Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe – North Shore Flavors

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Food Truck Carnitas Recipe


2 lbs boneless, skinless pork shoulder (aka butt), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lime, squeezed
1 orange, squeezed 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 North Shore Flavors Carnitas Spice Packet 


Cut meat into 2-inch pieces. Mix ingredients with meat.

Cook for 30 minutes on high pressure. Let pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes. 

(For a traditional slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours)

Remove and discard any pieces of excess fat. You can also skim any excess liquid fat with a large spoon. Shred pork with a potato masher by pressing down and twisting in the same motion. If you don't have a masher, shred with two forks.

At this point most of the liquid should be absorbed. If the shredded pork appears watery, use Sauté MEDIUM function to cook off any excess liquid for about 5 or 10 minutes. 

Salt and pepper to taste. 

To Crisp (Optional, but traditional):

Pan Frying:

Fry in a large pan over medium-high heat until the bottom is crispy/caramelized. For best results, do not move or stir meat. The bottom of the Pork will begin to caramelize.  Wait a minute and then pour in about 1/2 cup of the Carnitas Juice.  This will keep the Pork nice and moist while crisping up one side of the Pork.  Add more Juice, as needed.  Cook until the Juice has evaporated.


Simply line 2 baking sheets with foil, spread out your shredded pork, drizzle with some of the leftover seasoned slow cooking juices and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  At this point, your pork will start to crisp up in a few places but to finish it off, broil it to desired crispiness for an extra 5-10 minutes then drizzle with juices. The pork shreds should have browned, crisp edges, but also be juicy and tender. Be careful not to overbake!

Serve with corn tortillas, North Shore Flavors Mexicali Guacamole, Pico de Gallo (or sliced tomato), grated Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, sliced lettuce, sliced red onions or any of your favourite Mexican fixings.