Five-Ingredient Instant Pot Carnitas
Recipe type: Gluten free, Grain free, Whole30, Dinner, Pork
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
These easy five-ingredient Instant Pot carnitas are tender and juicy, with a great citrusy flavor. They are wonderful over rice, in tacos, in lettuce wraps, with an egg on top, or just plain!
  • 2½-3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into two-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning*
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • Juice of 1 lime (or substitute lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  1. Put the pork chunks in the Instant Pot and toss them with the Mexican seasoning, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. Combine the citrus juices in a liquid measuring cup, then add enough water to reach the one cup line. Pour the liquid into the Instant Pot.
  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to “Sealed”. Press “Manual” and adjust the time to 50 minutes. The Instant Pot will automatically begin cooking and will start counting down from 50 minutes once high pressure is reached. Once the cooking time is over, press “Keep Warm/Cancel” and let the pressure release naturally.
  4. Remove the lid and push the “Sauté” button. Use two forks to roughly shred the meat while it’s in the pot. (At this point, you can finish the carnitas in the Instant Pot as described here, or finish them in the broiler as described in the Notes section.**) Let the liquid bubble away until it’s almost gone, stirring occasionally; this will take 20-30 minutes. When there’s almost no liquid left, stir in the ghee. Continue to cook until the pork is browned in spots, about 5 minutes more. Press “Keep Warm/Cancel” to turn the Instant Pot off. Serve hot with rice or cauliflower rice, lime slices, and avocado.
*I use Frontier Mexican Seasoning, but taco seasoning or even chili powder would also work. Reduce or omit the sea salt if your spice blend is already salted.
**To make these carnitas in a slow cooker, omit the water in Step 2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove the meat and shred with two forks. Spread the meat out on a foil-lined baking sheet and moisten with a little of the cooking liquid. Broil for about five minutes, until browned to your liking. You can also finish these in the broiler after making them in the IP if you'd like.
Recipe by A Calculated Whisk at