Coca Cola Carnitas make the best tacos. Braise pork roast in a slow cooker until fork tender then sear in a hot skillet for those delicious crispy bits.
Slow cooking in citrus juices with the sugary cola allows the pork to break down to tender pieces, just the perfect size for filling tortillas, tamales, burritos and more.
- What cut makes the best carnitas?
- Are carnitas supposed to be crispy?
- Do you shred or chunk carnitas?
- How do you serve coca cola carnitas?
The pork roast is braised in a crockpot with only a few ingredients. Most of these ingredients are the seasonings, so don’t let it intimidate you.
Use the juice of two oranges and one lime.
When choosing a cola, be sure to use the full sugar version. You don’t want to use a diet version. The sugar is needed, especially for the searing and eventual glazing.
I’ve used different brands of cola. Coco Cola was used this time but try it with Dr. Pepper too.
What cut makes the best carnitas?
For best results, I suggest a pork shoulder roast (alsa called pork butt). The fat content and marbling is higher which keeps it moist.
I had to use pork loin roast this time because that’s all that was available at the store. The last year and a half has been more difficult to get meat for us and we need to learn to work around it, right?
Because I used a loin roast, I used more of the meat juices while searing. It all worked out, of course. Just don’t accidentally throw out the juices before you get everything finished.
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Are carnitas supposed to be crispy?
Carnitas don’t have to be crispy at all. It’s completely up to you. If you’re short on time, you can simply put the small pieces of pork meat into the skillet with the juices and cook them down without the searing. I promise it will be tasty either way.
Do you shred or chunk carnitas?
Is chunked a word? Even if it’s not a word, you understand, I’m sure. I prefer chunks myself.
We were making tacos, so shreds work better. If I simply wanted a bowl of carnitas (and, trust me, I have wanted just that), the chunks are great. It’s up to you.
When is National Taco Day?
Did you know there’s a National Taco Day? There’s an actual website for it. Visit National Taco Day here.
According to the website, “Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos last year”. Next time, try your tacos with these crispy cola carnitas instead.
You can see all of my taco recipes here, for some delicious variety. Here are some of my favorite sides as well.
- Frijoles Puercos Sinaloa Refried Beans
- Tomatillo Red Chili Sauce
- How to Make Pico De Gallo from Scratch
How do you serve carnitas?
Start off by frying your tortillas up a bit. You don’t want them to fall completely apart when you fold them.
Add your favorite toppings. I’ve used red cabbage, cilantro, queso fresco and crema. Serve avocado on the side and give some limes a good squeeze over everything. Yum!
Coca Cola CarnitasTap to leave a star rating
For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- 6 quart Crock Pot or other slow cooker
- Large skillet
Slow Cooking Carnitas
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 2.5 pound Boneless Pork Roast, See notes
- 12 ounces Cola, real sugar version or Mexican preferred, but any brand, not diet
- ½ cup Orange Juice, freshly squeezed, two oranges
- 2 tablespoons Lime Juice, freshly squeezed, one lime
Crisping Up the Carnitas
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Slow Cooking Carnitas
- Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet and heat on medium.
- Place all seasonings inside a small bowl and mix together.
- Rub seasoning mix into all sides of pork roast then sear on all sides in skillet.
- Place cola and juices of oranges and lime in 6 quart crock pot and stir to mix.
- Place seared roast into liquid in crockpot and pour anything remaining in the skillet into crock pot.
- Cook 3-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low.
- Remove roast to a cutting board. Do NOT discard the juices in the crock pot. These will be used later. Let roast sit for about 10 minutes.
- Separate the pork roast into small chunks or shreds. Chunks are best for carnitas and more traditional, but shreds are good too.
Crisping Up the Carnitas
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet.
- Add the pork roast pieces. Let them sizzle until there are crispy bits around the edges. If there is too much pork roast for your skillet, you can halve the roast pieces and repeat the crisping process.
- Once crispy, start adding the juices from the crock pot, about 1 cup or so at a time. The meat will soak up the juices quickly but you want to have enough so that, when you heat the juices some of it will evaporate, leaving the syrupy goodness of the cola.
- Continue heating the carnitas in the skillet until there's a little bit of evaporation and some syrup has formed. Add more liquid, if desired. Continue until you reach the desired juicy, tender carnitas.
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