Simple Carnitas

Simple Carnitas

Ken from CA 174

"This the easiest recipe for tasty carnitas. Once cooked, the meat can also be shredded and mixed with BBQ sauce for incredible pulled pork sandwiches, or pan fried in a little oil until crisp on the outside."

Ingredients 3 h {{adjustedServings}} servings 188 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 10 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 188 kcal
  • 9%
  • Fat:
  • 9.6 g
  • 15%
  • Carbs:
  • 6.6g
  • 2%
  • Protein:
  • 18.4 g
  • 37%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 63 mg
  • 21%
  • Sodium:
  • 2332 mg
  • 93%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Place the pork shoulder, oranges, onion, garlic, kosher salt, cumin, black peppercorns, and bay leaves into a large Dutch oven. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Cover loosely, and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Allow the pork to cool, covered, in the broth for 1 hour. Shred the meat with two forks.
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Reviews 195

  1. 244 Ratings

Ken from CA

I need to clarify a few things. First, carnitas are heavily seasoned but not flavored. Seasoning is basically salt but flavors mainly come from condiments. I changed out the lard for water lowering the fat content and added orange based on flavors I found in restaarants in Mexico. American tastes have added a tremendous amount of flavor enhancers(spices, chilies, etc. to the dish). You can make this into whatever you want. I prefer it crisped up in a little oil after it's shredded into chunks( and a little extra kosher salt sprinkled over it. If you want more spice add this at this time.


Ken, this is a winner, a five star! I bought that huge package from Costco that contains about 15 lbs of boneless pork shoulder. That meat is a pain in the neck to cook with because of all the fat, but it's the fat that makes it tasty, too, so I endure the misery of cutting it off. I actually cooked this according to directions in my Magnalite roaster on stovetop, and it took two batches to get the job done. For the first batch I used all the salt, and then the second batch I used half that amount. For my family, it will probably rest in between the two amounts. Otherwise, the ingredients are just perfect because one flavor doesn't outdo another, and the resulting meat is very yummy. I made a double batch of Mexican Rice II from this site to go with it, and I used the broth from the meat for half of the recipe. Next time I will use the broth for ALL of it because it makes a spectacular replacement for the chicken broth, adding a depth of flavor to the rice that can't be duplicated. Now I am glad that I saved the broth for my freezer for future uses. What a perfect recipe! Thank you!


Fantastic! My roast was frozen solid, so I threw it in the slow cooker whole, along with everything else. Cooked it on low for 9 hours and the result was amazing. Loved the subtle orange flavor and the bay leaf added a really great earthy tone to the meat. I shredded and then served the meat in flour tortillas with lettuce, tomato, cilantro, and a bit of plain yogurt. Will make again! Thank you!