A mouth-watering batch of pork carnitas can be made up to 3 months in advance. With these make-ahead freezer tips, they will taste just as delicious as they did when you made them fresh!
I never realized the value of freezer food until I had a baby.
During my maternity leave, we lived off of freezer food, and I loved it. I made over 25 meals in preparation for my time off post-baby, plus frozen TJ’s meals, but this carnitas recipe is hands down my favorite freezer meal of all time.
Even though it can be made up to 3 months in advance, the tips I’m about to share with you will ensure that your carnitas taste just as juicy, crispy, and fresh as the day you made them. Ready to find out how? Read on, my friend!
How to Make Freezer-Friendly Pork Carnitas
You can make these Mexican pork carnitas in the instant pot or the slow cooker. I’ve been known to make two batches at once. One in the instant pot and one in the slow cooker, I eat one for dinner and freeze the other batch.
Whichever way you make it, you need this big freezer tip, do not skip the browning step!
Usually, I say it’s okay to skip the browning step, but because you are freezing this batch, you don’t want to skip it. Browning after seasoning will help lock in the flavor, an essential factor when something is about to be frozen for any length of time.
Once your pork is fully cooked and shredded, you’ll let the pork and the broth cool. I suggest overnight in the refrigerator. What I do is place the broth in the jars I’m going to freeze it in in the fridge and the shredded pork in a glass container.
Keep in mind that liquid Expands in the Freezer! Don’t make my mistake and fill the broth containers full. Leave 1/3 to 1/2 space for the liquid to expand, so it doesn’t leak all over your freezer.
In the morning, I put the pork in a freezer bag and freeze it, along with the jars containing the broth (as shown in the picture above.) Make sure to label both containers!
How to Prepare Make-Ahead Freezer-Friendly Pork Carnitas
Since your meat is fully cooked, you can let it and the broth defrost in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to eat, you’ll spread the meat over a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5-7 minutes to get it crispy. Meanwhile, heat the broth in the microwave or a sauce-pan on the stove. Toss broth with crispy meat when you are done!
This method combats the dried out taste meat can sometimes get in the freezer, making it taste as fresh and juicy as the day you made it! Hooray!
Make Ahead Freezer Pork Carnitas
- When you are ready to cook it, let it defrost under refrigeration overnight.
- Preheat the oven to broil, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread defrosted shredded pork accross the pan and broil until crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the broth in the microwave or the stove in a sauce-pan. Toss broth with crispy pork as needed for juiciness. Now, it's ready to serve!