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

Equipment

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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