Mexican Instant Pot Pulled Pork Carnitas

This Instant Pot Pulled Pork makes for the ultimate carnitas!!! Loaded with just the right flavors and ridiculously simple this is the only Mexican pulled pork recipe you will ever need, plus learn how to get gloriously crispy bits that are perfect in tacos!

Course Entree, Main Course, Main Entree
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Mila


The Rub

  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp raw can sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dry sage

Braising Liquid

  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 oranges juiced 3/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5-6 pounds pork shoulder or pork butt boneless or bone-in ( if using bone less you will need about 4 pounds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Place the Instant Pot onto the "saute" setting.  

  2. Combine all the ingredients of the rub in a bowl.  Rub them all over the pork ensuring every nook and cranny is covered.

  3. Pour in the olive oil into the Instant Pot and place the meat into the pot.  Allow to sear 4-5 minutes per side.

  4. Add in all of the remaining ingredients of the braising liquid and seal the lid.  Press the "off/clear" button and then press the "meat" button and adjust the time to 30 minutes.  MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TURNED THE VENTING VALVE TO "SEALING"

  5. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.  Then turn the vent valve to "venting" and allow all the steam to escape prior to opening.

  6. With gloves or two forks, shred the pork until no large pieces remain.

  7. Optional: to serve, place the shredded pork in a sheet pan under the broiler with about 1/4 cup of the braising liquid.  Broil until perfectly crispy, about 5-10 minutes.  OR repeat the same steps on the stovetop in a hot cast iron pan.

Recipe Notes

  1. If your limes seem a bit hard, stick them into the microwave for 15 seconds to loosen up the juices.
  2. These carnitas will freeze up beautifully!  Just make sure to freeze it along with the braising liquid to keep them nice and moist when re heating.