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Instant Pot Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

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Delicious Mexican pork carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork) made in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) for tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads and more, (also great with cilantro lime rice)!

Delicious Mexican pork made in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) for tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads and more (also great with cilantro lime rice)!
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

One of my most popular pork recipes is my slow cooker pork carnitas. With so many requests for an Instant Pot version, here it is!

These carnitas turned out juicy and tender in the Instant Pot and so much quicker, so great if you need a quicker version! This is also freezer-friendly.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Mexican Pork Carnitas – perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads and more!
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Mexican Pork Carnitas – perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads and more!

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Mexican Pork Carnitas – perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads and more!

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

4.71 from 54 votes
Delicious Mexican pork made in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) for tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads and more (also great with cilantro lime rice)!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Delicious Mexican pork made in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) for tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads and more (also great with cilantro lime rice)!
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr 20 mins
Total: 1 hr 40 mins
Yield: 11 servings
Serving Size: 1 /2 cup


  • 2 1/2 pounds trimmed, boneless pork shoulder blade roast, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sazon, I used homemade
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry adobo seasoning, I used Goya
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Season pork with salt and pepper.
  • Press saute on the instant pot, spray with oil and brown the pork on all sides for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Using a sharp knife, insert blade into pork about 1-inch deep, and insert the garlic slivers, you’ll want to do this all over.
  • Season pork with cumin, sazon, oregano, adobo and garlic powder all over.
  • Pour chicken broth, add chipotle peppers and stir, add bay leaves and place pork in the Instant Pot, cover and cook using the pressure cooker setting on high pressure for 80 minutes.
  • When the pressure releases, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumalated at the bottom.
  • Remove bay leaves and adjust cumin and add adobo and mix well.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 /2 cup, Calories: 160 kcal, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 20 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 69 mg, Sodium: 397 mg


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295 comments on “Instant Pot Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)”

  1. I have made this as written and it’s delicious. Comes to the perfect texture after a quick paddle in the mixer. Last night, I went to make it again and had no chipoltle in adobo, so here’s what I did: added smoked ancho chili powder, a diced jalapeno, and a juiced orange. It was at least as good, if not better. I served it with warmed tortillas, shredded queso, and corn.

  2. Avatar photo
    Penelope (Penny) Notson

    I let my IP naturally release for 5 mins, then hit the quick release. Cut my pork shoulder into several smaller pieces ( think like 6-8). But let me tell you, when I pulled that first chunk out to pull it apart… I tapped it with my spoon to test the tenderness and it just fell apart. The taste was amazing, and my mom even liked it (she has very sensitive palette and cannot eat anything spicy). I am saving this as my family loved it and I will make it again. 

  3. I typically don’t write reviews but for this recipe I had to. The flavor was outstanding. My family went wild over it. I doubled the recipe and all the ingredients. I know the chipotle peppers can be very spicy so I just used the juice instead of the actual peppers. I cooked for 90 minutes with a 10 minute natural release and it was fall apart tender. For those getting the burn notice, make sure after browning the meat you deglaze the bottom of the pot. You can use the chicken broth to achieve this. Make sure to scrape up all the yummy brown bits.  I paired it with the cilantro lime rice (another hit). I already was asked to make it for my sisters birthday dinner. 

  4. I’ve been cooking your recipes for years now and own all of your cookbooks, but for some reason this is my first comment! This pork was AMAZING. My partner loved it too – said it was “unbelievable.” Thanks for inspiring my kitchen with healthy and amazing recipes for so many years!!!!

  5. I really love this recipe. i have made it multiple times and my husband keeps asking for it. I love it with pickled onions or your quick slaw on a tortilla
    I modified your chicken enchilada recipe and used carnitas in place of chicken
    To the carnitas I added 1 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/4 tsp mexican oregano, 1 can mild green chilies, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup canned corn, 1/2 cup taco cheese, 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce. I like spicy so I added 1/2 can of chipotle in adobo (other half in carnitas) I put 1/2 cup of mixture into very large tortilla and rolled it up
    i used large teflon lasagna pan and coated with approx 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, added rolled tortillas and topped with sauce and taco cheese. Warmed 30 min at 350. This is now a family favorite as well

  6. I followed the recipe and these turned out great! My husband ate 3/4 of the meat by himself because he’s a hog.

  7. We made this last night and all together the tacos were amazing! However, the meat by itself was really salty! Did anyone else has this issue? Do you think omitting the salt and pepper at the beginning would help? 

    1. If you follow her recipe EXACTLY, it shouldn’t be too salty. However I have not followed it exactly in the past and have ended up with too salty meat. Here is where it gets too salty:
      ~table salt vs. kosher salt – table salt is denser and saltier. If you don’t have kosher, adjust accordingly.
      ~sazon store-bought vs. her sazon recipe – store-bought sazon contains salt. Her recipe does not. So adjust the recipe if using storebought.
      ~regular chicken broth vs. lower sodium broth – I usually have regular around.

      I usually use table salt, store-bought Sazon, and regular chicken broth, and since all those contain salt, I do not add the 2 tsp of salt. I salt the meat when browning, and sprinkle some salt in the instant pot, and that’s enough.

  8. I tried it and it came out wonderful! The only thing I adjusted was the time of the pressure cook. 80 minutes sounded a little long. 40 minutes high pressure cook worked perfectly for me!

  9. I made this recipe this week and my family loved it! They said it is their new all time favorite. My son even asked me to teach him how to make it so that he can do it in college next year. Making it again this week.

  10. I can’t get my hands on pork right now while sheltering in place…if I used chicken breast instead, what would the cooking time be? Thanks!

  11. This recipe is garbage. I tried it twice. Followed the instructions to a T. Both times the result was several burn warnings and a pot caked in burnt food stuffs,

    1. The recipe itself is not garbage, quite the opposite! It is amazing. I make it at least 6 times a year. You can try a couple of things to alleviate your problem:
      1. deglaze the bottom of the pan after browning, or
      2. brown the meat in a separate frying pan (that’s what I do)

      You can also try shortening the pressure cook time. I usually go the full 80 minutes, but I also usually add 3 to 3.25 lbs of pork instead of 2.5. According to other’s comments, they were successful cooking for 40 minutes.

    2. It’s not the recipe. It’s your instant pot. Try searing your pork in a different pan or let your instant pot cool completely before carrying on with the rest of the recipe. I’ve had the same issue with my instant pot.

  12. I followed exactly and got the burn notice 😬 Otherwise it tasted good! I just had to adjust the water/broth ratio

      1. Avatar photo
        Haley Winchester

        I’m obsessed with this recipe.
        I use store bought Sazon. Also, one day I was in a pinch for time and used jarred minced garlic and just through it in the pot. It tasted the same and is so much easier then doing all of the slivers. I also have never used the adobo or chipotles. Tastes like heaven!!! So easy and so delicious!!  I am always confused as to whether I should do quick or natural release…I’ve done both. The recipe doesn’t specify.

  13. I make this at least four times a year. I follow the recipe exactly, and it comes out perfectly each time. Never an issue with being too dry, it is always fall-apart-moist. Do not skip the browning of the meat, it is vital for getting that awesome flavor! A family favorite.