Slow Cooker Carnitas (Pulled Pork)

Ready in 6 hours
97 review(s) averaging 4.6. 87% would make again

Top-ranked recipe named "Slow Cooker Carnitas (Pulled Pork)"

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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.

"I have made this twice now the first time was with port chops the second with pork shoulder joint, the chops came out much better than the joint.
Overall this is a very nice recipe, it turns a very dry meat into a more juicy one with a lovely herbal taste. well worth giving it a go
Try to use a pot which will allow less water to cover the joint, the joint needs to be covered to stop it drying out or cut the joint in half to lower the water level. I did not do the second roast to crisp up just served from slow roast with roast potatoes and veg"

- steve8428


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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.


Added on Award Medal
Verified by stevemur

Carnitas with Avocado Salsa Verde

Carnitas - delicious!

Carnitas - delicious!



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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Reviews for Slow Cooker Carnitas (Pulled Pork) All 97 reviews

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Very possibly the best tasting pork shoulder I have ever tasted! This definitely goes in the 'Family Favorites' file.
MajBob 3 days 10 hours ago

This is awesome. I've made this recipe half a dozen times and it always comes out so flavorful and juicy. I can usually only find a 2 lb. roast so I have to cut down on the cooking time (I do keep the spices the same though). Great recipe, thanks Firebyrd!
Stevebassist 2 months ago

One of my favorite recipes from Big Oven! Everyone who tries this loves it! We have it in soft tacos with all the fixings. I make it as per the recipe and it's perfect.
KDavis55 2 months ago

I was quite skeptical with how thin the liquid was in the crock pot. Only chicken broth? However, the flavors that come from this simple 'throw together' was masterful. The pork was so full of moisture from the pot that even after 30 minutes in the oven to crisp the ends, it was still dripping. I did make a few changes just in amount of spices to suit my taste buds but not by much. The fat from the shoulder was also cut off but I did add it to the bottom of the slow cooker with the pork on top of that to get the flavor from it. This is definitely going into my favorites to make again.
HungryKen 3 months ago

pinolo 4 months ago

aschnakenburg 4 months ago

I added half a lime and an onion. It was great!
caradavis1 4 months ago

ChrisRN 5 months ago

Love this recipe, so much flavor.
glbryant 7 months ago

Very tasty, was expecting a richer flavor but great on corn tortillas and all the fixins...would definitely make them again!
Amataka1 8 months ago

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