Carnitas on the Big Green Egg

Last weekend I decided to make carnitas on the Big Green Egg, but first I had to find out what carnitas are.  Carnitas are little pieces of pork that have been braised or roasted “Mexican style.”  Typically carnitas are made from a Boston Butt, the same cut of pork I use to make barbecue.  BBQ – My Favorite on the Big Green Egg

I decided to make carnitas because I wanted to try out my birthday present, the Big Green Egg cookbook, and the carnitas looked and sounded appetizing.  With minor changes, I used the recipe from the Big Green Egg cookbook.


  • Boston Butt (pork shoulder)
  • 4 cups water
  • garlic cloves
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1 TBSP white pepper
  • 2 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 TBSP chile powder
  • 2 TBSP kosher salt
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 TSP celery seed
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar


  1. Heat BGE to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix all but the first three ingredients in a small bowl, using a wooden spoon.
  3. Using this rub, coat the pork shoulder thoroughly.
  4. Place the pork shoulder in a cast iron dutch oven.
  5. Add 1 large clove of garlic per pound of pork shoulder.
  6. Add water.  If the dutch oven does not have enough room for 4 cups, do not worry.  (I cooked about 7 pounds of pork and could only fit in two cups of water.)
  7. Place lid on dutch oven, and place oven in the Egg.
  8. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Open the Egg and remove the lid from the Dutch oven.
  10. Cook for an additional 30-50 minutes.
  11. Remove the dutch oven from the grill, and let the pork rest for 10 minutes.
  12. Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces.
  13. Pour the remaining liquid from the dutch oven over the pork.
  14. Serve the carnitas with tortillas, diced onions, Mexican cheese, cilantro leaves, and salsa (recipe for salsa to follow soon).

Be warned, this is NOT a healthy meal.  I have fooled myself on occasion into believing that I can make a pork shoulder “not too unhealthy” by cutting away as much visible fat as possible.  I did that with this shoulder, but when I took my leftovers out of the refrigerator the next day, it was visibly clear how much fat had remained in what I cooked.  Bottom line – it was delicious, but don’t eat these every week.

I know that I need to do a better job putting pictures with my meals, but Karen is the photographer, and, as dinner gets ready, we always seem to be a little busy.


5 Responses to “Carnitas on the Big Green Egg”

  1. […] I made  Carnitas on the Big Green Egg, I promised a recipe for the salsa that goes with them.  Here it is, and it goes well in that […]

  2. How do I access your BBQ recipe? I want to try my first pork shoulder for pulled pork. Looking around for guidance! (when i click above it goes to word press)

  3. This is an awesome recipe! At first I was hesitant to use all the spices, it seemed like a lot, however it turned out perfectly. We’ve made this recipe several times, it is a definite favorite!

  4. thanks for posting this. Looks really good! Is this for about 4# pork?

  5. Second time making this, we love it very much, it’s been a Crouse pleaser! Thank you.

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