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a black fork scooping out crispy instant pot carnitas from a sheet pan
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4.31 from 13 votes

Crispy Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant pot carnitas are the ultimate mashup of crispy, juicy and tender pork made in under an hour. They're made to be stuffed in tacos or served over rice with your favorite Mexican-inspired toppings.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: instant pot, pork butt, pork shoulder, pulled pork
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 359kcal


  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 large orange)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 3 lb pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
  • 6 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 medium white onion cut into large chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For serving: cilantro,avocado, lime juice


  • In a small bowl, whisk the chicken broth, lime juice, orange juice, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Cut the pork shoulder into large (3 inch) chunks then season it with the remaining salt (use more salt if needed). Turn the instant pot to saute mode then add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot and rippling, add the pork and sear on each side for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  • Add the chicken broth and spice mixture then add the garlic, onion and bay leaves.
  • Close the lid of the instant pot and make sure the vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook (manual cook) for 50 minutes then allow to naturally release (do nothing) for 15 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before it starts to count down.
  • Prepare a large baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat. Carefully open the lid of the Instant pot and transfer the pieces of pork shoulder to the baking sheet. Use two forks to shred the pork and spread evenly onto the baking sheet. Pour a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid from the dutch oven over the pork and broil for 3-5 minutes, until the pork is crispy. Remove from the oven, stir and broil a few more minutes longer if needed. Spoon more cooking liquid over the top before serving.



How to make them in the crockpot: don't cut the pork shoulder into pieces, sear both sides in a skillet and cook on low with all of the ingredients for 8-10 hours.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.4g | Protein: 52.1g | Fat: 12.8g | Cholesterol: 136.8mg | Sodium: 1055mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 2.4g