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up close shredded pork held by tongs in a skillet

Pork Carnitas

Skip the take-out line and make your own delicious pork carnitas at home using simple ingredients. Cooked in an Instant Pot for the quickest, most flavorful carnitas this side of the border! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 367kcal
Author Tiffany


  • 3 pound pork butt roast or pork shoulder, boneless
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence or Italian herb blend
  • 2 oranges juiced
  • 6 limes juiced
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  • Chop roast into 4 equal-size sections.
  • Place roast pieces in the bottom of your Instant Pot/pressure cooker, or slow cooker.
  • Add salt, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, dried herbs, orange juice, and lime juice.

Instant Pot

  • Cover and turn lid to locked position. Turn vent valve to sealed position. Set to PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL for 60 minutes.
  • When cook time is up, allow to depressurize naturally for 10 minutes, then turn vent valve to the VENT position. Remove lid once float valve has dropped.

Slow Cooker

  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

The final step

  • Once your pork has finished cooking, transfer it to a large bowl (save the juices from the pot!) and shred with two forks.
  • Drizzle a large skillet (cast iron is my preferred for best results but another frying pan will work just fine) with oil and bring to medium-high heat.
  • Add shredded pork and sear for a couple of minutes until edges begin to crisp up. Pour 1 cup of the reserved juices over the pork. Continue to cook 3-4 minutes longer until liquid reduces and the pork is nice and crisp on the edges. (Depending on the size of your skillet you may need to do this in batches, use a fresh scoop of juices for each batch).
  • Serve plain or use for tacos, bowls, burritos enchiladas quesadillas - the possibilities are endless. Enjoy!


Make it spicy: add 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce) OR swap regular chili powder for chipotle chili powder OR add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to give it a spicy kick. 
Oven broil method: you can do the last step of crisping the pork in the oven if you prefer. Simply spread shredded pork out on a large sheet pan. Broil for 2-3 minutes, then pour juices over the pork and continue to broil 3-5 minutes longer til crisp on the edges. 


Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1288mg | Potassium: 1026mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 338IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg