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!

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.

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe | 1-Minute Video

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

5 / 5 (104 Reviews)
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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.
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194 comments on “Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas”

  1. This is now my favorite Instapot recipe! Made exactly as written with freshly squeezed juices in the marinade. Served on toasted corn tortillas with the pineapple salsa. DELICIOUS and easy!!! Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  2. Can you sub pork tenderloin for the pork you used?

  3. I want to make this but do not have an IP, can this be done in a slow cooker?

    • Use a Dutch oven instead of slow cooker. It will taste better. You’ll have to cook for a lot longer than using a pressure cooker like the instapot

  4. This was so easy and delicious! We’ve recently moved to a new house and this was the perfect meal to help get back into the swing of meal planning, etc. I used the meat multiple times during the week: in tortillas, over rice, mixed with cauliflower rice. My kids gobbled it up each time which gets bonus points from me!

    Rating: 5
  5. This was delicious!!!

    Rating: 5
  6. Made these for dinner tonight and they were DELICIOUS! The crispness from broiling + flavor combo with the pineapple salsa = just amazing! This recipe will definitely be going into our regular rotation!

    Rating: 5
  7. These are so amazing…my husband told me he could eat these every day..I agree. They also make for a DELICIOUS quesadilla filling and topping for chilaquiles. The pineapple salsa is also wonderful. All this to say..if you’re looking for a new recipe..look no further!!

    Rating: 5
  8. This recipe takes at least an hour to prep – no way is it quick unless you can find everything pre chopped (pork, garlic, pineapple, cilantro, etc.) I’d put prep time at 1 hour. That said it was delicious, if a little salty. To make it whole 30 I used chix stock and served over a baked sweet potato. If I make again I’ll probably cut the salt and start at least an hour early.

    Rating: 4
  9. What kind of beer did you use? TIA

    • I can’t speak for her but used an entire Negra Modelo. The 5 remaining washed down the tacos delightfully.

      Rating: 5
  10. I used the instant pot to make this and it came out great! I cut the pork into chunks and used the sauté function to sear all sides until golden. Then I dumped the chipotle salsa, salt, lime juice and orange juice and cooked on high pressure for 25 min. Let natural release and shred. I also threw it onto a sheet pan and put under the broiler for 10 min because I prefer crispy edges. So good and much less work than other carnitas recipes!! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  11. Super easy and fast. Oh ya and the kids ate it all. Must have been good. I’ll make it again

    Rating: 5
  12. This was excellent. Used cucumber slices, radish slices. chopped avocado, diced tomatoes, lime wedges, scallions, cilantro. sour cream, pickled jalapenos and homemade salsa for the toppers. Served with a pot of pinto beans.

    Rating: 5
  13. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! Pineapple salsa was a perfect compliment. Fast and simple. I would most definitely highly recommend.

    Rating: 5
  14. So delicious! I used a 4 pound pork loin, also threw in the squeezed lime halves and juice 2 tangerines and threw those in also. It was amazing before I broiled it, that took it to another dimension of flavor. Rather than the pineapple salsa I used mangos. I definitely bookmarked this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  15. would you change the recipe at all if you have an instapot mini? It’s only 3 QTs, I see you call for 6QT or bigger…

    • Not if you can fit the recipe in your port before the max line. I have a six qt and it was not where near half full.

  16. Our family enjoyed this a lot! This was our first recipe for the Instant Pot and it was so easy! I did add a jalapeno pepper as our family likes highly seasoned/spicy food. Could have used more heat actually. I would definitely make again. I also would broil a bit longer next time! This made a big difference.

    Rating: 4
  17. Great. I used some fat pork chops I had in the fridge. Worked just fine. Not dried out at all. I too would add more spice next time (and there will be a next time).

    Rating: 5
  18. 🙌🏼Made this last night and it was a hit! My hubby says I should make this once a week!!😂 I followed the technical instructions (spot on!) but changed up the flavors a bit…I used chicken broth, fresh lime juice, 7 cloves of crushed garlic, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper and about a half teaspoon of Tajin chili-lime seasoning. I think I will leave the oregano out next time and maybe add some jalapeños, otherwise the flavor was fantastic. When broiling to get the crispy bits I added a small amount of bbq sauce to half of the shredded meat on the pan and left the other half as is with the yummy sauce. My husband ate his on corn tortillas and my kids made sliders with Kings Hawaiian rolls. This will be my new go-to Instant Pot pork recipe!! 👍🏼Try it!!

    Rating: 4
    • I added the oregano but did slice a fresh small jalapeño seeds and all to the pot and it was delicious.

  19. My wife was born and raised in Mexico, she loves this recipe and can’t get enough of the salsa. I think that says a lot about this recipe! Fantastic!

    Rating: 5
  20. If I double this recipe, how long should cook it for in the instant pot? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!

    • I would do the same amount of time. It’s just going to take longer to come up to pressure and release pressure.

  21. Good food! Thank you for showing us newbies how to use the Instant Pot. I followed the recipe only used lager instead of beer and lemon instead of lime juice. Turned out great!

    Rating: 4
  22. Omg best thing I’ve ever eaten! Subbed beef bone broth for the Chicken broth and dang it is amazing!

    Rating: 5
  23. This was delicious. I only had two pounds of pork, so I halved the recipe.

