Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco shell or turn it into a burrito bowl!
I know a lot of you share my love for Mexican food, so I think you will agree this is the most amazing pork recipe for the crock pot. Coming home from work and smelling this when you walk in the door is heavenly. To make this Carnitas recipe, the pork is seasoned to perfection, then slow cooked until fork tender with only 15 minutes to prep!
Pork carnitas are perfect served with tortillas, in burritos, or turn it into a burrito bowl over cilantro lime rice. You can make your own Chipotles style burrito bowl with all the fixins! I usually make mine with chopped lettuce, corn salsa, guacamole, and sometimes cheese. Can you make Carnitas in the Instant Pot instead of the slow cooker? Yes! See this Instant Pot Pork Carnitas recipe.
This recipe makes a lot! A whole roast will make enough pork for more that one meal. Leftovers can be refrigerated 4 to 5 days, and reheated to be used in sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, etc.
Tips for Perfect Pork Carnitas in the Slow Cooker
- Always brown the meat! Browning the pork first is essential so don’t skip this step. Pork shoulder is very inexpensive and you can make a few meals out of this.
- Keep it lean. Use boneless pork shoulder blade roast, as it is leaner than the pork shoulder picnic.
- Easy Prep! To make mornings easier, prep this in the evening, it only takes about 15 minutes the night before. Get it ready and refrigerate it so you simply take it out and plug it in when you get up.
And since so many are asking, although I have and love my Instant Pot, I still love my slow cooker! I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!
How To Make Carnitas
More Slow Cooker Recipes
- Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken
- Easiest Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- Slow Cooker Kalua Pork
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)
- 2 1/2 pounds trimmed, boneless pork shoulder blade roast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sazon, homemade or packaged
- 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
- 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dry adobo seasoning, I used Goya
- Season pork with salt and pepper.
- In a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat, brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Using a sharp knife, insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers all the way in so you no longer see them.
- Season pork generously with cumin, adobo, sazon, oregano all over.
- Pour chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppers.
- Place pork in crock pot and cover.
- Cook low for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumulated at the bottom.
- Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin as needed.
- Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.
Photo credit: Jess Larson