Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

This past weekend we decided to hit the trails and get some hiking and biking done. From what I’ve learned so far living in Southern Colorado – you gotta enjoy the sun while you can! πŸ™‚ Instead of worrying about dinner when we returned home, I let the slow cooker do all the work.

We slow cooked a pork shoulder for about 8 hours, then crisped it up in the oven. The end result…juicy pork carnitas that are ready for tacos and burrito bowls this week.

Because tacos are always a good idea, ya’ll!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas:

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 8 hours
TOTAL TIME: 8-10 hours
SERVES: About 6


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil*
  • 1 (4-5 pound) pork shoulder/pork butt trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salth & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground oregano

Don’t forget the fixin’s: corn tortllas, diced onions, cilantro, salsa, avocado slices, and lime wedges for garnish.


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add the pork and sear on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Place the sliced onion on the bottom of a large slow cooker. Transfer the seared pork to the slow cooker.
  2. Add all the remainder ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours or until the pork is tender. Remove the bay leaves.
  3. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred. (Keep the liquid.)
  4. Transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and broil on high for about 5 minutes or until crispy.
  5. Remove from the oven and pour about ΒΌ cup of the reserved juices from the slow cooker onto the crispy pork and toss to coat.
  6. Place the baking sheet back in the broiler for another 5 minutes or until the meat is crispy. Keep an eye on it! Optional to pour an additional ΒΌ cup liquid over the crispy pork and serve immediately.


*You may use olive oil or canola oil as a substitution. I just happen to enjoy using avocado oil in my cooking here of the late.

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