Instant Pot Big Bold Beef Carnitas

Instant Pot Big Bold Beef Carnitas

Big Bold Beef Carnitas - a dish that my family really loves as a weeknight meal.  Because we live on a farm, it's hard to know exactly when we will get to eat supper sometimes, so I love using my Instant Pot for quick meals.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword beef, instant pot
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 3 lb. chuck roast, cut into 6 chunks, trimmed if needed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. oregano flakes
  • 1 tsp. chipotle sauce or minced chipotles in adobo
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (can use the lime zest too, if you'd like)


  1. Using the sauté setting on the Instant Pot, add oil, salt, cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, and chipotle sauce; when this mixture is nicely hot, add the beef chunks. Brown the beef in batches, removing it to a plate as you work; reserve.

  2. Once all the beef is browned, return it to the Instat pot; add the onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, orange zest, and juices. Lock the Instant Pot lid securly into place. Using the high pressure setting, set the timer for 45-50 minutes bringing the Instant Pot to full pressure. When the timer sounds, use a full natural release to allow the beef to rest and fully relax.

  3. Remove Instant Pot lid; transfer the beef to a large cutting board, shredding the beef apart. Add shredded beef to a preheated, oiled cast iron skillet set over high heat. Sear the beef over high heat just until it gets a good “crisp” on the outside, watching carefully so the beef doesn’t burn, adding cooking liquid from the Instant Pot, a little at a time, as needed.

  4. Serve the shredded beef inside warm corn or flour tortillas, topped with salsa fresca, sour cream, cilantro, and shredded cheese, as desired.  

Recipe Notes