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Re: how is Chipotle's carnitas prepared, from this article on Slate:

Their “barbecued†meat products—carnitas and barbacoa—are vacuum-packed and cooked sous-vide in Chicago before being shipped out for on-site reheating.

The sous-vide cooking method is mostly associated with cutting edge haute cuisine. The way it works is that a piece of meat and its accompanying seasonings are placed in an airtight bag. The bag is then placed in an immersion circulator, a bath of water that's held at a very precise temperature. Cooking this way is slow, but extremely precise. A piece of meat held in a 155 degree water bath for long enough will cook uniformly to exactly 155 degrees worth of doneness. Sous-vide meat can then later be seared, sliced, chopped, or prepared any which way you like. Fancy chefs are the best-known practitioners of the technique, but in many ways it's ideally suited to more casual dining. What it does, in effect, is use capital (the fairly expensive vacuum sealer and immersion circulator) to make it trivially easy to cook precisely. Done this way, workers with little training can produce expert and completely uniform results. Exactly what a large chain needs.

I knew I'd read it somewhere, and finally found it in a google search. Hope that helps :)

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this sucks...i was going to go there for dinner tonight. I just started Whole30 today and now I'm lost as to what I want for dinner because I had NO intention on cooking tonight. I'll get in later due to grocery shopping. Normally when I go to Chipotle I get the veggie salad: peppers, guac, corn, dressing....but tonight i was going to 86 the corn....then I was like okay maybe I shouldnt get the dressing...but now I cant get the peppers.....geez!!! I tried the chicken and the beef and didnt like either....so I never get the meat...havent tried the carnitas but not sure if I even want to.........:-((

Plan B............this is when I normally slip up on my diet...........when my plan A fail.......

Are you doing a vegetarian Whole30 or do you just not like their meat? I was just wondering b/c even with the corn and dressing (which are definitely not Whole30) that doesn't sound like a very filling meal (i.e. no protein). Try the carnitas-- you might be pleasently surprised, and it is definitely better than slipping up. :)

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this sucks...i was going to go there for dinner tonight. I just started Whole30 today and now I'm lost as to what I want for dinner because I had NO intention on cooking tonight. I'll get in later due to grocery shopping. Normally when I go to Chipotle I get the veggie salad: peppers, guac, corn, dressing....but tonight i was going to 86 the corn....then I was like okay maybe I shouldnt get the dressing...but now I cant get the peppers.....geez!!! I tried the chicken and the beef and didnt like either....so I never get the meat...havent tried the carnitas but not sure if I even want to.........:-((

Plan B............this is when I normally slip up on my diet...........when my plan A fail.......

I know :( Bummer, right? HUGE bummer! "can't" have this, "can't" have that - makes you want to open a totally Paleo restaurant and call it a day, right? :)

When I go to Chipotle on a Whole30 (just finished up my 2nd two weeks ago), I get the carnitas, 2 big scoops of the pico, one big scoop of the medium salsa, guac and lettuce. SO good. I didn't think I'd like the carnitas (b/c I'd been so stuck on the chicken - and dressing...and corn...and white rice....and and and...), but being able to eat out w/friends on a Whole30 trumped what I THOUGHT I wanted, and the carnitas saved the day. Sometimes I'll even put sour cream on it, which makes a world of difference as well. I usually ask for as much meat as they can give me w/out calling it double meat - the negating of rice, beans and veggies usually puts the line guys in a more generous mood as well . . .

Good luck and come back when you need answers or help or a gentle nudge in the right direction! We're all on the same team!! :)

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what is the difference between pico and med salsa and can we have both at chipotle

pico is a raw salsa--fresh chopped tomatoes, onion, etc. they have two "mediums" one is green, one red--cooked and pureed. All three of these are fine, just don't get the one with corn.

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Chipotle is my savior. I travel a lot and even in places where there are no Whole Foods or other 'health' markets within 50 miles, they have Chipotle. Honestly, once I had a carnitas salad for lunch and dinner...two days in a row! Eek!

I like the idea of extra lettuce on top because when you get it to go, some of that precious quac always sticks to the lid and we can't have that!

When I order the carnitas salad, I ask them to put lettuce first, then guac, and then everything else on top, so the guac doesn't stick to the lid.

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I sent some feedback to Chipotle and received this message which I find troubling. It appears as though there is soy, even in the carnitas. Looks as though this may be regional. And, you can see that the oils they are choosing to switch to don't appear to by much better.

"We also appreciate your concern with regards to the oil used in our restaurants. We know that there is plenty of room for improvement and are always looking for ways to make our food better. You may be happy to hear that we are moving in this direction. However, these sorts of changes are difficult to make overnight. While all of our restaurants are using a non-GMO sunflower oil for frying our chips and taco shells, soy oil is still used in many of our restaurants for cooking. We have also switched over to using a non-GMO rice bran oil in Manhattan (and soon some of the neighboring areas) for all other ingredients, aside from the tortillas. There is still a trace amount of soy oil in the Carnitas and Barbacoa in this area though, and we are working to find a solution for this. We are hopeful that all of the soy oil in our restaurants will be replaced with these non-GMO options, but it could take some time to completely make this switch. We definitely appreciate your concern and we hope to have your support as we work towards getting non-GMO oils in all of our restaurants."

