Pork Carnitas


This Dutch oven carnitas recipe is requested by friends and family repeatedly. Many find carnitas a little dry or flavorless, but these have a great, distinctive flavor. Serve with warm, fresh tortillas and salsa.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into several large pieces

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season pork shoulder pieces with salt, then arrange in the Dutch oven. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Pour in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  4. Transfer pork shoulder to a large baking sheet; reserve cooking liquid. Drizzle a small amount of cooking liquid over pork pieces and lightly season with salt.

  5. Bake pork in the preheated oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Drizzle more cooking liquid every 10 minutes; use two forks to shred pork as it browns.

    looking down at three tortillas filled with pork carnitas, avocado, radishes and cilantro
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

250 Calories
19g Fat
2g Carbs
16g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 250
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 2072mg 90%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 252mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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