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Carnitas | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com

Carnitas: Mexican Pulled Pork

If you want Mexican street food at its finest in a gringo kitchen, these carnitas are not going to let you down. The pork has a perfectly crisp exterior and unleashes perfectly seasoned flavors.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 71kcal


  • dutch oven


  • 1 3 ½ – 4 lbs boneless pork butt, fat trimmed to ⅛″, cut into 2 chunks
  • 2 cups water more or less
  • 1 onion peeled and halved
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 orange halved
  • Tortillas
  • Toppings: Minced red onion fresh cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, pico de gallo, sour cream, and lime wedges


  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 
  • Place the pork in a Dutch oven with the onion, lime juice, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, 1 teas salt and ½ teas pepper. Add the water, it should cover just barely cover the meat.
  • Squeeze the juice from the orange into the Dutch oven and throw the spent orange halves in there as well. 
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and transfer to oven. 
  • Cook for 2 hours, until meat is easily shredded with two forks, flipping the meat once halfway though cook time.
  • Remove the meat from the Dutch oven and discard the onion, bay leaves, and orange. 
  • Place pot over high heat and simmer the liquid stirring occasionally until it leaves a trail when a spatula is run through it and it is thick and syrup like, about 8-12 minutes. It bubbles while cooking so use caution.
  • Turn the oven to broil. 
  • Shred the pork into bite sized chunks. 
  • Fold in the syrup and spread out mixture in a single layer onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. 
  • Broil on lower middle rack for 5 to 8 minutes, until meat is crispy but not charred. 
  • Carefully remove from oven, flip the meat and broil again for 5 to 8 minutes longer.
  • Serve carnitas with desired toppings.


Cook’s Illustrated Mexican Favorites


Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 195mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 8.7mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.7mg