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Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas- slow cooked in lard and bacon fat and then broiled until crispy.


These Pork Carnitas are slow cooked in lard and bacon fat with garlic, onion, oranges, lemons and spices until super tender. They are then broiled until crispy.

The resulting flavor is to die for. Seriously.

Pork Carnitas- slow cooked in lard and bacon fat until tender and then broiled until crispy.


And yes, the pork is cooked in a huge amount of fat. It literally swims in it.

But it all gets discarded after the pork is cooked through and it leaves the pork wonderfully flavored and tender.

Pork Carnitas- slow cooked in lard and bacon fat until tender and then broiled until crispy.


If you can find fresh lard, which is very difficult to find, then use it. If not, the shelf-stable kind will work. It has stuff added to it and the flavor is not as good as fresh lard, but for something like carnitas that have so many other flavors going on, I think it’s totally suitable. You can find it by the cooking oils in some grocery stores or you can order it online.

Pork Carnitas- slow cooked in lard and bacon fat until tender and then broiled until crispy.


Pork Carnitas can be used as a base for all types of Mexican foods. I like to serve Pork Carnitas in flour tortillas with Fire-Roasted Salsa, fresh cilantro, and avocado.

Pork Carnitas are so tender and juicy with wonderful crispy bits. You need this for your dinner. And your family will be fighting over the leftovers.

Pork Carnitas- slow cooked in lard and bacon fat until tender and then broiled until crispy.

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Pork Carnitas- slow cooked in lard and bacon fat and then broiled until crispy.

Pork Carnitas


  • 3 pound boneless pork butt, you can also use a bone-in pork butt but it will be more like 6 pounds, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 orange, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat
  • 1 cup lard


  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • Place pork pieces in a 9X13-inch pan.
  • Scatter onion, orange, lime, and garlic over pork.
  • Sprinkle seasonings on top.
  • Drizzle with bacon fat.
  • Use a large spoon to stir the pork around and get the seasonings distributed.
  • Using a spoon, drop spoonfuls of lard evenly on top of pork.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and cook 5 hours. (Place pan on baking sheet in case any liquid leaks over.)
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove meat and place on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.
  • Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until crispy.

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Adapted from A Family Feast

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19 thoughts on “Pork Carnitas”

    1. Note from John again: If you do add lime, be sure the lime is fully ripe and not bitter. I used a lime the first time and it left a very bitter taste. I salvaged it by adding some sugar, but I would rather not have done that. Also, some people do not like cumin (I’m kind of neutral on it myself), so leaving it out does not hurt the recipe. I like to add some smoked paprika, too. Just some ideas for you folks.

  1. This is sinful! Tender, juicy and flavorful bits of pork perfectly seasoned to nosh on as-is or you can bathe leftovers (if you have any) in BBQ sauce and serve up some pulled pork at your next meal.

  2. Jaime mcgaha

    I made this and it was delicious. I generously seasoned the meat the added more on top. So good.

  3. I am making this a day before a party. Should I shred it and refrigerate it in some of the juices overnight and then before the party remove from juice and broil it?

  4. I made this. It was delicious. But after I had “built” the dish with meat on bottom and the onion, etc arranged on top, THEN it said to stir to meat to assure even distribution of the spices.

  5. I seem to be missing the part about cutting the meat up. The directions say use a 3lb BB and then says to put the pork pieces in the pan. How do we prepare the meats for cooking

  6. Foodiefiacco

    Is it possible to do this in the crock pot? I live in Arizona without air conditioning and think my house would be unbearable with the oven on for five hours and this looks way to good to wait until the weather changes.

  7. I ended up cooking it slightly longer because it was not ready to shred, and I used more spices (probably significantly more) than the recipe said.

  8. Wow. This. Looks. Amazing. So juicy and tender bad for you in all of the best ways. This is going on my dinner menu ASAP!

  9. Ashley - The Recipe Rebel

    Oh my word. These carnitas look INCREDIBLE! So much flavor going on! My family actually butchers pigs and makes lard, but I never take any because I never really use it for anything. THIS would be a great use for it!

  10. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Mmm you just can’t beat pork made in the slow cooker! This looks fantastic, Christin! Such a delicious way to cook this dish!

  11. These carnitas are making me so hungry! I can just imagine the wonderful flavor the lard gives it. Sounds crazy good!

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