a large baking sheet.  Spoon about a third of the leftover juices evenly on top of the pork.  Then broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin browning and crisping up. Remove the sheet from the oven, then ladle a remaining third of the juices from the Instant Pot evenly over the pork, and then give it a good toss with some tongs.  Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat even more crispy. Then remove and ladle the final third of the juices over the pork, and toss to combine.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro, then serve immediately in tacos, burritos, salads, or whatever sounds good to you! Or, refrigerat pork in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

To Make The Mojo Sauce:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl until combined.

To Make The Pineapple Salsa:

  1. Toss all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl until combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, also adding in extra lime juice if desired.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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Leave a Comment:


  1. Lo — March 27, 2017 @ 9:04 am (#)

    Ali, these look incredible. Are there any vegetarian alternatives you would suggest to replace the meat? I love the sound of it, but I’m struggling for ideas!


  2. Ashton — March 27, 2017 @ 9:11 am (#)

    Wow, this looks amazing! And I’ve been putting off buying an instant pot too, but I think I’m going to have to cave. Carnitas in under an hour?! Sold!

  3. As always, delicious looking meals! The instant pot really does sound useful and versatile. I might get one for myself too!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  4. Sara @ Last Night's Feast — March 27, 2017 @ 10:41 am (#)

    Yum! These look super! I love Monday night Mexican! =)

  5. Peter — March 27, 2017 @ 11:07 am (#)

    I love my Instant Pot! Can you create an index of all your Instant Pot recipes? It would be really handy to be able to search your site that way, and by slow cooker as well.

    Of course knowing my technical ability you may have already done so and I’ve just totally missed it. lol

  6. Alyssa Bailey — March 27, 2017 @ 12:24 pm (#)

    I’ve been a huge fan of your carnitas recipes and got my instant pot for Christmas. My boyfriend and I agreed to make tacos one night, but he texted me in a panic that I didnt take the meat out of the freezer and get the crockpot going! I feel like the crockpot is super easy, but having dinner that was DELICIOUS and taken straight from the freezer to the IP was even easier. I sort of threw together a similar mojo style carnitas but thanks for all your great recipes! 

  7. Jack — March 27, 2017 @ 2:17 pm (#)

    Optional Fresh Pineapple Salsa? more like REQUIRED fresh pineapple salsa!

    Love the original recipe in the crock pot but I’ll def try this variation as soon as I add an insta-pot to my kitchen stable.

    Keep up the good work, Ali.

  8. Suzie Moll — March 27, 2017 @ 2:38 pm (#)

    This looks delicious but I don’t have a pressure cooker.  Do you have a recipe for pork carnitas for the oven please?  

  9. Zahra — March 27, 2017 @ 5:44 pm (#)

    I am so happy to see instant pot recipe on your site!  I’ve been waiting for it!  I just got my pot last week and made chilli! I know it may be a lot of work but I think it would be great if you converted some of your fav recipes to instant pot. It really helps to see how long to put things, which settings, sauté first or not, natural/quick release etc!   I’m going to try to make your slow cooker tortilla soup this weekend…adapt yours to someone else’s IP recipe! Keep them coming! Thanks. 

  10. Sarah — March 27, 2017 @ 5:55 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I think it will be the first one I make in my InstaPot. I, too, asked for one for my birthday FOUR MONTHS ago and it has sat without being used once! :( So please, please, post lots of pressure cooker recipes because I need help getting into my new appliance!

    • Ali — March 27th, 2017 @ 6:04 pm

      Haha, glad to hear I’m not the only one. ;) DEAL! More coming soon!!

  11. SandyToes — March 28, 2017 @ 10:13 am (#)

    Hey Ali! How did you know I’m going to cook some carnitas this week? Seriously, they’re on the menu for Thursday. My usual recipe doesn’t have lime, only OJ along with onion, cumin and Jalapeño. I’m going to swap it out for your mojo sauce, because who can resist trying a new recipe for carnitas? 

    Congratulations on joining the movement. Do you have plans to add Instant Pot timing to those slow cooker recipes? Pretty please?

    For your readers cooking for 2 who don’t want a freezer full of leftovers, I’ve found that an inexpensive 1-lb pork blade steak is just perfect. It’s cut from the shoulder, just like pork butt. It’s thinner than pork roast, about 1 inch, but after trimming the meat from the bone, you’ll have the perfect amount of meat for 2, with enough left for someone’s lunch. Because it’s thinner, cook time is 25 minutes with a 10-minute natural release. 

  12. Kari — March 28, 2017 @ 3:57 pm (#)

    Yum! Looks like a great way to use your instant pot!

  13. Sabrina — April 1, 2017 @ 8:03 pm (#)

    I’m not up to speed on insta pots so, interesting take, really had no idea, good to know, but thank you for the carnitas recipe, great tip about using the broiler to crisp them, I like that!