Carnitas Vs Pulled Pork: What’s The Difference?

Different cuisines all over the world have their own traditional dishes that are enjoyed by people of all ages.

Some of these dishes may be similar or different, but one thing is for certain and that is they always make you feel good!

In this article, let’s delve into Carnitas and pulled pork, which are two popular and favorite dishes from two distinctive regions, and find out the differences between them.

What is Carnitas?

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Carnitas is a Mexican dish that has been around for centuries.

It consists of meat, traditionally pork, which is braised in lard and cooked until it falls apart, and other ingredients, such as onions, oregano, cumin, and garlic.

The word “carnitas” means “little meats”, though a more accurate translation would be “little pieces of meat”.

Traditionally, Carnitas are made with large chunks of pork butt or shoulder, but they can also be made from other cuts like ribs or loin.

The flavor profile varies depending on the cut used as well as what spices are added to the cooking process including salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and cumin among others.

Carnitas can be served in tacos or tortas, with rice and beans on the side.

What is pulled pork?

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Pulled pork is a modern American dish with roots in traditional Mexican cuisine.

It is usually made of a whole cut of meat that has been slow-cooked or smoked and then shredded, resulting in tender, juicy meat.

The name “pulled pork” comes from the method of cooking it – slow-cooking meat, typically in a pit oven or smoker until it becomes tender and can be easily pulled apart by hand.

Pulled pork is usually served as part of a sandwich or taco filling; on top of barbecue beans, greens, coleslaw, or baked beans.

It can also be the main ingredient for burritos and enchiladas; stuffed into hollowed-out rolls to make sandwiches called “pull apart;” over pasta such as spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese (called “sauce Americano”); layered between two slices of bread to form a pulled pork sandwich called “poor boy.”

What are the differences between Carnitas vs pulled pork?

Carnitas and pulled pork might look similar if you haven’t tried them before, but they actually differ in many ways.

 CarnitasPulled pork
OriginMexicoNorth Carolina of the United States
Animal’s partUsually pork shoulderAny whole cut of pork
FlavorSpicier due to the use of spices like cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and chili powderSmoky and savory

What are the similarities between Carnitas vs pulled pork?

Carnitas and pulled pork have a lot in common, therefore, if you haven’t tried one of them, you might mistake one for another at the first glance.

1. Carnitas and pulled pork are made by shredding pork meat

The best way to make Carnitas or pulled pork is in a slow cooker.

The meat needs time on the stove so that it cooks until its fall-off-the-bone tender – this ensures an easy shredding for tacos, sandwiches, and many other dishes!

2. They are flavorful and can be served the same way

Since pork is cooked for a long period of time, it is likely to absorb all the flavors from other spices and ingredients it has been cooking with, resulting in very flavorful meat.

These two dishes are traditionally eaten as topping or filling for sandwiches, tacos, or burritos.

3. They are a rich source of protein, iron, and zinc

Pulled pork and Carnitas are typically made from the lean cuts of the pig, or at least have a low-fat content, therefore these can be considered two healthy options when it comes to pork dishes.

They are both high in protein and some essential nutrients like iron and zinc.

If you are too busy, you can easily find processed pulled pork in the canned goods section, but if you are looking for something healthier, try cooking your own pulled pork or Carnitas.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonDel Real Carnitas Prepared Entree, 16 ozNIMAN RANCH Pulled Pork in BBQ Sauce, 14 OZ
Product ImageDel Real Carnitas Prepared Entree, 16 ozNIMAN RANCH Pulled Pork in BBQ Sauce, 14 OZ
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There are many dishes all around the world that make people happy, and Carnitas and pulled pork are two of them.

They’re both delicious, but they don’t taste quite the same!

Which one do you like better?

Share your thoughts in a comment below to let us know what you think of these tasty delicacies.

Whether it’s Carnitas or pulled pork, we hope you enjoy this article about some of the most famous Mexican food items out there today.

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