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Braised Pork Carnitas

Difficulty 2/5
Prep time 15 mins

Cook time 3.5 hrs
Serves 4-6

Hardwood Alder

We’ve done the impossible. We made carnitas even better by braising them in beer inside a Traeger grill. Start with a well marbled boneless pork shoulder and break it down to two inch chunks. Then toss the chunks into a Dutch oven and cover with beer and water and let it cook down for about 3 hours.


1(3-1/2 to 4 lbs) Pork Shoulder, Boneless and Well-Marbled

1(12 oz) bottle or can Beer

Water, as needed

2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

2 TBSP Lard or Vegetable Shortening

Corn or Flour Tortillas, for serving

Salsa Verde, for serving

Diced Onions, for serving

Shredded Cabbage or Lettuce, for serving

Pico de Gallo, for serving

Sliced Radishes, for serving

Fresh Cilantro, for serving

Guacamole, for serving


Slice the pork into 2-inch chunks and arrange in a Dutch oven or a roasting pan.

Add the beer and enough water to barely cover the meat. Stir in the salt and the cumin.

On the stovetop over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger according to grill instructions. Set the temperature to 300 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer the pan with the meat to the grill grate. Roast the pork, uncovered, until the meat is very tender, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add a bit more water to the pan if most of the liquid has evaporated.

When the pork is tender, drain off any remaining cooking liquid and discard. Break the meat into bite-size chunks with a fork.

Add the lard to the pan and return the pan to the grill grate. Increase the temperature of the Traeger to 400 degrees F.

Cook until pork is browned and some bits are slightly crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Make tacos with the carnitas and desired toppings. Enjoy!

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