Best Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Melt-in-your-mouth tender and perfectly seasoned shredded pork, this Best Instant Pot Pork Carnitas is made easier in your instant pot or pressure cooker. I have made this many times for family and friends and they all say it’s better than Chipotle’s!

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

My entire family is crazy over carnitas! And Mexican food for that matter! How crazy?

We were in Paris, France for a vacation years ago, and guess what we ate there for our first night in the city? Venture a guess?

Tacos….yes, tacos in Paris! Sounds crazy, right?

I guess perhaps that was our way of trying to deal with our jetlag so when we found a Mexican food truck somewhere in the city while we were strolling about, we didn’t hesitate to give it a try! We needed some comfort food!

Naturally, we were a little disappointed as it wasn’t as good as the ones we got stateside but when you’re craving something and desperate enough, anything is better than nothing!

At least for a short moment there, we satisfied our longing for our favorite snack food. Happy ending.

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Which brings me to this delicious post! When we have a big group over and I want to make some food but don’t want to fuss too much (because I still need to clean the house for the guests!) then I always opt for cooking food that doesn’t require too much prep and is sure to be well-loved.

Well, this Instant Pot Pork Carnitas is certainly that. This has been tried and tested by countless individuals and groups who have visited our house. Yes, we often have friends over and they certainly love this.

Pork Carnitas

It’s crazy easy to make that the only things you prepare are the onion and meat. Chop one onion and cut-up meat into chunks.

That doesn’t require a lot of energy, right? Then mix the seasoning and dump everything on the instant pot and let your pressure cooker do the work.

What comes out later, is meltingly tender and tasty chunks of meat that shreds ever so easily that it’s like slicing cake!

Then, it’s your choice – you can use it for burritos or tacos or simply have it with some rice or salad! Dinner is served.

To accompany, this I would suggest making my delicious, tried and tested family favorite – Cilantro Lime Rice.

If you don’t have an instant pot, no problem. You can make our slow cooker CHIPOTLE COPYCAT SLOW COOKER PORK CARNITAS version of this recipe instead. Find it here. This recipe feeds a huge crowd so it’s perfect for a larger gathering.

So, what are you waiting for? Make dinner time delicious by making this Instant Pot Pork Carnitas. You’d be so happy you made it!

Pork Carnitas

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Check out what the book looks like in this video below!

Best Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Manila Spoon
Melt-in-your-mouth tender and perfectly seasoned shredded pork this Best Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Insis made easier in your instant pot or pressure cooker. I have made this many times for family and friends and they all say it's better than Chipotle's!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Americ, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings 10
Calories 183 kcal


  • Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot


  • 1/3 cup tomato salsa, medium or hot
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 dried whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 lb pork shoulder or pork butt roast, cut into 4-6 pieces
  • 3 dried bay leaves


  • In a small bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients. Place the chopped onion at the bottom of the instant pot or pressure cooker. Add the cut-up meat on top. Pour the salsa mixture over the meat and stir to ensure the meat is fully covered or coated with it. Insert the bay leaves.
  • Cover the instant pot with its lid ensuring the vent is in the sealing position. Turn on the pot and adjust the setting to manual (high pressure) for about 50 minutes. Cook until the time is done. Allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Adjust the vent to the venting position to allow any remaining pressure/steam to release. Uncover. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Remove meat and shred pork. Serve in tortillas (soft or crunchy) and top with, cilantro, chopped onions, extra salsa or tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, or your desired toppings.


Left-over/Freezer Option: Freeze the remaining pork in freezer-friendly containers. To use, partially thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Microwave, covered, on high in a microwave-safe dish until heated through, stirring occasionally; add water or broth if necessary.


Calories: 183kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 22gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 492mgPotassium: 471mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 99IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Best Instant Pot Pork Carnitas, Carnitas for Tacos, Chipotle Copycat Carnitas, Instant Pot, Instant Pot Pork Carnitas, Pork Carnitas
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Last updated on January 14th, 2023 at 10:17 am



  1. E brooks
    November 17, 2019 / 9:51 am

    Can this be made in a Crock pot /Slow cooker.
    Dont own instant pot.

    • abigail
      November 17, 2019 / 3:35 pm

      If you read the post, there’s a slow cooker version included. Please scroll down and you’ll find it. Thanks!

  2. November 19, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Love this! Perfect pressure cooker recipe. Amazing carnitas can be done on a weeknight. My husband loves this.

  3. November 19, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    5 stars
    These carnitas look absolutely perfect! And I have to check out yor cookbok, it sounds amazing!

  4. November 19, 2019 / 2:46 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! Such a great use of the instant pot. The carnitas sound incredible with all those spices.

    • abigail
      November 19, 2019 / 7:22 pm

      Yes! I fully agree!

  5. Erika
    November 19, 2019 / 3:01 pm

    5 stars
    I love Instant Pot recipes and these pork carnitas sound amazing!

    • abigail
      November 19, 2019 / 7:21 pm

      I love my instant pot, too!

  6. Ashley F
    November 19, 2019 / 3:29 pm

    5 stars
    This looks and sounds so good! I love using my instant pot so I am going to try this! Love the cookbook!

    • abigail
      November 19, 2019 / 7:21 pm

      Thank you!

  7. Emese
    November 19, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    5 stars
    Yes, please. Love carnitas with lots of salsa. This recipe looks so easy and delicious.

    • abigail
      November 19, 2019 / 7:21 pm

      Very easy indeed and glad you liked it.

  8. Robin
    November 19, 2019 / 4:18 pm

    5 stars
    I love how easy the instant pot made these… and so tender.

    • abigail
      November 19, 2019 / 7:20 pm

      Thanks! The instant pot was so perfect for this!

  9. Jessica
    January 16, 2020 / 10:29 am

    We made this recipe a few weeks ago, but substituted orange juice for the water. After shredding we put in a hot skillet with some of the juices until it evaporated and gave a little crust on the pork. Was so good we can’t wait to have it again!

    • abigail
      January 19, 2020 / 10:21 am

      I am so glad to know you enjoyed this! My favorite version of carnitas for sure!

  10. Evangeline
    August 20, 2020 / 3:50 pm

    It looks yummy! I’m going to try this weekend.

    • abigail
      August 21, 2020 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks Evangeline and hope you enjoy this!

5 from 6 votes

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