Best Ever Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Look no further for the best ever pork carnitas that you can make at home! With this pork carnitas recipe, you’ll have a delicious Mexican dinner ready on your table with just a few easy steps in the morning.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe

close up of pork carnitas in a white bowl

My favorite family nights are full of family games (we are loving charades right now!), great talks, and of course a delicious meal like these slow cooker pork carnitas

Pork carnitas only take a few minutes of prep in the morning. I love meals that I can let sit in my slow cooker all day! Coming back to a house full of the smell of fresh pork carnitas might be my favorite thing in the world! 

If you are short on time, though, check out my Instant Pot Carnitas recipe that will speed up the process!

This pork carnitas recipe makes the best leftovers, too, so you can enjoy these pork carnitas all week long! Get started with this pork carnitas recipe right here!

Pork Carnitas Recipe

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pork carnitas topped with sliced lime and cilantro

Serves: 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 4-6 hours

Total time: 4-6 hours

Ingredients for Pork Carnitas

horizontal ingredient shot of pork carnitas
  • 3-4 lb pork shoulder, trimmed slightly
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange peel, finely shredded 
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

You’ll also want to have the following tools to make it easier:

Slow cooker

Mixing bowls

Large skillet

Meat thermometer

How to Make this Pork Carnitas Recipe

  • The first thing I do when making this recipe is get everything chopped and ready. Start by roughly chopping the onion and chipotle pepper, mincing the garlic, juicing the orange and lime, and shredding the orange peel. 
  • Next, you can prepare your dry rub. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  • To the slow cooker, add the onion, garlic, orange juice and peel, lime juice, and chipotle pepper. 
  • Rub the spices all over the pork shoulder and place it on top of the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  • Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook it on low for 4-6 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 degrees. 
  • When the pork is finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board to cool.
  • After 5-10 minutes, shred the pork with 2 forks and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the pork to the skillet with some of the juice from the slow cooker. Turn the pork often until all of the juice has evaporated and the pork is perfectly browned.
  • Serve immediately with tortillas and your choice of toppings.

Tips Tricks and FAQs

  • You can serve pork carnitas in so many ways! My family loves just grabbing some tortillas and our favorite taco-style toppings. You could also put this juicy pork on buns or even in lettuce wraps! Let us know in the comments what your favorite way is to eat pork carnitas.
  • You can use whatever onion you have around for this recipe, but I always love using a yellow onion. They are so sweet and delicious and add tons of flavor to this pork carnitas recipe!
  • If it’s easier for you, you can also crisp up the pork for your pork carnitas in your oven! Set your oven to broil, place the shredded meat on a cookie sheet, and place it in the oven for 5-10 minutes. 

Why should I trim my pork shoulder? 

Pork shoulders are a great cut of meat. I love using them for many recipes, including this one, but you will want to make sure to trim the edges of the pork shoulder.

The reason you want to trim your pork shoulder is that it will help it absorb all those amazing flavors that you add to your slow cooker. A few minutes of work could make a big difference in the final product of these slow cooker pork carnitas. 

Storage

Fridge

You can store your leftover slow cooker pork carnitas right in the fridge. Just place them in the fridge in an airtight container and they will last for 3-5 days. Save some of the juice from the slow cooker to help you reheat the pork in a skillet when you’re ready to enjoy a second time!

carnitas with tortillas and pico de gallo on blue platter

Check out these other great Mexican recipes:

Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment and don’t forget to rate it below! We always love knowing how your recipe turns out! And don’t forget to save this easy recipe to your favorite Pinterest board! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at Confessions of Parenting to show me your finished product!

Yield: 6

Pork Carnitas

close up side shot of pork carnitas

Look no further for the best ever pork carnitas that you can make at home! With this pork carnitas recipe, you’ll have a delicious Mexican dinner ready on your table with just a few easy steps in the morning.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lb pork shoulder, trimmed slightly
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange peel, finely shredded
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

  1. The first thing I do when making this recipe is get everything chopped and ready. Start by roughly chopping the onion and chipotle pepper, mincing the garlic, juicing the orange and lime, and shredding the orange peel. 
  1. Next, you can prepare your dry rub. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  2. To the slow cooker, add the onion, garlic, orange juice and peel, lime juice, and chipotle pepper. 
  3. Rub the spices all over the pork shoulder and place it on top of the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  4. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook it on low for 4-6 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 degrees. 
  5. When the pork is finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board to cool.
  6. After 5-10 minutes, shred the pork with 2 forks and set aside.
  7. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  8. Add the pork to the skillet with some of the juice from the slow cooker. Turn the pork often until all of the juice has evaporated and the pork is perfectly browned.
  9. Serve immediately with tortillas and your choice of toppings.

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