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Carnitas Sous-Vide: A New Take

  • 4 min read

carnitas sous-vide

## What is Carnitas Sous-Vide?

If you love tender, juicy, and flavorful carnitas, then you’re in for a treat with Carnitas Sous-Vide. This cooking technique combines the traditional slow-cooked method of making carnitas with the modern convenience of sous-vide cooking. By vacuum-sealing the pork and cooking it at a precise temperature in a water bath, you can achieve perfectly cooked carnitas every time.

## How does Carnitas Sous-Vide differ from traditional carnitas?

The main difference between Carnitas Sous-Vide and traditional carnitas lies in the cooking method. While traditional carnitas are typically slow-cooked in lard or oil, Carnitas Sous-Vide uses the sous-vide technique, which involves cooking the meat in a sealed bag submerged in a water bath. This method allows for precise temperature control, resulting in meat that is incredibly tender and evenly cooked throughout.

## What makes Carnitas Sous-Vide so delicious?

Carnitas Sous-Vide takes the already delicious flavors of traditional carnitas and elevates them to new heights. By cooking the pork at a lower temperature for an extended period, the meat has ample time to break down collagen and fats, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Additionally, since the pork is sealed in a bag, it retains all its natural juices and flavors, creating a succulent and flavorful final product.

## How do I make Carnitas Sous-Vide?

Making Carnitas Sous-Vide is a breeze! Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Start by seasoning your pork shoulder or butt with a blend of spices like cumin, oregano, chili powder, and garlic powder. Coat the meat evenly with the seasoning.
2. Place the seasoned pork in a vacuum-sealed bag or a heavy-duty zip-top bag. Try to remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
3. Preheat your sous-vide machine to 165°F (74°C). This is the ideal temperature to achieve tender and succulent carnitas.
4. Once the water bath has reached the desired temperature, carefully lower the sealed bag of pork into the water.
5. Cook the pork for 24 to 48 hours. Yes, you read it right! This slow cooking time allows the pork to become incredibly tender and develop amazing flavors.
6. After the cooking time has elapsed, remove the bag from the water bath and carefully open it. Be cautious as the meat may be very tender and fall apart easily.
7. For that traditional carnitas texture and flavor, transfer the cooked pork to a hot skillet and sear it until crispy on the outside. This step adds a delightful caramelization to the meat.
8. Shred the seared pork using two forks and serve it as a filling for tacos, burritos, or enjoy it on its own with some freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped cilantro.

## Any tips for perfect Carnitas Sous-Vide?

Absolutely! Here are a few expert tips to ensure your Carnitas Sous-Vide turns out perfectly every time:

– Opt for a boneless pork shoulder or butt as they have the ideal balance of collagen and fat for tender carnitas.
– Don’t be afraid to season the meat generously with your favorite spices. The long cooking time will make the flavors meld together beautifully.
– If using a zip-top bag instead of a vacuum sealer, try the water displacement method to remove excess air from the bag. Simply seal the bag almost all the way and then submerge it in water, allowing the water pressure to push the remaining air out before sealing completely.
– Experiment with adding other ingredients to the bag, such as orange slices, garlic cloves, or even a splash of beer or tequila, to infuse additional flavors into the meat.
– If desired, add the seared carnitas to a lightly greased baking dish and broil for a few minutes to achieve an extra crispy texture.


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