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+ servings
pork carnitas with rice and black beans, garnished with lime, avocado, and jalapenos

Slow Cooker Carnitas

These are the easiest Carnitas you will ever make! Cooked low and slow in the Crockpot for the most tender meat and ultimate flavor. Then a quick crisp under the broiler for that restaurant quality texture.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours 30 minutes
broiling time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 151kcal
Cost $10


  • crockpot
  • chef's knife
  • cutting board
  • garlic press (optional)
  • citrus press (optional)


  • 4 pounds pork shoulder also known as pork butt (anywhere from 3-5 pounds works)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilis
  • 2 onions sliced into half moons
  • Juice from 2 oranges
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1 jalapeno optional garnish
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped, optional garnish


  • Mix cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, together in a small bowl. Rub over all sides of the pork.
  • Place the pork in the slow cooker, fat side up.
  • Spread the minced garlic, green chilis, and onions over the top of the pork. Add the juice from the oranges and limes.
  • Cover and cook on low 10 hours or high 7 hours.
  • Remove the meat from the crock pot and shred with two forks.
  • Return the meat to the crock pot and let it simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  • After simmering the meat, using tongs, transfer the meat to a large rimmed sheet pan. You may need more than one, don’t crowd it. Place it under the broiler for 1-3 minutes. Watch it closely! You want some of the meat to brown up and become crispy, but not all of it.
  • Serve on tortillas, or alone with rice and beans and garnishes of your choice.


  • This needs a longer cooking time than your usual crockpot meal for maximum flavor and tenderness.
  • If there is an abundance of liquid in the crockpot after cooking, it’s okay to remove some, but you still want plenty of juices for it to simmer in.
  • Anywhere from 3-5 pounds of meat works great without changing any other measurement.
  • You can use boneless or bone-in pork shoulder, but boneless is easiest to work with.
  • Can be made ahead and frozen. Follow instructions 1-2, then place in a gallon size freezer bag. Add the garlic, chilis, onions, and juice. Seal and freeze. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before cooking.


Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg