Pork Carnitas


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Here's a recipe right here on Chef Talk
[article="29081"]Slow Cooker Carnitas  [/article]
Joined Jul 13, 2012
Yup - I use Rick's style of carnitas.  I have the butcher at the store slice pork shoulder 1-1/2" thick then season and add fresh made A&W root beer, or "real" pepsi, or Mexican coca cola to braise the slices in a foil covered pan.  When the pork has rendered I remove the foil and let it cook in its own fat.  It's the best.
Last edited:
Joined Apr 25, 2014
Wow! Never felt the need to add that much fat to pork shoulder. When I braise shoulder it makes plenty of its own fat
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Lots of fat (LARD) is the hallmark of "real" carnitas. The meat must end up with the combination of softness from being cooked confit and the crispness of being deep fried.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
Yes the shoulder has plenty of fat.  It's one of the reasons I use it for sausage.
Joined Apr 25, 2014
Ah well I will make "diet" carnitas so I can eat more of it without congestive heart failure
Last edited:
Joined Dec 1, 2015
This is a good recipe

Mexican Pulled Pork (Carnitas)


Reducing the cooking liquid until it became a syrupy glaze gave our carnitas recipe great pork flavor.

Broiling the glazed meat on a rack allowed the excess fat to drip o!. Refining our cooking liquid’s flavors with a mixture of lime and orange juices, bay leaves, and oregano was the finishing touch on our Mexican pulled pork recipe. 


1 (3 1⁄2-to 4-pound) boneless pork butt, fat cap trimmed to 1⁄8 inch thick, cut into 2- inch chunks

Salt and ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

  1. 1  small onion, peeled and


  2. 2  bay leaves

  1. 1  teaspoon dried oregano

  2. 2  tablespoons juice from 1

2 cups water

1 medium orange, halved


18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

Lime wedges
Minced white or red onion Fresh cilantro leaves Thinly sliced radishes Sour cream 

We like serving carnitas spooned into tacos, but you can also use it as a filling for tamales, enchiladas, and burritos. 

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine pork, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, onion, bay leaves, oregano, lime juice, and water in large Dutch oven (liquid should just barely cover meat). Juice orange into medium bowl and remove any seeds (you should have about 1/3 cup juice). Add juice and spent orange halves to pot. Bring mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and transfer to oven; cook until meat is soft and falls apart when prodded with fork, about 2 hours, flipping pieces of meat once during cooking.

2. Remove pot from oven and turn oven to broil. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to bowl; remove orange halves, onion, and bay leaves from cooking liquid and discard (do not skim fat from liquid). Place pot over high heat (use caution, as handles will be very hot) and simmer liquid, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy (heat safe spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), 8 to 12 minutes. You should have about 1 cup reduced liquid.

3. Using 2 forks, pull each piece of pork in half. Fold in reduced liquid; season with salt and pepper to

taste. Spread pork in even layer on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet or on broiler pan (meat should cover almost entire surface of rack or broiler pan). Place baking sheet on lower-middle rack and broil until top of meat is well browned (but not charred) and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, flip pieces of meat and continue to broil until top is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Serve immediately with warm tortillas and garnishes. 
Last edited:
Joined Feb 17, 2010
I was taught years ago by one of my cooks, similar to the Bayless recipe. Salt chunks of shoulder, drop it in the lard, bring it up to a boil then simmer until fork tender. Add one can coke and a squeeze of fresh OJ. Turn back up to high and the meat will caramelize a bit. Drain then crisp up a bit in a pan to serve.
Top Bottom