Get ready for a flavor-packed delight! Imagine tender, seasoned pork slow-cooked to perfection, then shredded and pan-fried to a golden crisp. These Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas have it all—juicy, crispy, and incredibly easy with just 5 minutes prep time. Get ready to indulge in a fiesta of flavors with this authentic recipe that the whole family will love!
Level up your Taco nights with these crispy carnitas! We love all Mexican cuisine and never drive by a Mexican restaurant without someone suggesting that we eat there.
The crockpot makes this recipes super easy and the meat is fall-apart tender after slow-cooking. The best part is that you'll likely have leftovers for the next day when you make this easy recipe.
What are carnitas?
Carnitas is a traditional Mexican dish made from pork that is slowly cooked until tender and then typically shredded or chopped. The name "carnitas" translates to "little meats" in Spanish, referring to the small, flavorful pieces of pork that are the highlight of the dish.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Slow-cooking pork is one of the best ways and it cooks to perfection, becoming fork-tender in the cooking liquid.
- Mexican food is easy to make in the comfort of your own kitchen and these are the BEST carnitas!
- Minimal effort to prep with simple ingredients.
What's In Crockpot Pork Carnitas
You will prepare an easy carnitas seasoning, then the pork will cook to perfection. The following is a list of ingredients that you will need for this recipe and they should be easy to find in your local grocery store.
- Kosher salt
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
- Ground cumin
- Boneless pork butt or pork shoulder - the best cut of pork for this recipe.
- Chicken broth
- Lime juice
- Orange juice
- Fresh garlic - do not skip the fresh garlic! It's a key ingredient in this recipe!
Can this be made with other types of pork?
While it is possible to make pork tenderloin carnitas, I prefer the pork butt or should because it's not as liekly to dry out.
Step by Step Instructions - How to Make Pork Carnitas
You can find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this page. I've included some photos and step by step instructions to assist while you're making the recipe.
If this is your first time making carnitas in a crockpot, you'll be please with how quickly they come together. Let's get started!
STEP 1 - In a small bow, mix the salt, chili, powder, pepper, cumin and oregano.
STEP 2 - In a small bowl, mix the salt, chili, powder, pepper, cumin and oregano.
STEP 3 - Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season with the spice mixture.
STEP 4 - Place the pork, chicken broth, lime juice, orange juice and garlic in the slow cooker.
STEP 5 - Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high until the pork falls apart.
STEP 6 - Remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Use two forks to spread the pork apart.
STEP 7 - Transfer meat to a sheet pan and place it under the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes until the meat starts to get crispy.
There are so many ways to enjoy authentic mexican pork carnitas. You can char a corn tortillia and top with your favorite toppings. We love pico de gallo, refried beans and sometimes a little rice mixed right in.
Can I crispy up the meat in a frying pan instead of with the broiler?
yes you can. If you'd like to crisp up your meat with a pan, you'll need to add a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and add about half of the meat at a time to the pan and cook over medium heat until the edges start to get crispy.
Do I have to put the carnitas under the broiler after it's done cooking?
This step is completley optional. It adds great texture to the carnitas, but you can enjoy it straight from the slow cooker, pulled apart.
What to serve with pork carnitas
- Mexican Rice
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Refried Beans
- Fresh squeeze of limes
- Sour Cream
- Fresh cilantrol
- Cotija cheese or any cotija cheese substitutes
Storage & Freezing Instructions
You can store the cooled pork in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze any leftovers for up to to three months in an airtight container.