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Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork)

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe to stuff it into a tortilla, in tacos or turn it into a burrito bowl!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe

This pork carnitas recipe for the slow cooker is easy to make and comes out fork tender. Coming home from work and smelling this when you walk in the door is heavenly. The prep-time is fast, it only takes 15 minutes to prep which you can do the night before. Serve this as tacos, or rice bowls and use the leftovers for the week! If you prefer using a pressure cooker, see my Instant Pot Pork Carnitas recipe, and if you prefer beef over pork, you will love this Mexican Beef.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!

Making carnitas in the slow cooker is so easy, and the pork comes out juicy and tender. This is always on rotation in my house because it makes enough for several meals making this great for meal prep.

What are 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.


  • Pork: Use a boneless or bone-in pork shoulder blade roast, or pork butt, trimmed of excess fat.
  • Carnitas Seasoning: kosher salt, black pepper, ground cumin, sazon seasoning, dry adobo seasoning, dried oregano and bay leaves.
  • Aromatics and flavor: fresh garlic cloves and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • Chicken broth, for liquid. You can also add orange juice or lime juice.

How To Make Carnitas

  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. Then brown the pork in a pan over high heat on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  4. Season pork generously with cumin, adobo, sazon, oregano all over and transfer to the slow cooker.
  5. Add chicken broth, bay leaves and chipotle peppers.
  6. Cook low for 8 hours, or until the pork easily shreds apart.
  7. Shred pork using two forks and combine well with the cooked liquid that accumulated at the bottom.
  8. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin as needed. Let it slow cook another 15-30 minutes.

What to Serve with Carnitas

My family loves this so many ways, and since this recipe makes a lot, leftovers are great! Here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Carnitas Tacos. Serve them on charred corn tortillas to make pork carnitas tacos topping them with avocado and pico de gallo.
  2. Burritos. Use a large flour tortilla and make a carnitas burrito, with rice, guacamole, black beans and salsa.
  3. Bowls. Make a pork carnitas burrito bowl serving the carnitas over cilantro lime rice. Top it with chopped lettuce, corn salsa, guacamole, and cheese.
  4. Mexican Rice – you can make a platter with rice and re-fried beans.
  5. Salads. Serve it over a big salad with avocado, pico de gallo and your favorite dressing. I like to use shredded cabbage as my base, but Romaine lettuce would also work.

How To Store

This recipe makes a lot! A whole pork roast will make enough for more that one meal. Leftover carnitas can be stored in the refrigerator 4 to 5 days, and reheated to be used in sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, etc. It will last in the freezer, in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!

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Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork)

4.95 from 68 votes
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas or Mexican Pulled Pork is the best Mexican pork recipe whether you stuff it into a tortilla, taco or turn it into a burrito bowl!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 hours 30 minutes
Total: 8 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 11 servings
Serving Size: 1 /2 cup


  • 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.

Last Step:

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If you want to crisp up your carnitas, you can spray a skillet and add the shredded pork and brown them a bit before eating.
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.


Serving: 1 /2 cup, Calories: 160 kcal, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 20 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 69 mg, Sodium: 397 mg


Photo credit: Jess Larson

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533 comments on “Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork)”

  1. After dinner, my husband told me to throw out all of my other Carnitas recipes. This is the recipe he wants from now on. I agreed! Amazingly delicious. Before serving, I put the carnitas on a baking sheet and broiled to get a little crisp to the ends of the shredded pork. Will definitely make again!

  2. When we go out to eat, my husband usually orders carnitas, so I thought I’d try to make it at home. Our adult son -who lives hours away- sent me a text he got from his dad:
    “Truly best carnitas I’ve ever had…”

  3. Hi! I’ve made this a bunch and always love it, but tonight was the first time I prepped the night before. I seared the pork, got all ingredients in slow cooker, and refrigerated it. I’m getting nervous about searing the pork and then refrigerating. Can you confirm that’s ok?! When I googled, it said you can’t partially cook pork and then refrigerate. Thank you!!

