Perfect Carnitas Recipe for Homestyle Tacos

carnitas recipe

Welcome to our tantalizing journey to the heart of Mexico with the perfect carnitas recipe for homestyle tacos. Prepare to awaken your taste buds as we guide you through the art of creating mouthwatering carnitas that rival the best Mexican culinary experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned chef looking to perfect your carnitas game or a novice eager to explore the flavors of Mexico, this authentic carnitas recipe is sure to impress.

Our recipe combines the finest ingredients and step-by-step instructions to ensure your carnitas are tender, flavorful, and utterly irresistible. From the first bite to the last, every mouthful will transport you to the vibrant streets of Mexico, where the aroma of sizzling pork fills the air.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the secret to creating authentic and delicious carnitas for homestyle tacos.
  • Learn how to achieve tender and flavorful pork that melts in your mouth.
  • Explore variations of the carnitas recipe for easy, slow cooker, traditional, and delicious options.
  • Immerse yourself in the authentic flavors of Mexico with our traditional carnitas recipe.
  • Get ready to elevate your tacos to a whole new level of deliciousness with our mouthwatering carnitas recipe.

Easy Carnitas Recipe for Tender and Juicy Pork

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious way to make tender and juicy pork carnitas, look no further. Our easy carnitas recipe will guide you through the process, allowing you to create mouthwatering carnitas with minimal effort. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or hosting a gathering, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends.


  • 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice


  1. In a large skillet, heat some oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the pork shoulder chunks and cook until browned on all sides. This will help seal in the juices and add a flavorful crust to the meat.
  3. Transfer the browned pork shoulder to a slow cooker or Dutch oven.
  4. In the same skillet, sauté the diced onion and minced garlic until softened and fragrant. Add them to the slow cooker or Dutch oven.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle this seasoning mixture over the pork and onions.
  6. Pour the orange juice and lime juice over the pork and spices.
  7. Cover the slow cooker or Dutch oven and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until the pork is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.
  8. Once cooked, remove the pork from the slow cooker or Dutch oven and shred it using two forks.
  9. If desired, crisp up the shredded pork by spreading it out on a baking sheet and broiling it in the oven for a few minutes.
  10. Serve the carnitas in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker or Dutch oven, you can also cook the pork in a large pot on the stovetop over low heat, until tender.

With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you can create tender and juicy pork carnitas that are bursting with flavor. This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights or when you want to impress your guests with a delicious meal. Give it a try and enjoy the irresistible taste of homemade carnitas!

“These carnitas are so easy to make and incredibly delicious. The flavors are perfect, and the pork turns out tender and juicy every time!” – Sarah

Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe for Effortless Cooking

Looking for a delicious and hassle-free way to make carnitas? Look no further than our slow cooker carnitas recipe. With minimal hands-on cooking, you can enjoy tender and flavorful pork that will melt in your mouth. Let the slow cooker do all the work while you relax and anticipate a mouthwatering meal.

Why Choose a Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker is the perfect tool for making carnitas. It allows the flavors to develop slowly while keeping the meat moist and tender. The low and slow cooking process ensures that every bite is packed with rich, succulent goodness. Plus, using a slow cooker frees up your time for other activities, making it an ideal choice for busy individuals or families.

To create the most delectable carnitas with minimal effort, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Start by seasoning your pork shoulder or butt with a blend of spices such as cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Feel free to adjust the quantities according to your taste preferences.
  2. Place the seasoned pork in the slow cooker and add a cup of chicken broth or orange juice for a tangy twist.
  3. Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-6 hours. The longer cooking time on low heat will result in even more tender and flavorful carnitas.
  4. Once the cooking time is complete, remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. The meat should easily fall apart, showcasing its fork-tender texture.
  5. For crispy and caramelized edges, transfer the shredded meat to a baking sheet and broil it in the oven for a few minutes. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
  6. Now it’s time to assemble your tacos. Warm up some tortillas, top them with the slow cooker carnitas, and garnish with your favorite toppings such as diced onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.
  7. Serve the tacos hot and enjoy the irresistible combination of flavors and textures.

