Pressure Cooker Mexican Carnitas

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min. + releasing


12-16 servings

Updated: Nov. 13, 2023
Carnitas are small pieces of crisp pork that are very popular in Mexico. The secret to this recipe is the citrus and quick frying. Be sure to drain the meat well before placing it in the oil, though, or it will splatter and pop. —Patricia Collins, Imbler, Oregon
Pressure Cooker Mexican Carnitas Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 1 large lemon
  • Canola oil or bacon drippings
  • 16 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • Optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream and sliced avocado


  1. Place pork in a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with garlic and cilantro. Squeeze juice from the oranges and lemon over the meat.
  2. Lock lid; make sure vent is closed. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high and set time for 25 minutes. When finished cooking, allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick-release according to manufacturer's directions. With a slotted spoon, remove meat and drain well on paper towels. Pour cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and let fat rise to the surface. Skim fat from surface and place in the cooker insert; discard remaining cooking liquid.
  3. Select saute setting and adjust for high heat. Add enough canola oil or bacon drippings to measure 1/2-in. depth. When hot, add pork, in batches, and fry until dark golden brown and crisp. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with remaining pork.
  4. Serve warm in tortillas with toppings of your choice.

Can you freeze Pressure Cooker Mexican Carnitas?

Freeze cooled pork mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Fry meat in batches as directed until crisp and brown. Serve as directed.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 391 calories, 20g fat (5g saturated fat), 51mg cholesterol, 435mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 19g protein.