I’ve made carnitas the traditional way, but the process can be a big a pain in the ass. Delicious, yes, but it requires more effort than this lazy-butt is willing to expend. I’d rather head to my favorite taqueria and buy a pound.

This is why I was so excited to read R’s super-simple yet scrumptious recipe for sous vide carnitas a few days ago. As soon as I read her post, I immediately ran to the garage and pulled a big pork butt out of the chest freezer to recreate the recipe at home. (Remember? I have 100 pounds of pork in there.)

I followed her recipe pretty explicitly, but I lazified it even more by using 4 tablespoons of Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming seasoning instead of making my own dry rub. (Update: R’s recipe is no longer online. Sorry!)

Time to make Sous Vide Carnitas!

Serves 6


  • 4 pounds pork butt
  • 1 gallon of water for the brine
  • 1 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt for the brine
  • 4 tablespoons Arizona Dreaming seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of lard or fat of choice


  • All of my recommended kitchen tools are listed here.


I brined the cubed pork butt for the suggested 24 hours in the fridge…

…rinsed off the excess brine…

…dried off the pork…

…tossed it with the Arizona Dreaming seasoning

…vacuum-sealed the seasoned pork in two packets…

…dunked the packets in the SousVide Supreme for 28 hours…

…removed the cooked pork from the water oven…

…blotted the pork cubes dry…

…pan-fried the cubes in a couple tablespoons of lard, and drained them on a wire rack.

For dinner, I served carnitas lettuce tacos topped with diced white onions, cilantro, Primavera salsa, and homemade guacamole.

Very tasty and easy-peasy! The meal prep takes some advance planning, but it’s definitely worth it. I can’t wait to make this again and again and again and again…

Thanks for the great recipe, R.! I’ll repay you with a big slab of pork belly!

Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


Sous Vide Carnitas

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Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 day 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time1 day 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Here's an easy way to make take-out tasting carnitas at home.


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  • Brine the cubed pork butt in a 1 gallon of water to 1 cup of kosher salt ratio for 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Take the pork out of the bag and place it in a colander. Rinse off the excess brine, dry off the pork, and season it with your dry rub.
  • Vacuum seal the seasoned pork in two packets and dunk the packets in the SousVide Supreme set for 165°F for 28 hours.
  • Remove the pork and blot the pork cubes dry. Heat the lard in a cast iron skillet and pan-fry the cubes. Drain them on a wire rack.
  • Serve the carnitas in lettuce tacos topped with diced white onions, cilantro, Primavera salsa, and homemade guacamole!


Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 23g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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