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. I have made this recipe a hand full of times now!! This is definitely my go to. Quick, easy, cheap, and delicious! If I’m in a hurry I’ll use Just the carnitas for diet prep for the week. Paired with lime juice, Tapatio, and whole grain corn tortillas, I can actually eat these as diet food!!

    Rating: 5
  2. My IP does not have the same settings you describe, mine has Roast or Slow Cook High/Low, Steam, Bake or Stew. Which one do I use? Thank-you

  3. This was delicious!! I am curious…has anyone tried this with chicken breast instead? I’d like something lighter for weeknights. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  4. Hi! Gimme some oven! I love your websight and recipes. I wanted to ask if you could tell me what settings do i cook this yummy pork at an de for how long with an 8 quart Instant Pot??
    Thank you!

  5. Absolutely perfect. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  6. Holy moly this was delicious. I can’t wait to make this again. We gave some (unbroiled) to the baby and she gobbled it up. We had to cut her off. :)
    Thanks for posting this recipe. I can’t wait to try more!

    Rating: 5
  7. Would love to make this, but how do I do that in a crock pot instead of a pressure cooker

  8. LOVED these tacos. Seriously, these were the BEST carnitas street tacos I’ve ever eaten. I even had seconds and I never go back for seconds. It was also the first time we used our Instant Pot and it came out so flavorful, moist and delicious. We just followed the instructions, which were super easy. What would’ve taken over 6 hours in the crockpot only took 45 minutes in the Instant Pot. We only had a pound and a half of meat but didn’t change the recipe at all, which I’m glad b/c we had just enough sauce to keep it moist and tender. Leftovers were amazing as nachos. Absolutely will make this again and again!! Thank you for sharing!!

    Rating: 5
  9. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Made these for the IP maiden voyage & they turned out great! Followed recipe to a T. My husband is thrilled that he gets to eat these all week. One of his favorite meals.

    Rating: 5
  10. Tried this. Loved it! Definitely going to do this again! Next time I will leave the pork in larger hunks. The small pieces seem like more work to saute. Also, I think more lime juice and no orange juice. But the crispy bits from the broiling were fantastic!

    Rating: 5
  11. Turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  12. This recipe is amazing. My new go-to favorite. I am just starting to learn the Instant Pot, and this was a great recipe to try. Making it for a Superbowl party this weekend. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  13. This was Awesome, will definitely make again.

    Rating: 5
  14. I’m making this tonight. Other than chicken stock what can I use instead of beer?

  15. I cannot cook with alcohol out of respect for my sister who is a recovering alcoholic. I know the alcohol cooks out but it’s just not something we are willing to risk. Do you have recommendation of what I could replace it with for this recipe?

  16. It came out perfect, love the mojo sauce!

    Rating: 5
  17. Made this tonight. It was excellent. I thought about skipping the broiling step at the end but decided to do it after all. The broiling made a huge difference and added an extra level of flavor. I will definitely make this again!

    Rating: 5
  18. I’ve been thinking about getting a pressure cooker and looking at instapots. I love Mexican food and chicken carnitas look delicious (the pics made me hungry). I also enjoy meal prep where I can make something and use it later in the week (as the article suggests). Granted, I’m not going to use it more than twice in the same week, but it’s nice knowing you have a meat dish ready to go and you can do so much with it whether you do a burrito bowl as suggested, do wraps, or even salads.

    Rating: 5
  19. Just made this. Absolutely delish. Kids love it too. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  20. I took a chance and made this for my moms birthday (she looooovvvvveesss pork)..

    It is a great basic pork carnitas recipe – its delicious and is done in record time! After it completed I split the batch into two – I broiled one batch and I slow cooked the other batch in Trader Joe’s green chili salsa for a couple of hours. I thought I would have leftovers but that was not to be – my family gobbled it up! Everyone raved about it.

    I personally felt that it needed a bit more spice. The next time I make it I will probably add a chopped Serrano pepper for heat or a tablespoon of pepper in adobo sauce for bit of Smokey flavor.

    Because the salsa required pineapples, I went ahead and used pineapple juice instead of orange juice (recommended by another commenter) and it worked out just fine. I don’t drink/have orange juice so I never have it on hand so this swap was perfect for me.

    Thanks for a fabulous recipe – I am sending it to my mom tonight and it is definitely going into my regular rotation.

    Rating: 5
  21. This was a very easy recipe. I used slaw instead of the salsa. Amazing!

    Rating: 4
  22. Oops forgot to cut into chunks. Meat was more difficult to shred. Other than my inability to follow directions, came out great.

    Rating: 4
  23. These carnitas are the BEST! I’ve made this recipe twice now and am sharing it with everyone. The first time I used chicken stock, and this time I used beer. I think I prefer the beer. I made these today for taco Tuesday at work and they are all gone. But I want more. I guess I’ll have to make them again!

    Rating: 5
  24. Oh my God…..I live in southern California and I’ve had some really good Carnitas… Having said that…this recipe was the best I’ve evet had…. Sometimes Carnitas can be dry and over cooked….this recipe was simple, easy to follow and had amazing results….I’m standing in my kitchen starting at three more steamed tortillas ready to be filled… This is definitely going into the rotation for dinners….

    Thank you so much !!!!

    Fat and 😁

    Rating: 5
  25. Supposed to be 5 stars

    Rating: 5
  26. This has to be my favorite recipe of all time. I make it at least once a week. It is addictive!

    Rating: 5
  27. THIS RECIPE IS SOO GOOD! My children love it and usually won’t eat my cooking! It was so simple and didn’t take to long. Great recipe for a Sunday Nite! <3

    Rating: 5
  28. This recipe is perfect! I always make a little more and our family lives of of it during the week. For a lower carb version, I Iike to eat the meat and salsa (arguably not low carb, but a must with the pork) over a bed of shredded cabbage.

    Rating: 5
  29. Did his with a 2.5 lb roast and it was excellent!

    Rating: 5
  30. We consider ourselves carnitas connoisseurs…. We made this as written and it is delicious!! So excited to have our own carnitas recipe now! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  31. If I made this again, I would reduce the amount of salt in the sauce by at least half and change up what I season the meat with. I would also use unsalted chicken broth, because this turned out borderline inedible because of how salty it was.

    Rating: 3
  32. We nade this last night and we thrilled with the results!

    Rating: 5
  33. Holy schmooooookes – I made this for tacos and it literally was the best served with a little warm corn tortilla and cilantro onion and green salsa! SO GOOD! Best taco ever and I live in SoCAL!

    Rating: 5
  34. Just made this tonight! Came together quickly. Dont be intimidated by the ingredient list! I did not mix the rojo sauce in a bowl…just threw it all in the instant pot

    Rating: 5
  35. We don’t eat pork very often, but recently purchased an instant pot. We have tried a couple different carnitas recipes and haven’t been impressed. The Mojo sauce ingredients made me want to give this recipe a try. Glad I did, I am now a carnitas junky like many other IP owners. I accidently purchased a bone in roast, so it took a while to get it cut off ( thank goodness for my adorable husband that will do anything to help me). I also substitued pineapple juice for orange because that it what we have. I didnt measure the lime, just juiced a whole one. Cant wait to make this for my friends!

  36. What kind of beer? I would live to make this for dinner tonight

  37. Sooooo good. Love this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  38. Can I freeze the meat in its juices after is cooks and reheat and broil before serving? Anyone tried this?

    Rating: 5
  39. Amazing. I’ve never bothered to do carnitas before because of how long it took, but guuuuuuurrrrrrrl, this recipe was amazing and delish!

    Rating: 5
  40. This recipe is ridiculous…in the best way possible…ridiculously good! Coming from Southern California and Arizona before that, my family and I love ‘real’ Mexican food. This has quickly become a favorite in our home and we make it every couple of weeks (sometimes more often). It’s fast and simple enough to do on a weeknight, which is a plus for me. We had it last night even though I didn’t even remember to take the pork out of the freezer until mid-morning!

    Rating: 5
  41. Okay, so I made this last night, and it is is really, really delicious and thank you very much for the recipe! However, the amount of time it will take you is WAY off. I do not know how in the world the prep time is 5 minutes–juicing a couple of oranges and a few limes, trimming 4 pounds of meat, and the saute took me about an hour. Granted, I may be a little slow at it, but I can’t see doing all that in 5 minutes without a sous chef haha! The cook time is also off…it will take your instant pot around 10 minutes to pressurize and then 20 minutes to vent, so that’s an hour there plus the time it takes to shred the meat and 10- 15 minutes of broiling. Overall, I will definitely make this again but will go into knowing it will take closer to 2.5 hours. It’s certainly not a “quick” recipe as it’s been tagged.

    Rating: 4
  42. Have made this several times…always for a crowd. Huge success!! Everyone loves it. Even took it Asian style once for a fusion taco. Super easy and feeds our family of 5 for several nights. Freezes well too. Great for using with meal trains for new mothers or sick friends.

    Rating: 5
  43. This wad easy and delicious

    Rating: 5
  44. Amazing! I made these exactly as written and they turned out perfect for a taco dinner party. The pineapple salsa was a hit too!

    Rating: 5
  45. Amazing! My first time making carnitas. I didn’t add the full amount of juices are the end- seemed like too much. Is is possible to make these without cutting up the meat first? That took a long time.

    Rating: 5
  46. This was fantastic! Very authentic tasting and the finishing off in the oven make it mmmm mmmm perfectly crispy while maintaning plenty of juicy pork moisture. Great for a group and super easy. Highly recommend.

    Rating: 5
  47. This actually turned out beautifully. Elegant and simple. I added hatch peppers to the pot after the sear, but that’s just me and they are in season. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  48. Wow, this was a great hit again. I made this twice already. The first time, it was just for the family and everyone liked it. I just made it again on Saturday and it was a big hit with all our friends, young and old. It’s a time saver and easy that even my husband could manage to help finish the cooking of pulling the pork apart and boiling it while I did other cooking. Oh, the only reason I gave it four stars rather than 5 is because I didn’t like the pineapple salsa. I made a roasted corn salsa to go with it the second time. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Rating: 4
  49. Made and it was awesome. Kids loved it!!! I used a sour beer to add to the citrus flavor in the Mojo. Then I added some Chipotle chili powder to the shredded pork before broiling. Will definitely be making often.

    Rating: 5
  50. This is delicious. Can I prepare and freeze this ahead of time?
    Then shred and broil when ready to use? Thanks for a great recipe!