This Pork Carnitas Recipe post was created in partnership with Instant Pot. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make ¡Hola! Jalapeño possible.
What if I told you I could make your favorite Instant Pot Pork Carnitas even easier?! This orange zest and guajillo spiced carnitas meat doesn’t only have the tenderness you love, but also the crispy edges that you could only get by transferring the meat to the broiler or stove top—until now.
Introducing the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer
When it comes to kitchen appliances, I like to keep things to a minimum. I have a tiny kitchen so if it doesn’t make my life significantly better, I don’t buy it. That being said, I’m going to go out on a limb here and declare the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer to be the most useful addition to my kitchen in a long time.
It really is the best of all possible worlds. Its eleven functions do just about every kitchen task, except I guess, make ice. This one device can saute, pressure cook, fry, roast, I’m not going to name them all, but you get the picture. It would be absolutely perfect for anyone with very little kitchen skills or space—I’m thinking dorm room or studio apartment kind of situation. Let me demonstrate with our carnitas recipe.
The Problem with Pork Carnitas Instant Pot Recipes
A traditional Instant Pot does make deliciously tender pork carnitas in a fraction of the time, I give you that. However, if you are used to an authentic carnitas recipe you know the best part is the combination of juicy tender insides and crispy, crackling edges.
You used to have to take the meat out of the Instant Pot and place it under the broiler. With the new Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer you can get the crispy edges you crave right in the same pot!
But How Do You Make a Pork Carnitas Recipe In One Pot?
The secret to the new Instant Pot is its two different lids. Here’s how it works:
- Start by sautéing the onions with the sauté setting to bring out their sweetness.
- Then add the pork. I like to use a bone-in pork shoulder with the skin-on, for maximum flavor, but cooking a whole shoulder takes longer. If you are in a super rush, buy a boneless pork shoulder and cut into pieces. This will cook in half the time.
- Place the Instant Pot pressure cooker lid on and set the pressure cooker setting to high.
- Once the pork is falling apart and tender. Strain out the liquid, remove the bone (if using) and shred the meat.
- Place the Air Fryer lid on and set to Air Fry. Fry until the edges are nice and crisp. #DinnerDone
Did I Mention This Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe Is Healthier Too?
The reason we love our Instant Pot is in the name—Instant! It saves us buckets of time and helps get dinner on the table quicker but crisping the carnitas meat in the Air Fryer uses a fraction of the fat as well. Here’s what you need to make it:
- A Little Bit O’Lard, which I use for the flavor but you could use vegetable oil instead.
- Pork Shoulder
- Homemade Carnitas Seasoning Mix
What Else You’ll Need
Obviously the Instant Pot is key. Other than that you’ll need:
Easy Weeknight Recipes In Between All the Holiday Madness
Obviously this recipe is MADE for the super busy holiday season. Here are a couple more recipes that will make it look like you really have it all together (even if you totally DO NOT) thanks to our friend the Instant Pot.
The Ultimate Kitchen Gift This Holiday
If you are looking for that perfect something for the harried cook in your life, this is it (available on Amazon and Instantpot.com!). And if you’d like to be gifted one yourself, you know what to do. Already own an Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer? Even better! Try out this pork carnitas recipe, snap a photo and share it with me by tagging #holajalapeno and @holajalapeno on Instagram! I might even share it too!Print
Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe
The easiest way to get the crispy-edged pork carnitas recipe we all crave is in the new Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer. It cooks and crisps all in one!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Mexican
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 pounds bone-in pork shoulder
1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
Combine salt, orange zest, cumin, ground chile, epazote, and black pepper in a small bowl. Season all sides of the pork shoulder with the salt mixture.
Add lard to the Instant Pot and select saute. Cook on Hi and set timer for 5 minutes. Once lard is melted add onions and saute, stirring occasionally.
Add pork and close with the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker lid. Set the Pressure Cook setting on Hi for 1 hour 15 minutes. It will take a minute for the Instant Pot to set the pressure, then it will begin to cook and the timer will start.
Let pressure release on its own slowly (or manually release the pressure if you’re in a hurry). Set a strainer over a heat-proof bowl and strain out meat and onions saving the cooking liquid. Once pork is cool enough to handle, shred and return to the Instant Pot.
Place Air Fryer lid on top and set to Air Fry at 400F for 12 minutes. The Instant Pot will ring halfway through and notify you to turn the carnitas. Remove the lid and set it on the provided base—careful the bottom of the lid is hot. Toss them around with a pair of tongs to get more edges nice and crisp. If after 12 minutes they are not crisp enough set the time for 3 more minutes or until done to your liking.
Add a 1/2 cup or so of the cooking liquid back into the carnitas to make them nice and juicy. Serve immediately with warm tortillas, chopped onions, cilantro, or your favorite garnishes. Save any remaining cooking liquid for later to reheat the carnitas or add to soup.