Crispy Pork Carnitas

January 28, 2024



Crispy Pork Carnitas

I'm certainly no expert on cultural cuisine but this is my attempt at crispy pork carnitas and they were absolutely delicious. Not authentic but if delicious and simple is what you are looking for I think you will really enjoy these! And, they can be made in the oven as well! Here is how we made them...
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Servings: 15


  • 1 Pork Shoulder 7-8lbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp seasoning salt Mortons or similar
  • 2.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • bacon up bacon grease for binder
  • 1 orange
  • 3 limes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp corn starch slurry may or may not need for sauce


  • Get Smoker set to 250 degrees.
  • Mix all seasonings in a bowl along with brown sugar and lime/orange zest for your rub.
  • Score fat cap on pork butt and rub bacon grease all over all sides.
  • Thoroughly cover pork shoulder with rub, set remaining aside.
  • Place on smoker at 250 for 4-5 hrs until internal temp is 160-170 and you have a nice bark.
  • Transfer to dutch oven or aluminum pan. Add beef broth to dutch oven along with juice from limes/orange. Also add limes/orange and bay leaves along with garlic.
  • Cover and increase temp to 300 degrees until internal temp is 204-205.
  • Remove pork shoulder from braising liquid and allow to rest.
  • Strain braising liquid into separate pan and bring to a simmer. Allow to reduce until it covers the back of a spoon. I also added a Tbsp of the leftover rub. If still thin add corn starch slurry.
  • Shred pork shoulder and add additional rub.
  • Place on a baking sheet under the broiler for a couple min, then flip and repeat.
  • Serve any way you see fit, we enjoyed on flour tortillas. Enjoy!



This can totally be made in the oven if you do not have a smoker,  it just adds some great flavor!  Just place on a roasting pan for the uncovered part of the cook!  Keep the same temp and times.  


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