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Keto Pork Carnitas, Tender & Cripsy – For Instant Pot Or Crockpot

  • Author: Charisse Thiel
  • Total Time: 1 hr and 15 minutes.
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


These Keto Pork Carnitas are  easy to make and FULL of flavor.  They’re first slow cooked to make them  tender and easy to shred, then finished in a frying pan with the leftover pan juices to brown, caramelize, and infuse them with more delicious flavor while adding a hint of crispiness!! The leftovers (if you follow storage instructions in Notes) taste so fresh, you’ll never even know they were previously cooked days or even months (for frozen) before!


  • 22.5 lbs Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt  (these are the only cuts of pork you should use!)
  • 23 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil (or leftover BACON GREASE or lard)
  • The juice of 1 Fresh Squeezed Orange 
  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 Tablespoon of pre-minced, but fresh tastes BEST)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • few dashes of Chipotle chili powder (optional, but recommended!)
  • 4 oz can of fire roasted diced green chilis (A MUST! make sure they’re fire roasted)
  • 23 Tablespoons of Water Or Chicken Stock

Pork  Shoulder Rub:

  • 1/21 Tablespoon Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oregano 
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin       


*****Feel free to DOUBLE this recipe (and all ingredients!). I generally always make 4 lbs of carnitas and I like using my instant pot best.

1.) Rinse the Pork Shoulder off and pat dry.   Rub all over  Avocado Oil, then sprinkle all the other spices (mixed together) all over and rub them in so you have a nice seasoned coating. 

2.) Place the rubbed Pork Shoulder (or pork butt) into the bottom of your Instant pot or Crockpot with the fattiest side (the fat cap) of the pork shoulder facing up.  Pour in your Avacado Oil (or bacon grease or lard)  on top of the fatty cap.    Dump in with ALL the rest of the ingredients. It doesn’t matter if it’s evenly coated/ dispersed, because it will all cook down into a flavorful sauce at the end that we will DEFINITELY be saving and using when we pan fry these later!

4.) Cook In the Instant Pot 1 hour and 30 minutes on meat setting (high) and allow slow, natural release of pressure  at the end (this means you do NOT manually release the pressure) before opening it! Mine usually takes 15-20 minutes to naturally release the pressure after it’s done cooking.  If you’re using a Crockpot, then slow cook on low for low for 8 hours, or high for 3.5-4 hours ( until cooked and tender!!).

4.) Remove the meat from the instant pot or crock pot and shred it using two forks.  Save the juices and set aside (this is liquid gold we’re going to use when we pan fry the carnitas!).  Set Shredded meat aside until you’re ready to pan fry!

5.) When ready to eat (***see note 1 for storage methods if not eating right away) heat a large skillet on Medium-High Heat.  When the Pan is hot, add a light spray of avocado oil or a drizzle of  oil,  then some of the shredded pork (don’t overcrowd the pan too much, heat in batches of how much you’ll be eating for dinner!).  Allow the pork shreds to  lightly brown for 20-30 seconds, then stir around to brown the other sides of the meat pieces for another 20-30 seconds. Once they’ve  brown and crisped up a bit around the edges, spoon out some (a few tablespoons)  of the s leftover juices from the Instant Pot/Crockpot (chunks of onion included!) into the pan and mix into your pork shreds.  Let Crisp, Brown, and caramelize for a minute or so!   Careful not to overbrown the pork or it will be too crispy.  Remove from heat & serve immediately!

6.) Enjoy!! 🙂 See post for all the things you can make with your low carb pork carnitas meat!


**NOTE 1:  It is best to fry  the shredded carnitas (make them crispy in the juices) RIGHT before eating otherwise you’ll have dry and crispy carnitas when eating later. Just SAVE the leftover  pan juices ( to use for frying) and the plain shredded pork separately (in separate container!),  so that you can pan fry them at a later time just prior to eating! You can also freeze leftovers in the same manner – pan juices and shredded pork in two seperate containers.   In either case, when you’re ready to reheat/crisp the carnitas to eat,  follow step 5 in the directions again =reheat in pan, brown lightly, then add a spoonful or two of juices to finish browning and finish the flavors. If cooking from frozend

A Note about nutritional info:  the nutritional info listed is for ALL of the ingredients and ALL of the  leftover juices  juices in the pan.   This is NO WHERE CLOSE to what you actually ingest. Since we don’t use all the leftover juices/ fats/oils (really only a 1/4-1/2 cup of them)  but it’s really hard to calculate this! So I’ve entered nutritional date for the whole batch and ALL instantpot leftover juices. Just know there’s actually quite a bit less carbs and quite a bit less fat for what you’re actually EATING.  The protein is correct though 😉

Nutritional information in this recipe is calculated for the specific brands I have used.   May vary slightly.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 1 hour up to 8 hrs(diff method)
  • Method: Slow Cooked & Pan Fried


  • Serving Size: Entire Batch including ALL juices which you don't actually EAT all of(6-8 servings)
  • Calories: 2247
  • Fat: 150 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Protein: 176 g