My Cart

The Pork Carnitas Recipe You've Been Looking For!

Crispy, well-seasoned pork carnitas are a treat. After searching the internet, I found a recipe that is now my go-to. Best of all, it's a simple throw-together slow cooker recipe. Don't have time in the morning to prepare it, put it together the night before and start the slow cooking in the morning!


Live Life Loco: while great for any family gathering, party or pot luck, these carnitas easily make many meals as they are great on salads, with eggs, even on pizza! Save yourself a lot of meal preparation time using this recipe over the course of several days.


What you need

  • ~4lb Pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 3 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 large brown or white onion, diced
  • 8 cloves of smashed garlic
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 large oranges juiced
  • 1 Cup Mexican coke
  • 2 Bay leaves


For tacos (substitute your favorite)

  • Loco Avocado
  • Corn tortillas
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Cilantro
  • Diced white onion 

What you do

  1. Rinse, and using a paper towel, pat dry the pork.
  2. In a 6 quart slow cooker bowl, mix all the ingredients.
  3. Cover and set to cook for either 8 or 10 hours.
  4. If available, pull apart pork using two forks halfway through the cooking time. Otherwise, pull apart when complete.
  5. Transfer the pork into a glass 9" x 13" baking dish. Ladle ~1 cup of liquid from slow cooker into the dish.
  6. Taste the carnitas. Add more salt and pepper as desired.
  7. Set oven to Broil High. Broil for 5-10 minutes to desired crispiness.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Add carnitas to corn tortillas with queso fresco, diced onion, cilantro, and Loco Avocado. Feast - nom nom nom...


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours plus 5-10 minutes to crisp 
Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
Number of Servings: depends how large you make your tacos!


Additional notes: Using 3 Tsp of salt, I tend to go light on the salt initially. After transferring the carnitas to the glass baking dish, I add more using a salt grinder. And though the recipe calls for 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker, I tend to prefer juicier carnitas. Hence, I'll ladle more liquid from the slow cooker into the glass baking dish.

Shopping Tip: Check your grocer's shelves to see if they sell pre-packed pork shoulder/pork butt. Note the amount of fat in these packages. If your grocer has a butcher, ask the butcher if they can do better before buying.

Recipe adapted from Cafe Delights.

You May Also Like

Leave your comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up