Slow Cooker Carnitas

Melt in your mouth shredded pork is easy to make in your slow cooker. Season the meat with a dry rub, then add some onion, garlic, and citrus juice. After slow cooking, crisp them under the broiler and it’s time to eat. Slow Cooker Carnitas, which is a Mexican pulled pork, is perfect in tacos, burritos, and so much more.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

I love everything there is about cooking in my Crock Pot. For this reason, I love sharing a good slow cooker recipe.

It’s easy, it does all the work for me, and there’s little to clean up…especially if you insert a liner first.

Have you ever tried Reynold’s Slow Cooker Liners? I love them. It makes the clean up after the meal super easy.

I can’t recommend them enough, so try them if you haven’t already, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

More importantly, my crock pot makes my kitchen smell magnificent all day. Such a scrumptious deal.

Spices for a dry rub.

Making Slow Cooker Carnitas

Start by making the “2 teaspoon dry rub.” There are six ingredients in all, just mix them together in a small bowl.

You can even double the rub recipe and store what you don’t use on this recipe. It’s good on chicken and fish, too.

Now it’s time to trim the fat off the pork, and cut it into large chunks…maybe 3″ to 4″ sizes.

You can cook the roast whole, but cutting it into chunks allows you to get in there and cut out more of the fat.

Also, by cutting the pork down, it fits better and the spices from the dry rub are spread more evenly.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Roughly chop the onion and place half on the bottom of the crock pot.

This is recommended to place a space between the heating element and the meat.

Next, season all sides of the pork with the dry rub, and place the pork on top of the onions.

Place remaining onions, garlic, and jalapenos on top of pork.

Lastly, pour the fresh squeezed orange juice over the top and cover your crock pot.

Heat on LOW for 7 – 8 hours. The pork should easily shred apart.

If it doesn’t, recover and cook for another 30 minutes, but 8 hours usually does it.

A bowl of shredded pork with crispy tips from the broiler.

Remove the pork from the crock pot and keep the juices.

Shred the pork, then spread evenly on a cookie sheet…one with low sides.

As always, I line the pan with foil for less clean up. What is it with me and doing dishes?

Spoon some of the reserved juices over the shredded pork, then place under the broiler for 3 – 5 minutes.

Basically, you want the tips to crisp up, but not to burn. In other words, keep an eye on it.


For any leftover carnitas, store with the juices in a sealed container.

The juices will keep the meat moist whether you heat up in the microwave or stove top.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

How do I serve Carnitas?

Easily…this is one of those foods that’s really flexible.

Make burritos with them, serve them on tostadas, or seriously, grab a fork and eat it plain.

My favorite? Tacos! We live in a messy world, so we should eat messy food.

I like corn tortillas warmed on a grill with a little fresh onion and cilantro. Top it with some queso fresco (Mexican cheese). Delicious all day long!

While carnitas is a Mexican cooking term for roasted pork typically served in tacos, burritos, etc., it’s also good the next day in a sandwich.

A little bread and butter, some thinly sliced onion and a few cilantro leaves…so good.

But, if you’re in the mood for Mexican food, I have a few more options for you:

Or, you can always go to the Mexican section on my blog.

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5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Easy Mexican pulled pork seasoned with a rub, onion, garlic, and citrus juice.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: crock pot, easy dinner, pork, pulled pork
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 889kcal
Author: Sweet Ordeal


  • 1 Crock pot


  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3.5 - 4 lb. pork butt (a.k.a. pork shoulder)
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced, membranes and seeds removed
  • 2 fresh oranges, juiced


  • Optional: Line your Crock Pot with liner, if you have one.
  • In small bowl, mix all 6 seasonings together and set aside.
  • Trim excess fat off pork, then cut into 3" - 4" chunks.
  • Place half of the onions on bottom of Crock Pot.
  • Season all sides of pork with dry rub, and place pork on top of the onions.
  • Place remaining onions, garlic, and jalapenos on top of pork. Pour orange juice over top and cover.
  • Heat on LOW for 7-8 hours or until pulls apart easily.
  • Remove pork from Crock Pot and shred. Reserve juices.
  • Spread meat evenly on large baking sheets (with sides) and spoon reserved juice over top.
  • Broil for approx. 3 - 5 minutes, or until tips begin to crisp. Enjoy!


Crisping the pork after cooking in the slow cooker is option, but recommended.
Delicious served on corn tortillas with fresh onion, cilantro, and queso fresco.


Calories: 889kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 112g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 380mg | Sodium: 1710mg | Potassium: 2141mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 216IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 9mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweetordeal or tag #sweetordeal!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

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If you try this recipe, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you, and above all, have a blessed day.

Diced avocado, onion, and cilantro on a taco with shredded pork.Slow Cooker CarnitasCopyright © Sweet Ordeal. All content and images are copyright protected. Do not use any images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, make sure to re-write the recipe in your own words and only list ingredients making sure to link back to this post for the original recipe and directions.

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