The BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Street Tacos on Platter next to chips and salsa

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mission®All opinions are entirely my own.

The BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are easy to make at home with your electric pressure cooker. A quick pop under the broiler at the end ensures that the carnitas get nice and crispy!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’m all about quick and easy Instant Pot recipes. And while the name may imply otherwise, the Instant Pot doesn’t actually make everything in an “instant.” But it does make cooking so much easier and hands-free.

Traditionally, I would make these carnitas in the slow cooker, letting them cook for 10 hours while I’m away at work. That slow cooking process really gets the pork nice and tender, and shred-able, exactly what you want with pork carnitas. But you know, there are some days when I just don’t make the time to plan ahead for dinner.

That’s usually when the Instant Pot comes out. It can transform a tough cut of meat that would normally take all day to cook, in under an hour. Plus, while those juicy pork carnitas cook away in the Instant Pot, that’s the perfect time to prep your garnishes for these Instant Pot Pork Carnitas – pickled onions, some sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and  lime wedges. It’s also the perfect time to warm up some delicious Mission Organics® White Corn Tortillas.

Pork in Instant Pot ready to be cookedThese pork carnitas would take all day in my crockpot. But these Instant Pot pork carnitas cook in only 40 minutes. To that, you’ll need to add about 10 minutes for the pressure to build and 15 minutes for the pressure to release, so you’re looking at just over an hour from start to finish.

But there’s one last step – the most important part to get those carnitas nice and crispy at the end – popping them under the broiler with a sprinkle of salt for about 5 minutes to get that perfect texture and paired with Mission Organics® White Corn Tortillas. Yum!

Here’s how to make Instant Pot Pork Carnitas:

  • Cut your pork shoulder into large cubes – This helps to cut down on cooking time.
  • Season the meat well with loads of yummy spices – garlic salt, chili powder, dried oregano, dried basil, cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar, and sweet paprika.
  • Add in the cooking liquids – This is what helps the pressure build in the instant pot, but it also flavors the meat – fresh squeezed orange and lime juice and bit of water to top it off.
  • Then just seal the pot and set it to cook for 40 minutes. This is the perfect time to prepare those yummy quick-pickled onions and your other taco toppings.

I like to serve my Instant Pot pork carnitas in the traditional style of the street taco – dressed simply with cilantro, avocado and some quick pickled onions. And because of that, I want to be sure to use high-quality, flavorful tortillas since their flavor will really shine through. Mission Organics® White Corn Tortillas are my go-to. They’re USDA organic certified, non-GMO project verified, and have no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, meaning that they have an authentically great taste. The perfect tortilla to wrap around what I consider to be the BEST Instant Pot pork carnitas! You can find them at the tortilla section in your local grocery store! While shopping  for this recipe, I also grabbed a bag of Mission Organics Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips as well! The chips have a wonderful taste that’s perfect for dipping. The ingredients are simple and they have a bold corn flavor. Mission Organics Tortilla Chips are crafted with the same care and quality you’d put into your homemade dip!

A note about those pickled onions –

You can make those pretty pink pickled onions up to two weeks ahead of time. In truth, I normally have a jar in my fridge at all times. I’ve even got an entire post dedicated to how I pickle my onions. I love having them on hand for topping all kinds of things – salads, my Instant Pot Split Pea Dal, even scrambled eggs.

I hope you agree that these are the BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas! I’d love to hear what you thought in the comments below!

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Street Tacos on Platter next to chips and salsa

The BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Time for Pressure to Build and Release: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 546 kcal
Author: Erin

The BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are easy to make at home with your electric pressure cooker. A quick pop under the broiler at the end ensures that the carnitas get nice and crispy!

