Easy Keto Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)

This easy keto pork carnitas recipe creates the juiciest, most flavorful carnitas you can make, all while staying low carb. Even if you aren't on the keto diet, this carnitas recipe is a MUST make!

Looking for more low carb and keto Mexican-inspired recipe ideas? Give this The BEST Keto Flour Tortillas or Keto Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef a try!

Photo of keto pork carnitas on a sheet pan with an Instant Pot in the background.
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Hey, y'all! I am super happy to bring you this Easy Keto Pork Carnitas recipe!!

If you have been a reader for more than a minute you know that I love, love, lurvvvvvvv, Mexican food. From helping out in the kitchen with my Mexican babysitter as a little girl, to living in Southern California most of my life until moving to the PNW in 2006, I swear Mexican food is in my blood!

Then I went keto in 2018 and had to rethink the whole situation.

Can you eat Mexican food on the keto diet?

I was sad to think that all of my faves were off-limits.

But my cravings led me to start working on creating those favorites in a new way so I could live la vida low carb AND enjoy them.

While certain things like refried beans are a no-go, SO many other dishes are easily recreated using low carb ingredients that really make you feel like you aren't missing a thing.


In all of those recipes, I swapped out the high carb traditional ingredients like bread crumbs, white flour, or hominy, for healthier, low carb ingredients. 

I even created my own Mexican Seasoning Blend because those packaged seasonings can contain some pretty suspect ingredients like sugar, cornstarch, canola oil, and maltodextrin…ingredients that are a no-no when you are eating low carb, and honestly, they are NOT even necessary.

So that brings me back to this recipe. 

I got together low carb ingredients so I could enjoy one of my favorite Mexican dishes.

On Sundays, I used to love to eat 2 things. Menudo and Carnitas.

I have yet to try to make my own version of Menudo. To be honest, I am a little gun shy of working with tripe, but carnitas were at the top of my list of must-make foods!

Once I dialed in the ingredients needed, I knew I wanted to make it as easy as possible. I used to make mine in a pot, on the stove, cooking for hours. But who wants to slave over a stove?

Not me!

So into the slow cooker, it went, and it was glorious.

Then I got an Instant Pot and a whole new world opened up to me! 

I love it! I will admit, it took me a little bit to get into the swing of using it, a bit of a learning curve I guess. But, once I got comfortable with it, I wanted to cook E V E R Y T H I N G in it!!

If you haven't gotten one I highly suggest you invest in one, it will change your life, I SWEAR!


Overhead photo of the ingredients needed to make Easy Keto Pork Carnitas on a wooden table.


INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE EASY KETO PORK CARNITAS

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

INGREDIENTS



Six photos of the process of making Easy Keto Pork Carnitas.



HOW TO MAKE EASY KETO PORK CARNITAS


STEP 1

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, Mexican seasoning blend, lime juice and zest, orange juice, and beer. Set aside.

STEP 2

Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper on all sides.

STEP 3

Set the Instant pot to saute and add the avocado, or olive oil, to the pot followed by half of the pork, and sear, turning every 45-60 seconds or so until the pork is browned on all sides. Transfer pork to a plate, and repeat with the remaining pork, searing until it has browned on all sides.

STEP 4
  
Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.

STEP 5

Pour in the sauce, and toss briefly to combine with the pork. Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.

STEP 6

Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, allow the pressure to natural release (about 15 minutes).


Six more photos of the process of making Easy Keto Pork Carnitas.



STEP 7

Set the oven broiler to high heat.

STEP 8

Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and shred meat with two forks. Return the meat to the Instant Pot and toss with the sauce.

STEP 9

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. With a slotted spoon, place the shredded meat on the baking sheet and pour 1/3rd of the sauce over the top.

STEP 10

Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin to brown and crisp

STEP 11

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and pour half of the remaining juices from the Instant Pot evenly over the pork, and toss to combine.

STEP 12

Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat even more crispy.


Close up photo of a spoonful of Easy Keto Pork Carnitas with the rest of the carnitas on a sheet pan in the background.


FAQS ABOUT EASY KETO PORK CARNITAS


Do I have to sear the pork for Easy Keto Pork Carnitas before I cook it? Well, yes and no. No, it is not necessary to sear the meat to achieve the pulled pork texture you want. BUT I will tell you that that extra 5 to 10 minutes will give you WAY more flavor than what you will get without it. I feel it is time well spent.

Do I have to broil the Easy Keto Pork Carnitas? Again, yes and no. Traditionally carnitas will have crispy edges from frying the meat in lard and oh can I tell you how amazing those crispy little edges are? However, broiling keto carnitas helps you achieve that crispiness without that hassle, and mess, of frying. So I say YES, broil those carnitas!

