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Instant Pot Beef Carnitas Recipe Instant Pot Beef Carnitas Recipe


Instant Pot Beef Carnitas Recipe

Written by: Emily Smith

This beef carnitas recipe is my go-to for a hearty, flavorful meal. It's a breeze in the instant pot, and the result is tender, juicy beef perfect for tacos or burritos.

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Let me share my go-to instant pot recipe for mouthwatering beef carnitas. This dish transforms tough chuck roast into tender, flavorful meat perfect for tacos, burritos, or rice bowls. My secret? A zesty blend of spices and lime juice that infuses every bite with bold Mexican-inspired taste. Plus, using an pressure cooker means you'll have dinner ready in no time. Trust me, once you try these carnitas, they'll become a family favorite. Ready to dive in? Let's get cooking!

Ingredients for Delicious Beef Carnitas

  • Beef chuck roast: Tender and flavorful cut of meat that becomes juicy and succulent when cooked low and slow.
  • Onion: Adds a sweet and savory depth of flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall taste of the beef carnitas.
  • Garlic: Infuses a rich and aromatic flavor into the beef, elevating the taste profile of the carnitas.
  • Cumin: Brings a warm and earthy spice to the dish, adding complexity and depth to the beef carnitas.
  • Chili powder: Provides a mild heat and smokiness to the beef, giving the carnitas a bold and zesty flavor.
  • Oregano: Offers a hint of herbal freshness to the dish, balancing out the other spices in the beef carnitas.
  • Beef broth: Adds a savory richness to the beef, creating a flavorful base for the carnitas to cook in.
  • Lime juice: Brightens up the dish with a tangy and citrusy kick, cutting through the richness of the beef carnitas.

Essential Tools for Making Instant Pot Carnitas

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the beef quickly and efficiently.
  • Cutting board: Needed for chopping the onion and cutting the beef chuck roast into smaller pieces.
  • Knife: Essential for cutting the beef chuck roast and chopping the onion.
  • Measuring cup: Required to accurately measure and add the beef broth and lime juice to the recipe.

Instant Pot Beef Carnitas Recipe

This Instant Pot Beef Carnitas recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy delicious, tender beef carnitas. Perfect for tacos, burritos, or over rice.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people
Calories 320 kcal


  • Instant Pot


Main Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef chuck roast cut into chunks
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 0.25 cup lime juice


  • Place beef, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper in the Instant Pot.
  • Pour in beef broth and lime juice.
  • Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 60 minutes.
  • Once done, allow for natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Shred the beef using two forks.
  • Serve the beef carnitas in tacos, burritos, or over rice.


For extra flavor, you can sear the beef chunks before adding them to the Instant Pot.

Nutrition value:

Calories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 30gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 600mgPotassium: 600mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 3mg


Keyword Beef Carnitas, Instant Pot, Quick Dinner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Meal Prep and Storage Tips for Beef Carnitas

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Cook the beef carnitas as directed in the recipe.
  • Allow the beef to cool completely.
  • Store the shredded beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • Cook the beef carnitas as directed in the recipe.
  • Allow the beef to cool completely.
  • Place the shredded beef in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • Label the container with the date.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.

Braising the beef chuck roast in this instant pot recipe helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with the flavors of the spices and aromatics.

Common Questions About Making Instant Pot Beef Carnitas

Can I use a different cut of beef for this recipe?
Yes, you can use beef brisket or beef shoulder as alternatives to beef chuck roast.
Can I skip the beef broth in this recipe?
Using beef broth adds flavor, but you can substitute with water if needed.
How can I make this recipe spicier?
You can increase the amount of chili powder or add some diced jalapeños for extra heat.
Can I freeze the beef carnitas?
Yes, you can freeze the cooked beef carnitas in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
What are some serving suggestions for beef carnitas?
Beef carnitas are delicious in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or served over rice with beans and salsa.

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