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Overhead of pork carnitas tacos on a white plate over a wood cutting board with extra tomatoes and an orange bowl of pork carnitas in the background
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5 from 5 votes

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

This easy Pork Carnitas recipe is made in a slow cooker, then finished in the oven for authentic flavor and texture. Pork Carnitas can be served with tortillas and toppings, or in a variety of Mexican recipes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs 5 mins
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Low Carb, Pork
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 248kcal


  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder * also called Boston butt
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups vegetable stock * or water
  • 4 cloves garlic * minced
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno pepper * halved, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Cut the onion in half and place it in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Place the pork roast on top of the onion, fat side up.
  • Pour in the vegetable stock or water.
  • Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice over top of the pork, then repeat with the lime. You can add the spent halves to the slow cooker, or discard them.
  • Add the garlic and jalapeno to the top of the pork, then sprinkle on the salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Lay the two bay leaves on top, as well.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Once meat is done, remove the oranges and limes and discard. You can either remove the onion and jalapeno or shred it and mix it into the pork.
  • Shred the pork with two forks. Remove it from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet. Reserve the liquid in the slow cooker.
  • Place the baking sheet under the broiler, watching closely, until the pork is lightly browned and the ends start getting crispy, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, toss with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the juices from the slow cooker,
    and serve, as desired.


Tips and Techniques for the Best Pork Carnitas

  • Add the spent orange and lime halves into the slow cooker with the pork for more flavor, if desired. If you do cook them with the pork, be sure to discard them before shredding the meat.
  • It is highly recommended to finish the pork under the broiler for about 5 minutes to crisp it up. However, if you’d rather not, then it’s perfectly okay to use it straight from the slow cooker.
  • Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days.
** Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 707mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 14.7mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1.4mg