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Braised Pork Carnitas

Braised Pork Carnitas

By Traeger Kitchen

We’ve done the impossible. We made carnitas even better by braising them in beer on the Traeger. Start with a well-marbled boneless pork shoulder and break it down to 2-inch pieces, then braise until exceptionally tender.

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cook Time

3 Hours




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Units of Measurement:
1 (3 1/2-4 lb) boneless, well-marbled pork shoulder
1 (12 oz) can of beer
As Needed water
2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoon lard or vegetable shortening
12 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
salsa verde
diced white onion
Shredded green cabbage or lettuce
pico de gallo
sliced radishes
chopped fresh cilantro
Guacamole, for serving


  • 1

    When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 300°F and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C

  • 2

    Slice the pork into 2-inch pieces and transfer to a Dutch oven or a roasting pan. Add the beer and top off with enough water to barely cover the meat. Stir in the salt and the cumin. Bring to a boil on the stovetop over medium-high heat.

    • 1  (3 1/2-4 lb) boneless, well-marbled pork shoulder

    • 1  (12 oz) can of beer

    • As Needed water

    • 2 Teaspoon kosher salt

    • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin

  • 3

    Carefully transfer the Dutch oven (uncovered) to the grill grates. Close the grill lid and roast, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, 2 1/2-3 hours, adding a bit more water as needed if the liquid is evaporating too quickly.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C

  • 4

    Remove the Dutch oven from the grill and increase the Traeger temperature to 400°F. Drain off any remaining cooking liquid and discard. Use a fork to break up the pork into bite-size chunks.

    400 ˚F / 204 ˚C

  • 5

    Add the lard to the Dutch oven and return to the grill. Close the lid and cook, stirring frequently until the pork is browned and some bits are slightly crisp, 15-20 minutes.

    400 ˚F / 204 ˚C

    • 2 Tablespoon lard or vegetable shortening

  • 6

    Serve the carnitas in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

    • 12  corn or flour tortillas, warmed

    •  salsa verde

    •  diced white onion

    •  Shredded green cabbage or lettuce

    •  pico de gallo

    •  sliced radishes

    •  chopped fresh cilantro

    •  Guacamole, for serving

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