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Making Perfect Pork Tacos with an Instant Pot

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Break out of your dinner routine and try pork tacos for an authentic Mexican flare. This recipe leverages the power of the Instant Pot to craft succulent, richly spiced pork that will completely redefine your idea of tacos.

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Forget about the usual beef or chicken – pork is a delicious alternative that brings a whole new world of flavor to the classic taco. So, why not shake things up and let your Instant Pot take your taste buds on a culinary adventure with these mouth-watering pork tacos.

Pork Tacos in a tray

What are Pork Tacos

Pork tacos, or Tacos de Cerdo, are a delightful variant of the traditional Mexican dish that offers a delicious alternative to the common beef or chicken fillings. Known for savoring authentic Mexican flavors, pork tacos are prepared using pork tenderloin that's marinated and cooked with an assortment of spices, including chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, and onion powder.

The pork is then seared to perfection using olive oil and moistened with orange juice, lemon juice, and beer to give it a distinct touch. These ingredients not only tenderize the pork but also infuse it with a rich, zingy flavor profile.

Once cooked, the pork is shredded and served in warm tortillas topped with slices of creamy avocado and a squeeze of lime. You can also add any other toppings of your choice to your pork taco. The blend of aromatic spices with the citrus twist and the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of the pork makes pork tacos a favorite go-to recipe for many.

pork tacos close up shot

Pork Taco Ingredients

1. Pork Tenderloin: This is the main star of the dish. Pork tenderloin brings in an authentic Mexican flavor and a nice alternative to the typical beef tacos.

2. Chili Powder, Paprika, Brown Sugar, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Coriander, Onion Powder, Salt, and Pepper: These are the spices that give the pork its rich and zesty flavor. Each spice adds a unique touch, creating a flavor profile that’s complex and satisfying.

3. Olive Oil: Used to saute and sear the pork, the olive oil helps to caramelize the outside for a beautiful color and added flavor.

4. Orange Juice and Lemon Juice: These citrus juices provide a bright, tangy contrast to the rich spices, helping to balance the flavors.

5. Beer: Adding beer infuses the pork with a malty sweetness and helps to tenderize the meat.

6. Tortillas: These are the vessels for your taco fillings. Warming them makes them pliable and brings out their corn or flour flavor.

7. Avocado: This ingredient brings a creamy, buttery texture to the taco that complements the zesty pork perfectly.

8. Lime Wedges: A squeeze of lime juice adds a final burst of citrusy brightness, pulling all the flavors together.

pork tacos in a tray

How to Make Pork Tacos In The Instant Pot

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, let's start the exciting journey of making authentic Mexican pork tacos or Tacos de Cerdo!

  1. First, rub the pork tenderloin evenly with a mix of chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, onion powder, salt, and pepper. These spices will give your pork a flavorful kick.
  2. Next, set the Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Add the olive oil and let it heat. Once hot, add your seasoned pork tenderloin to the pot and sear it on all sides. This will lock in the flavors of the spices and give the pork a beautiful brown crust.
  3. After searing, pour the orange juice, lemon juice, and beer into the Instant Pot. These liquids will help tenderize the pork and infuse it with additional flavor.
  4. Close the lid and valve of the Instant Pot and set it on high pressure for 30 minutes. This will cook the pork thoroughly and make it tender enough to shred.
  5. While your pork is cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You'll use it later to add a finishing touch to your pork.
  6. After the 30 minutes, manually release the steam from the Instant Pot. Open the valve and lid, and with the help of a fork, shred the cooked pork.
  7. Transfer your shredded pork to a baking pan, discarding half of the cooking liquid. Set the oven to broil and cook for 8 minutes or until some bits and pieces of the pork are slightly crunchy and charred. This will add a wonderful texture to your tacos.
  8. Finally, serve your delicious pork over warm corn tortillas, topped with avocado and a squeeze of lime juice for a refreshing tang.

And voila! You've successfully made delectable pork tacos that are sure to transport your taste buds to Mexico! Remember, the key to a great taco is to balance flavors and textures, so feel free to add any other toppings you like.

close up image of pork tacos

Tips For Making This Recipe

  • Choose the right cut of pork: The pork tenderloin is recommended for this recipe because of its lean yet tender nature. It absorbs the flavors well and shreds easily after cooking.
  • Spice rub: Ensure all sides of the pork are evenly coated with the spice rub for an authentic and robust flavor. Don’t rush this step, let the spices seep into the meat.
  • Searing the pork: This step helps to lock in the flavors and gives the pork a beautiful brown crust. Make sure your Instant Pot is hot enough before you add the pork.
  • Cooking liquids: The combination of orange juice, lemon juice, and beer not only add flavor but also help to tenderize the pork.
  • Shredding the pork: Use two forks to shred the pork. This will give you the perfect texture for your tacos.
  • Broiling: Don't skip the broiling step. It gives the pork a slightly crunchy and charred finish, which complements the juicy interior.
  • Serving: Experiment with different taco toppings. Although avocado and lime juice are recommended, other toppings like pico de gallo, sour cream, or cheese will also enhance the flavor.
  • Nutrition Information: Keep in mind that nutrition information may vary depending on the exact ingredients you use. Speak with a licensed nutritionist if you have specific dietary concerns.

Remember, the best dishes are made with lots of love and a little adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of pork should I use for this recipe?

You should use pork tenderloin for this recipe. Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that remains tender and flavorful even after the long cooking process in an Instant Pot. This cut absorbs the spices well and shreds easily once cooked. For best results, ensure that the pork tenderloin is fresh and of good quality; look for meat that has a slight pinkish hue and minimal fat.

If you can't find pork tenderloin, pork shoulder (also known as pork butt) is a good alternative. Pork shoulder has more fat, which can result in a richer, more succulent outcome, but it may require a longer cooking time to achieve the desired tenderness. Remember that if you use an Instant Pot, always cut the pork into smaller chunks to ensure even and thorough cooking.

Can I cook the pork in anything other than an Instant Pot?

Yes, if you do not have an Instant Pot, you can sear the pork in a skillet on the stove and then finish cooking it in the oven at a low temperature until it's thoroughly cooked and easy to shred. The cooking time may vary.

overview shot of Instant Pot pork tacos

What type of beer should I use?

The recipe does not specify a certain type of beer. You can use any beer you prefer or have on hand. The beer helps to tenderize the pork and adds flavor, such as a slight bitterness or hoppy taste. You can also use non-alcoholic beer or substitute it with chicken or beef broth.

Can I use store-bought taco seasoning instead of the spices listed?

Yes, you can substitute the combination of spices listed in the recipe with a package of store-bought taco seasoning if you prefer. Keep in mind that store-bought taco seasoning often contains added salt, so adjust the amount of salt you use accordingly.

However, making your own spice mix allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your liking.

What kind of tortillas should I use?

You can use corn, plantain, or flour tortillas. All three options work great. For a more authentic flavor, we recommend using warm corn tortillas.

How should I store leftover Pork Tacos?

Leftover pork can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the cooked pork for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in a skillet or microwave.

And there you have it, your very own Pork Tacos (Tacos de Cerdo) made right from your kitchen! This mouth-watering dish brings a taste of authentic Mexican flavors straight to your plate. We hope you enjoyed making this recipe as much as we did curating it.

top view of Instant Pot pork tacos with text overlay

If you tried this recipe, we would love to see how it turned out! Share a picture of your culinary adventure on Pinterest and don't forget to rate this recipe. Your feedback helps us continually bring delicious, easy-to-follow recipes your way. Happy cooking!

Pork Tacos (How to Make Tacos de Cerdo)

Pork Tacos (How to Make Tacos de Cerdo)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

When Americans think of tacos, they immediately think of beef or possibly chicken. But if you want authentic Mexican food, you need to consider pork tacos. Pork is such a nice alternative from the typical beef tacos.


Ingredients for the pork

  • 1 Pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp coriander
  • 1/2 Tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup beer

Ingredients to make the tacos

  • Tortillas
  • Avocado
  • Lime wedges
  • Any other taco topping you like


  1. Rub the pork tenderloin with chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Set the Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the pork tenderloin and sear on all sides.
  3. Pour the orange juice, lemon juice, and beer.
  4. Close the lid and valve and set on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Manually release steam. Open the valve and lid, and with the help of a fork, shred the pork.
  7. Transfer to a baking pan, discarding half of the cooking liquid. Set the oven to broil and cook for 8 minutes or until some bits and pieces are slightly crunchy and charred.
  8. Serve over warm corn tortillas topped with avocado and some lime juice.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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