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I too just found out that even the carnitas might contain soybean oil, straight from the website:

 

http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/special_diet_information/special_diet_information.aspx

 

I am so disappointed by this!  Chipotle was supposed to be my go-to in a crunch, gotta find another one I guess :-/

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I am soooo disappointed to hear that the mean and fajitas are not compliant with Paleo or Whole30.

I've been devout fan since about '97 when one first opened in Kansas. My daughter thinks it is a huge treat when we visit the US, or London even. There are so few decent options when you're out and about, Chipotle needs to do better!

We love that place, so I wrote to Chipotle. One person cannot effect much change, but I hope more people put in their two cents, too!

I mean, why put soy on grilled meat?? Or use soybean oil on such great vegetables?? No mas, I say! No mas!

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This post has made me very sad.  Darn you sneaky Soy!!!

 

If you go to the 'ingredients statement' section it gives detailed ingredients for each individual item:

 

Barbacoa - rice bran oil (I'm assuming this is a nope), sunflower oil

Carnitas - lard, sunflower oil

Chicken - rice bran oil +/- soybean oil

Fajita veg - rice or soybean oil

Steak - rice brain oil +/- soybean

vinaigrette - rice brain oil +/- soybean

 

So it looks like the carnitas are safe - maybe a salad bowl with carnitas, tomato/green/red salsa and some guac?

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Believe your local manager.  Different locations are not using the same ingredients and preparation methods are changing.

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Nico is right. The Chipotle down the street from my house does not use soy oil on their grill and there is no soy in the carnitas. They don't even keep it in the building. The Chipotle down the road from them uses soy on their grill.

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I am really bummed.  Arrived home from a very indulgent vacation on Saturday and immediately started my second whole30 on Sunday.  

 

I started re-reading It Starts with Food (did my first whole 30 last September as well and it was AMAZING). I had not been to the grocery store so went with my old standby and stopped at Chipotle for lunch. Carnitas, guac, and pico salad.  Yum.  Then hit the grocery store and stocked up.  

 

Today, I am back on the forum and see the shocking news that Chipotle might not be whole30 compliant - including the carnitas.  Should I start over?  I'm only two days in, but was feeling so so good and feel a bit deflated.  

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I am really bummed.  Arrived home from a very indulgent vacation on Saturday and immediately started my second whole30 on Sunday.  

 

I started re-reading It Starts with Food (did my first whole 30 last September as well and it was AMAZING). I had not been to the grocery store so went with my old standby and stopped at Chipotle for lunch. Carnitas, guac, and pico salad.  Yum.  Then hit the grocery store and stocked up.  

 

Today, I am back on the forum and see the shocking news that Chipotle might not be whole30 compliant - including the carnitas.  Should I start over?  I'm only two days in, but was feeling so so good and feel a bit deflated.  

I'm on day 6 and I of course had Chipotle. I'm just going to stay on the Whole30 and maybe just add an extra day. But I will for sure not have Chipotle again :)

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Hi all, just researching a Chipotle lunch for my next meal coming up in few on my Day #3.

 

From their Special Diet information and ingredients pages, along with the carnitas, barbacoa seems to be OK:

 

http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/special_diet_information/special_diet_information.aspx

 

It seems to states, the barbacoa is not cooked with soybean oil and its ingredients are: spicy, tender shredded beef, braised with chipotle chilies, garlic, oregano, cumin, and cloves.

 

Anyone out there have any reason why this meat should be avoided at Chipotle?

 

EDIT: Sorry! I only read the first page of this thread, missing page 2 and 3, when I started (new here) and now i see there is a lot of fine print on the Chipotle website that others have pointed out further along in the discussion. I guess I'll call the Chipotle's I'm thinking about going to to see if they use soybean oil...

 

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with them. It looks like now Chipotle (at least the one near me) only uses rice bran oil (non-compliant) and sunflower oil (compliant for restaurants only). The carnitas is the only meat that only uses sunflower oil.

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I don't know why people are saying Carnitas are okay - the ingredients show it's made with sunflower oil, the chicken has rice bran oil, - I thought we were supposed to avoid those????

On a second note I did email them asking if they could change to EVOO to accommodate for us whole 30ers lol - they did say not at this time.... Lol

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I don't know why people are saying Carnitas are okay - the ingredients show it's made with sunflower oil, the chicken has rice bran oil, - I thought we were supposed to avoid those????

On a second note I did email them asking if they could change to EVOO to accommodate for us whole 30ers lol - they did day not at this time.... Lol

 

Sunflower oil is not prohibited on the whole30. It's not recommended, but it is ok when you are eating out. Rice bran oil is not allowed, which is why carnitas is the only protein option at chipotle. Fresh salsas (except the corn) and guac are ok. I believe the fajita veggies are cooked in rice bran oil also.

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I don't know why people are saying Carnitas are okay - the ingredients show it's made with sunflower oil, the chicken has rice bran oil, - I thought we were supposed to avoid those????

On a second note I did email them asking if they could change to EVOO to accommodate for us whole 30ers lol - they did day not at this time.... Lol

 

Note that this is a thread with most posts from 2012 - 2013.  

 

The carnitas are ok, as sunflower oil is not banned on a Whole30.

 

Anything cooked in rice bran oil is not compliant on a Whole30.

 

Here is Chipotle's current ingredients page: https://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/ingredients_statement/ingredients_statement.aspx

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