    Rating: 5
  24. What about substituting beef broth for the beer? Would that impact the overall flavor in a good or bad way? Curious…

  25. Hands down my favorite instant pot recipe! These carnitas are amazing, even better then our local Mexican food restaurants! Highly recommend!

    Rating: 5
  26. Delicious! I’m never making carnitas any other way from now on. Those crispy bits! We added avocado along with the pineapple salsa so we had creamy, porky, sweet, and a little heat from the jalapeño. I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow!

    Rating: 5
  27. I have made this recipe probably a dozen times and it always turns out insanely good!

    Rating: 5
  28. Made this tonight. The hardest part was cleaning the pork butt (we don’t care for any fat to make it through to the final product). It was amazing! So delicious and healthy! Has anyone tried it with pork loin?

    Rating: 5
    • I cut mine into very large pieces so I could just pull it apart from the fat before broiling. It would waste a lot of time and possibly meat to cut it off prior to cooking.

  29. Best recipe for carnitas I have found! The crispness of the meat is AMAZING. I made my own fresh squeezed orange juice because I didn’t want the added sugar.

    Rating: 5
  30. Made this tonight for dinner and it was so amazing!!! My husband was skeptical being that he makes carnitas out on a “disco” Mexico style but he wouldn’t stop raving about them! Will be making these again! I didn’t have the ingredients for the salsa but I threw some fresh cerrano peppers in the broiler w/the meat and it was perfect! Thank you so much!!

    Rating: 5
  31. I made this recipe for my daughters wedding. Everyone loved it!

    Rating: 5
  32. Solid recipe as is. Making it first time, I didn’t make changes. I need to think about adding some additional spice and flavor next time. It’s got a great mild flavor and I’d like to amp it up!

    Rating: 4
  33. I enjoyed this recipe so much I just had to come back and comment. I don’t have an instagram or tweet account, otherwise I would have sent a picture.
    This was my first try in my new Instant Pot Ultra, and my husband and I were blown away by how good everything tasted. I used a port butt recommended by the butcher because I didn’t want to make anything more than 3lbs., so it only cost $5! The citrus marinade was amazing…I marinated the meat in the IP itself one hour before cooking, and followed your directions after making that addicting fresh pineapple salsa. The first time we had it we used the flour tortillas, and the second time I used white corn tortillas, also good, with the salsa and some freshly shredded cabbage. Great the first time, and even better the second and the third! The meat was perfectly tender, not much fat at all in the finished sauce, and we got 3 meals out of everything. I have to say, that pineapple salsa is killer, and just gets better every day. Thank you so much for making my first attempt with the IP such a memorable one!

    Rating: 5
  34. My whole family loves this recipe! Yummy…waiting for tonight’s batch in anticipation because we know through several previous batches that dinner will be amazing tonight!

    Rating: 5
  35. This was so good! I was skeptical because I used pork tenderloin, so I thought it might be dry. Nope! It was awesome! Served over rice. Didn’t have ingredients for salsa, so this is just for carnitas. But the salsa sounds amazing, so next time!

    Rating: 5
  36. This recipe is DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  37. First time using the sautee setting on my instant pot and it sucks! It takes so long, I rather do it on the stove top!

  38. This is the best instant pot carnitas recipe I dont use any other recipe. I followed it as written. I even made the pineapple salsa its something I have to make now when we have the carnitas. I make this in a 8 at instant pot.

    Rating: 5
  39. This was delicious!! I used chicken broth instead of beer and lemon instead of lime for the mojo sauce. When I seared the raw pork, I added and onion first, garlic salt and paprika. Seared the pork, then added the mojo sauce, along with a jalapeño. When it cooked after 30 mins, I put it on a pan a fried it in olive oil instead of broiling it. It was amazing! Yummy! Definitely going to make this my official carnitas recipe!

    Rating: 5
  40. SO good!

    Rating: 5
  41. Best carnitas I’ve eaten. Every body love them especially with the pineapple salsa.

    Rating: 5
  42. Made this with bone in pork shoulder, since I couldn’t find exactly what the recipe called for in my grocery store. Cut what I could off the bone and did chunks and the bone in shoulder all in the same go. Cooked fine.

    This is delicious and I loved the salsa. It reminded me of Mexican Cochinita Pibil. I skipped the broil step because I figured I would broil on day 2 with the leftovers. Thank you, I can’t wait to try again with a few small tweaks.

    Rating: 5
    • Pork shoulder is pork butt. It’s the butt end of the shoulder and unless it’s a very small piece has bone in it. You had the right piece of meat.

  43. This was a huge hit with my husband and daughter!

    Rating: 5
  44. Made this yesterday and can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch. I let the pork brine over night in apple cider and spices and then broiled a few extra times. It was amazing!

    Rating: 5
  45. These were delicious!!! I think I’ll be making this all the time!!! Yummy!!!!

  46. WOW awesome tacos and great tasting!

    Rating: 5
  47. This is an awesome recipe! I was skeptical about the pineapple salsa because I do not like onions, but made it and loved it!!! This is my family’s new favorite meal when getting together!

    Rating: 5
  48. The BEST carnitas recipe ever! It’s quick, easy, and the citrus juice, garlic, cumin blend in the marinade is light and delicious. I made my first batch yesterday and am making a second one today, Thanks for this delicious recipe!

    Rating: 5