Flavorful and delicious Carnitas (Mexican pulled pork) are a breeze to make in your Instant Pot using simple ingredients. Pork is pressure cooked in a seasoned orange and lime juice mixture until tender, then broiled until the edges are crispy golden perfection… it’s melt-in-your-mouth carnitas goodness!
I absolutely LOVE the convenience of my Instant Pot when it comes to recipes like this – these carnitas taste like they slow cooked all day in a fraction of the time and with minimal effort!
I developed this recipe using inspiration from my insanely popular Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef and also my pressure cooker Pulled Pork. The end result was… well, impossible to resist (I ate way too much, along with sipping this delicious mango margarita!).
Your Simple Ingredients
- Boston butt – You’ll need a 3 to 4 pound boneless Boston butt (pork shoulder) roast.
- Cola – Such as Coke or Pepsi.
- Olive oil – For browning the pork.
- Spice and seasoning blend – Salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Orange juice and lime juice – Freshly squeezed is best!
How to Make Carnitas in the Instant Pot
Following is a brief overview – please see the recipe card at the bottom for full detailed instructions.
- Whisk together cola, juices, spices and seasonings in a medium bowl.
- Cut the pork roast into four pieces (as evenly as possible).
- Sear the pork pieces in olive oil (in two batches).
- Pour the juice and spice mixture over the pork.
- Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully transfer the pork pieces to a cutting board (or large bowl) and shred into small chunks using 2 forks (discard any fat).
- Transfer to a baking sheet (sprayed with cooking spray or lined with aluminum foil). Drizzle a little of the liquid from the pressure cooker (about ½ cup) over the pork.
- Broil under high heat in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the edges of the pork are crisp and begin browning. Before serving, drizzle desired amount of liquid over broiled pork and toss to coat.
Carnitas Tacos Topping Ideas
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- ½ cup cola such as Coke or Pepsi
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (3 to 4) pound Boston butt boneless pork roast
- Pour cola, orange juice and lime juice in a medium bowl. Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Cut pork into 4 pieces (as evenly as possible). Pour oil into your instant pot and set to saute. When the oil is heated, add 2 pieces of the pork and sear until browned on all sides, using tongs to turn (approximately 1 minute each side). Transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of pork.
- Turn off the saute setting by pressing "cancel". Return the 2 pieces of pork on the plate to the instant pot, along with any juices.
- Pour the juice and spice mixture over pork.
- Place the lid on your pressure cooker and lock. Steam release knob should be on "sealing". Cook on manual setting (high pressure) for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove the pork from pressure cooker with tongs to a cutting board or large bowl. DO NOT DISCARD LIQUID in pressure cooker. Shred into small chunks using 2 forks. Remove and discard any fat pieces.
- Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or line with aluminum foil. Transfer the shredded pork to prepared baking sheet and spread evenly.
- Drizzle about ½ cup of the liquid from the instant pot as evenly as possible over the pork.
- Broil under high heat in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the edges of the pork become crisp and begin browning.
- Skim off any fat that has risen in the liquid in the Instant Pot and discard fat.
- Before serving, drizzle desired amount of liquid over pork and toss to coat as evenly as possible.
- Cook time includes browning pork, high pressure time and broiling time.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Save desired amount of liquid from the Instant pot to toss with the pork if reheating (store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days).
- Freeze in a resealable freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months (liquid can also be frozen separately).
- This recipe was tested in an Instant Pot 6 quart Duo.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.