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shredded carnitas on platter with cilantro

Easy Pork Carnitas

Tender, juicy, and crispy, this is my Pork Carnitas recipe! Marinated, cooked then crisped, enjoy with a tortilla or freeze for later!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword carnitas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8 large servings
Calories 200kcal


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder boneless
  • salt to taste
  • 3 navel oranges juiced (you want at least 1/2 a cup, but more is fine)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth


Marinating the Pork

  • Cut pork shoulder into large 2-3 inch chunks. Sprinkle with salt, to taste. Set aside. Wash oranges.
    chunks of pork shoulder in plastic container
  • Stir orange juice together with cumin, onion powder, cinnamon and garlic. Pour marinade over pork and stir to coat evenly. Seal meat and marinade in an airtight container with tight-fitting lid and refrigerate 2-6 hours. Save orange rinds for cooking.
    marinade in measuring cup

Cooking Carnitas

  • In a large dutch oven or oven-safe pot, heat canola oil over medium high heat. Sear meat on all sides until browned. Remove meat and pour in broth to deglaze pan. Add in bay leaves, seared meat, orange rinds and marinating liquid. Cover, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook on the stove for 1 1/2-2 hours or until meat is very tender and falling apart. Alternately, you can braise in the oven covered with a lid for 2-3 hours at 275 degrees.
    seared pork shoulder on plate
  • Once meat is fully cooked, remove from cooking liquid and shred, discarding any large pieces of fat or gristle. Serve as is or crisp up with the broiler or using a pan.
    shredded pork on baking sheet

Crisp your Carnitas

  • For pan cooking, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to a cast iron or nonstick skillet. Swirl oil around to coat the bottom. Cook meat until it's as crispy as you'd like.
    For crisping with the broiler, preheat broiler to high. Spread shredded carnitas on baking sheet and broil until meat is as crispy as you'd like.
    shredded carnitas on platter with cilantro
  • Serve carnitas in tacos, burritos or however you like.
    carnitas on corn tortilla with mango salsa

Pressure Cooker Directions

  • Marinate the meat as recipe states above. Brown the marinated meat in batches in canola oil using the BROWN/SAUTE function. Remove meat and pour in broth to deglaze pan. Add in bay leaves, seared meat, orange rinds and marinating liquid. Add lid and twist to lock. Close pressure valve. Change to MEAT/STEW function and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. After time is up, quick-release pressure. Shred meat and crisp if desired. Serve.



Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 434mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg