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

407 comments on “Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas”

  1. Followed to the letter! This recipe is amazing!!!!!!! Highly recommend, no need to change a thing!

    • Crazy good! The whole family loved it. Super easy, and super tasty. I used the chipotle pepper addition, and am glad I did. I will be making it again for sure.

  2. Delicious!

  3. This is my go-to carnitas recipe. So good & always a crowd pleaser!

    • Absolutely delicious! Tender, juicy and packed with flavor! I used 3 diced and de-seeded serranos, and 1/4 diced red onion.

  4. Thanks for this recipe! The broiler instructions — earth shattering!!! Delicious!

  5. I really didn’t have very high hopes for this dish. Wow, was I wrong! This is probably the best carnitas I have ever had. Meaning, from a resturant or homemade. Everything about this is delicious!!! I am not a pork person but I do know that if it is done right it can be amazing. That dish did just that!!!!!! I will make this again and again.

    • Just made this for the first time and wow! Both of my children wolfed it down and asked for more which doesn’t happen very often! I used the left over sauce to make rice and that was yum too.

    • Can I just use goya mojo sauce and if so how much should I put? Thanks

  6. If I am doubling the recipe do I need to increase the cook time from 30 min?

    • No, I always double it. No matter how much I make. It’s not enough. Because it’s in chunks. It still cooks at the end time.

  7. Just made this in my Instant Pot and….oh my….it is DELICIOUS!!! I used sierra nevada IPA beer in place of the lager and used a 4lb pork loin and followed the recipe exactly minus broiling the meat at the end because I just kept eating it out of the pot. SO GOOD! Definitely making it again in the future. Thanks for a great recipe!

  8. Cooked perfectly in the Instant Pot as directed. The seasonings are really bland. Not authentic at all in my opinion.

  9. So delicious! My husband told me that these were the best carnitas I’ve ever made.

  10. Was looking for an instapot carnita recipe and found this one and i have to say it was super easy, and the sauce was amazing!!!! our family loved it1. i will be adding this one to my receipe book for sure! thank you thank you11111

  11. Great recipe, but what called me to it was the chipotle, and it is not listed in the ingredients so naturally it remained in the fridge and I didn’t notice until we sat down to eat and my wife said, it need some heat.. sigh. One star lost due to incredibly long article followed by actual instructions with no mention of any of the optional items..

  12. So delicious! This is my second time making it, and it’s been a huge hit both times. So flavorful, texture is on point, and easy to make. I will continue to use this recipe.

    Thank you for this!

    • This was great tasting. My meat came out dry though. I used a pork loin x2 about 3-4 lbs in total. I seared etc and followed the recipe to a T. Would using a pork shoulder be better amd keep the fat on???

  13. I was so sad this did not work for me. I don’t know if I just have an older version of the instapot or not but my pork got way overcooked. I even only cooked it for 20 min in the instapot and it was at 200 degrees before broiling. What did I do wrong?? Still edible in a taco salad covered with salsa, greek yogurt and avocado but too dry and needed some more spice. I think I will try making it with chicken thighs (or a fattier cut of pork) on the stove or crockpot next time and doubling the spice with a little cayenne.

    • If you only cooked it for 20 mins that is not long enough. 30 mins and at least 15 mins to naturally pressure release. I’ve made this recipe a ton of times and it has always worked. Hope that helps.

    • Did you put the Mojo sauce in with the pork? That could have also been a problem!

  14. I made this. I’d love to say I served it in warm tortillas with salsa and other toppings but I could not stop eating it STRAIGHT FROM THE PAN. A 4 lb roast will cook down to about 2 lbs of carnitas. I’m not sure, I weighed the results AFTER I regained some semblance of self control. But seriously, this may be the last instant pot recipe I ever need.

  15. I haven’t made this yet, but I have a couple of pork tenderloins frozen that I need to use up. Do you think I could use that instead of shoulder or roast?

    • This is my experience: I’ve made this multiple times, following the directions to the tee every time, and every time it came out amazing. BUT one time I only had park tenderloin in the freezer so I used that instead. It came out awful. I think the cut is too lean and it came out really tough, I could not shred it at all. I would stick with the pork shoulder.

    • I wouldn’t recommend tenderloins, they’re way too lean for carnitas!

    • That’s what we’ve always used and it turns out great.

  16. Followed cooking times exactly, and it turned out amazing. Whole family loved them.

    Did not use any cooking stock or beer, but squeezed one large orange instead. Texture was amazing, flavor was very rich and balanced. Very much appreciate this recipe!

  17. If I double or triple the recipe, does the time in the pressure cooker change?

  18. I have made this several times and every time I end up trying to drink the left over sauce in the pot. This is an amazing recipe and has never failed me! Thank you for sharing this!

  19. These were delicious and the smell in the house… yum!! The directions were perfect! Thank you so much!

  20. This recipe is amazing with some alterations. Coat your pork with a mixture of Saxon, cayenne, and onion powder. Try a dark beer for the sauce. After sautéing the pork Sautee onions and sweet mini bell peppers then declare the pan with your sauce before cooking. You won’t regret it!

