Crispy Citrus Pork Carnitas


I’ve said it before, and I will say it again and probably a million times more; this is one of mine and my husband’s favorite meals! This is such a perfect “meal prep” recipe as it cooks several servings and reheats beautifully! This is also the best meal to prepare for a crowd because the prep and work is minimal but it yields so much delicious meat that is sure to be enjoyed by guests of even an impromptu party you are hosting! I love using the entire citrus, including the rind and peel, as it provides extra flavor and antioxidants. I also love to sneak in any veggies when I can and especially when using a slow cooker or instant pot!


3-5 pound pork shoulder, cut into 3 inch chunks

1 medium to large orange (any kind will work)

1 yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

option to add cayenne or your favorite hot sauce


This recipe works just as well in the instant pot as it does a slow cooker! Whether using a slow cooker or instant pot, begin by squeezing the juice from your orange into the bottom of the slow cooker or instant pot. Next lay your pork carnitas shoulder chunks into the orange juice. Begin to rub the salt, chili, cumin and cayenne, if desired, into the pork. Next add in your chopped cilantro and carrots and your orange peel.

If using an Instant Pot; secure your lid and ensure that it is on lock position with the vent valve sealed. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes and then allow to naturally vent for about 15 minutes before manually releasing pressure.

If using a slow cooker; secure your lid to your slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-6 hours . Pork is done when you can shred with 2 forks.

The pork is done when it is render enough to be shredded using 2 forks. After you have shredded the large pork pieces you can use your forks or a slotted spoon to place onto large lined baking sheet. I like to ladle a little extra (about 1-1/2 cup) amount of the juice at the bottom of the instant pot of slow cooker for extra flavor. Place the baking sheet directly under the broiled and broil for 3-5 minutes or until crispy. You may want to turn them or flip the meat and keep an eye out to ensure no burning. I prefer mine a bit more crispy, so I like to turn the meat over and broil the other side as well! Top with fresh cilantro and enjoy!