Instant Pot Carnitas
These instant pot carnitas are so savory and flavorful, and take just a few minutes of active time to make!
Can we all just agree that tacos are one of the best foods ever invented? Everyone in my family loves them, and we all crave them so frequently that we can’t limit ourselves to just Taco Tuesday. Every day can be a taco day, if you just believe in yourself! As much as I love my fallback chicken breast tacos, I’ve really been trying to up my taco game lately, and it has been paying off in all sorts of deliciousness. These Instant Pot carnitas tacos are some of the best tacos I’ve ever tasted, and I can’t believe I made them at home!
I made these earlier this week when we had some friends over for dinner, and they were a hit with everyone, from the littles to the grown ups. I was a little nervous about trying a new recipe for the first time when guests were coming over, but the carnitas were so easy to make, and the recipe turned out fantastic. I love that the Instant Pot lets me cook huge pieces of meat to moist and tender perfection in under an hour! I don’t have a lot of experience cooking pork or beef, but the Instant Pot has really helped me master cooking larger cuts of meat. (No worries if you don’t have an Instant Pot, though. I added directions for making this in the slow cooker as well!)
I served our carnitas with a double batch of freshly made flour tortillas, some chopped red onion and cilantro, and cotija cheese for sprinkling on top. Our friends brought over the most amazing street corn salad (similar to this one, but with some lovely chunks of avocado in it) and we found that the tacos were even more delicious with the street corn salad on top. We are definitely going to make these carnitas again and again!
Instant Pot CarnitasPrint Recipe
- 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- juice from one lime
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat the Instant Pot in sauté mode. Trim the excess fat from the pork shoulder and cut into large chunks. Add the oil to the instant pot and add half of the pork shoulder, turning to brown all sides. Remove to a clean plate and repeat with remaining pork. Add the onion to the pot and cook until slightly translucent, 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Return the pork to the Instant Pot, and pour the sauce over the top. Place the cover on the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes, then let naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the pot using a slotted spoon and shred. Strain the cooking liquid over a bowl, discarding any solids that are strained out. Preheat the broiler. Spread the shredded pork on a foil-lined baking sheet, and pour about one cup of the cooking liquid over the top of of the meat. Broil 5-10 minutes, watching closely, until the edges of the meat are crispy and brown.
- *Alternatively, you can use a slow cooker instead of the Instant Pot. Trim and cut the pork shoulder and add it to the slow cooker. Spread the onions on top of the meat. Mix together the chicken broth, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper, and pour the sauce over the meat. Cook at low heat for 6-8 hours, then follow the instructions in the second paragraph above.
For more delicious taco recipes, check out some of my favorites below:
Salsa and Avocado Breakfast Tacos | Skinny Fish Tacos | Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Since cotija cheese can be hard to find, and some of us have to watch salt levels, what cheese would you recommend substituting?
I think queso fresco would also be tasty. My kids liked their tacos with shredded Mexican blend cheese. Honestly, the meat is so flavorful that I think you could even skip the cheese and serve them with just red onions and cilantro.