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Carnitas on a serving plate.
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5 from 39 votes

The BEST Carnitas (Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)

Create the most juicy and tender carnitas right in your slow cooker. Then broil it in the oven for the perfect crisp, golden edges. Watch the video above!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carnitas, carnitas recipe, slow cooker carnitas
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Lisa Bryan

Ingredients

  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeno deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 orange juiced

Instructions

How to Make Carnitas

  • In a small bowl place oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, and chili powder, then stir together.
    Mixing the spice rub ingredients in a bowl.
  • Trim any excess fat from the pork shoulder (but remember that some fat is good), then rub the spice mixture generously around the entire pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker.
  • Add the onion, minced garlic, jalapeno and orange juice in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8-10 hours, or high heat for 5-6 hours (until the meat falls apart).
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker to a large cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat. Don't get rid of the liquid as you will be using it later.
    Shredding the cooked pork shoulder.

To Crisp In The Oven

  • Place the shredded pork on a baking sheet. Pour 1 cup of the reserved slow cooker liquid over the pork to keep it moist and tender.
    Pouring liquid on top of shredded carnitas on a sheet pan.
  • Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges.

Video

Notes

  • This is a great slow cooker with a ceramic insert and it's perfect for transporting!
  • Getting the pork shoulder out of the slow cooker after it's cooked can be a little difficult, given that it's so tender and will likely fall apart. I recommend using a spatula underneath to support it when removing.

Nutrition

Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 559mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg