Pork Loin Carnitas Recipe

  • 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.


Units Scale
  • 3 lb. pork loin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 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. Season the pork all over with the salt.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over a burner turned to medium-high heat.
  4. Sear the pork loin on each side, about 4 minutes per side, until a crust has formed.
  5. 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. Roll the pork around in the mixture.
  6. Place the lid on the Dutch oven, or cover the casserole dish with foil, and place in the preheated oven. Cook until pork is tender enough to be pulled apart with a fork, about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  7. Remove the pork from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Add as much liquid from the pot as you’d like.
  8. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired, but I often find that the canned chipotles add enough seasoning.
  9. If crispy carnitas are desired, spread the pork out on to a sheet pan and turn the oven to high broil. Broil about 6 inches from the heat elements, until edges of the meat start to crisp and brown, about 2-3 minutes but watch carefully so the pork doesn’t burn. Stir the pork and then broil for another couple of minutes.
  10. Serve in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or on taco salad.

Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!


*That’s about 1/3 of a cup of orange juice.

**That’s about 2 tablespoons of lime juice.