“The slow cooker is a game-changer when it comes to making tender and flavorful carnitas. Let it work its magic while you sit back and anticipate a mouthwatering meal.”

Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe

Ingredients Instructions
  • 3-4 pounds of pork shoulder or butt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth or orange juice
  • Tortillas and toppings for serving
  1. Season the pork shoulder or butt with cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. Place the seasoned pork in the slow cooker and add the chicken broth or orange juice.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-6 hours.
  4. Remove the cooked pork from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks.
  5. Transfer the shredded meat to a baking sheet and broil for a few minutes for crispy edges.
  6. Warm up tortillas and assemble the tacos with the slow cooker carnitas and desired toppings.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

With our slow cooker carnitas recipe, you can achieve tender and flavorful pork with minimal effort. Let the slow cooker work its magic while you relax, knowing that a delicious meal is just a few hours away. Try this recipe today and savor the mouthwatering taste of perfectly cooked carnitas!

slow cooker carnitas recipe

Traditional Carnitas Recipe for Authentic Flavors

When it comes to capturing the authentic flavors of Mexico, nothing beats a traditional carnitas recipe. This classic Mexican dish is rich in savory flavors that will transport you straight to the streets of Mexico City. Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with this timeless recipe that showcases the true essence of carnitas.

At the heart of a traditional carnitas recipe lies the art of slow cooking. This method allows the pork to become incredibly tender and juicy, while also developing a delightful crispiness on the outside. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth experience that will leave you craving more.

Authentic Cooking Techniques

To achieve the authentic flavors of traditional carnitas, it’s essential to follow the proper cooking techniques. The most common method involves simmering chunks of pork in lard until they become tender and golden brown. This slow-cooking process is what sets traditional carnitas apart from other pork dishes.

“Traditional carnitas are all about patience and attention to detail. The slow cooking allows the flavors to develop and intensify, while the careful browning adds a crispy texture that complements the tender meat perfectly.”

Another important technique in traditional carnitas is the use of seasonings. The combination of herbs and spices, such as oregano, bay leaves, and garlic, brings out the authentic taste that has been cherished for generations. These flavors infuse into the pork, creating a harmonious blend of savory goodness.

Ingredients for Traditional Carnitas

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to create the perfect traditional carnitas:

  • Pork shoulder or butt
  • Lard or vegetable oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Onion
  • Bay leaves
  • Orange
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your own authentic carnitas:

  1. Start by cutting the pork shoulder into bite-sized chunks. Season them with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin.
  2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the lard or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork chunks and brown them on all sides.
  3. Add the garlic cloves, onion, bay leaves, and the juice of an orange to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  4. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the pork for 2-3 hours, or until it becomes tender and easily falls apart.
  5. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook the pork for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it develops a crispy exterior.
  6. Once the carnitas are done, remove them from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes.
  7. Serve the traditional carnitas in warm tortillas, along with your favorite toppings such as salsa, guacamole, and cilantro.

Now that you have the recipe, it’s time to gather the ingredients and embark on a culinary journey to Mexico. Prepare to delight in the authentic flavors of traditional carnitas that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Delicious Carnitas Recipe for Unforgettable Tacos

Indulge in the flavorful goodness of our mouthwatering carnitas recipe that will take your tacos to a whole new level of deliciousness. Whether you’re preparing a Mexican feast for family and friends or simply craving a savory taco, this recipe is sure to impress.

To ensure your carnitas are perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection, follow these tips and tricks:

  1. Choose the right cut of meat: Opt for pork shoulder or pork butt as they have the ideal balance of marbling and fat for juicy and tender carnitas.
  2. Season generously: Rub a mixture of salt, pepper, cumin, and dried oregano onto the meat to infuse it with rich and aromatic flavors.
  3. Slow cook for succulence: Place the seasoned meat in a slow cooker and cook on low heat for several hours until the pork becomes fork-tender and easily shreds.
  4. Crisp up for texture: After slow cooking, transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and broil it for a few minutes until the edges become crispy and caramelized.

