Pork Carnitas

Prep 3 mins
Cook 3 hrs
Total 3 hrs 3 mins
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These easy Pork Carnitas are a delicious and healthy slow cooked dinner that is perfect for family taco night! 

If you enjoy these pork carnitas you should also try my Crispy Pork Carnitas with Corn Salsa recipe!

Pork Carnitas Is One Of My Favorite Taco Night Recipes

“You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl.” — That statement is about 75% true. I still think TexMex is some of the greatest food on this entire earth. I add hot sauce to just about anything and I say y’all on a daily basis. My accent (was never heavy, but I definitely had one), is pretty much completely gone. However, I still have my Texan dialect. For example:

Buzzard: black birds that circle something when it’s dead. Here in Florida they call them vultures.

Coke: The name of every soda, ever. In Texas this is how your drink order goes down at a restaurant: “What would you like to drink?” “Coke” “Ok, what kind?” “Dr. Pepper.”

Wrecker: instead of tow truck

Cement: Pronounced Sea-Mint. Not Sa-Ment. ….to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s Texas that made me pronounce this one wrong all my life or my mother. 

Conniption Fit: I said this last week in front of a large crowd and no one knew what having a Conniption Fit was. It’s the same thing as a hissy fit…and I have been known to throw my fair share of both.

Tump: My dad said this one just last weekend. Here’s how to properly use it: “Expletive!, I just tumped my beer over.”

Pork Carnitas in a black taco holder with ingredients behind them

These are just a few that I can think of off the top of my head. So now if you are coming to Blogher Food 2013 in Austin this June, you will have a little bit of preparation. And FYI, no we don’t all talk slower than molasses (that’s all in west Texas. Just kidding…kind of), no we don’t all wear cowboy hats and boots…but yes we do have funny words and a lot of people drive big trucks. Good news is the food is top notch…and sometimes the cowboys look hot in their Wranglers. ;)

Since I have been talking about what we are going to do while in Austin with some of my blogger friends, I have had a craving for some good TexMex food. I opened my very worn copy of Homesick Texan Cookbook and decided to make some Carnitas!

I switched up the recipe a little…and I wanted to use pineapple juice instead of orange juice. When I worked at Pappasitos back in high school, I learned that they marinate their meats in a mixture of soy sauce and pineapple juice. The pineapple juice does a great job of tenderizing the meat and so I decided to use it in my carnitas. I’m glad I did because they were divine!

Yield: Serves 6-8 people

Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas tacos in a taco stand surrounded by ingredients

These easy Pork Carnitas are a delicious and healthy dinner that is perfect for family taco night! 

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 3 minutes


  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • About 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • corn tortillas
  • cilantro
  • onion
  • lime wedges
  • Cholula hot sauce


Place the pork in a large heavy bottomed pot. Add the pineapple juice, lime juice, garlic, jalapenos, cumin, salt and enough water to just barely cover the meat. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for two hours. Don’t touch the meat.

After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high heat and occasionally stir and turn the pork, continue to cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the pork fat.

Let it sizzle in this fat long enough to brown at the edges, turning pieces gently, only as needed. The more you stir, the more the meat will fall apart and shred.

When pork has browned and most of the fat has cooked off, it’s ready! Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on warmed tortillas with all the fixings.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 756Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 216mgSodium: 900mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 57g


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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43 Responses
  1. roxanne pool

    I pinned this recipe to try when I brought it up a very triple xxx rated page came up over and over….. Not very happy about that and not sure why it would happen but thought someone better know—I would be extremely angry if my child had been looking up the recipe for me and that came up. When I tried to go back the xxx rated page just kept reloading until finally I hit the back button over and over after about 3 full mins of hitting the back button it finally went away. How do I prevent this from happening again?

  2. Rachel

    okay, this made me laugh so much. I am from Minnesota and my boyfriend is from Pennsylvania and we are now both displaced northerners in Oklahoma…

    1) I’m the same way in that I have largely lost my “Minne-sooo-ta” accent but I still use words/phrases that result in no one here knowing what the hell I’m talking about (“parking ramp,” anyone??), and,

    2) the “CE-ment” thing makes my bf and I laugh all the time, especially because in OK (not sure if it’s the same in TX) the “emphasize the first syllable” thing gets transferred to other words (“IN-surance”… or the other day when I honestly heard an older man at work say “they got CON-flicting RE-ports…”)

    but the great thing about being down here really is the abundant Tex Mex food… and these look delicious!!!

  3. Marcie@FlavortheMoments

    These look awesome. This will be the first pork carnitas recipe for me — it looks like a winner!

  4. Michninja

    I adapted these carnitas for ground pork and let me say: BEST THING EVER. I was running around telling everyone – family, friends, the walls – how fantastic these are. Thank you. Especially for the pineapple juice tip.

  5. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    Love the pineapple juice in here, bet it is delicious!
    Texas is one of the states I have never been too. Really trying to make it to Blogher Food in June!

  6. Lynette

    I still blame my friend Jan from Texas for my pronunciation of: GAY-Raj (Garage) – and the refrigerator will always and forever be the Frigidator! Also, when she saw all the deer in the fields around our house, she commented “oh my, what a lot of derrr” (dur). I miss her! I will make these divine sounding carnitas and then call Jan and have a good chat!

  7. natalie@thesweetslife

    I’m seeing carnitas everywhere lately and it is unleashing a craving!! Fitting since we just planned a trip to Austin for April, too!

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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