Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork)
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe to stuff it into a tortilla, taco shell or turn it into a burrito bowl!
These pork carnitas are loaded with garlic, seasoned with chipotle, cumin, adobo, sazon, oregano and slow cooked until fork tender. I know a lot of you share my love for Mexican food, so I think you will agree this is the most amazing pork carnitas recipe for the crock pot. Coming home from work and smelling this when you walk in the door is heavenly. Only 15 minutes to prep, if you set it at night you can wake up to this dish ready for the next day! If you prefer using the Instant Pot see this Instant Pot Pork Carnitas recipe.
Is there anything better than coming home to juicy and tender pork carnitas made in the slow cooker? This is always on rotation in my house because it makes enough for several meals making this great for meal prep.
What to with Serve Carnitas – Best side dishes
My family loves this so many ways, and since this recipe makes a lot, leftovers are great! Here’s a few suggestions:
- Served with charred corn tortillas to make pork carnitas tacos topping with avocado and pico de gallo.
- Use a large flour tortilla and make a carnitas burrito, with rice, guacamole, black beans and salsa.
- Cilantro lime rice – Make a pork carnitas burrito bowl serving the carnitas over cilantro lime rice. Top it with chopped lettuce, corn salsa, guacamole, and cheese.
- Mexican Rice – you can make it with brown rice or even cauliflower rice
What is Carnitas?
If you go to any Mexican restaurant you’ll be sure to find carnitas on the menu. All throughout Mexico you’ll find lots of hole-in-the-wall restaurants that make the best authentic carnitas. They slow cook the pork in lard, like a confit which makes the pork fork tender. Luckily you can easily make them from scratch without all the lard and excess calories with delicious results in the slow cooker!
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.
- 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.
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. Or freeze it up to 3 months.
How To Make Easy Slow Cooker Carnitas
Season the pork with salt and pepper.
Let it cool, then using a sharp pairing knife, insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers all the way in so you no longer see them.
- Then brown in a skillet over high heat on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Season pork generously with cumin, adobo, sazon, oregano all over and transfer to the slow cooker.
Add chicken broth, bay leaves and chipotle peppers.
- Cook low for 8 hours, or until the pork easily shreds apart.
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 slow cook another 15-30 minutes.
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
Your comments are helpful!! If you’ve tried this carnitas recipe or any other recipe on Skinnytaste, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! And if you took some photos or video of it, share it with me on Instagram or Tiktok!
Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork)4
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder blade roast, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 6 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sazon, homemade or packaged
- 1/4 teaspoon dry adobo seasoning, I used Goya
- 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
- 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
Season and brown the pork
- Season the pork on both sides with salt and black pepper.
- 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.
- In a large skillet on high heat, brown pork on all sides for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add pork to slow cooker
- Place pork in slow cooker, and season generously with cumin, adobo, sazon, oregano on all sides.
- Pour chicken broth in the slow cooker, add the bay leaves and chipotle peppers to the broth.
- Cover and 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 to taste, as needed.
- Let it cook low for another 15-30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Photo credit: Jess Larson