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Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com
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5 from 33 votes

Instant Pot Carnitas (Paleo, Whole30, Low Carb)

I’ve perfected a porktastic Instant Pot Carnitas recipe that will rival what you'd order at your favorite taqueria! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: gluten-free, Instant Pot, paleo, pork, Pressure Cooker, Primal, tacos, Whole30
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 479kcal
Author: Michelle Tam


  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoons crushed dried oregano leaves preferably Mexican
  • 1 medium orange I like using Cara Cara
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon ghee avocado oil, lard, or favorite high temperature cooking fat (optional)
  • 1 small white onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro minced
  • 1 head butter lettuce leaves removed, washed and spun dry (Siete’s grain-free tortillas are awesome as well.)
  • 2 Hass avocados peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 limes quartered


  • Grab your boneless pork shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt) and cut it into 2-inch cubes.
  • Plop the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss well to coat. Then, transfer the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot insert.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface, making sure you don’t peel into the white pith, ’cause that stuff is bitter. Add the strips of orange zest to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, quartered yellow onion, and bay leaf. 
  • Cut the bald orange in half and juice it. Pour the juice into the Instant Pot insert and stir to distribute.
  • Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Make sure the valve on the lid is pointed at the "Sealing" position. Press the  “Manual” button (or “Pressure Cook” if you have the new IP-DUO Plus60) and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. (Stovetop pressure cooker users should cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.) Then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes). 
  • If the pressure hasn’t completely released after 20 minutes and you’re hungry, manually vent the pressure by turning the release valve on the lid. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. You can shred and serve the pork as-is, or store it in the fridge (with all the liquid/fat) for up to 4 days (or in the freezer for up to 4 months).
  • If you prefer crispy carnitas, heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat.
  • Grab the pork out of the fridge and dig out the pieces of carnitas. Shred the meat up with your fingers.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the pork and fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired crispness.
  • While the pork is getting crispy, combine the diced white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Also, wash some butter lettuce leaves, slice up the avocados, radishes, and jalapeños. Grab your favorite salsa, and cut up some lime wedges.
  • Last but not least, grab your plate and assemble your own delicious tacos!



Make the carnitas ahead of time on the weekend and taco night will be a breeze during the week!
Tried this recipe?Mention @nomnompaleo or tag #nomnompaleo!


Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 21g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g