• Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • Time: 1 hour 10 minutes total

Traditionally, carnitas are slow cooked for hours in a large copper cazo (pot) filled with manteca de cerdo (pork lard) and stirred occasionally with an oversize (4- to 6-foot) wooden spoon. While the resulting little pieces of crispy fried pork are absolutely irresistible, the reality is: Ain’t no one got time for that. But with the Instant Pot® you can enjoy a healthier and more flavorful version of carnitas in about an hour. Make a feast out of this easy weeknight meal by serving with beans and rice, or serve the carnitas as a simple taco filling and top with chopped onion, cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and your favorite salsa.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Sauté: 10 minutes
Manual: 25 minutes on high pressure
Release: Natural
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons manteca (pork lard) or vegetable oil

  • 2 1/3 pounds pork shoulder roast or Boston butt, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 bay leaves

Everyday Mexican Instant Pot Everyday Mexican Instant Pot Cookbook by Leslie Limòn


1. Set the Instant Pot® to sauté and adjust to More for high. Heat the manteca in the pot until completely melted. Add the pork and fry for 6 to 8 minutes, or until light golden brown. Season with the salt, cumin, and pepper. Add the orange and lime juices and top with the bay leaves.

2. Lock the lid into place and set the steam release valve to sealed. Select Manual and set the timer for 25 minutes on high.

3.  When cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally. Unlock and remove the lid. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

4. Using two forks, shred the pork carnitas in the pot. Enjoy!

Option tip: To crisp up your carnitas, spread them out on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 425°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Excerpt from Everyday Mexican Instant Pot Cookbook published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2018 by Leslie Limón. Additional recipe suggestions edited out of the original text with permission by the publisher.