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These Instant Pot Carnitas are dripping with flavour and ready in a fraction of the time. Load up corn tortillas or enjoy them low carb with lettuce wraps!

Instant Pot Carnitas

These Instant Pot Carnitas are dripping with flavour and ready in a fraction of the time. Load up corn tortillas or enjoy them low carb with lettuce wraps!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian, Low Carb, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 415kcal
Author Aleta


  • 3 lbs pork shoulder roast
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 1 ¼ cup bone stock or broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided


  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


Equipment Needed


  • Mince the garlic, dice the onion and jalapeños and set aside. Trim the extra fat from the pork shoulder and cut into 8 portions. Combine the rub ingredients and massage into the pork.
  • Turn the instant pot on to Saute and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, sear 1/2 the meat on all sides, remove from the pot then sear the second half of the meat. Remove the second batch of seared meat then pour in ½ cup bone stock to degalze the pot by scrubbing off all of the little blackened bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Return the meat to the pot, pour in the rest of the stock then, without stirring, add the onion, garlic and jalapeños. Juice the limes over top of the other ingredients, then secure the instant pot lid. Turn the steam release valve to the sealed position then, using the pressure cook mode, pressure cook for 70 minutes.
  • Once complete, you can allow your instant pot to naturally release, or go ahead and carefully, using all the necessary precautions, quick release.


  • Let's crisp up this meat for some extra flavour and texture. Heat oven to broil.
  • Place a strainer inside a large heat safe bowl. Open the lid of the instant pot and dump the entire contents into the strainer to separate the juice from the meat. 
  • Dump the contents of the strainer out onto a baking sheet. Use two forks to pull all the meat into large chunks and spread evenly throughout the baking sheet. Discard any big chunks of fat. Pour 1/2 cup of the remaining juices over the meat and broil for 5 minutes, flip the meat over and broil for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve on corn tortillas or for low carb, butter lettuce wraps or Almond Flour Tortillas!


See post above for slow cooker method and optional ingredients.

Expert Tips

  1. How spicy do you want your carnitas to be? If the answer is zero spice, discard the seeds and the white membrane. Dice the whole pepper except the stem if you want it spicy! I prefer to keep most of the seeds but discard the membrane for a mid level spice degree.
  2. The pork just needs a very quick sear on each side to lock in moisture and add flavour.
  3. Be sure to scrub off all of the little bits of black from the bottom of the Instant Pot during the deglazing step. If this process is skipped, you could potentially get the dreaded 'burn' error, where you would have to empty the contents from the pot, scrub it, add the goodies back and start the pressure cooking setting all over again!
  4. Make sure that vent it set to the sealed position! Nothing worse than 'pressure cooking' for 70 minutes only to come back and realize it never got to full pressure! Yup, you'd have to reset it for another 70 minutes of proper pressure cooking.
  5. If you are going to quick release, use a heat safe glove to relieve the pressure and stand back - the steam is super hot, you don't want to get in its way!
  6. You do not have to remove the fat, but I prefer not to eat it. Totally up to you!
  7. The step to broil the carnitas is to make the tips nice and crispy. It's extra delicious but not necessary, this step is up to you!

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition facts are an estimate only! The ingredients you choose could have different nutritional values than the ingredients I have used.  
Deduct fibre from the total carbs to get 3.2 g net carbs per 1/2 lb serving


Serving: 0.5lb | Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27.1g | Sodium: 566mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Net Carbs: 3.2g