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Dutch Oven Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 Hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Braised
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Dutch Oven Pork Carnitas are the most delicious Mexican style pulled pork! Made with pork shoulder, garlic & onion, fresh citrus, and lots of spices … this healthy dinner recipe is juicy, tender, crispy, and full of rich flavor. This dish is slow cooked for hours and works great as meal prep, and makes amazing tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more!


  • 3 lb pork shoulder
  • 12 tbsb avocado oil, or other high smoke point oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced (separated)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Start by trimming the pork shoulder.  I like to remove a large portion of the fat, but still keep some to keep the pork moist and juicy.  Then cut the pork into large chunks.  If there is a bone you can keep this in and just do your best to cut into chunks.
  2. Then add the avocado oil to a large dutch oven on the stove top over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the pork chunks to the dutch oven and sear on both sides.  Then remove from the dutch oven.
  3. Next add the onion and garlic to the dutch oven.  Sauté until soft and translucent.
  4. Then add the seared pork back in with the chicken stock, orange juice, lime juice (1/2 lime), bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine and cover.
  5. Place the pork in the oven at 300 degrees. Braise for 2-3 hours depending on the size of the pork chunks.  2 1/2 hours works perfectly for me.
  6. Once the pork is tender and falls apart easily it is done.  Remove from the dutch oven and transfer to a sheet pan.  Shred the pork.
  7. Place the dutch oven with the cooking liquid back on the stove.  Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce for about 5-10 minutes.  The braising liquid should reduce to a thicker sauce, about 1 cup.
  8. Pour the reduced sauce over the shredded meat on the sheet pan.  Combine evenly and spread out.  Broil for 5 minutes until golden and crispy.
  9. Top with fresh cilantro and lime juice (other 1/2 lime).
  10. Serve pork carnitas in tacos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, and more!

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