Yes, crispy pork carnitas can be achieved by the home cook! Do you wish you could make pork carnitas at home in your oven?
If you are like me you don’t want to cook carnitas the authentic way, which is slow cooking pork fully submerged in lard. This confit method of cooking produces pork that’s rich and so tender. But who wants to deal with a pot full of lard? While delicious, the cleanup process is arduous at best.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have amazing, rich and tender pork carnitas at home! This recipe was inspired by our favorite local Mexican restaurant. ANYTIME we want the real deal we go there.
They serve the pork carnitas cut into cubes not shredded and it’s our favorite way to eat pork carnitas tacos. Topped with fresh pico de gallo and a squeeze fresh lime juice. PERFECTION!
Our method is marinating the pork butt then slow oven roasting it. This produces rich, moist, flavorful and so tender crispy caramelized pork pieces that it melts in your mouth! It’s not overseasoned, the citrus comes out, and you get bits and pieces of char on the pork … it’s just amazing.
Crispy Pork Carnitas
How to make crispy pork carnitas in the oven
Cube the pork into large 2″ x 2″ cubes. Don’t trim the fat, you want the fat to help keep the meat moist during the long slow cooking process. Whisk together fresh orange juice, fresh lime juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Place the cubed pork in a large zip-top bag and pour the marinade over. Remove the air from the bag and zip closed. Massage the meat around so the marinade covers it thoroughly. Place the bag on a large plate or platter (just in case it leaks) and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.
Marinating the meat helps infuse those Mexican flavors you expect from pork carnitas.
Preheat the oven to 275ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the cubed pork on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with foil and slow roast for 2 hours.
Increase the oven temperature to 300ºF. Remove the foil and continue to cook another 45 minutes to one hour, until the pork is fork tender.
Once the pork is falling apart tender, drain the juices from the baking pan. Broil until desired crispiness is acquired. For us, it’s about 5-8 minutes. Remember every oven is different.
Serve with flour tortillas and your favorite toppings.
You will swoon when you taste the moistest, flavorful, tender pork carnitas you have ever cooked at home! Top this off with some pico de gallo and some cilantro, a squeeze of lime and you will have made probably one of your new favorite meals at home. Invite your friends!
Crispy Mexican Pork Carnitas Recipe
Crispy Pork Carnitas
- 4-5lb pork butt or shoulder, cut into 2" cubes
- 2 oranges juice of fresh
- 2 limes juice of fresh
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 garlic cloves , peeled and cracked
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro , chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper fresh ground
- Cut the pork butt into 2" cubes. Place in a large zip-top bag or bowl.
- Mix together the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour over the pork and massage or stir to cover thoroughly with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 275F degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Place the pork in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 2 hours.
- Remove the foil and drain the juices from the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 300F degrees. Roast another 45 minutes to 1 hour, until fall-apart tender.
- Broil for 5-8 minutes until desired color and crisp is achieved.
- Serve with flour tortillas and your favorite toppings.
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