Now that you have the key steps, it’s time to bring it all together and create unforgettable tacos with your delicious carnitas. Warm up some tortillas, layer them with the succulent pork, and top it off with your favorite garnishes such as chopped onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. The result? A tantalizing explosion of flavors that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

“These carnitas are the perfect balance of tender and crispy. The slow cooking process infuses the meat with incredible flavors, making every bite a delight.”

So, gather your ingredients, follow our easy-to-follow recipe, and get ready to savor the irresistible taste of our delicious carnitas. Your tacos will never be the same again!

Ingredients Quantity
Pork shoulder or pork butt 3 pounds
Salt 2 teaspoons
Black pepper 1 teaspoon
Cumin 1 teaspoon
Dried oregano 1 teaspoon
Tortillas As needed
Onions (chopped) For garnish
Cilantro (chopped) For garnish
Lime wedges For garnish


In conclusion, our perfect carnitas recipe is your ticket to creating mouthwatering homestyle tacos that are sure to impress. Whether you prefer the simplicity of the easy carnitas recipe, the convenience of the slow cooker carnitas recipe, the authentic flavors of the traditional carnitas recipe, or the irresistible taste of the delicious carnitas recipe, you’ll be treated to tender and juicy pork that will transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Mexico.

With our step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to prepare carnitas that are bursting with flavor and authenticity. The combination of carefully selected ingredients and cooking techniques will result in succulent meat that falls apart effortlessly and tantalizes your senses with every bite.

So don’t wait any longer – it’s time to embark on a culinary journey and savor the taste of Mexico in your own kitchen. Gather your ingredients, follow our fantastic carnitas recipe, and astonish your family and friends with the impeccable flavors of homestyle tacos. Get ready to experience the joy of cooking and the delight of indulging in a truly memorable dish!

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Can I make this carnitas recipe with chicken instead of pork?

While the traditional carnitas recipe uses pork, you can certainly experiment with chicken if you prefer. However, keep in mind that the flavors and cooking time may vary. It’s best to adjust the seasonings and cooking instructions accordingly to achieve the desired results.

Can I make this carnitas recipe in advance?

Absolutely! Carnitas can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. This actually allows the flavors to develop further, making the carnitas even more delicious. Simply reheat the carnitas in a pan or microwave when you’re ready to serve.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze the leftover carnitas for future use. Allow the meat to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer bags. Label and date the containers, then store them in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy the carnitas again, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as desired.

Are there any vegetarian or vegan alternatives to this carnitas recipe?

While carnitas is traditionally made with meat, you can create delicious vegetarian or vegan alternatives using ingredients like jackfruit, mushrooms, or plant-based protein substitutes. These alternatives can mimic the texture and flavors of meat, allowing you to enjoy a plant-based version of carnitas.

Can I make the carnitas recipe without a slow cooker?

Absolutely! While a slow cooker helps to achieve tender and juicy carnitas with minimal effort, you can still make delicious carnitas using a regular stovetop. Simply follow the cooking instructions using a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven, simmering the meat on low heat until it becomes tender and caramelized.

Can I adjust the seasoning in this recipe to make it spicier?

Certainly! If you prefer spicier carnitas, feel free to increase the amount of chili powder, cayenne pepper, or other spicy ingredients in the recipe. You can also add some diced jalapenos or your favorite hot sauce to kick up the heat. Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences, making it as mild or as spicy as you like.

Bill Gossman

About Bill Gossman

Hey there! I'm Bill, the man behind these diverse musings. Born from a cocktail of curiosity and a dash of audacity, this blog is my digital journal, chronicling life's ebb and flow. I wear multiple hats - adventurer, thinker, storyteller, artist - and this space is where they intersect. Here, you'll find reflections on everyday quandaries, global happenings, and those quiet moments of introspection. Beyond the blog, I'm an avid traveler and relentless seeker of the world's untold tales. So, buckle up and join me on this written odyssey; it's bound to be an intriguing ride.

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