Sous Vide Crispy Carnitas

Carnitas are one of the most delicious ways to serve pork shoulder, with their bright, citrusy flavor, fatty cuts of pork, and crispy edges. Sous vide is a great, hands off way to make sure they're super tender and allows you to batch and freeze plenty of servings all at once. In order to make sure the meat is as tender as possible, these sous vide carnitas get a long cook time: 12-16 hours.


Marinade – 3-4 lb pork shoulder, fat trimmed, diced into 2 inch cubes – 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, about 2 oranges – 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 limes – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Marinade – 1 tbsp dried oregano – 2 tsp kosher salt – 2 tsp garlic powder – 2 tsp ground cumin – 1 tsp onion powder – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


For Serving – Corn tortillas or cooked white rice – Lime wedges – 1/4 cup finely diced white onion – 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Preheat water bath using an immersion circulator to 165 degrees F. Since this is a long cook, make sure to place a trivet underneath the water bath.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the cubed pork shoulder to a large vacuum seal bag and pour the marinade over the pork shoulder. Toss to coat. Vacuum seal or use another air removal method. 

To keep the liquid from being sucked into the machine during sealing, hang the bottom of the bag off the edge of your counter and support with your hands. Vacuum seal as normal, but hit the "Seal" button when you start to see liquid near the seal line.

Add the bag to the water bath and cook for 12-16 hours. You may need to secure the bag with sous vide magnets or place a ceramic plate on top of the bag to keep it from floating. Since this is a long cook, cover the water bath with a lid or plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.

After sous viding, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the pork from the bag using tongs and add to the skillet. Save the bag and juices. Sear, tossing every minute or so, until browned and crispy on the outside. 

Pour the contents of the bag over the pork and cook for another minute or two, until liquid has reduced by half.

Serve carnitas with rice or corn tortillas and lime wedges, cilantro, and diced onion.