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I judge a restaurant based on the quality of their carnitas. 

Because if they serve them, they better be delicious. If they are not, heaven help the people stuck in the car driving home with me. 

As such, settling on a delicious yet doable at-home carnitas recipe was not an easy task. Something easy to cook, fall apart tender, and yet edges crisped up to perfection. 

This is done by tag-teaming the meat with a slow cooker and then your broiler. 

Get yourself a fattier cut of pork. Not only is dark meat the best (fight me), but it keeps it from drying out under the boiler. 

Truth be told, this go round could have had way more fat. 

You live, you learn. 

Season the pork with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. 

My mom always used to put cinnamon in her carnitas, but my kids detest this. Kids are the worst. 

Then place it in a shallow bath of chopped onion, broth, garlic, orange and lime juice, and bay leaves. 

Place the seasoned pork in the crock pot, and then cook it on low for 8 hours. 

You could eat this now, but trust me when I say, it’s better under the broiler. 

Add a little bit of the broth and softened onion from the crockpot to help keep it moist, and then pop it under your broiler for about 5 minutes. 

All the bits of fat get all crisp and salty, and it’s a thing of beauty, lemme tell ya. 

I serve this with warmed corn tortillas and pickled red onion. 

Click here for my quick-pickled red onion recipe!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Slow cooker pork carnitas are not only easy, they are tender with the perfect amount of crisp, and bursting with flavor.


  • 4 lbs boneless Pork Shoulder (roast or butt also works)
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp minced Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 3 Limes, juiced
  • 2 Oranges, juiced


  1. Mix the dry ingredients: salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano.
  2. Pat dry the pork, and then rub with dry ingredient mix.
  3. Add to the slow cooker the onion, garlic, bay leaves, chicken broth, orange and lime juice.
  4. Place the rubbed pork in the crock pot, cover with lid, and cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Remove pork from crock pot and shred on a cookie sheet.
  6. Add a few spoonfuls of broth from the crock pot to keep the meat moist.
  7. Put meat under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until some edges and fat is crisped up.
  8. Serve immediately.

Did you make this recipe?

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