Save Recipe

Sign in and save recipe to your profile.

Sign In
Get free recipes sent straight into your inbox!

It’s very possible these are the best carnitas you’ll ever have! This Beer Braised Carnitas recipe is full of authentic flavor and are super easy to make in the oven or the slow cooker. 

Close up of a Beer Braised Carnitas

Carnitas translates to “little meats” and generally refers to pork that has been braised until tender then shredded and then fried to crisp it up.

How should I serve carnitas?

Carnitas can be enjoyed as a main meat dish, served up with some Mexican Rice, Street Corn,  or refried beans. Carnitas can also be used as a filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. We enjoy serving them up on some warm corn or flour tortillas with a little chopped cilantro, diced red onion, and crumbled queso fresco.

What kind of beer should I use in this recipe? Can I use something besides beer?

Any beer will work in this recipe as braising is a very forgiving cooking method. Different beer will alter the flavor ever so slightly. Because this is a Mexican dish we do recommend using a Mexican beer, and we prefer it is a light beer like Tecate, Dos Equis, Corona Extra, or Montejo.

If you don’t want to use beer in this recipe you can use chicken broth, ginger ale, white grape juice, beef broth, apple juice, apple cider, root beer, or coca cola.

Bird's eye view of Braised Carnitas

If you like this recipe you may also be interested in one of our other amazing Mexican meat recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Bird's eye view of Braised Carnitas
It's very possible these are the best carnitas you'll ever have! This Beer Braised Carnitas recipe is full of authentic flavor and are super easy to make in the oven or the slow cooker. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Crisping Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
  • 3 to 5 pound Pork Butt or Shoulder Roast
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil divided use
  • tablespoon  ground cumin
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • teaspoon  cayenne pepper
  • teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cloves
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 12 ounces Mexican beer
  • 1 large orange sliced
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim roast and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Preheat a large dutch oven or oven safe pot over high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sear meat, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Combine spices and sprinkle over pork. Pour beer over meat and spices. Top with orange slices.
  • Braise in the 350 degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat can easily be shredded with a fork. Remove orange slices. Shred meat.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Work in 3 batches and use tongs to place the meat into the oil and saute until crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in more oil for each batch. Serve hot.
TO CRISP IN THE OVEN: Spread shredded carnitas out onto a baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with oil and place under the broiler setting in your oven for 3 - 5 minutes until crisp. 
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: To make this recipe in a slow cooker, sear the meat and add in spices in step one and then transfer to a slow cooker. Alternately, you can simply add all ingredients to the slow cooker without searing if you are short on time. Add in beer and orange slices and cook on low 8 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours.


Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 1072mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Vitamin C: 9.3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4.9mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Beer Braised Carnitas
Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Become a Member

Sign up to save recipes in your recipe book, write reviews and more!

Sign up with

By signing up you agree to's terms of use and privacy policy.