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  • Writer's pictureTracey

Instant Pot Savory Pork Carnitas

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

As a little girl I was very particular about the way my food was positioned on my plate; nothing could be touching or I wouldn’t eat it. Yes, weird, I know. Apparently, I outgrew that weirdness and now some of my favorite meals are ones that are mixed together in a bowl. These carnitas are probably my most favorite “bowl meal” and they’re pretty simple to make. I like to pair the pork with my purple cabbage coleslaw and rice. All of the flavors really blend well together. My kids get excited when they hear that “carmeatas” are on the menu and we hope you like them too!


Instant Pot Savory Pork Carnitas

pork carnitas


  • 2 or 3 pound pork shoulder roast* cut into large pieces

  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup filtered water*

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Juice of ½ a lime (optional)

  • Cilantro (optional)


  1. Into your Instant Pot, place your pork roast pieces and chopped onions.

  2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup add water, cumin, bay leaves, garlic, and salt. Stir to combine and pour over the pork.

  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and seal. Select the “Manual” option on your pot and set it for 40 minutes.

  4. When the timer beeps allow your pot to release pressure on its own.

  5. Once the vent opens, grab a 9 X 13 glass baking dish and set your oven to Hi Broil.

  6. Using a slotted spoon, remove your pork and onions from the pot and shred the meat using 2 forks.

  7. Spread the meat evenly over the baking dish so each piece will have a chance to crisp up a bit in the oven.

  8. Pour some of the juice left in the pot over the pork- just enough to cover the bottom and put it in the oven.

  9. Set your oven timer for 8 minutes; the pork may need more time to crisp depending on how long the broiler has been running.

  10. Remove the pork from the oven whenever the ends start to turn a dark brown.

  11. Serve immediately over rice or cauliflower rice. I like to add a squeeze of lime juice over the top of my carnitas as well as a handful of cilantro, but my kids prefer to pass on this deliciousness.


*Make sure that your pork is raised humanely and without hormones or antibiotics.

*I sometimes add more water if I’m using a bigger roast, just to make sure there’s plenty of liquid for the pork to cook in.


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