  21. Can I marinate the pork in the mojo sauce for a few hours before I brown it?

  22. I made this recipe tonight with my daughter. We used a 2 pound roast and halved the ingredients. It easily fed our family of 7 with some to spare. Everyone love it!! We’ll definitely make this again!!!

  23. Amazing recipe! We made it last night and I felt like we were eating tacos at a real Mexican restaurant- so good ?

  24. LOVE this! Added cayenne and chili powder and it was perfection!

  25. Second time making this recipe. Cooked for 40 minutes rather than 30 and meat was much more tender. I also added a bit of chili powder and a whole onion to the pot. Delicious and very easy. I served mine with a lime vinaigrette cilantro slaw.

  26. Used a pork tenderloin but otherwise followed the recipe. Made them for toastadas. They came out perfectly!

  27. What kind of beer do you use?

    • This recipe is ON POINT. The pineapple salsa and the broiler instructions were HUGE. I also think cutting into chunks then seasoning really helped with the flavor coming out perfect.

      I want to experiment with Beef Rump Roast with this recipe. Any recommendations? I’m thinking it should cook the same maybe less fat though.

  28. We make this recipe all the time! It’s been a huge hit for my family and for dinner parties (pre-COVID)! We can eat this for my family of two like three days in a row without complaint- mixing it up by eating as tacos, rice bowls, etc. Thanks for creating our favorite instant pot recipe!

  29. So so so good! I made this with Chicken Stock to be Whole30 Compliant but it was still DELISH! I did have a question, if I’m doubling the recipe, would you also double the Mojo Sauce? Just want to make sure it turns out as delicious with a double recipe!

  30. AMAZING!

  31. Is it possible to use a slow cooked, I don’t have an instapot.

    • For sure! It will just probably take you about 8 hours on low for a 4lb roast. You can seer the meat in a large skillet and then move it to the slow cooker. Then just use a little of the mojo sauce to deglaze the pan and pour that over the meat along with the rest of the sauce.

  32. I kept looking at this recipe, finally went with it. Really great. Had enough to freeze for instant treat dinners. Only problem was that my broiler is under my oven and not handy at all. I have decided to get a new stove, to continue this love affair.

  33. I made this recipe last night and it was a huge hit with my little picky eaters. The carnitas themselves are very mild in flavor, so the perfect base to add flavor to. The pineapple salsa was incredible. Definitely making this again for my crew!

  34. Delish and so easy! The broiling is a must-do!

  35. Even though I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing with an instant pot, I feel like a pro after making this recipe. It’s so good! I’ve made it twice now, once with a pork shoulder and once with a pork tenderloin. It’s the only way I’ve tried tenderloins that my family actually enjoys. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!

  36. This was THE BEST recipe! The final steps of broiling while adding portions of the juice really made it over the top. I used blood orange juice for the orange juice and also substituted two tablespoons of carne asada seasoning from The Spice House in place of all of the spices listed, other than the garlic. Awesome recipe – thanks for sharing!

  37. Not sure what went wrong, but pork is tough and won’t shred. I’m putting it back in for longer and hope that does the trick, because I’m hungry and it smells amazing!

  38. So flavorful, easy , and easy cleanup!

  39. This turned out great, very flavourful, and fun to make in the instant pot!
    We usually have one night of tacos, then freeze the rest for future taco nights.
    I’ve also used this carnitas in taco lasagna, and on top of nachos.

  40. So happy with how it turned out. I followed the recipe exactly as written and it’s perfect! Thank you.

  41. Family loved it! We like extra crispy carnitas so we broiled a bit longer.

  42. Excellent taste! Broiling the pork at the end gives you a nice, crispy taste. I’ve made this several times and usually serve with cilantro lime rice, and then the following day use the leftovers to make Cuban sandwiches. Thanks for the great recipe!

  43. Believe the hype! its delicious!

  44. OH this sounds amazing!! I have a 2.5 pound pork shoulder, would cooking time be the same in the instapot. Thank you inadvance

  45. I think I’ve used this recipe 3x now, just made it again tonight and it turned out perfect. The carnitas were so tender, I even opted to use a mango flavor beer in the sauce since that’s what I had on hand. This recipe is definitely my go to anytime I want to make carnitas!

  46. I drained the liquid and used my Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid on the roast setting to achieve the broil step! Great Recipe.

  47. I love this recipe and have made it several times, it’s my go to pork recipe. The reason I can’t give 5 stars is because there’s no nutritional information. When it’s added I’ll happily re-review with 5 stars.

  48. outstanding! i’ll add more heat next time, but flavor & texture were just perfect.

  49. These are the best carnitas ever. SO easy and delicious. Absolutely amazing.

  50. Delicious! Have made several times with beer and without. I also have found myself without oranges or limes and have subbed in lemons or whatever citrus I have (don’t use as much lemon juice as you do orange juice as it is much tarter – just a little). I have also used with different pork cuts. Pickled onions also work great on top.