Easy Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe. Can be eaten alone or in tacos, nachos, burritos and more. It’s a more hands off carnitas recipe than even our Instant Pot Carnitas.
I can already tell you have good taste. Why? You found your way to our carnitas recipe. Surely that shows you have great taste in food.
Years ago we moved from making pork carnitas in the oven to mainly the slow cooker. Authentic carnitas take hours to cook and do you really want to slave over a hot stove? Nope. Didn’t think so.
Mexican Recipes are cooked at lease once a week here at FoodieandWine.com. We’re So. Cal. natives through and through, therefore hold snobbish views on what makes up real Mexican food. We stick to authentic Mexican Food Recipes as much as possible, however these pork carnitas stray from the norm. Instead of marinating in hot lard, we cook the carnitas in a highly seasoned mix of juices and spices. Sometimes our health takes a priority over our stomach.
Worried about missing out on the “crunch” factor of an authentic carnitas recipe? Don’t be. When you’re done cooking the carnitas in the slow cooker, spread the meat out on a cookie sheet and stick in the oven to broil on high for 5 minutes. Problem solved.
Looking for a recipe idea for these slow cooker carnitas? Check out our Loaded Pulled Pork Potato Skins.
SLOW COOKER CARNITAS
Don’t speed up the recipe. It takes time for the heat to break down the connective tissues of the meat. The meat will be tough if you don’t allow ample time for this process. Sorry, kids. Planning in advance is necessary.
Carnitas freeze extremely well. We’ve tested this up to 3 months without issue. Make sure to freeze the meat in the reserve juices if you go this route.
To re-heat the carnitas, let the meat defrost completely. Add the meat to a large non stick skillet with a little olive oil and juices and heat over medium for a few minutes until warmed. You don’t want to “cook” it too long or else it will dry out. That’s “no bueno”.
FOODIE AND WINE DRINK PAIRING RECOMMENDATIONS
The drink pairing really depends on how you serve the carnitas. For basic carnitas, without heavy sauce, we recommend:
White Wines: Pinot Noir, Sparkling Brut Rosé, Milder Sauvignon Blanc
Light Beers: Pale Mexican Lagers, West Coast IPAs, Amber Ale, Vienna Lager
- ¼ cup Olive Oil or Bacon Grease
- 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Black Pepper to Taste
- ½ tsp Cumin
- 3-4 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast
- 1 Medium Onion Diced
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves Minced
- Juice of 1 Large Orange
- Combine the salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder and olive oil/bacon fat and rub it over the pork shoulder.
- Transfer the pork to the slow cooker (fat cap up) and add the diced onions, garlic and orange juice.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
- The meat should be very easy to shred with a fork at this point.
- Gently remove the meat from the slow cooker and set aside.
- Reserve the left over juices by skimming off the layer of fat and setting aside.
- Shred the meat using 2 forks.
- OPTIONAL - to crisp up the carnitas, place in the oven on broil for 5 minutes.
- When ready to serve, pour a little of the reserve juice over the pork and enjoy!