How do I store Easy Keto Pork Carnitas? You can refrigerate the leftover pork carnitas in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Alternately, and why I love this recipe for meal prep, you can freeze Easy Keto Pork Carnitas for up to 6 months. Just make sure to freeze it in a freezer-friendly, airtight container. I like to freeze it in single servings with easy to remove labels so a Taco Tuesday lunch is super easy to whip up!


Photo of a burrito bowl made with Easy Keto Pork Carnitas on a wooden table with an Instant Pot in the background.



Last thoughts about Easy Keto Pork Carnitas


This recipe is one that works for everyone, regardless of what kind of diet they are on.

The ingredients can be altered (options are shown in the recipe card) to accommodate Paleo, Whole30, Keto, or just a regular ol' eat whatever you want diet.

My non-keto friends and family use this recipe as their go-to carnitas recipe as much as the keto peeps I know. 

Which I gotta admit makes my little heart go pitter patter 😊

Yes, coming up with delicious, easy to make, keto recipes is what I do. But, so many of us are living with, and feeding, non-keto people so coming up with recipes that everyone enjoys really is my ultimate goal.

When I can achieve that goal I am over the top happy, and this recipe is one that does just that!


Close up photo of a taco made with Easy Keto Pork Carnitas and the BEST keto tortillas on a wooden table.




MORE KETO AND LOW CARB




Easy Keto Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)

Easy Keto Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)

Yield: 12 servings
Author: Bobbi Hass-Burleson
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 35 Mininactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M
This easy keto pork carnitas recipe creates the juiciest, most flavorful carnitas you can make, all while staying low carb. Even if you aren't on the keto diet, this carnitas recipe is a MUST make!

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons
  • Mexican spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes), plus zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (1 1/2 oranges)
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Modelo Negra beer (can sub chicken bone broth store-bought or homemade) *See Notes
  • 4–5 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes excess fat removed (can ask your butcher to do this)
  • Pink sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil (or more as needed)

Instructions

For the Instant Pot
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, Mexican seasoning blend, lime juice and zest, orange juice, and beer. Set aside.
  2. Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Set the Instant pot to saute and add the avocado, or olive oil, to the pot followed by half of the pork, and sear, turning every 45-60 seconds or so until the pork is browned on all sides. Transfer pork to a plate, and repeat with the remaining pork, searing until it has browned on all sides. 
  4. Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.
  5. Pour in the sauce, and toss briefly to combine with the pork. Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.
  6. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, allow the pressure to natural release (about 15 minutes).
  7. Set the oven broiler to high heat.
  8. Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and shred meat with two forks. Return the meat to the Instant Pot and toss with the sauce.
  9. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. With a slotted spoon, place the shredded meat on the baking sheet and pour 1/3rd of the sauce over the top.
  10. Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin to brown and crisp
  11. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and pour half of the remaining juices from the Instant Pot evenly over the pork, and toss to combine.
  12. Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat even more crispy.
  13. Serve on keto tortillas with fresh cilantro, chopped white onion, avocado, and lime juice.
  14. Alternately, you can serve the carnitas over cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
  15. Refrigerate pork in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
For the slow cooker
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, Mexican seasoning blend, lime juice and zest, orange juice, and beer. Set aside.
  2. Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Heat a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the avocado, or olive oil, to the pot followed by half of the pork, and sear, turning every 45-60 seconds or so until the pork is browned on all sides. Transfer pork to a plate, and repeat with the remaining pork, searing until it has browned on all sides.
  4. Place the pork in the slow cooker and pour in the sauce.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. Shred meat with two forks directly in the slow cooker (or take out, shred, and replace in sauce). It should fall apart easily.
  7. Set the oven broiler to high heat.
  8. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. With a slotted spoon, place the shredded meat on the baking sheet and pour 1/3rd of the sauce over the top.
  9. Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin to brown and crisp
  10. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and pour half of the remaining juices from the Instant Pot evenly over the pork, and toss to combine.
  11. Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat even more crispy.
  12. Serve on keto tortillas with fresh cilantro, chopped white onion, avocado, and lime juice.
  13. Alternately, you can serve the carnitas over cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
  14. Refrigerate pork in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes:

If using chicken bone broth instead of beer you can subtract 1 carb per serving.

Calories

472.02

Fat (grams)

33.49

Sat. Fat (grams)

12.08

Carbs (grams)

2.97

Fiber (grams)

0.07

Net carbs

2.90

Sugar (grams)

0.97

Protein (grams)

35.48

Sodium (milligrams)

163.26

Cholesterol (grams)

136.08

pork, keto, low carb, gluten-free, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker
Main Dish
Mexican
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Easy Keto Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker) - This easy keto pork carnitas recipe creates the juiciest, most flavorful carnitas you can make, all while staying low carb. Even if you aren't on the keto diet, this carnitas recipe is a MUST make! #keto #lowcarb #glutenfree #mexican #instantpot #slowcooker #pork #carnitas #recipe




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