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Serious Eats’ Sous-Vide Carnitas Reviewed

  • 5 min read

“Sous-Vide Carnitas: The Ultimate Guide to Serious Eats’ Recipe”

So, you’ve heard about Serious Eats’ sous-vide carnitas and you can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about. You have questions, and we’ve got answers. Sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of this mouthwatering recipe.

**What is sous-vide carnitas?**

Sous-vide carnitas is a delicious twist on the traditional Mexican dish. Instead of simmering the pork in a pot of lard or juice for hours, it’s cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath at a precise temperature. This cooking method ensures incredibly tender and juicy meat that’s packed with flavor.

**Why should I try making sous-vide carnitas?**

Great question! Sous-vide carnitas offers several advantages over the traditional stovetop or oven-cooked versions. Firstly, the meat is guaranteed to be juicy and tender every time. No more worries about dry, tough pork. Secondly, it requires minimal hands-on time. Once you’ve prepared the pork and sealed it in the bag, you can set it and forget it until it’s time to finish it off for that irresistible crispy edge. Lastly, the texture and taste of the meat are simply out of this world. Seriously, you won’t believe how amazing it is.

**How do I make sous-vide carnitas?**

To make sous-vide carnitas, you’ll need a few key ingredients: pork shoulder, salt, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, and an optional jalapeno pepper if you like some heat. You’ll also need a sous-vide immersion circulator or a sous-vide machine to cook the pork to perfection. Serious Eats has an excellent recipe with detailed instructions that you can follow step-by-step.

**What temperature and time should I cook the pork?**

For sous-vide carnitas, a temperature of around 165°F/74°C is recommended. This ensures that the pork is fully cooked and tender. As for the cooking time, you’ll want to let it cook for at least 18 hours to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth texture. Trust us, the wait is worth it.

**Can I brown the meat after cooking?**

Absolutely! Once the pork is done cooking in the water bath, remove it from the bag, pat it dry, and then sear it in a hot skillet with some oil. This step adds a beautiful crispy crust to the carnitas and enhances the overall flavor.

**What can I do with the sous-vide carnitas?**

Oh, the possibilities are endless! You can serve the carnitas in tacos, burritos, or quesadillas for a classic Mexican meal. Alternatively, you can use the tender meat in salads, rice bowls, or even as a topping for loaded nachos. Get creative and experiment with different flavors and combinations to find your favorite way to enjoy sous-vide carnitas.

**Any tips for making the best sous-vide carnitas?**

Absolutely! Here are a few tips to ensure your sous-vide carnitas turn out perfect:

1. Choose a well-marbled pork shoulder for maximum flavor.
2. Don’t skimp on the seasoning. Make sure to generously coat the meat with salt, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, and any additional spices you like.
3. Give the meat enough time to rest after browning. This will help the flavors develop and the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
4. Don’t forget the toppings and condiments. Fresh cilantro, diced onions, tangy salsa, and a squeeze of lime can take your carnitas to the next level.

Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to embark on your sous-vide carnitas adventure. Get that pork shoulder, fire up your sous-vide machine, and prepare to blow your taste buds away. Happy cooking!

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Sous-vide carnitas is a delicious twist on the traditional Mexican dish, cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath at a precise temperature for tender and juicy meat. This cooking method offers advantages such as consistent results, minimal hands-on time, and exceptional texture and taste. Serious Eats has an excellent recipe with step-by-step instructions to help you make sous-vide carnitas at home.

Key Takeaways

  1. Sous-vide carnitas is cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath at a precise temperature.
  2. It guarantees tender and juicy meat every time, unlike traditional methods.
  3. You need a sous-vide immersion circulator or machine to cook sous-vide carnitas.
  4. Cook the pork at around 165°F/74°C for at least 18 hours.
  5. After cooking, sear the meat in a hot skillet for a crispy crust.
  6. Serve sous-vide carnitas in tacos, burritos, salads, rice bowls, or nachos.
  7. Choose a well-marbled pork shoulder, season generously, and let the meat rest after browning.


This guide is inspired by Serious Eats’ sous-vide carnitas recipe. For detailed instructions and further recipe inspiration, please visit their website.