Pork Loin Carnitas

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Braised
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Making Pork Loin Carnitas is a great way to use up a pork loin. The leaner cut of meat gets fall-apart tender in a spicy and savory braising liquid.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 lb. pork loin
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 7 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over a burner turned to medium-high heat.
  3. Sear the pork loin on each side, about 4 minutes per side, until a crust has formed.
  4. Turn the burner off and add the stock, orange juice, lime juice, and the can of chipotles to the Dutch oven, or transfer the seared loin to a casserole dish and top with the ingredients listed above.
  5. Place the lid on the Dutch oven, or cover the casserole dish with foil, and place in the preheated oven for 2-3 hours. When you can pull apart the pork with a fork, it is done.
  6. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired, but I often find that the canned chipotles add enough seasoning.
  7. If a crispy carnita is desired, spread the pork out on to a sheet pan and turn the oven to high broil.
  8. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until a crust has formed on the meat. Watch carefully so the pork doesn’t burn.
  9. Serve in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or on taco salad.