Crispy Pork Carnitas

November 13, 2017 by Jenny Melrose

These delicious crispy pork carnitas are a popular Mexican recipe that is served with warm corn tortillas. This is an easy recipe that is mostly hands off and it’s perfect for parties or get-togethers!

Crispy Pork Carnitas

Crispy Pork Carnitas: Easy Mexican Recipe


I’ve made pork carnitas so many times in the past but they were always just ok, nothing special, just ok. However this recipe will knock your socks off! The secret ingredient is Coca-Cola. That is the only liquid used in this delicious carnitas recipe.

The carnitas I made in the past were always so much more complicated and weren’t even half as good as the recipe I’m sharing today. All you need are onions, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and coca-cola to turn pork butt into something out of this world delicious! Another great pork recipe would be my amazing pork tamales. Pork tamales are very popular during Christmas and New Years.

How to Make Crispy Pork Carnitas

The first step is to season and sear the meat on both sides. The pork butt should be cut up into pieces before searing that we way can create a a nice brown crust on most of the meat. Be careful not to crowd the skillet or the meat won’t brown.

Sear pork butt in hot skillet


Transfer the seared meat to a casserole dish and add lots and I mean lots of peeled garlic cloves and sliced white onions on top. I also add a little bit of crushed dried oregano but that is optional. Now is when we add the coca-cola then cover it with foil and bake for a few hours.


As the hours go by your house will smell amazing and you may start to salivate. It smells that good! After about three hours it should be ready to shred. Now this next step is CRUCIAL if you want yummy crispy carnitas with a nice color! After shredding the meat return the dish to the oven and turn on the broiler.

pork carnitas covered in onion in a baking dish before cooking

The broiler will give it a crispy texture and the coca-cola will start to caramelize. I leave the dish under the broiler for a few minutes and then I take it out and stir and return to the broiler. I do this a few times so that most of the meat is able to caramelize and become crispy.

Pork Carnitas shredded and ready to be placed in tortillas


The crispy bits are my favorite I always eat a few pieces as soon as they come out of the oven and usually end up burning my mouth. I like to serve them with tortillas. We always use corn tortillas as those are our favorite. I usually keep it simple but you can add any of your favorite garnishes such as cilantro, salsa, chopped onion, etc. My husband always eats his with salsa macha. If you haven’t had salsa macha before you’re missing out. It’s a very unique salsa from Veracruz, Mexico which is where my husband is from.

crispy pork carnitas in a tortillas


I also have a yummy recipe for champurrado that you can serve with the carnitas.

However you serve them, these carnitas are sure to be a hit! Thank you so much for reading I love sharing delicious recipes with you all!

0 from 0 votes

Crispy Pork Carnitas

These delicious crispy pork carnitas are a popular Mexican recipe that is served with warm corn tortillas. 

Servings 4 people


  • 2.5 lbs pork butt roast (cut into pieces)
  • 12 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 white onion sliced into rings
  • 1/2 tsp crushed oregano
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 16 oz Coca-Cola


  1. Season the pork butt with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet.

  3. When oil is hot brown the pork for a few minutes on each side. Do this in batches so you don't crowd the skillet.

  4. Preheat oven to 275.

  5. Transfer browned pork to a casserole dish.

  6. Top with the peeled garlic, onion slices, oregano and finally the coca-cola.

  7. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil and bake in oven for 3 hours.

  8. Take out the casserole dish and remove the foil. Shred the pork pieces with two forks. Removing any fat. Also remove the garlic and onions.

  9. Turn on the broiler and return casserole dish to oven.

  10. Let broil for a few minutes then take out and stir and return to broiler for another few minutes.

  11. Repeat this process until you get your desired level of crispiness. Most of the coca-cola should be evaporated by now.

  12. Season with more salt and pepper.

  13. Serve with warm corn tortillas.


Carissa is from Kentucky and currently lives there with her husband and two young children. She enjoys helping families save money all while whipping up delicious home cooked meals. To see more from Carissa visit and follow her on social media:



Instagram: @thriftandspice



Leave a Comment

Your email is never shared.
Required fields are marked *

The Melrose Family