These easy and delicious pork carnitas are made right in the Crockpot. Perfect for an easy dinner during the week!
So, I originally had plans to post this recipe several months ago while it was still really cold outside. But somehow these Crockpot pork carnitas got a little lost in all of the recipes and I never took pictures of them. Until I was digging around in my little junk drawer (everyone has one of these, right?) and found my recipe notes scribbled on it.
It was almost like fate. I knew I had to make the recipe and photograph it to share. This is a great recipe to prep before work so that when you come home dinner is pretty much ready. There is seriously nothing better than coming home to a dinner that is already cooked. Crockpots for the win!
Also, this recipe does make quite a bit. Literally enough to feed quite a few people or two people for several days. Not that I’m complaining, I’ve been eating this all week and haven’t been tired of it yet. I promise you’ll love it too!
Crockpot Carnitas Ingredients
I love the homemade carnitas seasoning I used in this recipe! It’s so simple to whip up, and really packs in tons of flavor. Here’s what we’ll need to make Crockpot pork carnitas:
- Boneless pork shoulder: Be sure to use boneless, as it makes shredding the meat easier after it’s done cooking.
- Dried herbs and spices: I used a blend of salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and oregano.
- Garlic: I used 4 cloves to really pack in the flavor.
- Orange juice: Use freshly squeezed oranges for the best flavor.
- Lime juice: Freshly squeezed is best here too. Roll the lime on the counter before cutting it to get more juice out of it.
How to Make Crockpot Carnitas
The thing I love most about this recipe is how easy it is to make. Just mix the spices up and rub them over the pork shoulder, toss in some garlic, orange juice, and lime juice and you’re done!
I let mine slow cook for 8-10 hours, which is the best way in my opinion. The meat literally falls apart and takes all of five seconds to shred with two forks, which you can do right in the Crockpot. Then, just put it on a baking sheet and pop it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes.
Can I Prep Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas in Advance?
Yes! These slow cooker carnitas can be made as the recipe card instructs, then refrigerated for up to 4 days. When ready to reheat, simply warm in the slow cooker on LOW or microwave for 30 seconds at a time until heated through.
Can I Freeze Pork Carnitas?
Yes, let the Crockpot pork carnitas cool completely, then seal inside a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Be sure to freeze the Crockpot carnitas meat with its juices so it doesn’t dry out. To thaw, place in your fridge overnight.
- I’ve only cooked this recipe on low, but if you’re in a time crunch you can likely cook the pork carnitas on high for 4 to 5 hours instead.
- Use the slow cooker carnitas meat to make tacos, burrito bowls, taco salads, and more!
- To make the carnitas meat spicier, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or top with your favorite hot sauce when serving.
More Easy Dinner Recipes to Try!
- Crockpot Turkey Chili
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
- Chicken Tamale Pie
- Baked Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos
Crockpot Pork Carnitas
- 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 oranges , juiced
- 1 lime , juiced
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, ground cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder.
- Add the pork shoulder, orange juice, and lime juice to the crockpot. Sprinkle the minced garlic on top.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Remove the lid and shred the pork with two forks.
- Preheat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and place the shredded pork on the baking sheet. Add a few tablespoons of the juice from the crockpot over the shredded pork (optional, but I prefer to do it).
- Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the edges are browned.
- Serve with flour or corn tortillas and toppings of choice.