instant pot carnitas
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5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Carnitas

The authentic taste of Mexican carnitas with incredibly juicy pulled pork and golden crispy edges.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
NPR25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hispanic, Mexican
Keyword: Hispanic Food, Mexican Carnitas, Party Food, Perfect for Parties, Pork, Pork Tacos, Pressure Cooker, Pulled Pork, Pulled Pork Tacos, Taco Meat, Tacos
Category: Pork, Tacos
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Difficulty: Not Too Tricky
Development Status: Finished
Servings: 24 tacos
Calories: 169kcal
Author: Valerie Cooper


  • 8 lbs pork shoulder cut into 4 pieces
  • 6 tbsps coarse salt
  • 2 tsps ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsps chili powder
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 4 tbsps dried oregano
  • 2 cups yellow onion chopped
  • 2 tbsps garlic minced
  • 4 navel oranges cut in half
  • 2 lime(s) cut in half
  • 1 can ginger ale 12 oz, may substitute 1 ½ cups of lemon, lime, orange, or apple juice
  • 4 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 whole bay leaves


  • Place the pork shoulder into the Instant Pot.
  • Spread all ingredients over the top of the pork shoulder.
  • Squeeze juice from the oranges and limes over the pork before placing the rinds into the pot.
  • Pour the can of ginger ale over the pork shoulder.
  • Cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', 'High Pressure' for 100 minutes.
  • Once the Instant Pot has completed cooking, use the natural pressure release NPR method. I usually let it NPR for 25 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
  • Ensure that all the pressure has been released before opening the pot.
  • Carefully remove the pork from the Instant Pot and discard the remaining liquid.
  • Place on a cutting board and shred.
  • For crispy edges, brown your shredded pork in a skillet for a few minutes before serving.
  • You now have delicious pork carnitas. Enjoy!


Serving: 1taco | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1828mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 17.3mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.9mg