Barbacoa vs Carnitas? When you are throwing a party, you want to make sure you have the most authentic Mexican food possible. You know that Barbacoa and Carnitas are two of the most popular dishes, but you’re unsure which one is better.
When it comes to Mexican BBQ, there are two dishes that reign supreme – Barbacoa and Carnitas.
These dishes are made in different ways and have their unique flavor.
So, which is better? That’s what we’re going to find out.
What is Barbacoa
Barbacoa is a Mexican dish made of lamb or beef that has been slow-cooked over an open fire.
The meat is shredded and often served with corn tortillas, avocado, and salsa.
It is a popular dish in Mexico and also found in the United States.
What is Carnitas
Carnitas is also a Mexican dish made of slow-cooked pork in lard.
The pork is shredded in large chunks and served with tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and lime juice.
Pork Carnitas is a popular dish in Mexico and the United States.
Barbacoa vs Carnitas? Just keep reading.
How is Barbacoa made?
The first step making Barbacoa is to choose the best meat.
Lamb or beef are the most common meats used and the better option, but you can also use goat meat.
Barbacoa is typically seasoned, following Mexican recipes, with a blend of bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder, giving it a rich and savory flavor.
Once you have your meat, you need to cook it over an open fire, like in a pit or on a grill.
Put foil down first if you’re using a grill so the meat doesn’t stick.
The key to making great Barbacoa is to cook it slowly so the flavors can blend.
Shred the meat once cooked. This can be done by hand or with a fork.
How is Carnitas made?
The first step to making Carnitas is to choose the right pork cut.
Pork shoulder, also known as pork butt, is the most common type of pork used and the best choice.
Carnitas are typically cooked in a slow cooker, instant pot or pressure cooker with orange juice and spices like cumin, chipotle peppers, and cilantro, resulting in a juicy dish and slightly sweet dish.
Once you have the pork, cook it in lard.
Lard is a type of animal fat found at most grocery stores.
If you can’t find lard, you can use vegetable shortening or bacon grease.
The key to making great Carnitas is to simmer the pork, so it doesn’t dry out.
Shred the pork once it is cooked. This can be done by hand or with a fork.
If you have a party, here you can read about how much taco meat per person.
Which is better – Barbacoa Vs Carnitas?
So, which is better – Barbacoa or Carnitas?
The answer is that it depends on your personal preferences.
Some people prefer the taste of Barbacoa because of its smoky flavor.
Others prefer the taste of Carnitas because they find it to be more flavorful.
Also, Carnitas are typically fried, giving them a crispy texture that’s hard to resist.
So, when is time to decide Barbacoa Vs Carnitas, it just comes down to what you like.
What to serve with Barbacoa and Carnitas?
There are few dishes more iconic than Barbacoa and Carnitas when it comes to Mexican food. Both are absolutely delicious!
However, if you’re serving them to a crowd, you’ll need to provide some sides.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Try a simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing for a light and refreshing option.
For something heartier, black beans make a great addition to Carnitas.
Another popular option is to serve Carnitas with white rice, which helps to soak up the flavorful juices.
Other common side dishes include corn on the cob and macaroni and cheese.
You could also enjoy them as tacos, burritos, or even nachos.
No matter how you choose to serve them, Barbacoa and Carnitas will be a hit and an excellent choice for special occasions.
Here you can read How to Store Tamales.
Toppings to serve with Barbacoa and Carnitas
The best way to enjoy Barbacoa and Carnitas is with a delicious sauce.
There are many different recipes for sauces, but the most popular ones include salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream.
These sauces are easy to make, and you can use the traditional method or tailor them to your taste.
Salsa is a great choice if you like your food spicy, while guacamole is perfect for those who prefer a creamy sauce.
A sour cream is also a delicious option, and it can help cool down the heat of the Barbacoa and Carnitas.
No matter your preference, there is sure to be a sauce that you will enjoy.
So, Barbacoa vs Carnitas? Both are excellent, go ahead and get creative in the kitchen, and make your next meal one to remember.
How to make Carnitas Chipotle?
To make a delicious Chipotle pork, season all sides of the pork with salt and black pepper.
Take it to the slow cooker, and add water (not too much!), and thyme, bay leaves, and juniper berries for a fruity flavor.
Then cook at high heat for five hours.
If you want to make the most of your pork shoulder, follow the cooking process and use this great recipe!
Are barbacoa and carnitas keto-friendly?
When it comes to Mexican food, most people automatically assume that Mexican food is unhealthy and off-limits if they try to follow a keto diet.
However, this is not always the case.
While some Mexican dishes are high in carbs and not keto-friendly, others, such as Carnitas and Barbacoa, can be easily adapted to fit a low-carb lifestyle.
Carnitas are made with pork shoulder that has been slow-cooked until it is melt-in-your-mouth tender and shredded.
Barbacoa is another traditional Mexican dish that can be easily made keto-friendly.
It is typically made with beef cheeks that has been slow-cooked until it is fall-apart tender and then shredded.
While both, Carnitas and Barbacoa, are typically served with tortillas, these can be easily omitted or replaced with low-carb alternatives such as lettuce wraps.
You can enjoy these delicious Mexican dishes on a ketogenic diet with a few simple adjustments.
Here you can read about Cotija Cheese Substitut.
FAQs about Barbacoa Vs Carnitas
The main difference between Barbacoa and Carnitas is the type of meat used.
Barbacoa is made with lamb or beef, while Carnitas is made with pork.
Barbacoa is made by cooking the meat over an open fire, while Carnitas cooks the pork in lard.
Barbacoa has a smoky flavor, while Carnitas has a slightly different taste because the pork doesn’t absorb the flavors of the lard as much as the lamb or beef does.
The answer is that it depends on your personal preferences. Some people prefer the taste of Barbacoa because of its smoky flavor. In contrast, others prefer the taste of Carnitas because they find it more flavorful.
At any Mexican grocery store, you should be able to find these two dishes in the prepared foods section.
If you have a Hispanic community nearby, try one of the local taquerias.
You can also eat them in various restaurants, for example, The Carnitas Burrito Bowl in Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Either way, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find these tasty staples of Mexican cuisine.
Read about Slow Cookers and Food Safety here.