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pork carnitas

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Flavorful Slow Cooker Carnitas made with a pork shoulder or pork butt roast in the crockpot with fresh citrus and seasonings are delicious!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 9 hrs
Servings 8 servings
Calories 327


  • 4 pound pork roast (pork shoulder or butt, excess fat trimmed and removed)
  • 1 head garlic (cloves removed and minced)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons green chile (minced; may substitute with chipotle in adobo or fresh jalapeno)
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 2 oranges (washed clean)
  • 1 lime (washed clean)


  • Prepare roast: Combine garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and green chile (or jalapenos) in small bowl. Coat pork roast with spice rub and place in slow cooker.
    pork shoulder in crockpot
  • Add citrus: Top prepared roast with the sliced onion. Slice the oranges and lime in half and squeeze all of the juices onto the pork. When you're done, add the remaining orange and lime halves to the slow cooker.
    orange and onion on pork butt
  • Cook: Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
    slow cooker carnitas with citrus
  • Shred and strain: Remove the pork roast from the slow cooker and set aside. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard any large chunks of fat. Strain and reserve the liquid from the slow cooker and discard any remaining solids.
    shredded pork carnitas
  • Crisp the carnitas: To serve, set the oven to a low broil and spread the shredded meat in a thin layer on a large foil-covered or parchment-covered baking sheet. Measure ½ cup of the reserved liquid and pour over the meat. Broil until the meat starts to crisp and brown, stirring every few minutes. Add additional reserved liquid and/or additional seasonings prior to serving, if desired.
    pouring liquid on shredded pork


Nutritional information is based on a single serving where 4-pound pork roast is used with a total of 8 servings of carnitas.
Make-ahead directions: Cook as directed up until the point where pork is shredded. Store the shredded meat in ½ cup of the reserved liquid and also save the remaining liquid just in case you want to add it later. To serve, add the shredded pork to a baking sheet and broil until crispy.


Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 945mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.8mg