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Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

Crispy and tender, with tons of flavor, these EASY Slow Cooker Carnitas will knock your socks off.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 10 cups
Calories 179kcal
Author Tracy


For Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 4-6 pound pork shoulder roast boneless or bone-in, trimmed of fat cap and cut into fist-sized chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 6-8 cups (3-4) 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth *
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

For Carnitas Tacos

  • Tortillas flour or corn
  • Cilantro chopped
  • White onion finely diced
  • Limes quartered


Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • Generously salt and pepper chunks of meat on all sides.
  • In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add meat to the pan and brown on all sides. You may need to do this in batches, and it will take 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Transfer meat and any juices to your slow cooker and return pan to the stove. Add a splash of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape all the crispy browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour everything over the top of the meat in the slow cooker.
  • To the slow cooker, add onions, garlic, lime juice, spices, and enough chicken broth to just cover the top of the meat. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 7 to 8. The meat is ready when it can be easily shredded with a fork.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Transfer the meat, a few pieces at a time, to a plate and shred. Place shredded meat on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. If you had a large roast, you may need to split the meat between two baking sheets. Pour ¼ cup of the cooking liquid over the top of the meat. Bake until crispy, about 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and adding more cooking liquid if meat seems to be drying out.
  • Or broil meat on high for 5 to 10 minutes until crispy, checking on frequently. DO NOT leave broiling meat unattended as it can burn very quickly.

Carnitas Tacos

  • After carnitas are done, pop tortillas into the still-hot oven (or cover with a damp paper towel and microwave) until warmed.
  • Top each tortilla with carnitas, chopped cilantro, onion, and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve and enjoy!


*If you have a small slow cooker and it takes less broth than this to cover your meat, that's fine!
Approximate nutritional information is for carnitas only: 1/2 cup meat and assumes 25% cooking liquid consumption.


Calories: 179kcal