      1. Thank you for answering this. I had the same question. There were not any boneless … will it come out different?
        I have made it before w boneless.. so wasn’t sure about the bone-in .. :-/

    1. I did this recently because my grocery store was out of pork shoulder… And I definitely don’t recommend it! It came out SO DRY. I’ve made this recipe so many times and I assumed pork loin would be fine, but it was hardly edible. So I wouldn’t even bother trying — it’s not worth making this recipe unless you have the pork shoulder, IMO!

  4. This was so good and easy to make. The pork is so juicy and flavorful. I made the pico de gallo and some coleslaw with it. This may be my favorite Skinny Taste recipe after the homemade enchilada sauce!

  5. Hi
    Sounds delicious, but wondering if I can use pork tenderloin instead of pork shoulder? I have one on hand and would love to try it???

    1. It will be different and you would have to use less of the other ingredients. Let me know how it turns out.

  6. I really enjoyed this recipe. The carnitas came out wonderfully and tasted similar to the taqueria down the street from me. I will definitely make it again.

  7. This was so good and tasty. I love how easy and quick it was to prep. I did use fresh OJ since I had some on hand versus chicken broth and I seasoned with the cumin, adobo and sazon more than the recipe suggested. Will be a rotating staple in our household. 

  8. This looks delicious! Have you ever made the pork in an Instant Pot? If so, will you please share the time and setting? 

  9. Phenomenal. I cooked them on high for a little over four hours. I toasted my tortillas on the burner, added cilantro, red onion and avocado. 

    I used spices I’ve never heard of and I was scared. It was not crazy. My husband said it was the best meat ever and wanted to just go at it with a fork. My picky daughter said the meat was amazing. Definitely will be making again! 

  10. Avatar photo
    Lynette aka breezermom

    The flavor of the meat is wonderful. It is not crispy like regular carnitas, but you can crisp it up in the skillet. I listened to other reviews and left out the salt. I found I did need to add some salt when serving. But I’d rather have not enough salt than too much. We will make this again. Loved the Chipotle in Adobo in this…..we used 5 instead of 2. Thanks for sharing!!

  11. This is in the rotation regularly. So easy. So good! So moist. The family loves it. We often throw in a burritos for a change or leftovers get added to chilaquiles. Great compromise as we have those trying to slim down and others who are in good shape. 

    1. With leftovers, the ST oh so addicting chicken enchiladas recipe is the absolute perfect substitute!!

  12. Made this recently and it was delicious.  A little too spicy for the kids.  how can i cut down on the spice next time? It was my first time using salon or adobo seasoning.  

  13. this looks delicious! Has anyone made this in the instant pot? Curious about instant pot cooking time..

  14. Avatar photo
    Christine Quinn

    I made this tonight and for some reason it was sooooo salty we almost couldn’t eat it. I can see how it would be delicious if it wasn’t all salt. Next time I’m not going to rub any salt onto the pork itself when I sear it. I think between the adobo seasoning (with salt), the sazon (with salt), the low sodium chicken broth (which has some amount of salt) and rubbing salt onto the pork itself it came out as too much. I honestly can’t figure out why it was so salty (we aren’t super sensitive to salt in our house) but next time I’ll skip putting salt on the pork and see if that’s better. I definitely want to make it again just need to think through the sodium issue! 

  15. What brand of tortillas do you use? Yours always look so much thicker and tasty than the ones I seem to find. 

  16. Hi!!
    What is the difference in taste from this recipe and the one in your “The SkinnyTaste Cookbook.” Looking to make it this week and wasn’t sure which one to use!!

  17. Skinnytaste is my absolute favorite source for recipes. I had put off trying these carnitas because we love one of the other slower cooker ST pork recipes, but I’m so glad I finally tried them. The flavor is unbelievable and yet the process is so simple. Thank you so much!

  18. We subbed chicken thighs for the pork and it still came out great! 15 mins on high pressure for 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs, with between 3/4 – 1 cup of chicken stock worked well. Tasty!!

  19. Avatar photo
    Caitlin Punzalan

    Maybe my all time fave ST recipe. I know you’re supposed to brown it first, but to save time and dishes I almost never do and it’s SO GOOD. 

  20. I’ve made the slow cooker carnitas recipe and the instant pot carnitas recipe many times as they are my family’s favorite. If I had to compare the two methods, we find the slow cooker method to be more tender and juicy. Do not skip the browning of the meat or you’ll lose that caramelized flavor from the outside of the meat. Deliciousness!!