Print

Ingredients

  • Mission Organics® White Corn Tortillas
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime cut

CARNITAS

  • 4-6 lbs. pork shoulder slightly trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 oranges sliced in half
  • 1 lime sliced in half
  • 1 cup water

PICKLED ONIONS

  • 1 red onion halved and thinly sliced halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

CARNITAS

  1. Combine garlic salt, chili powder, dried oregano, dried basil, cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar, and sweet paprika.
  2. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork pieces and place in Instant Pot.
  3. Squeeze the juice from the oranges and limes over the pork. Place rinds pulp side down in Instant Pot and add 1 cup water.
  4. Make sure your sealing ring is in place on the lid. Lock the lid onto Instant Pot and set the steam release knob to the "sealing" position.
  5. Press the "manual" button and set Instant Pot for high pressure for 40 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for Instant Pot to come to full pressure, then the display will show a countdown timer.
  6. Once the 40 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Open the lid.
  7. Preheat oven broiler. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork, and place on a baking sheet. Use two forks to shred the pork.
  8. Taste the pork for saltiness. You may want to sprinkle some additional salt on top. (I especially like using my homemade citrus salts at this stage of the recipe!
  9. Place underneath broiler until tips of pork are browned and slightly crisp, about 3-5 minutes. (Don’t walk away from it. Keep an eye on meat to make sure it doesn’t burn or become overly browned).

PICKLED ONIONS

  1. Add sliced onions to a medium bowl. Pour enough boiling water over them to fully cover and count to 10. Drain onions and place in jar or bowl.
  2. Heat vinegar, lime juice, 1/8 cup sugar, chili flakes and salt in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  3. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar as needed.
  4. Pour vinegar mixture over onions.
  5. Allow to stand at room temperature, until fully cooled. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
  6. ASSEMBLY
  7. Warm up Mission Organics® White Corn Tortillas in oven (best served warm for full flavor)
  8. Place carnitas in tortillas and serve topped with sliced avocado and cilantro. Pass around extra limes for garnish.

If you thought these were the BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished carnitas tacos and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

 

Nutrition Facts
The BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 546 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 202mg 67%
Sodium 1988mg 83%
Potassium 1360mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 60g 120%
Vitamin A 10.6%
Vitamin C 47.1%
Calcium 8.4%
Iron 28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Hand reaching for carnitas street tacos next to glasses of wine.Wine Pairings for the BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas:

  • An authentic Mexican dish is always excellent with beer. Try a light Mexican lager.
  • If you’d like to pair these tacos with a bottle of wine, a Tempranillo would be an excellent choice to compliment the spices in the pork carnitas.
  • Margaritas – Try this one, this one, or this one.

Be sure to look for Mission Organics products at a store near you.

Mission Organics Tortillas and Chips

The BEST Instant Pot Pork Carnitas are easy to make at home with your electric pressure cooker. A quick pop under the broiler at the end ensures that the carnitas get nice and crispy! #instantpot #instantpotcarnitas #mexican #carnitas

42 comments

  1. Lindsay Ingalls

    My Instant Pot is such a life saver for making quick, easy and flavorful food! Also making these pickled onions for our next taco night!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Totally agree! I love the Instant Pot so much!

      Reply

  2. Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama

    I also love the quick picked veg as a topping on tacos—and on anything! I make a big batch of them but eat them all in a few days, meaning I have to make another batch. 😉

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I want to try pickling some carrots and peppers too – I think those would be delish on top of these tacos as well.

      Reply

  3. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    These look great! I usually make pork carnitas in the slow cooker as well but love the time-saving with the Instant Pot for this recipe. Looks SO yummy!

    Reply

  4. Andrea

    I should’ve eaten dinner before reading this post- my mouth is watering and now I am scrambling to figure out what could even compare over at my house. And furthermore – I need and Instant Pot!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Yes – The Instant Pot has definitely become my favorite cooking appliance!

      Reply

  5. Hillary Harper

    I have to get an instant pot! I love the idea of being able to cook a tough piece of meat quickly and it still being tender and juicy. These carnitas look incredible – and side note, I am obsessed with the picked onions at mi mero mole in Portland, so I’m so happy you posted a recipe for picked onions 🙂 I never think to do them at home!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you give the pickled onions a try Hillary – They’re super easy!

