Pork Carnitas the easy way

OH, I love Mexican food, tacos to be specific and the tender meat… my favorite.   

Carnitas are always so delicious,

but I really had no idea how they cooked them until recently.

No wonder they are so delicious. They boil the pork in lard, then fry it. Well, I don’t think I’ll be ordering Carnitas when I go out anytime soon. But I have made Carnitas this easy and dare I say healthier way a few times now and I’m hooked.

Ok, my easy method uses an old favorite….the pressure cooker ( or electric Instant Pot)

I can’t tell enough how I love my pressure cooker. I don’t use it all the time, or every week. But when I get it out, I can’t believe I don’t use it every week. It’s amazing how quickly it cooks.

I bought 4.22 lbs of “pork shoulder blade country style strips” which it easy terms is pork spare ribs on the bone. I’ve done on the bone and off the bone, and both are delicious. Any type of pork marbled with fat will work well in this recipe. Pork Shoulder for example, just cut it into smaller pieces so it cooks evenly.

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5 from 1 vote

Pork Carnitas the easy way

tender shredded pork to make healthier un "fried" carnitas, just crisp them in a pan, no need to boil in lard, the pressure cooker makes the meat nice and tender without being greasy
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Meat, Pork
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 servings


  • 4-5 lbs pork ribs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  • add onion 3 garlic cloves, chili powder, or another favorite seasoning


  • Place 4-5 lbs pork ribs in a pressure cooker
  • (cutting the meat into smaller pieces ensures the meat will all be cooked evenly tender, rather than putting large pieces of meat in all at once.
  • Add one cup of water
  • salt the top of the meat
  • Heat meat in the pressure cooker, when it comes to temperature (when the toggle on top rocks in a steady rhythm) turn on medium heat and cook 50 minutes.
  • If using an electric pressure cooker, simply set it to 1 hour.
  • Release the pressure.
  • Remove from the pressure cooker, shred pork with 2 forks.
  • Heat oil in a skillet ( I used my cast-iron skillet, but any skillet would work) and cook until crispy.
  • Now, it's ready to serve.

I love how crispy this is!


I serve the Carnitas with

Mexican Rice without the chicken and beans.

Another Mexican favorite of mine is

Cornbread Tamale Bites with Bacon

 Bean Dip

And for Dessert….

Non-Fried Fried Ice Cream



    1. Hi Laura, I made a mistake in the recipe and adjusted it, they took 50 minutes with 2 cups of water. 20 minutes would be NICE, but that would be chicken not pork. So sorry. I will hopefully be a better proofreader from now on.
      Hopping over to see yours now ๐Ÿ™‚
      I have a Presto pressure cooker.

    2. Ahh.. the perils of self-publishing! ; ) Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. I was just wondering if you had some kind of super-duper fast pressure cooker that I had not heard of, yet!

      Ciao and thanks for the visit!


    1. I was scared too the first time (17 years ago ๐Ÿ™‚ because of all the stories from my grandmother. I haven’t heard any burn stories since the newer pressure cookers lock well. I love mine and really LOVE how fast it cooks, meat comes out so tender! I cooked 10 pounds of corned beef in two batches for St. Patty’s and it was all done in 4 hours!!!

  1. What a spread! And I love pork carnitas. A place down the street from me does killer carnitas but I haven’t tried ’em on my own yet. I need to change that!

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