Go Back
+ servings
pork carnitas on sheet pan up close

Sheet Pan Pork Carnitas

I love my pressure cooker, but let's not forget that our ovens still do a beautiful job on our favorite recipe too! Sheet pan pork carnitas! So easy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Brine The Pork 1 day
Total Time 1 day 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


  • 2 tsps avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2 serrano peppers sliced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsps salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsps sugar
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 pounds pork butt/shoulder sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • Pork lard melted
  • 3 jalapeños sliced into strips
  • 8 large spring onions


  • In a medium pot, add the 2 tsps of oil. Heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic and serrano peppers. Saute for 6-8 minutes. Pour in the 6 cups of water. Mix in the sugar and salt. Add fresh pepper, to taste. Bring up to a light simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let brine cool completely.
  • Once brine has cooled, add the pork chunks, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  • After pork has marinated, drain all the liquid away using a colander. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F while pork comes up to room temperature.
  • Transfer pork to a large sheet pan lined with foil paper. Season pork with fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle with some melted pork lard or avocado oil. Add sliced jalapeños and spring onions(if using). Cover tightly with foil paper and roast in the oven for 1 hour.
  • After an hour, remove the foil paper from carnitas. Turn oven temperature up to 450 degrees F. Return to oven and continue roasting until the liquid evaporates and carnitas begin to caramelize and brown. This may take up to 45-50 minutes. At this point, you will have to turn the carnitas every 5 to 6 minutes to achieve a crisp and brown exterior. I like to drizzle with a little lard or oil during the last 10 minutes. You can place them under the broiler for 1-2 minutes for extra browning.
  • Remove carnitas from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Serve as is or chop into smaller pieces for tacos. Serve with your favorite tacos fixings or with a side of rice and beans.


You can use this brine for thick pork chops, whole pork roast and chicken.