Slow Cooker Carnitas

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    These slow cooker carnitas are super easy to make and taste great in tacos, nachos, enchiladas or burritos! So tender and full of flavor. 

    There’s no better way to cook pork than in the crockpot. It gets perfectly tender and will literally fall right apart. These crockpot carnitas do just that, as well as my sweet pork tacos and kalua pork. So yummy!

    carnitas tacos on a taco holder stand

    These pork carnitas are seriously the best ever. They aren’t made the typical way (with lard), but are a lot healthier and taste just as great! They are so easy to make and will take less than 5 minutes to throw together. Just set it and forget it.

    The secret to getting them like the classic carnitas we all love is broiling them in the oven for a few minutes to get them crisp. Mmm! My whole family love this recipe!

    pork in slow cooker with chopped onion and jalapenos on top

    Carnitas seasoning

    The seasoning is what gives the carnitas so much flavor. The juice adds a hint of sweetness, while the taco seasoning gives them that wonderful Mexican flavor. You can even add a jalapeno as well for a little kick!

    • Apple or orange juice
    • Lime
    • Onion
    • Taco seasoning
    • Oregano
    • Cumin
    • Salt and pepper
    • Jalapeno (optional)

    How to make carnitas in the slow cooker

    Add ingredients to crockpot and cook 

    Start by pouring the juices into the crockpot. Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl, then rub onto the pork shoulder. Add the pork to the crockpot and top with sliced onion and jalapeno. Turn crockpot to low and cook for about 8-10 hours.

    The taco seasoning gives it an awesome flavor and really brings out the natural flavor from the juices as it cooks. Once it’s cooked all day long, you’ll know it’s ready when it shreds easily with two forks. It will literally just fall apart.

    carnitas in the slow cooker with a fork

    Shred the pork 

    Once the pork is tender and falling apart, remove it from the crockpot and place on a cutting board. Begin to shred the pork, removing any excess fat.

    Remove the onions and any extra fat from the juices in the crockpot, then add meat back in. Stir everything together so that the juices begin to absorb the meat. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

    Broil the pork 

    Then it’s time to broil the pork to get the extra crispiness. Don’t skip this step! It makes them so incredibly delicious and caramelizes the edges while keeping the middle nice and tender.

    Place the shredded pork on a large baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and add 1-2 Tablespoons of the juice from the crockpot to the pork. Toss with tongs, then broil for another 3-5 minutes, until the pork is golden and crispy (picture below). crispy carnitas on a baking sheet

    How to serve carnitas

    Top with fresh cilantro and bam! Perfectly crispy carnitas with tons of flavor. Enjoy straight out of the bowl, in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or nachos! YUM!!

    Use carnitas to make: 

    bowl of crock pot carnitas with cilantro on top

    More Mexican slow cooker dishes:

    carnitas tacos on a taco holder stand

    Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: slow cooker carnitas
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 8 hours
    Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 220
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    These slow cooker carnitas are super easy to make and taste great in tacos, nachos, enchiladas or burritos! So tender and full of flavor.

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup apple or orange juice
    • 2 limes , juiced
    • 4 to 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder/pork butt , excess fat trimmed
    • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 onion , quartered
    • 1 jalapeno , deseeded and chopped (optional)

    Instructions

    • Place the slow cooker on low and pour in the juices. Combine the taco seasoning, oregano, salt, cumin and pepper in a small bowl. Then rub onto the meat. Place pork into the slow cooker and then top with the onion and jalapeno. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours, or until meat falls apart.
    • Remove meat from the slow cooker and onto a cutting board. Remove any excess fat and shred into smaller pieces. Remove any fat and the onions from the juices and then place meat back into the slow cooker. Stir the meat, so the juices are able to soak into the meat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
    • Turn on the broiler and set out a large baking sheet. Once oven has heated, place the meat onto the baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and add a Tablespoon or two of the juices to the meat. Toss with tongs and then places back into the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the meat has reached your desired crispiness. Enjoy while hot!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 524mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 13.9mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.1mg
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    These Slow Cooker Carnitas are super easy to make and taste great in tacos, nachos, enchiladas or burritos! So tender and full of flavor!

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