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Instant Pot Carnitas Instant Pot Carnitas is amazingly juicy braised pork that has been shredded with delicious spices. Serve as filing for tacos, burritos, or as a taco salad!

a sheet pan full of crispy pork carnitas with a fork

These Instant Pot Carnitas are easy to make when you use your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker!  Juicy pork with crispy edges stuffed in a low carb tortilla…does life get any better?  I don’t think so.

Instant Pot Carnitas is amazingly juicy braised pork that has been shredded with delicious spices. Serve as filing for tacos, burritos, or as a taco salad!

crispy carnitas on a sheet pan

I went on a whim the other day and made these instant pot carnitas.  We love juicy pork any day of the week, especially with lots of lime juice squeezed on top.  I’m not sure how carnitas are supposed to be made traditionally, but this is what I use to make them.  Pork shoulder (obviously), a grapefruit, garlic, onion, bay leaf, spices, and salt.

These pork carnitas are easy to make when you use your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker! Pork carnitas in about an hour, heck yes!

My dilemma is always what to do with all of this leftover juicy pork.  You can only make tacos on Tuesday, right?!  Well, I have come up with some low carb ideas over the years that don’t include lettuce cups.  Go ahead and thank me now.

  • Instant Pot carnitas on top of cilantro lime cauliflower rice
  • You can get a little more fancy and have instant pot carnitas mixed with cheese and stuffed into zucchini boats
  • Carnitas, avocado, a runny egg, OMG
  • Cloud bread, mashed avocado, carnitas, cotija cheese, cilantro and lime juice
  • Pork nachos with carnitas!
  • Just carnitas…boom.  These are so good, they need no accompaniments.

My mouth is watering.

When these are pulled out of the instant pot they are so juicy, but to make them amazing, you have to crisp them up under the broiler for a few minutes.  Its a small step that cannot be skipped.  Then you must squeeze fresh lime juice all over them.  This also cannot be skipped.

So have I mentioned that I love my Instant Pot?  It is currently my most used kitchen appliance, behind my microwave.  If you don’t own an Instant Pot yet, you can still make pork carnitas!  You can use a slow cooker to make them, or you can use a dutch oven to make them.  They will just take a bit longer.

pork carnitas on a fork

5 from 3 votes
a sheet pan full of crispy pork carnitas with a fork
Instant Pot Carnitas
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Instant Pot Carnitas is amazingly juicy braised pork that has been shredded with delicious spices. Serve as filing for tacos, burritos, or as a taco salad!
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 250 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 4-5 lb pork shoulder , cut into large chunks
  • 1 grapefruit , zested and juiced
  • 1/2 an onion , sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • lime juice and chopped cilantro for serving
Instructions
  1. Pour grapefruit juice into the liner of the Instant Pot 

  2. In a separate bowl, add chunks of pork, grapefruit zest, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt. mix to combine
  3. Add pork, onion, and bay leaf to the Instant Pot

  4. Replace the lid, make sure it is set to sealing, and press the manual button. Change the time to 35 minutes.  
  5. After the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally. This could take 20-30 minutes.
  6. After the pressure releases, remove the lid and use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the liquid and onto a baking sheet.  

  7. Pre-heat your broiler.
  8. Using 2 forks, shred the meat and remove any large chunks of fat. Place the meat under the broiler and let the meat get brown and crispy.  
  9. Serve with lime juice and chopped cilantro
Recipe Notes

My kids love these carnitas just the way they are or I put them in a low carb tortilla or some crispy corn tortilla boats.  They love those!  My son loves his with sour cream and olives.  

Sometimes I'll make them a little plain white rice and put the carnitas on top when they are not feeling like tacos.

⭐ Did you make this Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe?  Tag me on Instagram so I can see! @lowcarbwithjennifer

Instant Pot Carnitas is amazingly juicy braised pork that has been shredded with delicious spices.  Serve as filing for tacos, burritos, or as a taco salad!

 

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    • Carmen
    • November 2, 2018
    Reply

    How long should we broil?

      • jenniferbanz
      • November 3, 2018
      Reply

      About 5 minutes but you really have to keep an eye on it so they don’t burn

    • Erin
    • October 14, 2018
    Reply

    I made this today for nachos during football. It was also the first time I ever used my new Instantpot. This was a total crowd pleaser! The flavor was incredible.

    • Erin
    • September 3, 2018
    Reply

    could you substitute orange juice for the grapefruit juice?

      • jenniferbanz
      • September 4, 2018
      Reply

      yep!

    • Courtney
    • July 29, 2018
    Reply

    This was the first recipe I made with my instant pot and I was a little nervous but it was super easy to follow and so different and tasty! Thanks for the great recipe Jennifer, my husband loved and toddler loved it!

    • Karla
    • March 15, 2018
    Reply

    What is the net carbs on this?

    • JenPoMas
    • January 5, 2018
    Reply

    Made this tonight and I was a bit skeptical of the grapefruit addition. Did it anyway and it was amazing. I will be bookmarking this page and making this again. I’m so surprised how good this was. Thanks for sharing this.

    One thing, cutting up the roast was a major PITA. Do you think it’d be possible to quarter the roast and cook it a little longer? This is only my 3rd InstantPot meal so I’m still trying to learn.

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 5, 2018
      Reply

      I’m so glad you liked it!

      You can definitely leave it whole but it will need to cook longer.

    • Kristen
    • December 31, 2017
    Reply

    Is manual set to high or low pressure?

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 31, 2017
      Reply

      High pressure

    • Ann
    • November 18, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Jennifer. To make this in a slow cooker, how long should I cook it for? Would I need to change anything else in the recipe to do this? Thanks.

      • jenniferbanz
      • November 18, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Ann! I would do 8 hours on low. Everything else will be the same.

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