Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas Made with Pork – Mexican Pulled Pork
We love foods that multi-task, and this highly versatile and fall-apart-tender pork recipe can be served in so many ways. For starters, this seasoned, tender pork is delicious in burrito bowls, lettuce wraps, tacos, salads, or served over rice.
The instructions for this recipe include a couple of optional steps that can be omitted to save time. For example, the aromatic blend of onion, jalapeno, and garlic does not need to be sautéed before cooking the pork, but doing so deepens and releases more flavor. In addition, the pork can be shredded and served as soon as it is done cooking. However, the extra step of tossing it with some cooking liquid and broiling under high heat delivers the delicious, crispy edges found in traditional carnitas recipes.
Similar to Pulled Pork - this Mexican Style Shredded and Seasoned Pork is Delicious Served so Many Different Ways.
- 4 lbs. pork shoulder roast, trimmed and cut into 6-8 chunks
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup fresh orange juice, approximately 2 large oranges
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 medium jalapeno, diced
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth, fresh orange juice, and lime juice with the chili powder, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, and ground cumin. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and set aside.
Push the “Sauté” button on Instant Pot. Once the display reads “On,” add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the pork shoulder pieces to the container. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and cook until pork is browned on all sides, approximately 1-2 minutes per side.
Note: DO NOT use lid while using the “Sauté” function on an Instant Pot!
Once browned, transfer seared pork to a plate and repeat this process with additional olive oil and the rest of pork. Remove browned pork from the Instant Pot and set aside.
*Optional Step: Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to the container, along with red onion, jalapeno, and fresh garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Add browned pork back to the pot and pour chicken broth/orange juice mixture over top. Add lid and seal, making sure the steam release handle is positioned toward “Sealing.”
Press the “Manual” button and set the time to 30 minutes at high pressure. Once the cooking time is up, allow 20-25 minutes for the “natural release” of the steam inside the Instant Pot. After that time, perform a manual “quick release” to vent any remaining steam to release lid, if necessary.
A few minutes before the steam is fully released, preheat oven broiler to high and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Transfer pork to the prepared baking sheet and gently shred with two forks. Drizzle with ¼ cup juices from the Instant Pot and toss to combine before spreading into a thin, even layer.
Place pork under broiler for 4-5 minutes, then remove from oven and add a little more juice before turning the meat to brown the other side. Place back under broiler for another 4-5 minutes or until the pork is nice and crispy on the edges.
Once pork is under the broiler, press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot to reduce the cooking liquid by one half while the pork is broiling.
When finished broiling, remove baking sheet from oven and serve immediately with the reduced cooking liquid, fresh lime wedges, and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Important Note: Different Instant Pot models offer different features and buttons. (These instructions are for the IP-Duo series).
What Type of Pork to Buy?
Should you buy boneless or bone-in pork? Either or works for us, but we definitely prefer a boneless pork roast. Some people do have a preference, and will swear that one is better than the other. Bone-in roasts tend to take a little longer to cook, but some people think they are more flavorful in the end. Try both and see which one you like the best and then stick with that. Sometimes the best cut is the one that’s on sale.
If you can’t find a shoulder roast – look for pork butt or Boston butt. Same cut of roast just a different name.
How Long Will a Roast Last in the Refrigerator? Store your pork shoulder roast in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Try to use roast meat as soon as it is purchased.
Make leftovers to Freeze – Portion out your Pork Carnitas and use a freezer zip lock bag to store in your freezer.
How much Pork Shoulder Should You Buy? We typically go for 1/2 lb. (uncooked) meat per person. As meat tends to shrink some as it slow cooks.