Pork Carnitas (Oven)

Pork Carnitas (Oven) are crispy and bursting with sweet and spiced flavor. It’s the perfect meat to serve in tacos, burritos, and sandwiches.

We already have a recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas on the blog. These authentic Pork Carnitas have a similar taste and texture but use a different cooking method and meat. Just like chicken carnitas, they make an easy Weeknight Dinner Recipe especially if you serve them up with tacos and your favorite toppings. 

Pork Carnitas (Oven) on serving dish with rice, tortillas, limes, avocado, and pickled onions


This Pork Carnitas recipe is the perfect dish to enjoy traditional Mexican flavors in juicy, sweet, and tangy pork. The crispy Pork Carnitas are cooked in a dutch oven until tender and juicy. Then roasted in the oven for an additional half-hour to get the perfect crispy texture. They’re absolutely bursting with flavor, and sure to become a favorite recipe for pork.

Ingredients for Pork Carnitas (Oven) in prep bowls

Pork Carnitas are a traditional Mexican recipe. The word “carnitas” translates to little meats. The little meats are typically made using pork shoulder. The boneless pork shoulder is simmered low and slow in cooking liquid. As the piece of meat cooks, it absorbs all the flavors and juices from the liquid around it. Once it’s done, the pork pieces are wonderfully tender. Then we pop them in the oven to crisp up the outside while keeping the unbelievably juicy meat flavor. 

Orange being juiced with spices on plate for Pork Carnitas (Oven)

This is a versatile meal that you can serve up in lots of different ways. You can wrap pieces of pork in warm corn tortillas or flour tortillas. Then add your favorite toppings like cheese, avocado slices, Salsa, beans, rice, or Guacamole. You could also make it into a pork salad and lay the meat over a corn chip or rice base with vegetables and any toppings you like. 



  • Sear: This recipe starts on the stovetop. Add oil to the base of your dutch oven and put it over medium meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then add it to the dutch oven and sear on all sides for about 6-8 minutes until well browned. 
  • Cooking liquid: Whisk together the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, and cumin in a separate bowl. Once it’s combined, pour the liquid and spices over the pork meat. 
  • Cook: Add in the sliced onions and garlic, then stir the mixture together. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender and easy to pull apart. 
  • Baking time: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and prep the baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Use tongs to take the pork out of the pot and shred it into small pork pieces. Lay the shredded pork on the baking sheet. Pour ½ cup of the cooking liquid over the top and roast for 15 minutes. Add another ¼ cup liquid and then do 15 more minutes of cook time. Garnish with fresh yellow onion and cilantro to serve. 

Pork Carnitas (Oven) in Dutch oven with sauce


  • Seasonings: You can add different spices and herbs to experiment with the flavor of your seasoned pork. Try adding rosemary, paprika, parsley, red pepper flakes, onion powder, or dried chipotle. 
  • Add-ons: Try adding different vegetables to the baking dish to roast along with the pork recipe. Bell peppers, pickled onions, tomato, zucchini, or squash would taste amazing. 
  • Lime juice: For some extra citrusy tang to contrast with the warm spices, try adding some fresh lime juice. Squeeze limes over the pork right before serving, and add cilantro for a refreshing taste. 

Close up of shredded Pork Carnitas (Oven)


  • To make this recipe in the slow cooker, start by adding all the ingredients to the cooker.
  • Stir them together, then cover the slow cooker. 
  • Turn the crockpot to low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours. 
  • After slow-cooking pork, follow the original recipe instructions to put them in the oven. This will give them the right crispy texture. 
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred it.
  • Put pork onto a baking sheet, pour about ½ cup of cooking liquid evenly over the top. 
  • Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Add ¼ cup of cooking liquid and roast for another 15 minutes.

Pork Carnitas (Oven) shredded inside tacos



  • Serve: Don’t save cooked pork at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Once they’ve cooled, you can put leftover Pork Carnitas in an airtight container to keep in the fridge. The recipe will keep well for 4-5 days.
  • Freeze: You could also wrap leftovers in foil or put them in a freezer bag to keep frozen for up to 3 months. 

Pork Carnitas (Oven) shredded in Dutch oven

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Pork Carnitas (Oven)

Pork Carnitas (Oven) are crispy and bursting with sweet and spiced flavor. It's the perfect meat to serve in tacos, burritos, and sandwiches.
Yield 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 5 clove garlic , minced


  • Add oil to a large dutch oven on medium-high heat.
  • Season pork with salt and sear on all sides until browned well, about 6-8 minutes on each side.
  • Whisk together chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, chili powder, coarse ground black pepper, oregano, and cumin.
  • Pour over the roast.
  • Add in the onions and garlic and stir.
  • Cook, covered, for 3-4 hours until fork-tender.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
  • Remove pork from dutch oven, shred apart in small chunks.
  • Put pork onto the baking sheet, pour about ½ cup of cooking liquid evenly over the pork, and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Add ¼ cup of cooking liquid and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Serve with fresh yellow onion and cilantro.


Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1425mg | Potassium: 641mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Pork Carnitas (Oven)

Oven-Baked Pork Carnitas collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Made per recipe directions. The dutch oven option to this recipe should not be set at med-high for 3-4 hrs, rather on a simmer for 3-4 hours. The final steps seems right with the preheated oven at 400.
    I also discovered that the spices and orange juice amounts should be doubled.

  2. Hi Sabrina,
    I have a 7 1/2 lb butt roast that I’d like to use. Was wondering if I could use lime or lemon instead of orange juice?
    Just love your recipes and can’t wait to make this!
    Thank you!

  3. It seems like mid-high was too high for the first 3-4 hours? My pan was completely black on the bottom an hour and a half in and all the liquid was gone. Help?

  4. Love the idea of this recipe and it smells so good when I make it! However, when I left it on med-high for the first 3-4 hours, it was an hour and a half before I looked and the entire bottom of the pan was burned and there was little to no liquid left. For the first 3-4 hours, should the temp be lower? I don’t see it noted in the recipe?

  5. Step 6: Cook, covered, for 3-4 hours until fork-tender.

    I assume we’re cooking on the stove top? What heat level?

    I saw your previous comment for Med-high, but cooking at med-high for that long seems like it would toughen the meat. Wanted to double check.

  6. I see that the oven needs to be at 400 for the shredded baking part. But how high at the first roasting point? When the pork is still raw?
    Can’t wait.

  7. When you cook it covered for 3-4 hours, what temp should it be? Hi, med, low? For the stovetop when it’s in the Dutch oven? I love this recipe btw

  8. I made this for a family party. Wanted an authentic carnitas without the major ordeal. The entire family (and we have some picky ones) loved the flavor!!! Definitely on our go to list for carnitas tacos for sure!!!!!!