Instant Pot Carnitas
Author: Heather Bursch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or bacon fat)
  • 1 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 oranges zested and squeezed to about 1 cup of juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  1. Trim large pieces of fat off of pork shoulder. Save fat and add to the pot before cooking for flavor.
  2. Cut pork into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Press [Saute], then press [Adjust] to [More] mode on your Instant Pot. In 10 seconds your pot is ready to saute your meat. Add oil for a few seconds to cover the bottom of the insert and saute all meat sides in batches, placing browned pork in a bowl until all pieces are brown. Keep all meat in the extra bowl to rest and saute onions alone for about 3 minutes. Add some more oil as needed.
  4. Add meat and all the remaining ingredients back into Instant Pot insert, including reserved fat pieces, and stir to combine, scraping up browned bits if possible.
  5. Close the lid of the Instant Pot. Press [Manual] and set time for 30 minutes.
  6. When time is up, let the pork naturally release for about 20 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually.
Options for finishing recipe:
  1. To eat immediately: Shred meat and use juices to add moisture as you need and skip the sauce thickening process as detailed next.
  2. To cook down sauce with stove and oven: With a slotted spoon, strain out meat pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet with about ½ cup of juices poured on top. Put remaining juices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer vigorously while the sauce cooks down to a thicker sauce. Broil pan with meat until tops of meat chunks start to crisp. Remove from the oven. Discard fat pieces and shred meat. Pour thicker sauce on top and stir together before serving.
  3. To cook down sauce with stove top only: Remove pork pieces and pour all juices into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until thick and reduced as you desire. Add pork pieces back in (removing all fat portions) and stir and shred until meat is pulled apart and ready to eat.
  4. To save or freeze for later: Cool the meat and juices in Instant Pot pan, then package into a storage container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Proceed with either of the options above, removing the fat layer on top as you wish or use some in your recipe for flavor. Or you can put cooled meat and juices into the freezer once cooled and when you decide to thaw, proceed with oven or stove-top reheating instructions above.
Recipe by She Made It She Might at