Juicy Instant Pot Carnitas

Get the juiciest pork carnitas in just an hour with this Instant Pot Carnitas recipe. Serve it up with some Pico de Gallo and crema and you’ll have the perfect meal for your next Mexican night! 

Instant Pot Carnitas 

carnitas in tortillas sitting on a plate

Mexican food is pretty high on the list of my family’s favorites and we are loving Instant Pot Carnitas right now!

In just about an hour you can have the juiciest, flavorful pork ready to shred for tacos or whatever your preference is. It pairs perfectly with some pico de gallo or Mexican crema. You could even serve this up with some Mango Salsa!

Is your mouth watering yet? 

What is carnitas’ background? 

Carnitas directly translated means “little meats” which makes sense because authentic pork carnitas is essentially just pulled pork!

This dish is a traditional Mexican food, coming from the Michoacan region, that has completely stolen the hearts of the rest of the world!

When cooked authentically, carnitas are shredded pork roast, cooked nice and slow and then crisped up on the edges. 

If you’ve been wondering how to make carnitas, you’re in the right spot!

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe

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3 tacos sitting on a blue plate with limes

Serves: 8-10

Prep time: 30

Cook time: 40

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients for Instant Pot Carnitas

carnitas ingredients in glass bowls
  • 4 lb boneless pork roast
  • 8 slices jarred jalapenos
  • 3 lg garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 8-10 tortillas, four or corn

For Crema

  • 10 ½ oz plain greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime, medium-sized
  • Zest of 1 lime, medium-size
  • ½ tsp chili powder

You’ll also want to have the following tools to make it easier:

Instant Pot

Mixing bowls

Skillet

Whisk

How to Make this Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe

  • Making carnitas is so simple with your instant pot! First, grab your instant pot and get it ready to cook. 
  • Then you can put your pork roast into the center of the Instant Pot.
  • Prepare the garlic by giving each clove a rough dice. Add it to the pot.
  • Next, add the spices, jalapenos, and soy sauce to the pot right on top of the pork.
  • Give the pork a good toss to make sure that all the spices cover the meat on each side.
  • Once the roast is covered thoroughly, seal your Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes. 
  • Release the pressure manually, and once it’s released remove the meat to a large mixing bowl using a slotted spoon. 
  • Shred the meat using your hands or two forks into bite-sized portions.
  • Take the extra juice from the instant pot and toss the meat to mix it with the juices.
  • Serve as is, or toss the meat in a skillet over high heat to crisp up the edges.
  • To make the crema, add the yogurt, lime zest, and lime juice to a small bowl and whisk together until creamy and smooth.
  • Sprinkle some chili powder right on top and it’s ready to add to your carnitas!
  • Serve up this dish on your tortillas with crema and whatever other toppings your family likes!
close up of 3 tacos filled with carnitas and toppings

Tips Tricks and FAQs

  • Make sure to look at the marbling when you are getting a pork roast. The more marbling there is, the higher the fat content will be. More fat means more flavor and more juice! Even if you end up trimming the fat off after cooking, I always recommend a fatty roast for a nice juice finished product.
  • Did you know you can shred meat with an electric mixer? I sure didn’t until recently and it’s a total game-changer! Just put the cooked pork in a large bowl, turn on your mixer, and the beaters will do the rest. Perfect shredded meat without all the work!

What kind of pork roast should I use for Instant Pot Carnitas?

If you are wondering how to make carnitas extra tender, it really comes down to getting the right pork roast.

For this recipe, I love using a boston butt roast, but you can use any pork shoulder roast or roast that has plenty of marbling. 

What toppings go great with instant pot carnitas?

I love this recipe because it goes great with all my favorite taco toppings! We love adding avocado, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, Mexican cheese, or fresh tomatoes.

The crema for this recipe is great, but you could also try my avocado lime crema for an extra punch of flavor!

Storage

Fridge

Instant pot carnitas can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

If you’re wondering how to make carnitas leftovers taste nice and fresh, just save some of the juices and add them with the leftover meat to a skillet. Cook on medium-high heat until nice and hot and it’s ready to serve again!

Freezer

You can also freeze extra carnitas! Just place the leftovers in a Ziploc bag and add a little bit of the juices. Lay flat in the freezer and reheat within 3 months for fresh carnitas!

Check out these other great Instant Pot recipes:

Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment and don’t forget to rate it below! We always love knowing how your recipe turns out! And don’t forget to save this easy recipe to your favorite Pinterest board! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at Confessions of Parenting to show me your finished product!

Yield: Serves 8-10

Instant Pot Carnitas

carnitas in tortillas sitting on a plate

Get the juiciest pork carnitas in just an hour with this Instant Pot Carnitas recipe. Serve it up with some pico de gallo and crema and you’ll have the perfect meal for your next Mexican night! 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 lb boneless pork roast
  • 8 slices jarred jalapenos
  • 3 lg garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 8-10 tortillas, four or corn
  • For Crema
  • 10 ½ oz plain greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime, medium-sized
  • Zest of 1 lime, medium-size
  • ½ tsp chili powder

Instructions

  1. Making carnitas is so simple with your instant pot! First, grab your instant pot and get it ready to cook. 
  2. Then you can put your pork roast into the center of the Instant Pot.
  3. Prepare the garlic by giving each clove a rough dice. Add it to the pot.
  4. Next, add the spices, jalapeños, and soy sauce to the pot right on top of the pork.
  5. Give the pork a good toss to make sure that all the spices cover the meat on each side.
  6. Once the roast is covered thoroughly, seal your Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes. 
  7. Release the pressure manually, and once it’s released remove the meat to a large mixing bowl using a slotted spoon. 
  8. Shred the meat using your hands or two forks into bite-sized portions.
  9. Take the extra juice from the instant pot and toss the meat to mix it with the juices.
  10. Serve as is, or toss the meat in a skillet over high heat to crisp up the edges.

Crema

  1. To make the crema, add the yogurt, lime zest, and lime juice to a small bowl and whisk together until creamy and smooth.
  2. Sprinkle some chili powder right on top and it’s ready to add to your carnitas!

Serve up this dish on your tortillas with crema and whatever other toppings your family likes!

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