Go Back
+ servings
slow cooker pork carnitas
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

An easy recipe for slow cooker pork carnitas.  The blend of spices, citrus, and pork make delicious carnitas. These are perfect in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, burrito bowls.  These are a party time favorite dish! 
Course Main Course, Main Dish, Slow Cooker
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Cinco De Mayo, Summer Drinks, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Summer Holidays, Tailgate Food, Winter Comfort Food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 233kcal


Pork Dry Rub

Pork Carnitas

  • 4-5 pound pork shoulder/pork butt trim excess fat
  • 1 teaspoon corn oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, rib removed, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large oranges, halved and juiced keep peel to add to slow cooker
  • 1 large lime, halved and juiced keep peel to add flavor to slow cooker
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Pork Carnitas Spice Rub

  • In a small bowl, combine, oregano, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, Kosher salt, and pepper.
  • Rub the spice mix over the entire piece of pork. Set aside.

Rinse and dry the pork shoulder/butt. Coat the pork with the pork dry rub. Set aside.

  • In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the corn oil. Add in the seasoned pork and brown on all sides.  Once browned, remove and add to the slow cooker.
  • To the pan, add the onions and jalapeno, saute about 5 minutes.  Add in garlic and saute another minute. Remove from heat and put the veggies into the slow cooker. 
  • To the slow cooker, add the juice from the orange and lime. and bay leaf. Cook on low, for 8 hours. high, 4 hours.
  • The meat is done when meat when it is fork tender. Remove the bay leaf, citrus peels and discard. Shred the meat 
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • Place the shredded pork to a cookie sheet. You may need two cookie sheets depending on the quantity of meat.
  • Place cookie sheet in preheated oven and cook for about 5 minutes to crisp up the meat


  • For parties, I generally make these a day ahead and keep in an an aluminum tin and but them finish off in the oven as per recipe and they are ready to eat.
  • freezer friendly, again freeze and defrost and then into the oven to crisp 
  • Pork Carnitas are amazing in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, any type of Mexican bowl. Enjoy


Serving: 12servings | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 619mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg