Gimme Some Oven

Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas

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This Instant Pot Carnitas recipe is quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker, perfectly crispy and juicy, and so delicious!

Instant Pot Carnitas

This Instant Pot carnitas recipe is a game-changer. ♡

After years and years of making my favorite Mexican-inspired crispy pork carnitas recipe in the slow cooker — letting the pork slowly simmer all day long until it is perfectly tender and shred-able — I’ve now become a total convert to making pressure cooker carnitas instead.

Why? Well, mainly because this Instant Pot carnitas recipe is just crazy fast.  Instead of having to plan 5-8 hours in advance to make carnitas in the slow cooker, this pressure cooker carnitas recipe can be ready to go from start to finish in just over 1 hour, making this recipe legit do-able on a weeknight or anytime you’re craving some carnitas stat. It also succeeds in making carnitas that are extra-juicy and crispy, thanks to a quick broil in the oven and a toss in those leftover cooking juices after the Instant Pot has worked its magic. It’s seasoned with a zesty garlic-citrus mojo sauce, making each bite of pork extra flavorful even before any extra salsas or toppings are added. But more than anything, I just love this carnitas recipe because it is irresistibly, unfailingly, crowd-pleasingly, gotta-go-back-for-seconds-(and-thirds)-ingly, deliciously GOOD.

These carnitas are, of course, absolutely fabulous served up in soft corn tortillas as carnitas tacos. But if you’re looking for a different spin on carnitas (especially if you have leftovers and want to mix things up a bit for the second round), this flavorful shredded pork is also delicious served up in burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas, salads, or even in carnitas soup as well.

So if you are a fellow fan of carnitas, pull out your pressure cooker and let’s make a batch together!

Instant Pot Carnitas | 1-Minute Video

Carnitas Ingredients:

To make pork carnitas in the Instant Pot, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Pork: I recommend using boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks with the excess fat trimmed off.
  • Salt, pepper, oil: For seasoning and cooking the meat.
  • Mojo sauce: A citrusy garlic sauce that we’ll make with beer (or chicken stock), garlic, fresh orange juice, lime juice, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Salsa: I love serving carnitas with a juicy fresh mango salsa or pineapple salsa (as pictured below). But any type of salsa that you love — red, green, fruit, etc. — will work.
  • Toppings: I recommend lots of chopped fresh cilantro and finely-chopped red or white onion.

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

How To Make Carnitas:

To make this pork carnitas recipe, simply…

  1. Make the mojo sauce. Whisk together those garlicky citrus sauce ingredients until combined.
  2. Season and sear the pork. Generously season the pork chunks with salt and pepper. Then use the “Sauté” function on the Instant Pot to briefly sear the pork on all sides in a bit of oil. You might need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your Instant Pot.
  3. Pressure cook. Add the sauce to the pork, then pressure cook on high for 30 minutes, followed by a natural release.
  4. Shred. Once the pork is cooked, go ahead and give it a good shred with two forks.
  5. (Optional) Broil. Then — if you want the carnitas to be nice and crispy — spread the shredded pork out in an even layer on a large baking sheet, and spoon about 1/3 of the remaining juices from the Instant Pot evenly on top of the pork. Pop the baking sheet into the oven for about 4-5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork are golden and crispy. Then remove from the oven, give the pork a good toss with half of the remaining juices, and broil for 4-5 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss with the remaining juices and…
  6. Serve warm. However you prefer — in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, tostadas, quesadillas, in a soup or salad, or whatever sounds good!

Full instructions included in the recipe box below.

Crispy Carnitas made in the Instant Pot

Possible Variations:

Want to customize your own homemade carnitas recipe? Feel free to…

  • Make it spicy. Add a diced jalapeño or serrano chile pepper (seeded, for less heat) into the Instant Pot if you would like to kick things up a spicy notch.
  • Make it smoky. I also love adding a diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (with an extra tablespoon of sauce) into the Instant Pot to make the carnitas a bit more smoky.
  • Use chicken. If pork isn’t your thing, you’re welcome to make this carnitas recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts) instead.

Carnitas Tacos

Ways To Serve Carnitas:

There are so many fun ways to serve this carnitas recipe! For example, they would be delicious in:

  • Tacos (hard or soft)
  • Burritos or burrito bowls
  • Enchiladas, taquitos, quesadillas or tostadas
  • Nachos or chilaquiles
  • Salads (warm or cold)
  • Soup or chili
  • …and so much more! Be creative!

Pork Carnitas Tacos

What To Serve With Carnitas:

Looking for some ideas on what to serve with carnitas tacos? (Or carnitas burritos, quesadillas, etc?)  Here are a few of my faves:

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Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


This Instant Pot Carnitas recipe is quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker, perfectly crispy and juicy, and so delicious!



Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-5 pound) lean boneless pork roast, cut into 2-inch chunks (with excess fat trimmed off)
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 batch mojo sauce (see below)
  • for serving: chopped fresh cilantro, diced white or red onion, and/or fresh salsa (I used the pineapple salsa recipe included below)

Mojo Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup beer (or chicken stock)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper


To Make The Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mojo sauce ingredients until combined.  Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Season pork chunks on all sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Click the “Sauté” setting on the Instant Pot.  Add the oil, followed by 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 remaining pork, searing until it has browned on all sides.  Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.
  4. Pour in the mojo sauce, and toss briefly to combine with the pork. Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, followed by a natural release (about 15 minutes).
  6. Set the oven broiler to high heat.
  7. Remove the lid of the Instant Pot.  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 and toss to combine.  Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin browning and crisping up. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, then half of the remaining juices from the Instant Pot evenly over the pork and toss to combine.  Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat even more crispy. Remove baking sheet from the oven, then ladle the remaining juices over the pork, and toss to combine.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro, then serve warm in tacos, burritos, salads, or whatever sounds good to you! Or, refrigerate pork in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


Pineapple Salsa: To make the fresh pineapple salsa recipe, just mix together the follow ingredients until combined:

  • 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
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste

Recipe updates: The amount of cumin was increased and the amount of garlic decreased slightly in January 2021.

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Recipe rating

444 comments on “Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas”

  1. Best ‘at home’ Carnitas recipe I’ve found…and the pineapple salsa puts it right over the top! Plenty to share, but not such a huge amount that I’m eating Carnita’s for a month….

  2. SO GOOD. The mole is awesome with other meats but nothing beats the pork. This one’s a favorite in our house.

    • Love this recipe and it’s so easy. I made 2 batches tonight…1 in Instant Pot and 1 in slow cooker. We had the IP version for dinner and we’ll be having this several times per month. I’m taking the slow cooker version to my daughter and SIL since they have a kitchen remodel going on and can’t cook a full meal. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. These are AMAZING!! I’m always skeptical about pork but I’m devouring the meat before it ever makes it into the tacos!! We added about 1/4 cup orange juice and a handful of cilantro to the mojo sauce. Other than that made as written!
    I can’t figure out how to post a pic or I would.

  4. EXCELLENT! I agree the prep time is not 5 minutes. However if you make the salsa during the IP cooking it isn’t bad at all. I use key lime juice instead of regular lime juice, but that is the Florida girl in me. I had everything in my kitchen (except the pork) already so it made for a very cost effective recipe. I will say I would make a double batch of the salsa if you have more than 4 people or expect left overs.

  5. If I don’t have a pressure cooker… how long and hot would you cook in a slow cooker?

  6. Hi so really want to try this but not in such a large amount, I have a small family. How do I adjust if I want to say make 2 large chicken breasts.

    • I cut this recipe in half-ish because I cook for just myself. Turned out just as great, no problem, same cooking times (probably could’ve adjusted mine but like I said, turned out great). I’m not sure about using chicken. But as far as making less – just cut in half. Like someone else said though — couldn’t help but eat a good bit before it made it onto a taco ?

    • So, my advice is buy the smallest pork butt you can find. Even if it is too much for your family. Then you have two options: Cook it all and freeze the extra. Or, Freeze half before cooking (Pre-chunked) and thaw when you are ready to make this or some other pork recipe again.

  7. I think I have made this more times than any other instant pot recipe. I make this with chicken and do the mojo sauce almost as written. I add two tsp (one cup) of chicken broth powder to the juices. When it’s time to put it in the broiler, I drizzle olive oil over it, and strain the garlic out of the pan sauce, spread that all over then add a bit of the broth over the chicken. The recipe calls for two runs of this. I do about 4 so it’s all caramelized and crispy. At the end I sprinkle a bit of coarse kosher sea salt over it all. I always make an enormous batch so we have it for salads etc, but sometimes we end up eating it straight off the pan while waiting for it to cool.

  8. Love this! I did have to change the spice amounts for the mojo sauce. I feel like the instant pot blasts the poor spices until they lose their flavor, so I about tripled the amounts of each.

    My kids (9 and under) ate through 3 lbs of pork to the point where I actually have to cook again tomorrow night. (Only a slight exaggeration)

    Great easy meal!

  9. SO good!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Amazing. Instant pot. Perfection

  11. Delicious and easy! Crowd was pleased!

  12. My market has a sale on bone -in roast, this much should I buy?

  13. Absolutely delicious! We used a Miller Lite and it came out amazing. We followed the recipe exactly.

  14. This recipe should be illegal.

    The pork was so tender I didn’t even need two forks, it just fell apart as soon as I lightly grazed it with a tine…

  15. If I use chicken broth vs beer in my mojo, do I need to cut the salt?

  16. Amazing.

  17. How long would you say if I only cook one pound?

  18. This recipe is amazing! The mojo sauce is to die for!!

  19. Thank you for this recipe. I’ve made it 3 times now because it’s so easy and flavorful. I’m new to the insta-potting scene so lots of experimenting and this is definitely a winner. Simple ingredients that we usually have on hand makes it even easier to make.

  20. I’m excited to try this recipe! Question: can I cook the meat in the Instant Pot tonight and broil it tomorrow before guests come? Or is it better to do all the prep on the same day. Thanks!

    • Can you make the mojo sauce the day before with the beer and it still be good the next day to cook with. Just trying to prep.

  21. Sooo good!
    If I tried this with chicken thighs instead should I still pressure cook for 30min?

  22. 10/10 reccomend!

    Curious if you ever use any of the left over mojo sauce for anything else? It was so flavorful I had a couple ladle fulls straight!

  23. Delicious. Easy!
    Family fave.

  24. I had to use frozen from concentrate OJ, since that’s all we had, but it was still amazing! I’ll be making this again when my garden Jalapenos are ready to add some extra heat. I made street tacos for me and the wife and the kids (two teenagers) made nachos with theirs. We probably ate half of it.

  25. Fantastic! Ran short on time and skipped the broiler, still amazing!

  26. Curious as to best cut of meat. You mention a lean pork roast. Does that mean a pork loin rather than a pork shoulder/butt which tends to have much more fat?

  27. Hi there, I’ve made this recipes twice so far with pork. Just wondering if steak can be used as well? If so, what cut?


  28. The best meal I have made so far in my Instapot. Absolutely terrific. I would give this 7-stars if it let me.

  29. This is a family favorite. I made some changes. I used a dry rub for the meat before saute using 1 teaspoon each oregano, salt, and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. I also used orange/peach/mango juice for the mojo sauce instead of orange juice, and I used the scraper bowl attachment of my Kitchenaid mixer to shred the meat in less than 10 seconds. Awesome recipe!! As a side note, I use some of the leftover juice to moisten my Spanish rice. Yum!

  30. Seriously the best carnitas I’ve ever made and the family agreed! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  31. This has become one of the staple recipes in my house! I’m planning on making this for a large crowd and use about 7lbs of pork. Do you think the cook time would need to increase from 30 minutes?

  32. Delicious and so easy! My husband is the biggest critic with meat and this did not disappoint.

  33. After roasting the meat under the broiler, I reduced the remaining cooked sauce on the stove top to intensify the flavor. I then mixed some of the sauce back in to being up the flavor. Great recipe!

  34. This is the best tasting meat I have done in my instant pot, Period! Really, really good!

  35. Super flavorful, easy and delicious. This has become a family fave.

  36. Delicioso!!

  37. The best instant pot recipe I have tried. Comes out awesome! Follwed the recipe as is!

  38. Love it! Make it regularly.

  39. OMG, SO DELICIOUS!! Better than any restaurant. I’ve made them with pork and chicken and they are both to die for, and SO EASY to make. The chicken was ready in 30 minutes! They are also great in a bowl with rice and your favorite toppings.

  40. Seriously THE BEST carnitas I’ve had and so much healthier! I used a pork loin and it was outstanding. Perfect amount of spices and the citrus flavor from the oj and lime juice was amazing. I’ll be featuring these on my Instagram for sure! (@under_pressure_101). Thanks for such a great recipe! ?

  41. This recipe is so quick and easy!… A definite recommend!… It’s really hard not to eat the carnitas before you crisp them up in the oven… Works better if you have an air fryer to crisp the carnitas…

  42. This recipe is delicious and also works great with beef roast. I substitute chicken stock with beef stock when I do beef.

  43. Another winning recipe from Ali! Easy, delicious, and versatile!

  44. Delicious! I used pineapple juice instead of orange, served with cilantro, onion, crushed pineapple and salsas, with radishes on the side. Saving this recipe for sure!!

  45. Made this step by step and it turned out delicious. The closest thing to may favorite taco truck carnitas. Definitely a keeper.

  46. I haven’t had much luck with instant pot recipes as I feel like they’re always over-sauced, over-flavoured, and just generally… too much. I was ready to give it away. This has converted me. This recipe is 10/10. Thank you!

  47. My family loved this and there were no leftovers from a 4lb pork butt shoulder (I will double the recipe next time). I didn’t have fresh orange juice so blended a few canned peaches with the juice from half a lemon and threw that in instead. Followed everything else as written for the pork. I agree with the other comment that states prep time is way underestimated. From start to finish it was almost two hours to pull this together (and I didn’t have pineapple so no salsa) but well worth the time & effort. We all ate the pork without any salsa, cheese, onions, tortillas, etc – it was delicious all by itself. Paired it with black beans, rice, and some veggies. This recipe will be added to our regular meal rotation. Thank you so much!

  48. I took the lazy way out and skipped browning the meat, and it was still delicious. Instead of broiling I pressed a few cups into a non-stick skillet and fried it til brown and crispy, then flipped it. Very good recipe!

  49. Delicious! I made it just as is and plan on making this regularly. I made the tortillas for the first time and they are so much better than purchased! I don’t know why it took me so long! I’m taking the left over carnitaa and pineapple salsa to work to have over a bed of spinach for lunch.

  50. This is one of the few recipes in my life that, after tasting, made me say “oh my God”. It also makes several days worth of meals (we like burrito bowls and tacos). My only problem is that they WAY underestimated the amount of time it takes, even discounting cooking in the Instant Pot.