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two instant pot pork carnitas tacos on a wooden board with green sauce on the side.
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

These instant pot pork carnitas are served on grilled tortillas with raw onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Pork shoulder seasoned and pressure cooked to perfection, your family will love this recipe! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican, Mexican American
Servings: 6


  • Instant Pot


  • 5 lb Pork Shoulder Bone-in
  • 5 tsp Kosher salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chipotle sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup onions roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves finely minced
  • Oil
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro
  • tortillas


  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, granulated garlic, onion powder, brown sugar, and chili powder.
  • Season the pork shoulder on all sides, careful not to leave too much seasoning behind.
  • Press the "saute" function on your instant pot and add some oil. Cook the pork shoulder for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the pork shoulder from the instant pot and set it aside.
  • Add more oil to the instant pot along with the onions and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds and then add the chicken stock, bay leaf, and chipotle sauce. I used the sauce that comes in a can with peppers. Do not add the seeds.
  • Deglaze the instant pot by scraping the bottom or else you may get a "burn" notice.
  • Place the pork shoulder back into the pot along with any remaining spices.
  • Secure the lid, seal the valve, and press the "pressure cook" function. Cook for 90 minutes.
  • Once the 90 minutes are up, do a quick release by releasing all of the steam. Remove the pork from the instant pot and shred the meat using 2 forks or your fingers. Discard any fat.
  • Place the meat back into the instant pot and press the "saute" function. Check for seasoning and enjoy with grilled tortillas, raw onions, cilantro, and fresh lime.


  • I used an 8 qt instant pot. 
  • Cooking time does not include the time it takes the instant pot to come to pressure. 
  • I used a 5 lb bone-in skin-on pork shoulder. 
  • The green tomatillo sauce in the photos was purchased at my local Mexican restaurant. 
  • If you want to crisp up the carnitas, simply fry them in hot oil on the stovetop or place it on a baking sheet under the broiler.