Yield: 10 servings

Instant Pot Carnitas

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

This Instant Pot Carnitas recipe makes flavorful pulled pork with Mexican spices. Ready in one hour, these carnitas are just as juicy and tender as the slow cooked version--with a fraction of the cooking time!


  • 4 pound pork shoulder roast (pork butt roast)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 jalapeños, stems removed


    1. Cut the pork roast into sections to fit neatly in the bottom of the instant pot.
    2. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine orange juice, pepper, salt, onion chunks, garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper, and jalapeños. Blend until sauce forms.
    3. Pour the blender sauce over the pork pieces in the instant pot.
    4. Secure the lid and make sure the valve on top is set to "SEALING." Cook on the manual setting (or high pressure) for 50 minutes. When cook time ends, allow pork to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then turn the valve to "VENTING."
    5. Carefully release the pressure from the instant pot and remove the lid.
    6. Using two forks, shred the meat (it should fall apart easily).
    7. Transfer the meat to a sheet pan and broil on high for 3-5 minutes until crisped and brown.
    8. Serve as is or incorporate the meat and remaining juices from the instant pot.
    9. Serve carnitas on tortillas with your favorite fixings, or in a bowl with cilantro lime rice.


    • Pork shoulder is often called a pork butt roast. Can be bone in or boneless.
    • Storage: Leftover carnitas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    • No pre-browning required. We also do not recommend trimming the fat from the pork before cooking. A little fat in the meat helps the carnitas to crisp and brown without drying out during the final broil in the oven. Broiling isn’t necessary, but it sure adds a lot of flavor and great texture.
    • For more spice, include the jalapeño seeds in the blender sauce.
    • You do not have to cut the roast into pieces. However, cutting it helps it cook a bit more quickly. If you’d like to leave the roast whole, increase the instant pot cook time to 60 minutes to ensure it is “fall apart” tender.
    • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks. Recipe tested in 6 quart Instant Pot.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 376mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 43g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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