Slow Cooker Carnitas (Pulled Pork)

109 reviews, 4.6 star(s). 0% would make again

Ready in 6 hours 40 minutes

Carnitas are a famous dish with origins in Michoacan, Mexico. This is traditionally prepared using boston butt, or an upper shoulder of pork and then slowly cooked for several hours, and sometimes then shredded and finished off in the oven, depending upon the recipe being used.

This makes a great filling for tamales, enchiladas, tacos and burritos. It can topped with sour cream, tomatoes, beans and lettuce. It can also be served with just the pork meat on a plate with some bread. This filling is also great combined with your favorite barbecue sauce and served on buns.


2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
4 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro sprigs
1 teaspoon orange peel

Original recipe makes 10 Servings



Mix together Kosher salt, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Coat pork with the spice mixture and the minced garlic.

Place the bay leaves and cilantro in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Add orange peel.

Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.

Cover and cook on "LOW" until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 6-8 hours.

Turn the meat after it has cooked for 4 hours.

When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks.

Return the shredded pork to the crock pot and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat.

To make these more authentic, after shredding the meat into smaller chunks, spread it out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and baked it in a 400 degree oven about 20 minutes, just long enough to crisp the exterior of the meat.


Carnitas means 'little meats' and is traditionally fried then braised. This recipe is made much easier using the slow cooker but the results are just as tasty.

Verified by stevemur
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Carnitas with Avocado Salsa Verde

Carnitas - delicious!

Carnitas - delicious!



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Calories Per Serving: 365 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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Definitely a family favorite
katie_joy_ham 3d 21h ago

This may not be "official" carnitas but I don't care. I care that both my kids (including the one who hates everything) dubbed it delicious and ate several tacos. I made it as directed, but cooked it just shy of 6 hours, then shredded and let it simmer a bit more. I served it with corn tortillas, chopped onion and cilantro, and squeezed a little lime juice over each taco. I'm thrilled to find a recipe that uses both the slow cooker and a cheap cut of meat to make something my family will actually eat. Jackpot!
hdauria 1w ago

The meat is so juicy and flavorful. I'm excited to make it again!
rheckley 1w ago

Awesome combinations of seasonings. I used a cup of chicken broth instead of water and added an onion and garlic. Turned out awesome.
michael_brown 1m ago

tcolter 3m ago

It was so good and the leftovers for the few days after were just as good. Next time we are planning on having another family over we will have this.
joy-fraser 3m ago

would be good with cilantro rice and black beans -- with corn tortillas
beckyhal 4m ago

Very good recipe, but I added Serrano peppers for the kick , and used some olive oil in the preparation.
RevKenelm 6m ago

add half a pound of lard and some lime juice
hurrahburrah 7m ago

One of my favorite recipes! I substitute Beer for the Broth and add OJ. My family can't get enough!
dwalker902w3i6 12m ago

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