Mas Carnitas

The only thing wrong with the last batch of carnitas I made is that I didn’t make anywhere near enough. My little 4 pound roast didn’t even make 2 pounds of finished product and was gone in a flash. So this time I started13 pounds of pig.


2 boneless pork shoulder roasts (aka Boston Butt), about 13 pounds
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoon kosher salt


Set your grill or smoker up for at least an 8 hour cook over indirect heat at 300°F. On my Big Green Egg that means filling the firebox with lump charcoal and using the plate setter with a trivet on it to diffuse the heat. Once the Egg had stabilized at 300°F, I added a couple of chunks of hickory for smoke.

Cut pork into chunks, discarding any big pieces of connective tissue, but keeping all of the fat. Combine all of the ingredients in a large Dutch oven or other grill-safe pan (I use an old 12-quart Griswold No 10). If necessary, add more broth or water so that the pork is just covered in liquid.

Put the pot on the grill and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and the meat begins to brown. If there’s not enough fat rendered from the pork, add another 1/4 cup peanut oil. Continue cooking until the meat starts to get crisp. Check and stir about every 15 minutes until the meat is crispy, but not dry or burned.

Remove the Dutch oven from the heat. Cool the meat slightly and discard any pieces of fat or gristle.

The 13 pounds of pork butt cooked down to 8 pounds of carnitas. I pulled enough aside for a nice dinner, then sealed the rest away in 1-pound packages and tucked them into the freezer for later.

3 thoughts on “Mas Carnitas”

    1. Thanks! Just shipped 2 pounds off to a carnitas-deprived friend.

      You want them to cook at a low boil. In an oven I’d say set it at 250-300°F. Give them a stir every half hour or so, paying more attention to them the closer to done they get.

      Let me know how they turn out.

  1. I have a bunch of rib tips I am going to try to use to make carnitas. I saw someone on the BBQ Brethren forum do that and it seemed like a good use for them. I’ll have to try a butt sometime.

    Great looking dish!

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