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+ servings

Instant Pot Carnitas

Tender, juicy, crispy on the outside carnitas melt in your mouth and burst with flavor. Made in the instant pot with seasoning mixed up in minutes using a blender! A little spice and a whole lot of flavor!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carnitas, crispy carnitas, instant pot carnitas
Servings: 8 to 10 people
Calories: 169kcal
Author: Andrea + Stef
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Instant Pot


  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder roast - pork butt roast
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ white onion - roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic - peeled
  • 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 jalapeños - stems removed (and seeds/ribs removed for a milder dish)


  • cut pork in an instant pot
    Cut the pork roast into sections to fit neatly in the bottom of the instant pot.
  • instant pot carnitas ingredients in a blender before blending
    In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine orange juice, pepper, salt, onion chunks, garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper, and jalapeños. Blend until a fairly uniform sauce forms.
  • pork covered in cooking sauce
    Pour the blender sauce over the pork pieces in the instant pot.
  • Secure the lid of the instant pot and cook on the manual setting for approximately 30 minutes (additional time required for the pot to pressurize).
  • Carefully release the pressure from the instant pot and remove the lid.
  • two hands shredding pork in a pot with forks
    Using two forks, shred the meat (it should fall apart easily).
  • Transfer the meat to a sheet pan and broil for 3-5 minutes until crisped and brown.
  • Serve as is or incorporate the meat and remaining juices from the instant pot.


Leftover carnitas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
No pre-browning required and no need to trim the fat from the pork before cooking. A little fat in the meat helps the carnitas to crisp and brown without drying out during the final broil in the oven.
Broiling isn’t necessary, but it sure adds a lot of flavor and great texture.
For more spice, include the jalapeño seeds and ribbing in the blender sauce.
You do not have to cut the roast into pieces. This helps it cook a bit more quickly. If you’d like to leave the roast whole, increase the instant pot cook time to 60 minutes to ensure it is “fall apart” tender.


Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
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