Dinner/ Instant Pot/ Recipes

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

pork carnitas ready to eat
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I came up with the idea for having Instant Pot Pork Carnitas while planning out our meal for New Years Eve at my kitchen counter/work desk.  I wanted to make something that was new, easy for my guests to eat while mingling about the house (as in no forks and knives needed), and a meal that would keep well afterwards for leftovers. 

I thought of the endless appetizers I’ve served over the years for such gatherings along side different soups paired with little sandwiches. 

But I kept coming back and finding myself craving Mexican food.

Maybe it is the super fresh ingredients used every time.  Maybe it’s the slow cooking process of making a cut of meat able to pull apart in tenderness.  Maybe it’s because that we are currently living in Texas and have access to so many amazing local Mexican restaurants and food trucks serving up the best Mexican street tacos I’ve ever had in my life.  I also had been lovin’ on my Instant Pot ever since I got it.

And then inspiration struck: Pork Carnitas ala Instant Pot!  I wondered if I could do it justice.  I had never made Pork Carnitas before, but then again this blog is also about discovery too.  At my kitchen desk I read cookbooks, perused online recipes from other blogs, watched YouTube videos, but nothing really stood out and said THIS IS THE ONE.

So like a good creator does when she’s craving something awesome:  I improvised.  I took ingredients from multiple recipes that I thought for sure would be great together and gave it a wing the night before the party. 

I started with a smaller three pound pork butt and half of the ingredients listed below but upgraded to the full recipe very quickly.  Like, the next time we made this.  “How good was it?”  You ask?  When I say my family of six and my brother visiting from Wisconsin ate every last bite that first night.  I really mean, EVERY. LAST. BITE.  It was so good that my kids were ecstatic to find out that they got to eat it again the next night and leftovers for breakfast.  That’s three times in a row y’all.

(Check out our idea for breakfast carnitas below as well)

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas will become your go to for large gatherings. Not only is this savory meal delicious its incredibly easy to make and serve immediately or ahead of time and even freeze for later. Below I have also included a printable option for a 3lb and 6 lb pork butt.

Ingredients

  • 6 lb. Pork Butt
  • 1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers de-seeded and sliced or diced
  • 2 large Oranges sliced with rind still on
  • 1 medium yellow Onion chunked
  • 4 Tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
ingredients laid out ready for the instant pot

Directions

Mix all your spices together in a small bowl and rub onto the skin of your pork butt.

Next, place your pork butt in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add your vegetable broth around it.

Place the sliced jalapeño, oranges, onion and minced garlic on top of the pork butt. Close the Instant Pot lid and cook on High pressure for 75 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural release. If the meat is not tender enough to easily pull apart, cook on High for another 20 minutes with a natural release of 15 minutes. (Make sure that your lids seal is dry before starting again or it may not seal properly and won’t pressure cook.)

ingredients in the instant pot ready to start

Remove Pork butt from the Instant Pot when done and shred with forks.

Browning and finishing

In a separate pan heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Place some of the shredded meat along with a tablespoon of the juices from the instant pot into the pan. Fry while turning occasionally until browned and crispy. Make sure not to over cook! This is just to add crisp to some of the meat. Serve in your favorite warmed corn or flour tortilla, cojita cheese, fresh salsa, chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and pickled red onions or cabbage. For a healthier option turn it into a burrito bowl by skipping the tortilla.

Any left overs can be frozen (before heating and crisping in the hot oiled pan) or used the next morning for breakfast carnitas! Just add scrambled eggs along with your favorite sides: avocado, salsa, cut up cherry tomatoes, and cheese.

pork carnitas ready to eat

For more awesome Instant Pot recipes try our Instant Pot Corned Beef and Instant Pot Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup or our twist on Venison Carnitas.

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pork carnitas ready to eat

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas 3lb


  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 People 1x

Description

This Instant Pot Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork recipe is full of authentic juicy flavors that fall apart with tender crispiness.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 lb Pork Butt
  • 1½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • ½ tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • 1 Jalepeno (deseeded, sliced or diced)
  • ½ Large Onion (chunked)
  • 1 Orange (sliced with peel )
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth (Boulion can be used)

Instructions

  1. Mix all your spices together in a small bowl and rub onto the skin of your pork butt.
  2. Next place your pork butt in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add your vegetable broth around it.
  3. Place the sliced jalapeño, oranges, onion and minced garlic on top of the pork butt. Close the Instant Pot lid and cook on High pressure 60 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural release. If the meat is not pull apart cook on High for another 20 minutes with a natural release of 15 minutes. (Make sure that your lids seal is dry before starting again or it may not seal properly and won't pressure cook)
  4. Remove Pork butt from the Instant Pot when done and shred.
  5. Browning and finishing
    In a separate pan heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Place some of the shredded meat along with a tablespoon of the juices from the instant pot into the pan. Fry while turning occasionally until browned and crispy. Make sure not to over cook! This is just to add crisp to some of the meat. Serve in your favorite warmed corn or flour tortilla, cojita cheese, fresh salsa, chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and pickled red onions or cabbage. For a healthier option turn it into a burrito bowl by skipping the tortilla.
  6. Any left overs can be frozen (before heating and crisping in the hot oiled pan) or used the next morning in delicious savory breakfast carnitas. Just add scrambled eggs along with your favorite sides: avocado, salsa, cut cherry tomatoes and cheese.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican

Nutrition

  • Calories: 790

Keywords: Instant Pot

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pork carnitas ready to eat

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas 6lb


  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 People 1x

Description

This Instant Pot Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork recipe is full of authentic juicy flavors that fall apart with tender crispiness.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 lb Pork Butt
  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Jalepeno (deseeded, sliced or diced)
  • 2 Onion (chunked)
  • 2 Oranges (Sliced with peel)
  • 4 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth (can use Boulion )

Instructions

  1. Mix all your spices together in a small bowl and rub onto the skin of your pork butt.
  2. Next place your pork butt in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add your vegetable broth around it.
  3. Place the sliced jalapeño, oranges, onion and minced garlic on top of the pork butt. Close the Instant Pot lid and cook on High pressure 75 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural release. If the meat is not pull apart cook on High for another 20 minutes with a natural release of 15 minutes. (Make sure that your lids seal is dry before starting again or it may not seal properly and won't pressure cook)
  4. Remove Pork butt from the Instant Pot when done and shred.
  5. Browning and finishing
    In a separate pan heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Place some of the shredded meat along with a tablespoon of the juices from the instant pot into the pan. Fry while turning occasionally until browned and crispy. Make sure not to over cook! This is just to add crisp to some of the meat. Serve in your favorite warmed corn or flour tortilla, cojita cheese, fresh salsa, chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and pickled red onions or cabbage. For a healthier option turn it into a burrito bowl by skipping the tortilla.
  6. Any left overs can be frozen (before heating and crisping in the hot oiled pan) or used the next morning in delicious savory breakfast carnitas. Just add scrambled eggs along with your favorite sides: avocado, salsa, cut cherry tomatoes and cheese.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican

Nutrition

  • Calories: 790

Keywords: Instant Pot


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