Pork Carnitas

Jennifer H


This is an easy recipe that has a few steps. It's great to put together on a weekend and then have the meat to use during the week for easy dinners. While the recipe calls for pork butt, thick cut tenderloin can be used for leaner result. Leave the fat on for cooking and trim afterward. Along with Cilantro Lime Rice, it's even better!

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated via My Kitchen Escapades.


★★★★★ 1 vote

30 Min
2 Hr 15 Min


  • 4 lb
    boneless pork butt, trimmed, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1
    onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 1 tsp
    dried mexican oregano
  • 1
    lime, juiced
  • 1
  • 2 c

How to Make Pork Carnitas


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pour water into a Dutch oven. Add meat, onions, lime juice, orange juice and include the juiced orange halves in the Dutch oven. Sprinkle seasonings over the top of the cubed meat.
  2. Bring the uncovered Dutch oven to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and place the Dutch oven on the lowest oven rack. Cook about 2 hours or until the meat comes apart easily with a fork.
  3. Take the pork out of the oven. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and onions from the Dutch oven and place into a large baking dish or jelly roll pan. Turn on the broiler. Adjust the rack to the middle of the oven.
  4. Remove the orange halves from the pot and discard. Place the Dutch oven with the meat juices over medium heat and reduce to about 1 cup. While the juices are reducing, pull the pork apart into bite-size pieces with two forks. Once the meat juices have reduced, pour the liquid over the meat. Gently fold meat so that it gets evenly coated with the juices.
  5. Return the meat to the oven and broil until the edges of the meat start to crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the meat over to cover in juices. Return to the broiler for another 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven. Serve immediately with tortillas or put onto sandwich rolls.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pork Carnitas

Course/Dish: Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tag: Healthy

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