  21. Another winner! This is definitely the best carnitas recipe I’ve tried to date. My only modification was to double the oregano. One other note, I really like spicy food, and use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce frequently in my cooking. Even with liking spicy food, I opted for only 2 whole peppers and removed the seeds. This gave the perfect amount of heat for my family.

  22. I am so excited to try this! Can you tell me which Sazon seasoning because there are several varieties?

  23. These are the BEST and most tasty pork tacos you will ever have or need to make! Everyone that I make these for loves them!

  24. This was wonderful in fresh tortillas. I froze the leftovers in two batches. I pulled one bag out tonight and added the pork along with a little browned chicken breast and some sausage to a jambalaya. Delicious!

  25. Couldn’t find pork shoulder blade roast so used pork butt roast instead and this was delicious! Followed recipe exactly aside from that. I prefer carnitas a little crispy so sautéed a bit in a pan to crisp a bit and so good! 

  26. Every recipe I have ever made from this sight or your books has ALWAYS turned out delicious. But this one did not turn out quite as well as I was expecting. I think I missed something in the seasoning – I even doubled up on the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and it tasted flat.  Regardless, thank you so much for all your recipes and recommendations.  I just got my download for your new Cookbook..  

  27. Gina,
    Thanks for another simple recipe that tastes awesome – even without the adobo seasoning (it was sold out at our supermarket)! It was great in tacos, burritos and as a topping for nachos. We are looking forward to trying this recipe with chuck roast.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Stu! You can make your own adobo–

  28. I have made this several times now and it is so delicious. I have also made it using chicken and it was just as yummy! Every recipe I have made from this site has been delicious!

  29. This was so tasty. I was pretty liberal with the spices and used a loin instead of shoulder. I cut it into 4ths and cooked an hour on high and 4 hours on low in the slow cooker. We had it in Chimichangas for dinner, then quesadillas for lunch the next day. Highly recommend.

  30. What can I use as an alternative to chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as well as the adobo seasoning. I don’t mind the heat. It’s just the flavor of the adobo that I’m not a fan of. I’ve been making your recipes for almost 10 years now, Gina! You’re awesome and thanks for the meal plans.

    Please and thank you! 

  31. One of our favourite recipes. I’ve been having trouble getting pork shoulder at the grocery store for the last month, so finally went to a fancy butcher shop just so we could have this again!

  32. I started my prep too late for Taco Tuesday! Do you think it will be OK if I cook on high for 4 hours in the slow cooker?

  33. Yummy! This as another great quick and easy delicious recipe. It was great in a flour tortilla shell, and leftovers were put in a bowl with some brown rice. I have shared with several friends! Thank you so much for all these great recipe ideas!! You have helped me stay a little healthier during this social distancing.

  34. Avatar photo
    Guadalupe Hdz

    this came out delicious! My husband loved it. 
    The only thing I did not do is place it back into the crock pot after shredding.,
    But it didn’t need it for my taste. It had excellent flavor! I added finely shredded cabbage with lemon cilantro and onions and avocado.  Delicious.. the next day we had the left overs in hamburger buns!
    For sure I will make it again! 

    1. I have this same question and I’m hoping someone will answer.  I’ll have to post the question on FB I think.

  35. A lot of people are commenting about the SP value being wrong. I was also a bit confused by this, so I wanted to clarify to try to help people out. When you calculate the points using regular pork shoulder, yes, it comes out to 6 SP 💚 per serving. BUT the recipe calls for a shoulder BLADE roast which is much much leaner than regular pork shoulder  (she writes about this in the post). I actually couldn’t find pork shoulder blade roast in the WW app, so I looked up the nutrition info on my My Fitness Pal and plugged it in using the WW calculator. When using a blade roast, it will in fact be 3 SP 💚 per serving. The recipe is definitely calculated correctly if using the ingredients as written. 

    I personally used 2.5 pounds of pork tenderloin because that’s all I could find at the store with the current state of things, and it comes out to 1 SP 💚 per 1/2 C serving. I’ve previously made this recipe with blade roast and I can’t really tell too much difference between the two – the blade roast may have been a little less dry, but it was delicious using either type of meat. 

