The Best Ever Carnitas

"This is an adopted recipe from Mean Chef. This looks really great to me and can't wait to try it, as I really enjoy Carnitas. Mean Chef word's are: The special ingredient is Pepsi and this is fabulous. you can use carnitas in tortillas, serve like BBQ pork or great at a picinic on rolls. Recipe from Rio Bravo"
photo by Chef Itchy Monkey photo by Chef Itchy Monkey
photo by Chef Itchy Monkey
photo by Doc Martian photo by Doc Martian
photo by Doc Martian photo by Doc Martian
photo by Doc Martian photo by Doc Martian
Ready In:
2hrs 30mins




  • Fuego spice mix (recipe# 66927): Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
  • Agua Negra Marinade (recipe# 66927): combine all ingredients with a whisk.
  • Stores in the refrigerator for 2 days.
  • Carnitas: Trim away excess fat from pork and cut into 3 inch cubes.
  • Dust meat with Fuego spice mix and press to adhere well.
  • Squeeze juice from oranges into an airtight nonreactive container, add peels, garlic,pepper, pepsi and Aqua Negra marinade- mix to combine well.
  • Add seasoned meat and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove meat from the marinade (reserve marinade) the next day when you are ready to cook.
  • Heat oil/shortening in a large heavy skillet over high heat until fat is smoking; add pork and brown completely on all sides- about 15 minutes.
  • Add reserved marinade and simmer for about 2 hours or until pork is tender and dark brown- add additional Pepsi as needed while cooking to keep meat covered.
  • Remove meat and chop into 3/4 inch pieces.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Tinks599
    This was very good...and I had so much meat left I cleaned it the following day (wearing Nitrile gloves makes this much quicker, easier and efficient...and less yucky!). I took some of the congealed broth, and a pan and heated it up in the skillet until the meat was brown and crispy. It just went from very good to frickin' awesome! I highly recommend this as a make ahead and heat it up in a!
  2. Chef SuzyQ
    I was a little skeptical on this recipe, as the ingredients didn't sound right--pineapple juice and soy sauce for carnitas? However, I tried it because I love Mean Chef's recipes. I'm so glad I did! One thing to note when you make this is that the marinade and fuego spice mix actually make WAY more than you need for the 3 lbs of pork. Next time I make this, I plan to use 8-9 lbs of meat & triple the other ingredients in the FIRST section of the recipe so I don't waste anything (and have lots of yummy leftovers to freeze). I also don't plan to coat the meat pieces with seasoning before I marinate. I plan to add most of the spices (reserving some) to the Aqua Negra marinade. Coating them seemed like a waste of time since immediately you throw them in liquid. I will use some of the reserved spices to throw in the oil when I fry the pork before cooking. I HIGHLY recommend this recipe. The layering of flavors is fabulous!
  3. Kmjw4271
    Excellent recipe. I didn't have pineapple so I substitutued with orange juice. After marinating overnight, I mixed the seasonings in a bag and coated the meat, then fried. I added the fried meat to the crock pot, added the remaining marinade to the pan and scraped up the brown bits. Let this simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes then added it to the crock pot along with enough Pepsi to cover the meat. Cook on low for 8 hours then shredded and served in tortillas with cabbage, cheese, cilantro, and avocado...excellent flavor!
  4. wbarb19
    It was ok. A bit too spicy. Once I saw the ingredients I knew you would not get authentic carnitas and I was right.
  5. SouthernFriedMama
    This was very good and real easy to make.


I grew up in California and now live in Seattle Washington,and I really love it here! I've been cooking since I was about 10 and still enjoy cooking till this day. I don't really have a favorite food as I enjoy many different dishes. I do really enjoy cooking on a smoker, the taste is out of this world. I also enjoy barbecue, Italian, Mexican and Chinese just to name a few. As you will notice I also enjoy taking pictures of dishes I make, there's nothing like getting that great shot. Thank you for stopping in, I hope you enjoy my site!
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