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Carnitas Recipe (Mexican Pulled Pork)

This straightforward Pork Carnitas recipe is bound to win you over. They’re crispy on the surface and juicy on the within! Let the sluggish cooker do all of the work and you’ll make restaurant-quality Mexican carnitas with little mess or fuss.

We love re-creating our favourite Mexican-inspired recipes at residence, from Guacamole to Fish Tacos and even Rooster Fajitas. These pork carnitas are one other household favourite that shall be in your common rotation. You’ll additionally recognize that leftovers preserve very well.

Pork Carnitas tacos with herbs and limes

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We love sluggish cooker recipes that require easy elements and minimal clean-up. I’m SO trying ahead to sharing this recipe with you! For years, I’ve labored on creating the proper carnitas. They both got here out too dry or too greasy. However, these are JUST proper. Right here’s why you’ll love this Carnitas Recipe:

  • Simple – there’s no must pre-sear the meat, simply season it and add it to the sluggish cooker together with all the opposite elements.
  • Crisp and Tender – the sluggish cooker makes the meat tremendous tender and ending it off within the oven (or skillet – see beneath) creates the dreamiest crispy edges.
  • FLAVOR – the addition of lime and orange juice create a richly flavored broth that bastes the meat because it slowly cooks.
  • Leftovers – Pork carnitas retailer very well within the fridge or freezer so that they an important concept to your weekly meal plan.
  • Crowd-Pleasing – this recipe is simple and makes a beneficiant batch which is ideal for feeding a crowd. It’s an important possibility for internet hosting, birthdays or occasions.

What’s Carnitas?

Carnitas, or “little meats” in Spanish, is a well-liked Mexican recipe. It’s basically braised or simmered pork that has been cooked in a flavorful broth till ridiculously tender.

In the event that they already aren’t certainly one of your favourite dishes to order at your native taqueria, get ready to fall in love. This pork packs some severe taste and is the proper candidate for weekend meal prepping. From carnitas tacos to burritos to salads, carnitas go nice on virtually something.

Pork Carnitas on a baking sheet with herbs


  • Pork Roast – The very best roast for Carnitas is a boneless pork shoulder or pork butt.
  • Carnita seasonings – Salt, black pepper, and dried oregano make a easy and scrumptious seasoning.
  • Onion and Garlic – add wealthy taste to the broth.
  • Lime juice and Orange juice – add vivid taste and preserve the carnitas from feeling too greasy. The acidity additionally helps to tenderize the pork roast. That is the important thing to the most effective carnitas.
  • Bay leaves – In case you don’t have bay leaves available, you possibly can skip them, however simply as with soups, we like so as to add them for extra aroma and taste.
Ingredients for making pork carnitas

Easy methods to Make Carnitas

Let the sluggish cooker do ALL the give you the results you want. Cooking your pork low and sluggish ensures that it will likely be good and tender when it’s time to chow down. There’s nothing worse than spending a bunch of time prepping carnitas for them to easily prove bland and dry. Observe this straightforward step-by-step course of for excellent carnitas each time:

  1. Season – Pat your pork dry and season pork roast liberally.
  2. Within the sluggish cooker, add your veggies, broth, citrus and bay leaves.
  3. Add the roast and sluggish cook dinner on excessive warmth for five hours (or on low for 7-9 hours) or till pork could be very tender and shreds simply with a fork.
  4. Shred pork – switch to a rimmed baking sheet and shred pork with 2 forks. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the sluggish cooker juices on prime.
  5. Broil the shredded pork for five minutes, till the sides are scrumptious and crispy.
Step by step how to make pork carnitas

Easy methods to Serve Pork Carnitas

  • Carnita tacos: Seize your favourite corn tortilla, some onions, Cowboy Caviar, cilantro, and lime wedges. Pack every tortilla with crispy pork. That is the proper celebration meals!
  • Nachos: Oh sure, everybody’s favourite snack meals is made that rather more scrumptious with some selfmade carnitas. Prime your chips off with a scoop of carnitas, cheese, bitter cream, and Pico de gallo.
  • Burrito: I imply, who doesn’t love burrito? Stuff a big, flour tortilla with all the standard suspects and dip it into jalapeno ranch.
  • Salad: Add carnitas for our favourite Mexican Salad! This makes for an important weekday lunch.
A tray of nachos with vibrant veggies on top

Frequent Questions

Can I exploit pork tenderloin or pork loin?

