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carnitas tacos on a wooden tray
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5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Crispy Pork Carnitas

Crispy and tender, Instant Pot pork carnitas cook fast and make tacos that will quickly become a family favorite. This is a versatile recipe that can also be used in burrito bowls, salads, or wraps.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Keyword: instant pot, pork, tacos, tex mex
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $9.50


  • 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker
  • Skillet


  • 4 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder (also called "Pork Butt"; see note)
  • 1 cup Water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil


  • Cut pork into 2-3 large pieces. Trim off excess fat. (Note, if the pork is bone-in, you can just slice off a few pieces around the bone and leave the bone and any attached meat in the pot. The meat on the bone will easly shred off at the end of cooking.)
  • Add water and then pork to the Instant Pot insert.
  • Season the pork pieces with salt and pepper (go easy on the seasoning at this stage - you can add additional seasoning later).
  • Lock the lid and use the manual setting to cook the pork on high for 60 minutes.
  • When the pork is done allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 15 minutes. Release any remaining pressure manually.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a paper-towel lined plate. Shred using two forks. If it won’t easily shred, move pork to a cutting board and roughly chop with a knife. (Reserve the cooking liquid.)
  • When you are ready to serve the pork, heat a skillet over high heat. Add cooking oil and then pork (you many need to cook it in batches). Let pork cook on one side until very crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. If the pork looks dry as it cooks, add some of the reserved cooking liquid about 2 Tablespoons at a time (repeating this step as needed if the pork again looks dry during cooking). Season with some salt and pepper as it cooks.
  • Flip pork and cook on the other side until crisp. Break pork apart and serve.


A good rule of thumb is to cook pork shoulder for about 15 minutes / lb. You can cook a larger or smaller pork shoulder roast but adjust for weight. 
Bone-in pork shoulder will work in this recipe. Increase the weight of the amount used by ~25%. Discard bones after cooking.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 304kcal | Protein: 51g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 857mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg