Barbacoa vs Carnitas (What’s the Real Difference)

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have experimented with various ways of cooking meat that can provide nutritious food. Over the years we have experimented with different ways to make our food tastier and healthier. In this article, we’ll look at and compare the two most popular dishes.

What is Barbagova?

Before we compare these two dishes, let’s see what they are. Barbagova is a Caribbean dish in which the meat is cooked slowly (usually around 8 hours) and then grated. It is usually made with goat or beef (usually with spicy sauces) and served as the main course.

Onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, dried thyme, jalapeño peppers, and various herbs / spices are the most commonly used barbecue sauces. The food is usually ground in a sauce (some even add cheese) and then wrapped in bananas or banana leaves and then fried.

What is Cornidas?

Then we have Cornidas, a typical Mexican meat dish. They are usually made with pork bacon (most often fresh tenderloin). These fillets should be immersed in boiling water for about 10 minutes and then grilled or prepared for smoking. Before serving, add them to the meat. When ready, they are usually fried until crispy but not burnt.

In most cases, the remaining meat is rubbed into the meat to add extra flavor. In some recipes, cooked rice is added for a fuller meal, but is usually served as is. Other Mexican recipes require you to add lime or lime juice before serving.

Barbagova vs. Carnitas

Now that we know what each dish is, let’s compare them and see if there is a clear winner. In terms of taste, the two foods are common. Both are spicy and can be served with a variety of toppings to add flavor. The main difference between the two is that barbacova is usually not served with rice like cornitas.

Barbagova, on the other hand, is usually made from goat or beef. You can also use chicken for this dish. As for cooking time, it takes a long time to cook both — don’t expect your food to be eaten in less than an hour. Finally, the main difference between the two is that the grill is cooked slowly in foil, while cornites are usually fried over an open fire.

What’s the difference between Barbagova and Cornidas?

Cornidas is often served as a main course (often with rice and / or tortillas), while barbacova is usually served as a main course (unless you want to use it along with tacos). Barbacova is usually prepared with lamb and then slowly cooked for several days in a humid environment (with onion, herbs and lime). Cornits are usually prepared on pork bacon and then cooked over an open flame until tender..

What are the similarities between Barbagova and Cornidas?

  • Both are mainly meat dishes with pork
  • They both use onions as the main ingredient in their meat
  • Both are cooked slowly, the meat is cooked for 3-4 days (most often Barbagova is served as the main course)
  • Both come in many flavors (although Barbagova spices and herbs are tastier than cornitas)
  • Both are spicy, sometimes with rice in cornitas.
  • Both can be served with toast and rice.

Barbacoa vs Carnitas — Summary

Although barbacova and carnitas are common, there are some distinct differences between them. On the one hand, Barbacova is usually made with lamb and cornitas with pork. Moreover, there are many similarities between the two dishes. So the next time you eat or whatever you want to grill, it’s up to you.

How to grill at home?

Barbagov at home is very easy to do. Preparation is much easier than beef brisket or pork chop. Just marinate the meat in a mixture of oregano, cumin, salt, garlic and vinegar, then simmer or grill. The slow cooking process prevents the meat from becoming hard and cramped.

The key to creating the best grill is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. This is especially true for meat. You should use good lamb, which you can buy from a reputable butcher or supermarket. Most importantly, make sure there is no hint of pink when preparing the meat for cooking. The meat should be fully cooked and tender. If you don’t know, your butcher can also give you tips on how to prepare the meat for this recipe.

After purchasing lamb, the next thing to do is to marinate it in a mixture of fresh herbs and sauces. Garlic is the main ingredient in any barbecue recipe. So add more roasted garlic to the mixture.

Garlic gives a unique flavor, but prevents the meat from hardening. For herbs and spices, you can use any combination. However, it is important to add at least salt and cumin to the mixture. This will give your grill a nice deep flavor.

You can use any type of vinegar here. However, only use white vinegar as it tastes better when cooked.

After preparing the spice mixture, you can soak the lamb for about an hour. It is important to leave them uncovered on a plate or tray when marinating.

Then you wrap the meat in plastic wrap or foil and set aside until all the flavors penetrate the meat. This ensures that lamb is lively and tasty in the finished grill.

You can grill a large amount at a time and divide the meat into several smaller pieces while cooking. This makes the meat and cooking process much easier. As long as you have enough time to prepare everything for a meal, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Combine all the fresh ingredients for the marinade and get this dish ready and ready for use. When you are done, wrap the meat in foil and place it on the rack in a bowl of water. Then cover and cook for about 3-4 hours, placing it in the middle of the pot to make sure there is still enough water.

Once the lamb is cooked, the secret to serving the grill well is to toss the lamb with good bread.

How to make cornices at home?

If you want to make your own pork cornitas at home, here’s how. You have to start with good meat. Whether it’s pork or beef tenderloin, both can suit this recipe. The key here is to cut the beef shoulder as it will add flavor and fat to your diet. To make sure the meat is cooked evenly in the slow cooker, remove excess fat and fat caps.

The spice mix for making cornitas at home really depends on where you come from as each region has different specialties when it comes to cooking tips. California has many spices in Mexican cuisine, while South Texas is heavily influenced by Latin American and Caribbean spices. We’ll make the last one for this recipe, because I grew up with pork cornites served with fried corn tortillas and sprinkled with pico de gallo.


Barbacoa and carnitas are similar in many ways. Both dishes are spicy and full of flavor. However, if you are looking for a tasty dish that can be prepared quickly, grilling is the best choice. Carnitas, on the other hand, are good for large groups and can be prepared while you wait, but takes longer to prepare.