Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Recipe

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5 from 8 reviews

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!



2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground guajillo chile powder (or your favorite chili powder)

1 teaspoon dried epazote (or dried Mexican oregano or dried oregano)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 pounds bone-in pork shoulder

1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped

To Serve: 

Warm tortillas

chopped onions

chopped cilantro

Salsa Verde

Pickled jalapeños 


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.