  36. Avatar photo
    Marisol Gutierrez

    Has anyone tried to make this dish with chicken? I have boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Given the current situation at the grocery stores, I have been unable to find pork. Please advise. My son loves this dish! Thank you!

  37. Avatar photo
    Trey Blacklock

    Howdy from San Antonio. Home of TexMex. . Enjoyed this recipe. Three chipotles are way too spicy. I cooked in an instapot for 20 minutes with a 15 minute natural release. Texture and flavor was great after removing a pepper from the can!   Always use great tortillas, lime, cilantro, red onion and ripe avocado slices. 

  38. Tried the recipe today, and it was amazing, made my own sazon from your recipe and my own adobo. Love your website, each time I try a recipe it’s always spot on and so tasty! 
    We made 2 kinds of tacos out of the pulled pork: one with mango salsa and shredded cabbage and the other with refried beans avocado sour cream and cheese. can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

  39. Wondering if I should adjust the cumin and oregano in the recipe because the homemade sazon contains both? Or  just follow the recipe as written? Thanks!

  40. I have made the Carnitas from your cookbook, but I want to try this recipe. I have a question.  If I make your sazon recipe could I use a larger amount of it and omit the cumin and oregano that the carnitas recipe calls for? Or just stick with the same amounts even though the sazon contains oregano and cumin.? I do love your recipes. Thanks!

  41. Delicious! I didn’t have sazon or chipotle peppers so I substituted jalapeño and yellow peppers. The dish turned out delicious. I will definitely make it again. 

  42. Avatar photo
    Dawn Robertson

    Made this and it was deeeeelicious! I couldn’t find a boneless shoulder roast so I bought a 5lb bone in shoulder roast instead. It had the skin on so probably not lean. I used the exact ingredients listed for the spice rub and slow  cooked it in the crockpot all night. The smell kept waking me up all night long! In the morning it was perfectly tender. Shredded the meat , tossed the skin and fat and refrigerated it til dinner and we ate it on Mission corn fat free tortillas (4 SP for 3), homemade guacamole, tomatoes, cheese and Mateo’s salsa. Can’t wait to eat this again for dinner tomorrow night!

  43. I made these for the first time last night. Initial prep took a while so I would definitely suggest prepping the meat the night before. Regardless of that, it’s totally worth making. I cooked these for 8 hours in a slow cooker and they made the house smell AMAZING. I shredded them and let them cook a bit more to soak in the juices. Once my husband got home, I heated up some corn tortillas and I even charred some of the pork carnitas with a little bit of oil in a cast iron skillet to get a little crisp on them. I dressed these tacos with some pickled red onions and pico de gallo that I made the night before. Used some avocado and some store bought shredded cabbage for crunch. This dinner was EXCELLENT! I was able to freeze four portions of leftovers which I’ll save to make Pork Carnitas Rice bowls in the future. Thanks for delicious recipe!!

  44. This is the most delicious pulled pork I’ve ever had, and the smell through the house while it’s cooking is divine. Thank you!

  45. We had the slow cooker pork carnitas for dinner tonight.  The pork cooked all day and the house smelled so yum Ya! This meal did not disappoint! Great flavor!we will definitely make this again, Thank you for your great recipes!  

  46. This was a phenomenal recipe…Talk about delicious!  I used a pork loin roast instead of a blade roast, and only added sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime juice to the tortilla. This is one leftover that I haven’t minded eating 4 days in a row.   My family devoured it as well. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. It is going into the permanent file and I can’t wait to bring it to an event…I know it will disappear!

  47. Made this 2 nights ago in the instant pot. Absolutely perfect and authentic carnitas. The left overs were so so good over quinoa with pico de Gallo, avocado and some cabbage. Definitely another keeper. Thanks Gina!!

  48. Avatar photo
    Rhonda E Mesnick

    There are two types of sazon. One without coriander and annatto and one without. Which should be used? Thank you. 

  49. I have not used my Instant Pot in slow cooker function, but this seems like the best way to cook it, since you may brown the meat on saute function and save the clean-up of additional pans and the area around your stove. Is there a reason to use a ceramic crock pot instead?

