Crispy Pork Carnitas- (Mexican Slow Cooker Pull Pork)

Crispy Pork Carnitas- (Mexican Slow Cooker Pull Pork) are the best of the best from the Mexican cuisine.

Perfectly season pork slowly cooked to perfection -juicy on the inside and crispy and golden on the edges.

This carnitas are made with only few natural ingredients and are the closes version that you get on the streets of Mexico. These Carnitas can be made in slow cooker, pressure cooker or in the oven.

Nothing beats tender, juicy pork cooked slowly for hours until it’s fall apart tender and so flavorful you can barely handle it and then crisp to golden perfection!

Well maybe it gets better when you stuffed this pull pork perfection in a corn tortilla and filled with your favorite condiments.

You will ask what is Carnitas? -well the short version is Mexican style pull pork!

Carnitas is one of the best Mexican dishes you can fine on the streets as soon as you land in Mexico.

Carnitas, literally meaning “little meats”, is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated in the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender.

I love Carnitas from the very first moment I try them on one of the trips to Mexico. Since then they became my favorite, a specialty, I ‘ve been perfecting for a very long time. And let me tell you something I became obsess with these Carnitas.

You’re in for a real treat if you haven’t tried Carnitas yet.

Carnitas are so versatile, you can fill any burrito, taco, quesadilla or use them as a topping for Nachos! Serve with your favorite toppings such as onion, cilantro, corn typically seen on the streets of Mexico. You can add Guacamole or your favorite Salsa.

How to make Pork Carnitas?

This recipe its being tested over the years. I believe this one is the perfect recipe and it’s super easy to make. Also its a crowd pleaser. You can make it the day before and re-heated and taste amazing as well, its also perfect to freeze and re heated when the time comes.


  • Using the right type of cut of meat is essential- for ultimate juicy pulled pork full of flavor, you can’t beat pork shoulder, aka pork butt or Boston butt. I like to use skinless and boneless so you can rub well the carnitas seasoning.
  • Flavor the meat – by using fresh squeeze orange juice ( that is the secret ingredient) and lime juice, you are not just adding flavor, but also tenderizing the meat. All the seasoning, the juice and flavor from the citruses and the juice from the meat slowly cooking for hour makes the meat incredibly tender, juicy and finger licking delicious.
  • Slow cook- by cooking it for a 8-10 hours in a slow cooker until fowling apart you have tender and juicy meat infused with incredible flavor
  • Pan seared – by pan searing the meat you are not just making it crispy and delicious but you are adding more flavor. Also adding some of the braising liquid is making the meat more juicy and tender and at the same time crispy.
  • I like to skim the fat on top of the braising liquid and use it when I am crisping the meat in the pan, it gives so much impact on the meat.


  •  Made with easy to find natural ingredients
  • Quick 5 minute preparation
  • Perfect freezer food – reheats 100% perfectly
  • Carnitas are so versatile-you can add it to everything you like, make a taco, burrito or quesadilla
  • Excellent food for big parties and gatherings 

What to serve with Pork Carnitas?

Despite my love of Crispy pork Carnitas Tacos and tendency to favor them, you can serve the Pork Carnitas with absolutely everything. You can serve with Mexican Rice, quesadillas, Burritos, Enchiladas or just it self. Top with some fresh cilantro, fry corn, and some chopped onions and you are in heaven.

Crispy Pork Carnitas

Perfectly season pork slowly cooked to perfection -juicy on the inside and crispy and golden on the edges.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 358 kcal


Kitchen Tongs
Storage containers


For the Carnitas

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder - Without the bone
  • 6-8 garlic - Cloves
  • 1 yellow Onion
  • 2 oranges - juice from the orange
  • 1 lime - juice from the lime
  • 1 jalapeno - chopped
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsp. salt - or to taste
  • 1-11/2 tbsp. black pepper - or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil - or lard

For the Rub


  • Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. With the help of a sharp knife make a 6-8 pokes with the knife. In this little pockets you made, stuffed the garlic cloves in side.
  • Drizzle 1 tsp. vegetable oil or rub lard on the meat. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
  • Combine all the Rub ingredients then rub all over the pork. Place the pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with the onion and jalapeño and squeeze over the juice of the oranges and the lime.
  • Slow Cook on low for 8- 10 hours or on high for 8 hours. 
  • Pork should should be tender enough to shred. Remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred the meat by using two forks.
  • Skim off the fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and put it a side ( you will use it later) or discard it- its optional.
  • If you have a lot more than 2 cups of juice, then reduce it down to about 2 cups and use it to flavor the pork or just freeze it for later use. I like to make a nice sauce from the dripping and keep it in the freezer.
  • To crisp the pork :
    Heat 1 tbsp. of the fat we skim earlier or 1 tbsp. of oil in a large non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over high heat. Spread pork in the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side – you don't want to make it brown all over because then it's too crispy, need tender juicy bits.
  • Repeat the process. it is very important to cook the meat on batches and not to over crowd the pan. We are looking for crispy and golden bits on the pork.
  • Serve with your favorite fixings!


Calories: 358 kcalCarbohydrates: 14 gProtein: 38 gFat: 17 gSaturated Fat: 5 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 124 mgSodium: 2536 mgPotassium: 875 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 5 gVitamin A: 215 IUVitamin C: 34 mgCalcium: 114 mgIron: 6 mg
Keyword Carnitas, Taco Carnitas
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 Best way to store:

Shred the pork but don’t pan fry. Keep pork and juice separate, refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Storing leftovers after pan frying- the meat tends to lose juiciness when it cools down. To bring the Carnitas back to live add some of the leftover juice, cover the plate with foil and reheated.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating