These slow cooker pork carnitas are tender, juicy and full of flavor – ideal for serving in warm corn tortillas for taco night!
My greatest wish has come true: I produced a child who not only loves tacos more than I do but requests them regularly!! Considering my husband doesn’t enjoy Mexican food of any sort, this is a huge miracle for this taco-loving mama.
We love ordering pork carnitas when we go out for Mexican food so I decided to try making them at home using my favorite time saver: my trusty slow cooker. Since the slow cooker is not traditionally used, I have a few secrets for mimicking the traditional Mexican carnitas recipe at home.
Pork shoulder is extremely versatile, affordable and flavorful. Since it is marbled with fat, it is naturally quite delicious so there isn’t too much that needs to be done to it. I like to sprinkle it with garlic, oregano and cumin then pour in a little fresh orange juice for sweetness, Nature’s Intent Apple Cider Vinegar for acidity and lime juice for tartness.
Traditionally, pork carnitas are cooked in lard which results in deep fried, crunchy, meaty goodness. Since I’m not looking to pack on the pounds, I found a healthy cheat: I simply scatter the meat on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler until crispy for 2 or 3 minutes.
The end result? Perfectly tender pork carnitas with that signature crunchy texture at the end. Stuff them in warmed corn tortillas or serve over rice, on a salad or in soup. The options are endless!
Your fork is waiting.
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 orange juiced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Nature's Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- warmed corn tortillas optional to serve
- Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and oregano. Top with orange juice, lime juice and apple cider vinegar. Cook on High for 4 Hours or Low for 8 Hours.
- When you're ready to serve the pork, carefully shred the pork using two forks. Turn your broiler on High and place the shredded pork on a large baking sheet. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until pork ends get nice and crispy. You can broil a bit more depending on how crispy you like your carnitas. Serve warm over rice or in corn tortillas.
Photography by Alejandro Photography // Recipe by The Lemon Bowl
Disclosure: Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar has compensated me for my time to create this recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.
Check out more healthy Mexican recipes on my Pinterest board!