Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Shari Mason
Carnitas is a Mexican dish made by braising or simmering pork in its fat until it is tender and delicious.
One think I like about carnitas is that they can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. But how long does carnitas last in the fridge? Read on.
How Long Is Carnitas Good For In The Fridge?
Carnitas, a Mexican dish consisting of shredded pork cooked in lard, is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron. Carnitas  is best when served shortly after it has been cooked. However, it can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
For optimal freshness and safety, storing carnitas in an airtight container or a sealed zip-top bag in the refrigerator is important.
“Carnitas, a savory journey in every bite, whispers their flavors for a limited time in the fridge’s embrace.”– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
When storing carnitas in the fridge, it is important to ensure it is kept at the right temperature.
The USDA recommends that all cooked food be stored at a temperature of 40°F and below.
To prevent spoilage, it is important to use the carnitas within four days of refrigeration.
After four days, it is best to discard the carnitas. Additionally, it is important to always check the carnitas before consuming it to ensure it is not spoiled or has an off taste or smell.
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Can You Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze carnitas. Carnitas are a Mexican-style dish made of pork, spices, and citrus juice. The pork can be shredded or cubed and used in various dishes when cooked.
To freeze carnitas, cook the pork as desired, then let it cool. Place the cooked carnitas in an airtight container or freezer bag, and store them in the freezer for up to three months.
To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then heat in a skillet over medium heat until warm.
Signs That Carnitas Might Have Gone Bad
- Unusual Smell – If the carnitas has an off smell that is different from what you would normally expect from cooked pork, this is a sign that it has gone bad.
- Discoloration – If the carnitas is discolored, with a grayish or slimy texture, this is a sign that it has gone bad.
- Greenish Color – If the carnitas has a greenish tint, this is a sign that the meat has started to spoil.
- Off-Tasting Flavor – If the carnitas has an off-tasting flavor that is different from what you would normally expect from cooked pork, this is a sign that it has gone bad.
How To Reheat Carnitas
Carnitas can be easily reheated in a skillet on the stove. Begin by heating a tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the carnitas and cook for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the meat is heated.
“ Thank you, hard taco shells, for surviving the long journey from factory, to supermarket, to my plate and then breaking the moment I put something inside you. Thank you. “– Jimmy Fallon, American Comedian
Alternatively, carnitas can be reheated in the microwave . Place desired amount of carnitas on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir and heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.
Tips On How To Store It
- Refrigerate: Place the carnitas in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If the carnitas is in a sauce, make sure the sauce completely covers the carnitas.
- Freeze: Place the carnitas in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to three months.
- Reheat: To reheat carnitas, thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight, then place it in a pan with a small amount of cooking oil and heat over a medium flame until it’s hot and crispy.
- Pack for travel: If you’re planning to take carnitas with you on a trip, store it in an insulated food container. This will keep the carnitas hot and crispy until you’re ready to eat.
How long does cooked pork last in the fridge?
Cooked pork will typically last 3-4 days in the refrigerator when properly stored.
How long does pulled chicken last in the fridge?
Pulled chicken should last up to 4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
What happens when you eat spoiled carnitas?
Eating spoiled carnitas can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Additionally, it may also cause fever and chills. It can lead to dehydration and other serious health complications in severe cases.
Therefore, it is important to always check the expiration date of food before consuming it and to discard any food that has gone bad.
Carnitas can last up to 3-4 days in the fridge as long as they are stored in an airtight container.
To maximize freshness, consuming the carnitas within the first 2-3 days is best. Leftovers can be frozen for up to three months and reheated on the stovetop or microwave.
With proper storage, carnitas can be a great meal for days to come.
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