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Photo of easy carnitas on a plate with limes.

Easy Carnitas Recipe

This Easy Carnitas Recipe makes the BEST carnitas: rich, tender shredded pork with crispy, crunchy edges, perfect for tacos, burritos, or just eating by the forkful. Post includes step-by-step instructions and everything you ever wanted to know about making carnitas.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 to 12 cups
Calories 179 kcal
Author Tracy

Ingredients

Special Equipment

Carnitas

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4-6 pound pork shoulder roast boneless or bone-in, trimmed of fat cap and cut into fist-sized chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6-8 cups (3-4 14.5 ounce cans) chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Pre-measure all your ingredients, dice your onion, and prep your garlic. Once you get started cooking, things move fast. 

  2. Generously salt and pepper pork chunks on all sides.

  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, brown meat on all sides, in batches if necessary. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Add onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and enough chicken broth so the meat is mostly covered. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until meat is tender and can be easily pulled apart with a fork.

  5. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil for easier cleanup. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer meat to a cutting board (reserve the broth) and use two forks to shred the meat. Transfer shredded meat to the baking sheet and spread it in an even layer over the surface. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid over the meat, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 10 minutes.

  6. Drizzle a little more broth over the meat, cook 10 minutes more, and repeat for a total of 30 minutes, until edges are crispy and browned.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Approximate nutritional information is for 1/2 cup meat and assumes 25% braising liquid consumption.