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!

carnitas 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 bites 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. Looking for more salmon bites recipe? 

carnitas tacos on a plate with chips

How to make easy carnitas tacos

Step 1


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. 

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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. 

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