Instant Pot Pork Tacos– With the help of the pressure cooker, you will make the most tender, juicy shredded Mexican Pork, perfect for tacos or pork carnitas.
I have been making Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas for years.
Or at least what I THOUGHT to be Pork Carnitas…….Do you know the actual definition of Pork Carnitas?
According to wikipedia, Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three to four hours, and the result is very tender and juicy meat.
You guys, I have been doing this carnitas thing all wrong–my shredded Mexican Pork does not have crispy edges (NOR has it been simmered in lard or oil for that matter.)
But never fear, I do have an Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Pork recipe for you that DOES create tender and juicy meat. AND I include directions for how to get crispy edges, if that is your type of thing.
Instant Pot Pork Tacos
When you put my love of tacos, pork AND easy, instant pot recipes–Instant Pot Pork Tacos were BOUND to happen.
How To Make Pressure Cooker Pork Tacos
Step One: Put ingredients in pressure cooker.
Now, if you look close you will see my pork loin has been frozen. I have my butcher cut a large pork loin into 3-4 pound sections and freeze to use as desired. Tip: Your butcher will do this for FREE–you just have to ask!
- How to Cook Frozen Pork Loin in your Instant Pot:
- If using frozen meat, you won’t be able to sear your pork loin, so just place in your inner pot of your pressure cooker along with the remaining ingredients.
- Add 10 minutes per pound to total cook time for frozen pork loin.
- How to Cook Fresh Pork Loin in your Instant Pot:
- If using fresh pork loin, it is a great idea to sear your meat first.
- To sear meat in your instant pot, turn your pressure cooker to Saute and pour in 1 tablespoon oil.
- Wait until your pressure cooker reads Hot, and then sear your meat 2-3 minutes per side until browned.
- *You may need to cut your pork loin into two pieces to sear in your instant pot. And searing is an OPTIONAL step.
Step Two: Cook the Pork Loin in the Instant Pot
- Cooking pork loin in the pressure cooker is as easy as hitting manual button.
- Set cook time for 20 minutes per pound on high pressure for fresh pork loin
- Set cook time for 30 minutes per pound for frozen pork loin.
*If you have cut your pork loin into smaller roasts, set for the time of the largest piece of meat (ie–if you have two 2 lb roasts, cook for 40 minutes instead of 80 minutes total.)
Step Three: Shred the Cooked Pork Loin
- After the cook time has elapsed on the instant pot, let pressure release naturally. This is an extremely important step if you want to achieve tender pressure cooker meat.
- Once pressure has released, you want to shred up your pork loin.
- To shred the pork, I break it into 2-3 large chunks with a butter knife.
- Place hand-held mixer right into the instant pot, turn to medium low and shred away.
*The juice the pork has cooked in, will splash a bit, but the inner pot is deep enough, I don’t find this to be much of an issue.
*You could also just remove your pork loin from the pressure cooker and use two forks to shred the meat or shred in a stand-mixer if desired.
What if the pork loin is not tender after cooking time?
If after your pork has cooked and pressure has been NATURALLY released, the pork loin will not easily shred for you, don’t panic.
- Cut your pork loin into chunks and place back in your pressure cooker right inside the cooking juices.
- Set the pressure to high and cook for an additional 10 minutes and let pressure release naturally again. Your meat should be perfect at this point!
How to Make Pork Carnitas without lard
I am not all about crispy edges on my pork tacos–and on busy nights, I just serve up the shredded pork loin as pork tacos.
But a lot of people love that contrast in texture that occurs in authentic pork carnitas.
You can get those coveted crispy edges without cooking your pork loin in lard, oil or even pan frying after the meat has been cooked.
- Turn your broiler on your oven to high.
- Spread your shredded pork loin on a large rimmed baking sheet, along with 1/2 cup of the cooking juices.
- Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the juice has begun to evaporate and the meat begins to brown.
- At this point, you can flip the meat, add an additional 1/2 cup cooking liquid and repeat the process on the remaining side, or you can serve as is.
How to Serve Instant Pot Mexican Pork Loin
- In tortillas with cheese, cabbage, and or sour cream
- In a Pork Carnita Bowl
- Over a Baked Potato or Sweet Potato
Tips for the Best Instant Pot Pork Tacos
- I love to use pork loin for pork taco meat. It is lean, inexpensive and still full of flavor. You could also use pork tenderloin or pork butt for these Instant Pot Pork Tacos (see recipe notes for cooking times.)
- Freshly squeezed orange juice is best, but any orange juice you have will work.
- If you don’t want to use chicken stock in this pork carnitas recipe, I love the contrast of a light beer and orange juice as the base for pork tacos as well. Just remember that if using beer, these Instant Pot Pork Tacos, will no longer be gluten-free or paleo.
- Feel free to add a diced onion or freshly minced garlic to the cooking liquid as well.
- Instant Pot Shredded Pork Loin is great to serve on warmed tortillas with queso fresco, chopped cilantro, in a Carnita Burrito Bowl, on a baked potato or baked sweet potato topped with guacamole, or even on a Mexican Cobb Salad or Mexican Pizza. I also like to serve pork tacos with shredded cabbage that has been dressed with fresh lime juice, salt and a bit of honey for a quick slaw to cut through the heaviness of the pork.
- Shredded Mexican Pork will keep safely in your refrigerator for 3-4 days and will freeze for up to 3 months.
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala
- Pressure Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Lasagna
Pressure Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe
Instant Pot Pork Tacos
- 1 tablespoon oil optional
- 1 3-4 pound pork loin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup chicken stock or light beer
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- tortillas, shredded cheese (cheddar or queso fresco), shredded cabbage
- Turn your instant pot to saute and add in oil. Season pork loin liberally with the kosher salt. When Instant Pot reads "Hot," add pork loin to instant pot and sear until browned on each side.
- Mix together orange juice, stock, cumin, oregano and garlic powder and pour over pork loin.
- Seal pressure cooker and be sure vent is pointing to "sealed." Set pressure to high and cook for 20 minutes per pound (60 minutes for 3 pounds or 80 minutes for 4 pounds.)
- Once cook time has elapsed, let pressure release naturally.
- Shred pork with 2 forks or kitchen mixer (stand or hand-held mixer both work.)
- If you want to crisp the edges of the shredded pork, place meat on rimmed sheet pan with 1/2 cup cooking liquid and broil under high heat for 3-5 minutes per side.
- Serve Mexican pork with tortillas and shredded cheese, over rice, or over baked potatoes.
- If your pork loin will not fit in your pressure cooker, cut into smaller roasts and cook according to size of largest piece (not total weight)
- If your pork loin is frozen, do NOT sear the meat, omit the oil, and add 10 minutes to cooking time per pound (30 minutes per pound.)
- For Pork Tenderloin--Cook 4-5 minutes per pound
- For Pork Picnic Shoulder--Cook 25 minutes per pound
- For Pork Butt --Cook 18 minutes per pound
To Make Instant Pot Carnitas, You May Need
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