Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)

Carnitas is a delicious Mexican slow cooker pulled pork dish that is perfect for a family meal or a weekend gathering. This tender, juicy and flavorful dish is made with simple ingredients that are easy to find and can be cooked in a slow cooker or an oven.



— Here’s what you’ll need:



  • 4 pounds (or 2 kg) skinless, boneless pork butt (or shoulder)
  • 3-4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (or Mexican oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 large brown or white onion , cut into wedges
  • 8 cloves garlic , smashed
  • 2 limes , juiced
  • 2 large oranges , juiced (or 3/4 cup natural orange juice)
  • 3/4 cup coke (Original or Mexican coke is ideal)*
  • 2 bay leaves


— How To make it :


Rinse and pat dry pork with a paper towel.

In the bowl of a 6-quart slow cooker, add pork, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, onion, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, coke, and bay leaves.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours, or high heat for 5-6 hours (until the meat falls apart).

Remove pork and shred with two forks (DO NOT DISCARD THE LIQUID!)




Transfer the pork to a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray (or lined with aluminium foil or parchment paper).


Pour 1 ladle full (about 1 cup) of the liquid from the slow cooker over the pork to season. Broil for 5-10 minutes on high heat until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges.






Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a non stick pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. When pan is hot, add pork in batches of two or three, and sear until just beginning to crisp. Ladle over about 1/2 cup of left over liquid, and continue cooking until the juices begin to reduce down and the meat is nice and crispy!




Season with a little extra salt and pepper if desired. Pour over more of the slow cooker juices once the meat has crisped for added flavour, just before serving! Serve in Tacos, Burritos, or in a salad!



— Becky’s Tips:


Use a slow cooker liner to make cleaning up easier.


If you prefer a spicier Carnitas, add a chopped jalapeño or chipotle pepper to the spice mixture.


You can make the Carnitas a day ahead and reheat them in the oven before serving.


Use bone-in pork shoulder or butt for a more flavorful Carnitas.


Use the leftover juices from the slow cooker to make a delicious sauce for the Carnitas.



In conclusion, Carnitas is a tasty and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any occasion. By following Becky’s tips, you can ensure that your Carnitas are tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Serve them with your favorite toppings and enjoy!




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