      Reply

  6. Jenni LeBaron

    I love making carnitas in my pressure cooker and your recipe looks killer! I’m also adoring all of the fresh radishes right now. The PSU Farmers Market has had beautiful purple and watermelon radishes lately.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Ooohhh! I need to stop by the Farmer’s Market ASAP – I love watermelon radishes and I’ve really been wanting to try the purple ones too!

      Reply

  7. Meg

    Well, this sure looks good and easy. I really need to get an Instant Pot, I think!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You definitely do Meg! It really is so handy!

      Reply

  8. Kelsey

    Wow this sounds fantastic, I am definitely pinning to try!

    Reply

  9. Albert Bevia

    who thought you could use the instant pot to make pork carnitas? perfect for those busy days, and those pickled onions sound perfect with the pork

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I love making carnitas in the Instant Pot – So quick and delicious! Thanks Albert!

      Reply

  10. Kelly

    Five star recipe! My husband cannot believe how great they were. pickled onions are the bomb! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy that you guys liked them Kelly!

      Reply

  11. Tracie

    So I followed the instructions, but then went back and looked at your pictures. The pork doesn’t look like it’s cut into 2 inch cubes. As I’m listening to the pressure cooker I’m wondering if I cut it up too much….

    Reply

  12. Adele

    This was a hit at my dinner party last night! Changed the way we will
    Forever eat tacos. Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear that you liked them Adele!

      Reply

  13. katherine

    Hi – These look great! I’m going to give them a try. But, question… the recipe says to put the oranges and limes pulp side down. The picture looks like they are pulp side up? Can you confirm how it should be? Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Katherine – I do in fact put the citrus in pulp side down. Sorry for any confusion!

      Reply

  14. Christina

    I’m making this for a dinner party tonight! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you and your guests love it Christina!

      Reply

  15. Laura

    Made these last night (only my second time using my new instant pot, after making some black beans). They came out GREAT!!! Thanks for the fantastic recipe. My family loves spice, so I threw in 1 jalapeno and 1 chipotle pepper (in sauce) and subbed the garlic salt with 6 cloves of garlic and about 2 T of sea salt. My guests LOVED these and I was so happy that instead of an 8-hour crock pot dish, I could churn these out in just over an hour between the prep and the cook time.

    A+ recipe!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I love your add-ins Laura – Sounds absolutely delicious! I love spice too!!!

      Reply

  16. Annie

    If I’m making this for one adult and 3 young children (8, 6, and 2) should I have the recipe? I’m guessing cook time would be the same?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Annie – Yep, cook time will be the same. This recipe does make a LOT, so I think you’ll be OK halving it. It is also great stored in the freezer.

      Reply

  17. Joey

    Why the heck do people at in sugar in the meat?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I feel like it helps get everything nice and caramelized (and crispy) at the end.

      Reply

  18. ALLISON RYANS

    Can you use a pork loin with this recipe?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Allison – A pork loin won’t get tender and shred-able in this recipe. I’d stick with the pork shoulder or pork butt.

      Reply

  19. Bekah

    Can I make this ahead, then refrigerate and heat up again by broiling? Thinking of taking this to a taco party…

    Reply

    1. Erin

      That should work Bekah! I would save some of the cooking liquid and toss a bit of that in there before broiling too.

      Reply

  20. Marissa

    I forgot to cut the pork into pieces and curious how much longer that would effect the cook time

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Marissa – I would probably add 10 minutes to the cook time. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  21. Lisa

    I loved how quick the insta pot cooked this, but I am disappointed in the flavor. It just doesn’t have enough taste for me.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m sorry to hear that Lisa – Did you reduce the cooking liquids at the end?

      Reply

  22. Amanda

    This was really good the second time I made it, so the first wasn’t luck! Next time I’ll try key lime, see if that cuts the bitterness or maybe half a lime. It wasn’t bad just more noticeable than I like.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.