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. Katie from Katie's Cucina

    This recipes sounds so good and your Texan preparation for Blogher Food is just too darn funny. I can’t wait to get to Austin! I’ve been once before and ate like a mad women and plan to do the same thing in June!

  2. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    Don’t get me started with my Scottish accent and word differences, oy! I love Lisa’s book and used it for a bunch of meals!

  3. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    Who doesn’t know what a conniption fit is? Me and my mom say that all the time! I love pork… all kinds just sayin. The meat looks melt in your mouth ‘mazing!

  4. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Hey, I’m going to BlogHer Food this year too! I’d really love to get together for some dinner or drinks and meet you. I live in Austin already, so I’m so excited to have my blogging buddies coming to my city. Let me know if you’d like to meet up! Great carnitas recipe, too.

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Awesome! Of course we have to get together, between all the parities and what not, I’m sure we will have time to meet! :)

  5. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    I’ve never heard of tumped before – ever. But the others yes. And connitption fit – totally. Also – shredded meat is just so much more appealing than any other kind most of the time. Weird right?

  6. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    I’ve never tried making carnitas, but I think I need to change that. These sure do look divine!

  7. Ali | Gimme Some Oven

    Love the pineapple juice idea!!! These look amazing. And I used to love Pappasito’s during the summer I lived in Dallas! :)

  8. angela @ another bite please

    i so love these types of flavors…i am eating some leftover texmex shredded pork & hominy (first time using) and love…your with the pineapple juice. lovin the sound of that..and ha ha i alwasy love hearing people talk with an accent…i am from WI and say Hey instead of Hi :-)

  9. MaryG

    Laughed pretty hard over your vocabulary lesson – my DH is from Texas, and even after a really long time in Southern California, still has some of that in him. I honestly thought he made up “tump”. He also still has odd pronunciations for theater (thee-AY-ter), ambulance (am-byoo-LANCE) and can’t (cain’t). But he lost y’all years ago. And lucky for him, the only coke he drinks is Coke, so he’s never disappointed in restaurants.

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      I used Pineapple juice. When adapting it over from The Homesick Texan, I forgot to switch it back in the directions. It’s fixed now.

  10. Karly

    It’s sea-ment here. And I’ve had quite a few conniption fits in my day. :)

    Now, I have to ask…wouldn’t it be faster to just say Dr. Pepper, instead of going through the what kind of coke thing? I mean…why?! I don’t get it.

    And what happens if you really want a Coke. “I’ll take a Coke.” What kind? “Coke.”

    Weirrrrrrd, man.

  11. Diana @ Sweet y Salado

    I use pineapple juice on my chicken marinades all the time, now I just have to try it on pork. Great recipe for Super Bowl Sunday foh sho! Oh, and at least you guys don’t call it “pop” which always drove me crazy. It’s soda! LOL :)

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Ashley, because the liquid needs to cook off and then you have to literally fry off the fat, these can’t be made in the slow cooker.

      I mean, I’m sure they can, but they will not be the same.

  12. Victoria V

    Haha, as a born and raised Texan, I love your examples. But you forgot “fixing to”! ;) At my wedding rehearsal, my in-laws had coozies (sp?) made that said “Fixin’ to (State Verb of Texas) get hitched”. :)

  13. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    Ooo pineapple sounds like a nice way to switch the recipe up for sure! I’ve tried them only with OJ before. Have fun in Austin! – I’ll be stuck in lame NJ >_<

  14. Christine @ Cooking with Cakes

    Hi Jessica! I recently got introduced to your blog by Purr Design and I am loving it!!

    This recipe looks absolutely delicious – throw some pickled red onions on top of those babies and I am sold!!

  15. Cookbook Queen

    Living in Arkansas, I am sure you and I speak the same language. When I moved here, I was 15…the first time someone said I “favored” someone, I thought it meant that I was nice to them, not LOOKED LIKE them!! But now I find myself saying all the stuff I used to be confused by :)

    See you in Austin!!!

  16. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    Going to BlogHer Food this year will be my first time ever in Texas! I’m very excited. I’ve heard great things about Austin.

  17. shelly (cookies and cups)

    My college roommate used to work at Pappasitos and she gave me some of the recipes that tey use…the pineapple juice marinade is a favorite in our house!
    Also, yes..Sea-mint…why can’t people pronounce it properly :)

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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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