Pork Carnitas Tacos

Recipe Date: June 18, 2020
Serving Size: 8
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 75 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Impress your friends with other-worldy Pork Carnitas Tacos. Try them once and they’ll become a monthly staple in your household. Try them twice and they’ll become an art form. Crispy pork tacos served best with Mexican Street Corn. Pair with Dude’s Rosé to really top off the meal.


  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • One 3-pound boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Warmed corn tortillas
  • chopped white onion
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • hot sauce for serving


Add the orange juice, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt to a pressure cooker and stir to comine. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, and cubed pork and stir to evenly coat the pork.

Secure the lid and set pressure release to sealing. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 35 minutes.

Let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, then allow the pressure cooker to vent to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and, using tons, transfer the pork to a plate or carving board. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces.

Wearing heat-resistant mitts, lift out the inner pot. Pour the cooking liquid into a fat separator, then pour the liquid back into the inner pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the fat for crisping the pork and discard the rest. Return the pork to the inner pot with the cooking liquid, then return to the pressure cooking housing.

Secure the lid, allow the pressure cooker to vent while keeping the pressure cooker on. This is to allow the contents to keep warm. Keep warm for up to 10 hours until (or as desired) until you are ready to crisp it up to serve.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet, spreading it in an even layer, and broil until crisp, about 5 minutes. You can add about 1/2 cup of “juice” to a sheet pan to prevent pork from drying out. Keep a close eye on it as burning can happen quickly.

Serve carnitas on warmed tortillas sprinkled with cilantro, cojita cheese, diced onion, and hot sauce of your choice.

This recipe requires a pressure cooker. Cubing the pork prior to cooking will decrease your cooking time to one hour. The blend of spices, onions, garlic, and orange juice infuses flavor into the pork as it cooks, and a touch of sugar helps i to brown. After pressure-cooking, we shred the pork and crisp it in a skillet or under the broiler.

If you really want to step it up, serve these tacos with a mango salsa. 💃

*This recipe is our own rendition of, and inspired by the Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook.