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This Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe Satisfies All of Your Summer Taco Needs

This dish requires very little introduction. Tacos? Always. Carnitas? Yes, please. Done in under an hour? Duh. Plus the Instant Pot version beats out slow-cooking it. The appealing beauty of pressure cooking via the Instant Pot is that you can decide you want carnitas at 5pm and eat by 6pm! For me, that’s 100 percent worth it. But alas, I need not convince you to buy an Instant Pot; you most likely own one already if you’re taking a gander at this 35-minute gem of a recipe.

Recipe Notes: There’s a lot of wiggle room in this recipe if you feel like experimenting a little. Add some dried Mexican oregano, ground cumin, and/or pickled jalapeño juice; this recipe’s resilient. Serve the carnitas with your favorite taco setup or over steamed white rice and black beans for a taco bowl. It’s so easy, you’ll be making this dish all summer long.

(Recipe and photos via Ashley Bare / Brit + Co)

Tacos? Always. Carnitas? Yes, please.


  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-out pork butt/shoulder, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 1/2 sweet onion, skin-on
  • 1/2 orange, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s garlic salt
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 beer (IPA is our choice)


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the pork butt for a few minutes on each side. Place pork in Instant Pot when browned. Repeat with the remaining pork.

Place all the other ingredients on top of the pork in the Instant Pot, secure lid, and double check that the vent (on the lid) is in the sealed position.

Choose the Meat/Stew setting (or Manual for 35 minutes on high pressure), and let cook.

Once it is finished, either let the pressure come down on its own (usually takes about 15 minutes) or carefully release the pressure by turning the vent (on the lid) to the venting position.

Shred the pork and other ingredients (in the pot) using two forks. If eating the skin of cooked oranges turns you off, remove the oranges before shredding.

Though the pork is ready to serve at this point, for a bonus, sear it. Press Cancel button on your Instant Pot, then select Sauté. Cook for 10-15 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce and concentrate in flavor a bit. This step is optional but nice to do if you have the extra time.

Serve shredded pork with your favorite taco toppings. We used corn tortillas, avocado, watermelon radish, cilantro, and lime.

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