5 from 1 vote
Instant Pot carnitas tacos
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins

These Instant Pot carnitas have a slight citrusy hint of sweetness and are a versatile family favorite. Using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker/multi-cooker to make this classic slow-braised dish gets dinner on the table fast and makes the meat deliciously tender.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 people
Author: Michelle Barsness
  • 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder or butt cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 generous pinch freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 white onion rough chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 large Naval oranges)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
Serve with:
  • tortillas
  • pickled jalapenos
  • pineapple pico de gallo optional
  • fresh Persian cucumber slices optional
  1. Pat the meat down with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Use a large baking tray to spread the meat out. Season the meat with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

  2. Combine the onion, garlic, marjoram, thyme, cumin, cloves plus one tablespoon of water into a blender and blend until smooth.

  3. Turn on the Instant Pot pressure cooker/multi-cooker to the sauté function. Heat a small amount of lard or oil until melted. Sear the pork pieces in batches, browning the meat on all sides. Do not crowd the pan. Add additional lard or oil as needed in-between batches. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

  4. Return all the seared meat and any juices back into the multi-cooker. Add the orange juice, bay leaves, sweetened condensed milk and blended onion mixture. Stir to coat the meat.

  5. Cover and make sure the steam valve is in the locked position. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Release the pressure naturally.

  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a large clean baking sheet. Remove the bay leaves and shred the meat with a fork. Top the pork with a small amount of cooking liquid to help keep it from drying out.

  7. Serve with tortillas, pickled jalapenos. Pineapple pico de gallo or slices of Persian cucumbers add additional sweetness and crunch.

Recipe Notes

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These Instant Pot carnitas tacos reheat and also freeze great. I generally reheat them on a baking tray in the oven. Enjoy!