Sadly, a pork tenderloin or pork loin wouldn’t work properly on this recipe as a result of they’re too lean and can find yourself powerful and dry.

Can I exploit frozen pork?

You should definitely thaw your pork roast earlier than placing it into the sluggish cooker, in any other case, your cook dinner instances shall be off and your pork received’t cook dinner correctly. The USDA recommends you at all times defrost meat earlier than placing it right into a sluggish cooker.

Can I pan-fry carnitas?

Sure, you possibly can crisp up the carnitas in a skillet after you shred the meat. Oil a skillet, add pork and drizzle with a number of the sluggish cooker juices. Let the meat cook dinner and sear till golden brown on the primary facet, then flip and briefly sear on the second facet to your required crispiness.

Is that this the identical as Barbacoa?

Carnitas are sometimes confused for an additional dish known as “barbacoa”. Whereas the idea is analogous, barbacoa is often beef that has been slow-cooked in dried chiles and spices till tender. Additionally, barbacoa is way spicier!

Tacos made with pork carnitas meat

Make Forward

We love that this Mexican pulled pork could be made forward.

  • Refrigerating – Earlier than the ultimate crisping step, carnitas could be lined and refrigerated for as much as 3 days.
  • To freeze – Carnitas could be frozen for as much as 3 months. Pack carnitas in a freezer-safe bag with a number of the juices from the sluggish cooker. To forestall freezer burn, take away as a lot air as you possibly can when sealing.
  • To reheat – Thaw carnitas if frozen, then you possibly can crisp them on a skillet or within the oven per the recipe directions.

Extra Pork Recipes

Carnitas Recipe (Mexican Pulled Pork)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Complete Time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Pork carnitas served as Carnita tacos

Pork Carnitas are crispy on the surface with a juicy middle. It is really easy to make genuine Mexican pulled pork within the sluggish cooker.

Writer: Natalya Drozhzhin


Essential Course



Key phrase:

carnitas, pork carnitas

Talent Stage:


Value to Make:

$15 to $20

Energy: 324

Servings: 8 servings

  • 4
    boneless pork roast, (pork butt or pork shoulder)
  • 3
    wonderful sea salt, (or 2 1/2 tsp desk salt)
  • 1
    floor black pepper
  • 1
    dried oregano
  • 1
    giant yellow onion, diced
  • 5
    garlic cloves
  • 4
    lime juice, (from 2 limes)
  • 1/2
    orange juice, (from 2 oranges)
  • 1
    hen broth
  • 2
    bay leaves, elective

  1. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Mix salt, pepper and dried oregano and rub pork with the seasoning.

  2. Within the sluggish cooker, add chopped onion, garlic cloves, broth, lime juice, orange juice, and bay leaves if utilizing.

  3. Add the pork to the sluggish cooker. Cook dinner on excessive for five hours or on low for 7-9 hours.

  4. Take away the pork from the sluggish cooker and switch it to a rimmed baking sheet. Shredded the pork with two forks and drizzle the highest with 1/2 cup of the sluggish cooker juices.

  5. To get crispy edges, broil within the oven for 5-7 minutes, or till golden brown.

Diet Information

Carnitas Recipe (Mexican Pulled Pork)

Quantity Per Serving

Energy 324
Energy from Fats 81

% Day by day Worth*

Fats 9g14%

Saturated Fats 3g19%

Polyunsaturated Fats 1g

Monounsaturated Fats 4g

Ldl cholesterol 143mg48%

Sodium 2738mg119%

Potassium 955mg27%

Carbohydrates 5g2%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 52g104%

Vitamin A 45IU1%

Vitamin C 12mg15%

Calcium 31mg3%

Iron 2mg11%

* P.c Day by day Values are primarily based on a 2000 calorie food plan.



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