Best Slow Cooker Carnitas

I looooove me some Carnitas, and today we’re making it in the crockpot! This is easily the Best Slow Cooker Carnitas recipe we’ve ever made, big on flavor and low of effort. 

Best Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe #carnitas #tacos #mexican #slowcooker #crockpot
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What is it about Mexican cuisine that makes us ravenously woozy with anticipation?

I can’t quite put a finger on it, but I can tell you, tender shreds of spicy pork served with cheese, veggies, and warm tortillas always sounds good to me.


Easy Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe #carnitas #tacos #mexican #slowcooker #crockpot

We make carnitas as a base recipe for all sorts of Mexican creations.

Seriously… you can use a good carnitas recipe in anything from chili, to quesadillas, to nachos, even on pizza. I’ll stop now before I pass out from the thought of a hot carnitas pizza covered in cheese.

Traditional carnitas is made in a dutch oven, but I like to prepare my Best Slow Cooker Carnitas recipe, so I can start it in the morning and not think about it again until dinner time.

Best Crockpot Carnitas Recipe #carnitas #tacos #mexican #slowcooker #crockpot

How to Make the Best Slow Cooker Carnitas

This is so easy, guys…

You simply dump all the ingredients for the carnitas recipe in the slow cooker, set it, and walk away.

With sweet and tangy orange juice, aromatic spices, and a little bit of liquid smoke cuddling up to the pork for hours, how could this not be divine?

Simple Carnitas Recipe #carnitas #tacos #mexican #slowcooker #crockpot

Once you’ve cooked the tar out of the carnitas (in the words of my dad) the pork is so tender, it nearly falls apart when you shred it with a fork.

Then either serve the Best Slow Cooker Carnitas as-is, or crisp-ify it under the broiler.

Personally, I’m crazy over the little crispy bits.

Best Slow Cooker Carnitas #carnitas #tacos #mexican #slowcooker #crockpot

This simple “Best Slow Cooker Carnitas” recipe is a must-have in your arsenal of recipes.

We use it most often in “street tacos” with onions, cilantro, and fresh warm puffy tortillas. Es increíble!

We also love this Slow Cooker Jambalaya!

Easy Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe #carnitas #tacos #mexican #slowcooker #crockpot
5 from 10 votes

Best Slow Cooker Carnitas

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 5 mins
Carnitas, the Mexican meat of the gods! This Best Slow Cooker Carnitas recipe is loaded with flavor and perfect for making tacos, salads and wraps.
Servings: 10 Servings
Nutrition Facts
Best Slow Cooker Carnitas
Amount Per Serving (0.75 cup)
Calories 293 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 717mg 30%
Potassium 818mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 41g 82%
Vitamin A 18.9%
Vitamin C 15.7%
Calcium 3.8%
Iron 14.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 4 pounds  pork butt roast
  • 2 tablespoons  bacon grease, or oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon  sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon  cumin
  • 2 tablespoons  ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Smear the bacon grease on the bottom of a large slow cooker . Cut the pork into large chunks and place inside the slow cooker. Then add all remaining ingredients around the pork.
  2. Turn the slow cooker on: Low for 8-10 hours, or High for 4-6 hours. Once the pork is fork-tender, use 2 forks to shred the meat into the juices.
  3. If you like your carnitas crispy on the edges (like it's served in restaurants) use a slotted spoon to scoop the meat out of the juices and spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet(s). Place on the upper oven rack and broil for 2-5 minutes, until darker crispy edges form. Do not take your eyes off the broiler, you can burn the carnitas quickly. Serve over rice, taco, or on top of salads!


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58 comments on “Best Slow Cooker Carnitas

  1. Elizabeth Simmermanposted November 4, 2018 at 9:58 pm Reply

    We made this today without the chile because we cannot take the heat. The meat was absolutely delicious! We had it tonight on taco or tortilla shells, with lettuce, red onion, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. Tomorrow I will broil some to top a salad and/or fix sliders. A delicious result from a very simple recipe! I am glad I saw this and had just bought a pork roast.

  2. Jeremyposted October 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm Reply

    I’ve made this recipe probably half a dozen times and it definitely was changed! It should call for diced onion, orange juice, and liquid smoke. I don’t remember the quantities exactly but I think it was half an onion, diced, 1 to 1.5 cups orange juice, and a tablespoon of liquid smoke? I hope they fix it and put the original recipe back up, it was perfect!

    • Sommer Collierposted October 30, 2018 at 10:25 pm Reply

      Hi Jeremy,

      We are in the middle of a recipe format update but unfortunately there have been some glitches. Sorry about that. All fixed!