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Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe

Spice up taco night with this Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe. The flavors are rich and the perfect addition to your next meal. The shredded pork also works great in quesadillas, on salads or in rice bowls. 

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe in tacos

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INSTANT POT CARNITAS RECIPE

You guys went crazy for my Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe that I shared a couple of years ago. It really is so easy and full of flavor. It makes the perfect shredded pork for all your favorite Mexican inspired dishes.

A lot of you have requested more pressure cooker and Instant pot recipes. You will love how easy this Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe is to make. I use this shredded pork in rice bowls, quesadillas, tacos and enchiladas or you can freeze the pork for a busy night which is always a great option. 

You might be wondering what carnitas are? Carnitas, literally meaning “little meats”, is a dish of Mexican cuisine. They are made by simmering or braising the pork in oil until tender.

Today’s recipe uses a pressure cooker to create the tender meat. The meat becomes tender and juicy by cooking it in the acidity of lime juice and beef. Traditional carnitas isn’t usually cooked in beef but today’s recipe is. You will love the flavor it adds. 

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe near Instant Pot

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THESE INSTANT POT PORK CARNITAS?

PORK CHOPS: This carnitas recipe uses bone-in pork chops to create a tender shredded pork. 

SPICES: Warm, rich spices are rubbed on the pork chops before cooking. This recipe uses cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and paprika. 

BEER & LIME JUICE: The beer helps to add a unique flavor to these carnitas and lime juice tenderizes the meat.

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe ingredients

HOW DO YOU MAKE CARNITAS IN THE INSTANT POT?

In a small bowl, combine all of the spice rub ingredients (brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt).

Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over both sides of the pork chops and rub them to make sure all of the spice rub sticks.

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe pork chops

Heat your Instant Pot on the Sauté-Normal function. Add the olive oil and let it heat for another minute.

When the oil is hot (but not yet smoking) add the pork chops and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the pork chops to the other side and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Once the pork chops are seared, add the beer and lime juice. Switch the Instant Pot to the Pressure Cook Manual— Normal function and set the timer to 45 minutes.

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe pork chops in instant pot

Attach the lid and ensure the pressure valve is in the “sealing” position.

Once the pork chops are seared, add the beer and lime juice. Secure lid and set to pressure cook for 10 minutes. Natural release for at least 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.
NOTE: The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure and then will begin counting down from 10 minutes.

Remove the pork chops to a cutting board and shred the meat using two forks— discard the bones. Add the shredded meat back to the pot and switch the Instant Pot to the Sauté-Normal function again.

Cook the pork, stirring occasionally, for another 3-5 minutes, or until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe Logo 1

HOW CAN I USE PORK CARNITAS?

  • Tacos: We love using shredded pork carnitas in tacos. You can use soft or hard shell tacos or even try lettuce wraps.
  • Quesadillas: My kids go crazy for quesadillas and I like adding meat for protein. This pork carnitas works nicely and adds a ton of flavor. 
  • Rice Bowls: I personally love rice bowls. I use either brown rice or cilantro rice and load on my favorite toppings. 
  • Burritos: Burritos are always a great option when you are looking for ways to use carnitas meat. 
  • Nachos: If you like nachos try adding this meat. Check out these Beef Nachos for ideas on what to add as toppings to the pork. 

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe in taco holder

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe in tacos

Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Spice up taco night with this Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe. The flavors are rich and the perfect addition to your next meal. The shredded pork also works great in quesadillas, on salads or in rice bowls. 

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SPICE RUB:
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup beer— preferably Modelo or Corona
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • GARNISH IDEAS:
  • 4-6 small tortillas (flour or corn)
  • 1 cup crumbled cheese (cotija, queso fresco, or monetary jack)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Cilantro or Parsley leaves
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

    1. In a small bowl, combine all of the spice rub ingredients (brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt).
    2. Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over both sides of the pork chops and rub them to make sure all of the spice rub sticks.
    3. Heat your Instant Pot on the Sauté-Normal function. Add the olive oil and let it heat for another minute.
    4. When the oil is hot (but not yet smoking) add the pork chops and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the pork chops to the other side and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
      NOTE: Make sure the pork chops are in a single layer. You want to develop a good sear on each side— this will help add tons of flavor to the final dish!
    5. Once the pork chops are seared, add the beer and lime juice. Secure lid and set to pressure cook for 10 minutes. Natural release for at least 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.
      NOTE: The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure and then will begin counting down from 10 minutes.
    6. Remove the pork chops to a cutting board and shred the meat using two forks— discard the bones. Add the shredded meat back to the pot and switch the Instant Pot to the Sauté-Normal function again.
    7. Cook the pork, stirring occasionally, for another 3-5 minutes, or until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.
    8. Remove the meat from the Instant Pot and serve with your favorite garnishes.
    9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Reheat for 2 minutes in the microwave or 10 minutes at 400F in the oven.

Notes

This recipe serves 2 adults as an entree (4 if serving with sides). It can easily be halved or doubled.


If doubling, make sure to sear the pork chops in two batches so each one has the chance to develop a crust. In addition, you will need 1.5 cups of beer (not 1 cup as stated above) and to cook the carnitas for 55 minutes.


You can always substitute 4 Tablespoons of your favorite taco seasoning for the spice rub.


You can also substitute the beer for chicken stock.

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Suzy

Monday 17th of January 2022

This recipe sounds great- but if I double the recipe, it goes from 10 minutes of cook time to 55? Should this be 15? Or is it really 55? Thank you

Julia

Monday 17th of January 2022

Hi! The cook time will be the same if you double it. Here is what it would be: Once the pork chops are seared, add the beer and lime juice. Secure lid and set to pressure cook for 10 minutes. Natural release for at least 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid. NOTE: The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure and then will begin counting down from 10 minutes. Remove the pork chops to a cutting board and shred the meat using two forks— discard the bones. Add the shredded meat back to the pot and switch the Instant Pot to the Sauté-Normal function again.

Sherry Brester

Monday 11th of October 2021

If boneless pork chops are used does the cooking time change?

Julia

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

For boneless pork chops you will Secure the lid, make sure vent is set to “sealing” and pressure cook (manual) for 7 minutes. When done, allow pressure to naturally release for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, quick release the rest, remove lid and follow the remaining instructions.

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