Crispy Pork Carnitas


This carnitas recipe features fragrantly spiced cubed pork slow-roasted in lard until crispy on the outside and soft and succulent on the inside. Pile some on a warm tortilla, drizzle with braising liquid, and top with salsa, onion, and cilantro for the world's best taco.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 55 mins


  • 3 pounds boneless pork butt (shoulder)

  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 orange, juiced, orange parts of peel removed and sliced into thin strips

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 bay leaves, torn in half

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

  2. Remove fat from pork; cut meat into 2-inch cubes and roughly chop fat.

  3. Mix together pork meat and fat with garlic, olive oil, orange peel, orange juice, salt, bay leaves, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and 5-spice powder in a large bowl until pork is coated completely. Transfer mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil, then place on a baking sheet.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until pork is fork tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

  5. Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.

  6. Remove garlic, orange peel, and bay leaves from the baking dish. Transfer pork to a colander set in a bowl. Pour accumulated juices from the baking dish over pork. Return pork to the baking dish and drizzle with some accumulated juices.

  7. Cook under the preheated broiler for 3 minutes. Drizzle more accumulated juices over pork and continue broiling until crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a serving plate and drizzle with remaining accumulated juices.

    close up view of Crispy Pork Carnitas on a white platter

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

317 Calories
23g Fat
2g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 317
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 89mg 30%
Sodium 1036mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 371mg 8%

* 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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