    1. My sister in law tried her instant pot as a slow cooker on a toast recipe and she said it came out tough. May be worth it to use the ceramic for slow, even heat. My instant pot heats only on the bottom. Yours probably does too. 

  50. I would love to make this for a pot luck for work but we have a few people who do not eat pork could this be made with beef or chicken?

  51. Looking at the ingredients it looks like this can be whole30? But it doesn’t have the W icon… is there a reason why it is not compliant?

    Thanks!! Can’t wait to try

  52. I made the Instant Pot version of this recipe last night and loved it.  We are Weight Watchers so I opted to put this over spaghetti squash.  It was too spicy for my wife, but she’s a wiener when it comes to spiciness.  It reminded me of some street tacos and lengua (beef tongue) tacos I’ve eaten before.

  53. Avatar photo
    Colleen Norfolk

    This is the best recipe. I make it often, if you haven’t tried yet, you must. A total winner!!! Just two of us so I usually vacuum seal half of it and freeze. It freezes well too so makes a for a super quick dinner another night down the road!!!!

  54. This is probably my favorite SkinnyTaste recipe…. Problem is, it is no longer “skinny” if you eat the whole slow cooker worth of carnitas. So amazing!

  55. We really liked this , my husband ate a ton and my 9 year old son had multiple helpings (though my seasoning averse daughter deemed it ‘too spicy’ even though I pulled off some for her before shredding & mixing it with the juices/chipotle in the crockpot) —I actually made the recipe in the Skinny Taste book which is just slightly different than this one but the points are definitely miscalculated unless I’m missing something- per the WW app, a 2 1/2 lb pork shoulder cooked is 68 pts so divided by 11 would be 6 points per serving. I also weighed the cooked pork that fit in a 1/2 cup which came to about 3.5 ounces, which is also 6 points.

    1. Hi Lisa. I am glad you all enjoyed it! The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

  56. Hi, I found 4 lb pork shoulder. Just wondering if I should leave it in for longer or double the ingredients? Thanks! 

  57. I live in the southwest United States, and we know carnitas. That being said this is amazing! My entire family loves this recipe. I took it to work for a pot luck and everyone was asking for the recipe. Huge hit! Thank you!

  58. Quick question, where do I find sazón? It says homemade but I don’t have the slightest clue where to buy it or how to make it? Please help

  59. This may be my new favorite. Delicious!! My changes – I used 2 pork tenderloin and I used beer instead of chicken broth. This recipe makes a lot, so it’s great for meal prep or freezing for another meal. Thanks for another great recipe, Gina!

  60. Have people done this the day before. I want to make it the night before and warm it over stereos. Any success with this?

  61. Absolutely love! I made these with a simple slaw & jasmine rice because it’s all I had on hand. So delish! Will be making this again and again.

  62. Made this yesterday for Cinco De Mayo along with skinnytaste cilantro lime rice. It was delicious! I set it up for everyone to make their own bowls so I laid out chopped romaine, grilled corn cut from the cob, tomatoes, black beans rinsed and drained and tossed with fresh cilantro, avocado, and small soft tortillas to scoop it all in at the table. My 3 year old and picky mother were both in love as soon as they dug in. My husband asked for it to be in regular rotation which is definitely happening. Thanks for another win!

  63. I only have a center cut pork loin on hand would that Work? We’ve been dying to try this!!!! Love all your recipes!!

  64. Delicious. Can’t believe I cooked this.
    Only note I have is to lighten up on the salt a little bit.

  65. These were excellent!! Definitely a keeper???? i served it over cauliflower rice, corn salsa, and reduced fat cheddar!!! Spectacular!!!

  66. I want to make this ahead of time overnight. Do you think I can cook overnight, put in the refrigerator and turn back on 30 minutes before dinner?

    Otherwise, I am gone at work for longer than 8 hours. :/

    Thank you!

  67. These were AMAZING! I didn’t even get a good sear on them and they were still juicy and so yummy over cauliflower rice with a little salsa and pickled red onion on top.

  68. I am making this right now for my son and his friends, and he doesn’t have a slow cooker big enough for the amount I’m making. How long should I leave it in the oven at 350? I’ve made it before and it’s excellent! Any help as soon as possible, Pleeeease!

