• John Boccellari

PRODUCT REVIEW - TRADER JOE’S TRADITIONAL CARNITAS


Last week while shopping in Trader Joe’s I stumbled on the Trader Joe’s Traditional Carnitas. This is a precooked product offered by Trader Joe’s that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I have developed a small fascination with Trader Joe’s precooked products quite recently and grown curious about how they hold up against homemade dishes. Without trying to toot my own horn, I consider myself a pretty good cook when it comes to slow cooked pork. With that said, I also wanted to prepare these carnitas my own way.

The pork in the package had the appearance of two thick cut boneless pork chops. Each piece had great fat on it which I expected to crisp up. I did follow the instructions to reheat the product in the microwave. It took about 8 minutes to reheat each piece to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Once the proper internal temperature was reached, I decided to pan sear each side with some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I wanted to give the pork the crispy edges that I was expecting earlier. I personally love crispy edges on pork. I served it over some sautéed broccoli rabe and dug in.


I have had products like this before and felt incredibly disappointed in the past with the quality and flavor of the pork. Other products left me with that gross gamy after taste. If you’ve tasted it before you know exactly what I’m talking about. This pork had a great flavor and pulled apart effortlessly. The broccoli rabe also complimented it very well. As stated above, I pride myself on my slow cooked pork that I cook myself. Even though this still does not compare to my own version of this dish, it would still satisfy me if I used the Trader Joe’s pork during a party at home if I did not feel like putting all the time and energy into my own recipe.

I highly recommend the Trader Joe’s Traditional Carnitas for any of your dining needs whether it be for BBQed pulled pork, tacos or anything you desire. Head over to your local Trader Joe’s and pick yourself up a pack. Enjoy!


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