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Instant Pot Carnitas Tacos

When we were still living in a “brick and mortar” home I used the broiler A LOT. That might have been one of the only reasons to start the oven. Even before living tiny a lot of our recipes where instant pot based. When we got the air fryer there was no reason to even START the oven. Especially on those hot summer days. We could simply use the Instant Pot and Air Fryer, and help keep our cooling bill down.

This recipe has been one that I’ve been working on for years. My wife has her own spin on it, and I think that’s the best part of this recipe. You can add or subtract spices and other ingredients that you don’t like.

This kiddos were not as happy with this dinner, probably because they were expecting chicken — ah, the joys of toddlers. They DID gobble up leftovers, so that is a plus! I gobbled up everything. It was just so dang delicious!

So, without any further babbling from me— enjoy!

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Ingredients

~4 lbs Pork Shoulder
4 Garlic Cloves crushed and sliced
2 Jalapenos sliced
1 Onion Chopped
1/2 Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (4 small oranges) save rinds
1/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice (2 Limes) save rinds
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (1 Lemon) save rinds
1 Lime Sliced
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
Flour Tortillas
2 Cups Fresh Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
2 Cups Fresh Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Rice (white or brown)
Guacamole or Avocado Slices * optional

Instructions

  1. Juice Oranges, Lemon, and 2 Limes (save rinds)
  2. Smash and Slice Garlic
  3. Chop Onion
  4. Slice Jalapenos
  5. Mix Seasoning (Oregano, Cumin, Salt, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Paprika, Onion Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Bay Leaves, and Black Pepper)
  6. Mix all of these Pork marinade ingredients in a 1 gallon zip lock bag and mix well
  7. Chop Pork Shoulder into large chunks and add to zip lock bag with marinade ingredients and mix VERY WELL!
  8. Let Pork sit for 1 to 12 Hours (I usually make prep mine first thing in the morning)
  9. Start Rice (I also do this first thing in the morning to ensure the rice is ready. You can use the instant pot to make rice, or a rice cooker, or a pan if you’re talented!)
  10. Oil instant pot, I rub oil around the sides of the pot as well
  11. Add marinated pork to instant pot
  12. Add 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  13. Slice 1 Lime thin and place on top of Pork along with the saved citrus rinds
  14. Put on lid, Seal, pressure cook for 30 minutes and Natural Pressure Release for 20 Minutes
  15. Shred Pepper Jack and Cheddar Cheese
  16. Make Guacamole or slice avocados (prepare favorite taco toppings) ** Optional, but if you like guac or avocado, highly recommended!
  17. Once done, release pressure after 20 Minutes natural release and remove lid
  18. Remove citrus rinds
  19. Crisp carnitas in 400 degree preheated air fryer or broiler (if you have neither, you can pan fry to crisp them up, or eat without making them crispy. It’s totally okay!)
  20. Place cheese, rice, and cheese on tortillas, melt cheese in air fryer or broiler (I like my cheese just a bit crisped)
  21. Add carnitas to half of each cheesed tortilla and guacamole to the other side
  22. Add any other desired taco toppings and you are done! Ready to Eat!

Take a gander at the video above! They were so good I just dropped to my feet at one point. 😉

Also, the leftovers made a HUGE impact on TikTok (I know we are a bit old for that app, but my wife is obsessed) when we put them on top of fries.

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