    1. Carol, I’d cook it lower, maybe 275 for about four hours or so. Start checking the meat with a knife at the four hour mark. A knife should VERY easily slip right in, then out of the meat.

  69. This was EXCELLENT! The only thing I did different was to rough chop an onion and add it to the pan I browned the meat in to loosen up all the bits. Then I added all of that goodness to the slow cooker. SOOOO GOOD!!! This is my new “show off” recipe for carnitas!

  70. The only variation I did was I omitted the coriander (we didn’t have any at the time) and I used tumeric instead – but this is 100% a WINNER.

    It’s FANTASTIC. I used it to make like a taco salad. I had chimichurri leftover from the steak skewer recipe on the site I made on Friday – and I used that as a dressing for the salad and WOW – what a meal!

  71. Pingback: 30 Amazing Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Summer Dinners (and Kalyn Takes a Vacation!) | Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

  72. Is this spicy? I get Chipotle Carnitas all of the time and I’m ok with it but not sure what they put in it and I’ve never cooked with Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce before. Any thoughts?

    1. It is spicy, but you can adjust the spice to your liking. I’d say to just put in a couple of tablespoons of the adobo sauce without putting in the actual chipotle peppers, if you don’t want it to be too spicy.

    2. I used 2 chipotles from the can and about 1 tbsp of sauce. I removed the chipotles before returning the pork after shredding and it wasn’t spicy at all. My 3 year old tore it up.

  73. Pingback: 60+ Simple and Delicious Weight Watchers Crockpot Recipes

  74. Made enough for several days of meals — also changed out to be “Asian” one night by using
    shredded purple & green cabbage, cilantro and pineapple. Can dip in Paul Newman light Asian
    sesame ginger salad dressing if you want a sauce.

  75. I love this recipe but I have a question about the serving size – I weigh my food on a scale, but is this supposed to be portioned from a measuring cup? I weighed a 4oz portion but it was way more than what a 1/2 cup gives you. 
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  76. This is my go-to recipe when I make carnitas meat! I can’t believe how amazing this comes out with such little effort. I think I’ve made this at least 50+ times, and sometimes if the meat is on sale I’ll buy a bigger piece so I can eat half and freeze the other half after it’s cooked for a quick weeknight dinner. I’ve made burrito bowls with this, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, scrambled w/ eggs for breakfast, with rice and beans, etc. The opportunities are endless and I honestly don’t even eat at Chipotle like that anymore because this version is so much better. My kids and husband always get excited when I make this. I actually prefer to do the dry rub and then sear it on each side in the pan and then deglaze the pan w/ the chicken broth and throw it in the crock pot. The seasonings get seared into the pork even more and the flavor is amazing. Thank you for your amazing recipes! I recommend your recipes all the time to the Bariatric Community on instagram 🙂

  77. I am entering it into my WW tracker and getting 6 SmartPoints, not 3… I think it’s because of the pork. 🙁

  78. Just made this last night for an easy Halloween meal and let me just say…….it is delicious! I’m having it again for lunch today and i think its even better than last night. Love all your wonderful recipes. It has made my weight watchers journey so easy. Thank you!

  79. Just tried this recipe for the first time… Delicious! My husband is a chef and said “he couldn’t have made it any better” and loved it! Thank you!!! I use your recipes all the time!

  80. Do you think it’s possible to make this in the Instant Pot? If so, what time/pressure would you recommend?

    1. I used normal setting of 35 . Covered seasoned meat with water. They were fantastic. I also had pork broth left to use in cooking. . I cut the pork shoulder and cut in pieces trimmed I ng most of the fat off. Hope this help.
      (I refrigerated the shredded pork . As I was growing it in cooking sprayIng spiced it up abit for my bus and as I left out some of the chili’s when cooking)

  81. I made this.  The family and I loved it but next time I would use double the liquid and seasons stated.  After I shredded the pork and put it back in the crockpot there was no liquid left.  Tasty but very dry.

  82. Can you freeze the leftovers? I always have so much afterwards…. I LOVE this but I don’t want it to go to waste!

    1. Yes you can! I always make a double batch and freeze into portions for when we are running late or no time to cook

  83. Hi Gina! Was just wondering, do you do the coating/searing the night before? And if so, do you store it in the fridge covered or uncovered or does it matter?

