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Pressure Cooker Carnitas Recipe: Juicy & Tender Pressure Cooker Carnitas Recipe: Juicy & Tender


Pressure Cooker Carnitas Recipe: Juicy & Tender

Written by: Lucas Johnson

This pressure cooker carnitas recipe is my go-to for a quick, flavorful meal. Tender pork shoulder, zesty citrus, and warm spices all meld together beautifully. It's a fiesta in your mouth!

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Let me tell you about my go-to pressure cooker carnitas recipe. This Mexican-inspired dish transforms tough pork shoulder into melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Bursting with zesty citrus flavors and aromatic spices, these carnitas are perfect for tacos, burritos, or bowls. Best part? Using a pressure cooker cuts cooking time dramatically without sacrificing taste. You'll love how easily this tender, flavorful meat comes together. Ready to dive in? Let's get cooking!

Ingredients for Delicious Pressure Cooker Carnitas

  • Pork shoulder: Tender and flavorful meat that becomes melt-in-your-mouth after being cooked in the pressure cooker.
  • Onion: Adds a sweet and savory depth of flavor to the carnitas, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  • Garlic: Infuses a rich and aromatic taste into the carnitas, elevating the dish with its pungent flavor profile.
  • Cumin: Provides a warm and earthy flavor that complements the pork and enhances the overall seasoning of the carnitas.
  • Oregano: Adds a hint of freshness and a subtle herbaceous note to the carnitas, balancing out the other flavors.
  • Chili powder: Brings a mild heat and smokiness to the carnitas, giving it a flavorful kick without being overpowering.
  • Orange juice: Adds a touch of sweetness and acidity to the carnitas, helping to tenderize the meat and brighten the flavors.
  • Lime juice: Provides a zesty and tangy flavor that cuts through the richness of the pork, adding a refreshing element.
  • Chicken broth: Infuses the carnitas with savory depth and richness, creating a flavorful base for the meat to cook in.

Essential Tools for Making Carnitas in a Pressure Cooker

  • Pressure cooker: Speeds up cooking time and helps to tenderize the pork shoulder efficiently.
  • Knife: Essential for cutting the pork shoulder into manageable chunks before cooking.

Pressure Cooker Carnitas Recipe: Juicy & Tender

This Pressure Cooker Carnitas recipe yields juicy and tender pork, perfect for tacos, burritos, or bowls. It's a quick and easy way to enjoy a flavorful Mexican dish.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 380 kcal


  • Pressure Cooker


Main Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder cut into chunks
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
  • 0.5 cup orange juice
  • 0.25 cup lime juice
  • 0.25 cup chicken broth


  • Season the pork with cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the seasoned pork in the pressure cooker.
  • Add the onion, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, and chicken broth.
  • Close the pressure cooker lid and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
  • Once done, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release.
  • Shred the pork using two forks.
  • Optional: crisp up the carnitas in a skillet for a few minutes.
  • Serve in tacos, burritos, or bowls.


For extra flavor and texture, crisp up the shredded carnitas in a hot skillet for a few minutes before serving.

Nutrition value:

Calories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 30gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 420mgPotassium: 620mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg


Keyword Carnitas, Pork, Pressure Cooker
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Prep and Storage Tips for Pressure Cooker Carnitas

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Cook the carnitas as per the recipe instructions.
  • Let the cooked carnitas cool to room temperature.
  • Store the carnitas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • Allow the carnitas to cool completely.
  • Place the carnitas in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • Label the container with the date.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

When making these pressure cooker carnitas, try adding a splash of cola to the cooking liquid for a hint of sweetness and caramelization.

Common Questions About Making Carnitas in a Pressure Cooker

How long does it take to cook the carnitas in the pressure cooker?
The carnitas cook in the pressure cooker on high pressure for 45 minutes.
Can I skip crisping up the carnitas in a skillet?
Yes, crisping up the carnitas in a skillet is optional.
What type of pork should I use for this recipe?
You should use pork shoulder, cut into chunks, for this carnitas recipe.
Do I need to marinate the pork before cooking?
No, you do not need to marinate the pork before cooking in the pressure cooker.
What can I serve the carnitas with?
You can serve the carnitas in tacos, burritos, or bowls.

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