Ham Carnitas

These Ham Carnitas are my new favorite way to make ham. Tossed with a sweet glaze, this easy carnitas recipe will have everyone asking for seconds!


An Easy Ham Carnitas Recipe

One of my favorite ham recipes is Sweet Baked Ham from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. You boil a ham in a combination of water and vinegar for a couple of hours until it shreds just like pulled pork. Then you layer the shredded ham with brown sugar and mustard and bake it.

Best ham ever. Until now.

I used the same cooking method to make the ham, but then I tossed it in my favorite whiskey glaze and baked it in the oven to get the ham crispy like carnitas.

And let me tell you – it is good. This is a recipe you have to try.

What do you do with hame carnitas? Eat them straight up right out of the oven for one.

Or you can put them on a roll for sandwiches…or in a tortilla for tacos…or quesadillas. You could even put this shredded ham on a pizza with mozzarella cheese and peppers. Kind of like the Italian Beef Pizza I did a while back.

This is a great recipe for entertaining or if you want to make a meal on the weekend to have a couple of dinners during the week.

How to Make Ham Carnitas

You have to get a big pot – the biggest one you have – put your ham in and then fill it with 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.

Cook the ham for 2 1/2 – 3 hours until it’s falling off the bone.

Shred it up and toss it with the whiskey glaze and place onto 2 baking sheets.


Bake for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. You could do everything for this recipe ahead of time and then when you’re ready to cook the ham toss it in the whiskey glaze and bake.

You’ll never want ham any other way again!


Looking For More Ham Recipes?



Ham Carnitas

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 1x

These Ham Carnitas are without a doubt my new favorite way to make ham. Tossed with a sweet glaze and roasted until crispy makes all the difference in the world! An easy carnitas recipe that will have everyone asking for seconds!



  • 1 (20 lb.) bone-in ham
  • 1 gallon of white vinegar (you won’t use it all)

Whiskey Glaze

  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 c. pineapple juice
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. teriyaki sauce
  • 3/4 c. whiskey
  • 1/41/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 4 t. cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons of water


  1. Place the ham in a deep pot large enough to hold the ham completely. Add 2 cups of water to the pot and then 1 cup of vinegar. Repeat alternating between the water and vinegar until the ham is covered.
  2. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a hard simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the ham is falling off the bone.
  3. Remove the ham to a board to cool, then shred into bite sized pieces.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. While the ham is cooking you can make the whiskey glaze. Add the oil to a medium pot over low heat.
  6. Add the grated garlic and stir for 30 seconds, then add the rest of the glaze ingredients except the cornstarch mixture. Bring the glaze to a boil and then whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
  7. Bring back to a boil and the tun the heat down to a simmer for 20 minutes. You should end up with about 2 1/2 cups of the glaze after it reduces.
  8. Put the shredded ham into a large bowl and toss with the whiskey glaze.
  9. Place onto 2 baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes until slightly caramelized and crispy.

Recipe Notes

You can make the ham and the glaze ahead of time or the day before. When you’re getting ready to eat, toss the ham in the glaze and bake.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican


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2 Responses
  1. Chris B

    Looking at this recipe to make for a Fusion Kentucky Derby/Cinco de Mayo party (on Cuatro de Mayo). I happen to have a spiral sliced ham in my fridge now. Could I use it for this recipe???

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