Crispy Carnitas

Crispy Carnitas are bits of pork that have been slow cooked for hours, then cooked a second time to get a nice crispy outside. I like to do them in the pressure cooker because it not only speeds up the cooking time, but also locks in all the flavors. I have found that you can take the same recipe and cook it in a crock pot, pressure cooker, oven, or stove-top and you will get differing results.
crispy carnitas

This particular recipe is very simple. It is meant to be eaten in tacos, but this meat can be used in a myriad of ways.

Crispy Carnitas


    • 2 1/2 lbs pork butt or 2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder
    • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or more to just cover meat)


In the pressure cooker, stir together the pork cubes, onion, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, and chile powder.  Stir in enough broth to just cover the meat.  You want to be sure to have enough liquid to not burn out.

Cook for 35 to 45 minutes until the meat is tender when prodded with a fork.

Spread the cubes out on a baking pan and run under the broiler, turning often, until a bit crispy on the outside, about 15 minutes.  Spoon some of the cooking liquid over periodically so that the meat does not dry out.

You could alternatively crisp up the meat in a skillet, but that is more work, right?

Use two forks to shred the meat and serve as desired.

pork carnita taco