Amazing carnitas tacos cooked in the instant Pot and then broiled under the grill for that crispy carnitas texture we all love in our street tacos!
As long as the world has tacos, then I think we’ll all be okay! What is it about this small but super satisfying delicacy that can come with so many different fillings? It’s hard to nail down a favorite but Al Pastor tacos and Carnitas are probably my two choices I’d pick from a menu before anything else.
But wait, that’s just for meat and doesn’t even include chicken. I told you it was so hard to choose a favorite, and how can I forget these butternut squash tacos or crispy salmon tacos for something a little special.
Making traditional carnitas is a labor of love. They might simmer all day long to get a flavor that can take a simple street taco to a whole other level. There had to be another way to accomplish the same end results but quicker, so we can all have easy carnitas tacos for dinner when times are busy. That’s what your Instant Pot is for and even with the quicker cook time, your carnitas tacos will still make you happy.
How to make easy carnitas tacos
make the spice rub
The spices are important and even though they look hot and spicy, they actually create a deep robust flavor. Mexican oregano, cumin, paprika, chipotle chili powder and chopped adobe chili are combined to create the rub.
season the meat
Pork shoulder is a large piece of meat and great as one piece for a smoker but probably to big for the Instant Pot. Chop it into more manageable pieces and season well with the rub. I ike to use my hands for this part so the flavor gets into every part of the pork. Add the pork to the Instant Pot along with the liquids. Orange juice and a splash of Mexican beer like Modelo or Pacifico are my choices for extra flavor.
broil the pork
Once the pork is fully cooked, there is one more important step that all carnitas has to have. The meat should be shredded or chopped and then placed under the broiler to become slightly crispy around the edges. Traditionally this is done after hours of cooking and most of the liquid has evaporated but for this method we can rely on a broiler.
I like to serve my carnitas tacos on the small size street taco corn tortillas. Use two tortillas per taco just for extra strength. Lay some of the carnitas on top and garnish with some sliced red onion, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
Serve with plenty of chips and salsa and of course some ice cold beers for the ultimate small bites dinner!
Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos
- Instant Pot
- 6 pounds pork shoulder/pork butt boneless if possible
- 1 tbsp Mexican oregano regular oregano will also work
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 2 tbsp chopped adobe chili from a can
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup Mexican beer
- Cut the pork into large chunks.
- Combine the spices and adobe chili.
- Rub each piece of meat with the spice rub.
- Add the orange juice and beer to the instant Pot.
- Add the wire rack to the base of your Instant Pot and set the chunks of meat on top.
- Sprinkle the garlic powder over the meat.
- Place the lid on top and seal.
- Set to high pressure and cook for 60 minutes followed by 15 minutes natural steam release.
- The meat should be easily shredded with two forks, if it isn't place the lid back on and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Once the meat is done take the chunks out of the pot and shred on a cutting board.
- Transfer the shredded meat to a baking sheet pan lined with foil.
- Place the shredded carnitas under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes and the ends of teh meat begin to crispen.
- Serve on mini corn tortillas with cilantro and red onion.