Now this is what I call a multi-functional recipe! Why? Because these instant pot pork carnitas can go into anything your cravings desire. Here I show you how I added them to sliders and tacos. But the options are clearly limitless. I have added them to taquitos, quesadillas, and many of my fusion recipes like spring rolls and empanadas because… why not?!
Not only is this recipe delicious, but making them in the instant pot shaves hours of slaving by your stove for the perfect fall apart texture. In just about an hour you are ready to go. This is why I call this recipe a home run!
What are Pork Carnitas?
They are very simply put, the Mexican version of pulled pork. Yep! That’s it! Nothing complicated at all. And like typical pulled pork you will use pork shoulder or pork butt.
What are the advantages to cooking pork butt or shoulder in the instant pot?
The instant pot locks in moisture and makes it possible to cook traditionally low-and-slow cuts of meat in a fraction of the time. It can take over to 5 hours for me, depending on weight, to cook a super tender cut of pork shoulder or butt in the oven. I have to constantly baste and keep and eye on it.
In the instant pot, it’s just over 1 hour and you are including the time it takes for it to heat up once sealed in “high pressure”. Cook for 45 minutes, quick release for 15 minutes and then broil for 3 minutes. That’s it! You are ready to enjoy perfectly cooked pork carnitas that anyone eating at a restaurant would envy!
How do I serve pork carnitas?
I recommend you get creative! Add it to anything and everything your imagination tells you to. In this case I went with sliders and tacos. But I have, many times, served them with rice and beans. There is really no wrong way to eat them.
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Sliders ingredients and directions:
Mexican crema spread at the bottom of the slider. Top with pork carnitas, and cotija cheese. Bake at 375° degrees for about 8 minutes. Also include the top bun of the slider to heat up in the oven separately. Remove from oven and top the cotija cheese with pico de gallo and shredded iceberg lettuce. Add a little bit of sour cream to the top bun and place on top of our assembled slider. Use a toothpick to hold the slider together and enjoy!
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos Ingredients and Directions:
I went with super soft tortillas but feel free to go with any type of taco you’d like. I added the pork carnitas, topped them with pico de gallo, taco grated cheese, sliced avocado and chopped cilantro. I also served them with lime wedges to squeeze over the taco. That really enhances the flavors of the ingredients in the tacos.
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- 6 lbs pork butt or shoulder I used butcherbox
- 2 tbs kosher salt
- 1/2 cup orange juice, no pulp
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp Spanglish Asadero Al Pastor or Mexican seasoning
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 oz can green chiles, drained more or less to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth divided
- Start by removing the pork butt or shoulders skin and cutting the meat into large pieces. If bone in, cut around the bone. Mine was about 5 large chunks.
- Rub the pork with the kosher salt and let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature, uncovered.
- In a measuring cup, mix the orange juice, garlic, apple cider vinegar and seasoning and mix well. Set aside.
- Set your Instant Pot on saute and heat up for at least 5 minutes. I like to cover mine while it's heating up.
- Add onions and green chiles to the instant pot. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add half of the chicken broth. Stir.
- Add the the pork butt and if you need to stack that is ok.
- Then add the rest of the chicken broth and the orange juice mixture.
- Tuck the pork butt to submerge as much as you can.
- Seal the Instant Pot and set on "High Pressure" for 45 minutes.
- Once it's done cooking. Let it release naturally for 15 minutes. Make sure the pin is completely down before opening the Instant Pot.
- Set your oven on a "high" broil.
- Open the Instant Pot, remove the pork and shred on a flat surface. I used two forks and then my hands to make sure they were as shredded as possible. I also used non-stick foil on a baking sheet to lay my shredded pork.
- Sprinkle some of the liquid left in the instant pot over the shredded pork. We are doing this to keep it moist after broiling. I did about 4 tablespoons in this recipe.
- Place in the broiler for about 3 minutes or until it reaches the crispiness and goldenness you prefer.