Easy Instant Pot Carnitas

Photo Credit: Cameron Whitman

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas

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  • 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice (from about 2 juicy oranges)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Trim the pork of some of the excess fat around the outside, being sure to leave some on to aid in the cooking. Keep in mind that carnitas is pork cooked in its fat, so you don’t want to get rid of it all! Cut the pork into 2-inch-thick strips or chunks. 
  2. Place the meat, along with the orange juice, salt, and bay leaf, in the insert of your Instant Pot. Toss to coat the meat with the juice, then cover, and set the valve to pressure. Cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes, and when done, release the pressure manually. 
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl and use two forks to shred the meat. (Reserve some of the cooking liquid, especially if you plan on storing leftovers in the refrigerator.) At this point, you can serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. 
  4. Optional: Add any portion of shredded meat that you plan on serving immediately to a nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Cook, undisturbed for about 5 minutes, until the underside is crispy. Toss and cook for another 5 minutes or so, to crisp the meat some more. If at any point the meat begins to dry out, add a splash of the leftover cooking liquid.