Instant Pot Carnitas {Paleo, Whole30, Keto, AIP}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, paleo, whole30, keto, AIP-options
  • 3 - 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder (aka Boston Butt) - local, pasture-raised if you can find it
  • 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 large or 2 small white or yellow onion(s), cut into quarters
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
For Serving:
  1. Cut the pork shoulder into 2-3 inch cubes. You can trim any major chunks of fat, if you want. Or leave it for extra flavor.
  2. Add the pork chunks to the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) insert. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, cumin and cloves. Toss the meat really well to get it evenly coated.
  3. To the seasoned meat, add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, garlic and onion. Next add the zest of the orange, then juice the zested orange and add all the juice (use two oranges if your orange isn't super juicy) and finally the fresh lime juice.
  4. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and lock. Make sure the valve on the lid is set to the “Sealing” position. Using the “Manual” feature set to cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
  5. Once the time is up, let the pressure release on its own for 20 minutes, then remove lid. (If you are rushing, you can release the pressure manually, but leave it, if you can). Shred the meat and serve as it OR
Finishing Move for Crispy Carnitas:
  1. Preheat your broiler on high. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat, that should basically be falling apart already and place on a baking sheet. Use two forks to pull apart the meat slightly to shred. Place the baking sheet under the broiler to cook for just a few minutes or until the pork begins to brown and crisp.
  2. Keep the juices in the Instant Pot but using a slotted spoon remove the onion, garlic, orange zest, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. After serving, store any leftover pork in the juices, in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. Heat up in a skillet or under the broiler.
  3. Serve as tacos, salads, on bowls, burritos, in scrambles, etc.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
  1. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  2. Remove pork shoulder from the slow cooker and shred the meat before returning to the pot with the juices; season with salt and pepper, to taste, if needed. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes. Finish same as above.
I keep the onion and the garlic whole and just fish most of them out when shredding the pork.
Use a peeler to get long, wide strips of the orange zest, of just the orange parts, not the underlying white stuff, that's bitter.
For AIP: leave out cumin and red pepper flakes, leave out black pepper, if necessary. Skip salsa and any peppers when serving
For low FODMAP - leave out the onions and garlic. You'll lose some flavor, but to be honest, you get so much flavor from the spices, it will still be absolutely EPIC!
Recipe by Tasty Yummies at