    1. I have done the searing the night before. I actually prepped the entire recipe the night before, put it in the crockpot inner “crock” and put the crockpot lid on. Just pulled out the entire thing in the morning and dropped in the outer portion of the crockpot and turned on. Works just as well as prepping it same day. 

  84. Hey Gina! I've made this recipe several times before, but it's been a while and I think the recipe has been updated. I'm not familiar with sazon. Did that replace something else? Or is it just an addition? How crucial is it to the final product? I'll definitely see if I can find it at the store tomorrow, as I plan to make this Sunday.

    1. Gina has a sazon recipe on the site. I used that (and subbed the anchiotte for tumeric) and it was terrific!

  85. These are absolutely amazing!!! We have now had them twice and they are quickly becoming a staple in my house. My boyfriend is Cuban and loves any Hispanic cuisine. We have been to several Taquerias and these taste just like the carnitas we have tried. AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing your genius recipes!

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    Rachel Redhouse

    I have been making this for a couple of years and I just went to make it today and you changed the recipe! Where is the old recipe?

    1. I found the old recipe! I also was wondering where it went. I knew it had garlic powder, and no sazon or oregano. I made it today but forgot the cumin because I didn’t think it was in the old recipe, oh well!

  87. This is in my slow-cooker right now, I just shredded the pork, so 30 min to go. Smells, looks & tastes so delicious! Can't wait till dinner!

  88. Made this for dinner tonight and all thought is was delicious and full of flavor. Thanks for a good and pretty easy recipe!

    1. Gina always posts the points (Smart Points and Points Plus, especially on old recipes) with the rest of the nutritional info.

  89. Listen…Gina, your recipes are always a "sure thing", but this, this pork is taking things to a new level! I also prepared the cilantro lime rice that you have a recipe for and frozen corn and a can of black beans. It was wonderful! I'm in Alaska and one of the restaurants I miss the most is Chipotle. Now I feel like I'll be just fine and may even skip it when we're back in the lower 48. Thank you for always having yummy recipes that don't leave you feeling dirty after enjoying them. 🙂

  90. Just made this today, so good! I used a 2 1/2lb bone-in pork shoulder . I also used 3 of the chipotle peppers…. I'm not sure why I didn't think it would be, but it was SPICY! Still delicious though. We used the meat in burritos, my husband was in heaven (not exactly the healthiest option, but I'm okay with that!). Will definitely make again, but with less spice : )

  91. Is it ok that the pork is only sitting in about an inch of chicken broth? It's not supposed to be submerged is it?

  92. Making this tomorrow! At what point do you brown the meat? Do you brown it the night before then marinate it? or do you brown it in the morning right before you put it in the crock pot?

  93. I absolutely love this recipe. My boyfriend swears it's the best carnitas he's had, and we live an hour from Mexico! Everyone who tries it, loves it. We feast on this one day, then freeze half of the leftovers and still have more leftovers! We eat this plain, in tacos, in omelets, on salads. SO GOOD. Thank you for this recipe!

  94. My husband was instructed to put this together while I was at work. We had no cumin or adobo, so he used Greek seasoning. We also left out the chiles. It was still fantastic! We served on top of the Fiesta Lime Rice. So it was a Greek-Mexican dish. Thanks so much for your site. It is so helpful being on Weight Watchers and having the points all calculated. Though your recipes are so good, I end up doubling on some things if I have the extra points available.

  95. Wow!! I made these last night and they were riiiiicaaaa!! I didn't have any chicken broth and had to use water, and they were still amazing! Thank you!

  96. I live in Alaska and can't find any adobo spice here. I just ordered some from amazon and it should be here soon… I can't wait!

    1. Avatar photo
      Brad Faggionato

      I found the the Saxon and a dojo spices are actually mixtures of several spices. I just looked the recipes online and made up small batches of each. Turned out great and did not have to buy two new spices.

  97. Hey Gina-

    This looks delicious but I'm curious….is this really for 8 servings? 2.5lbs of meat seems to be pretty low.

    I have used the following recipe before for 8 people, and it calls for 4 lbs of pork:

    If you were to increase it to 4 lbs using your recipe, how would you adjust the other ingredients accordingly?


  98. Avatar photo