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Slow Cooker Carnitas Square
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5 from 4 votes


Slow Cooker Carnitas that are perfect crispy yet tender and juicy. Pile them into a soft tortillas with your favorite toppings for an easy dinner!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Broiling Time3 mins
Total Time8 hrs 13 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 476kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • 3.5 - 5 lb pork shoulder can also use pork butt. either bone-in or boneless
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 4 oz can diced green chilis or jalapenos for heat
  • 2 yellow onions sliced
  • 2 oranges juiced
  • 2 limes juiced
  • toppings i.e. softs shells, salsa, guacamole, diced avocado, salsa, cilantro, onions


  • Mix cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, together in a small bowl. Rub over all sides of the pork making sure to completely cover it.
  • Place the pork in the crock pot, fat side up.
  • Spread the minced garlic, green chilis, and onions over the top of the pork. Pour in the juice from the oranges and limes.
  • Cover crock pot and cook on low 10 hours or high 7 hours.
  • Remove the meat from the crock pot to a cutting board and shred with two forks.
  • Return the meat to the crock pot and let it simmer on low for 30 minutes. (If there seems to be a lot of juices, you can remove some of it first).
  • After simmering the meat, using tongs, transfer the meat to a large rimmed sheet pan. You may need more than one, make sure not to 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 with soft shells, cilantro, diced avocado, guacamole, pico de gall, salsa etc.


  • 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 anything else.
  • You can use boneless or bone in pork shoulder
  • After you cook it, there will be liquid in the slow cooker. You definitely want that juice, but if there is a lot of liquid you can discard some of it. You just need enough to simmer the shredded meat.
  • This is a great recipe for meal prep! It makes a big batch, and you can keep it in the refrigerator for three to four days. Or, you can freeze the carnitas for three months to have on hand for easy dinners.
  • You don’t have to stick to tacos – use this delicious shredded pork to make quesadillas, nachos, taco bowls, burritos, or enchiladas. I also use in salads, too!


Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 197mg | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 1164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 257IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 5mg