Instant Pot Carnitas

Have you ever eaten a dish at a restaurant and thought, “I wish I could make that”. This is exactly what happened last weekend.


We had a lovely weekend spending time with my husband’s brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. We don’t get to see them all that often, and it makes it extra sweet to see the kiddos playing together from the moment they wake up, to the moment they fall asleep. We did a big zoo day, went on explorations around the neighborhood, and enjoyed a final dinner at a local Tex-Mex spot. One of my favorite parts of this restaurant is that it has patio seating right next to the playground. That way, the grown ups get to have a normal, adult conversation, while the kids play safely in sight.


Eloise and I shared some shredded chicken tacos, but my husband’s dish was the real star of the night. He got a mixed platter that included this hunk of carnitas that was so crispy on the outside and incredibly juicy on the inside, that I hard a hard time not stealing the whole thing. Thankfully, he let me have a few bites.


Great things about carnitas: They feed a crowd. It is an impressive dish to serve your friends (“how is it so juicy and crispy at the same time?!”). The leftovers heat well. You can freeze the pressure cooked pork in it’s juice, thaw, and crisp under the broiler whenever you’re ready to eat. It is delicious.


We served the carnitas as tacos on corn tortillas and had a backyard picnic, but the meat would also pair well on top of rice or crispy roasted potatoes. Optional, but highly recommend to serve with guacamole and your favorite salsa.

Cooking for a toddler has taught me that if I’m not sure she will be a fan of a new dish, we have it in a calm, fun setting like the back porch. Sometimes having them in a good mood makes ALL the difference. She told me, “this is really good mom”. Made my day.


Instant Pot Carnitas


4 lb pork roast

1.5 tsp cumin

1.5 tsp garlic

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp red chili flake


  1. Cut pork roast into 3 inch chunks and place in pressure cooker.
  2. Mix together spices and rub onto pork.
  3. Pressure cook on high for 1.25 hours and allow for 10 min natural release.
  4. Remove pieces of pork and spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Reserve juice from pressure cooker.
  5. Broil on high for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, flip pieces over, and pour over 1/2 cup broth remaining in pressure cooker.
  7. Return to broil for another 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and pour over another 1/2 cup juices.
  9. Lightly shred meat and serve hot.



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