Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Carnitas

The spices and orange bring out these amazingly rich flavors in the pork, and once the meat is shredded it just melts in your mouth.

Category Dinner, Instant Pot, Lunch, Paleo
Compliance Level Kickstart, Lifestyle, Performance
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Shannon Gilson


  • 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 medium orange
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small white onion finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro minced
  • 1 head butter lettuce leaves removed and washed
  • 2 Hass avocados peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers sliced or diced
  • 3 limes quartered


  1. Cut your boneless pork shoulder roast into two-inch cubes.
  2. Put the pork in the Instant Pot and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss well to coat.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface so you don’t peel into the white pith. Add the orange zest strips to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, quartered yellow onion, and bay leaf.
  4. Cut the bald orange in half and juice it. Pour the juice into the Instant Pot and thoroughly stir the ingredients.

  5. Lock the Instant Pot lid. Double check that the lid valve is pointed at the “Sealing” position.

  6. Press the “Pressure Cook” button and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
  7. After cooking, let the pressure release naturally for about 20 minutes. Manually release any pressure after 20 minutes by turning the release on the valve.

  8. While the pork is cooking, dice the white onion and cilantro, slice the avocados, radishes, and jalapenos, and cut up some lime wedges. These will be your taco toppings.
  9. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
  10. Remove the pork to a cutting board and shred with two forks or your fingers.
  11. Assemble your tacos with the butter lettuce leaves and toppings or create a tasty carnitas salad.

Recipe Notes

The shredded pork will keep in the refrigerator up to four days, or you can freeze the pieces of pork with all the liquid and fat in the freezer for up to three months.