Mexican Crockpot Pork Carnitas
This recipe for Mexican Crockpot Pork Carnitas is one of my favorites. It's not only super easy to make and delicious, but it's also incredibly versatile. Use the carnitas in tacos, burritos, sandwiches or as a side with some potatoes and salad. Make extra … they reheat very well!
My crockpot and I have been chumming around a lot lately. We're like old-time pals. We don't go way back (just as far as The Best Crockpot General Tso's Chicken) but we've grown rather used to having each other around.
Or, errr … I've grown rather used to having *it* around. And clearly, I need to get out more often.
I love that I can take a cheap, tough piece of meat, throw it in the pot and come back at the end of the day for dinner. Is that not the best thing ever?
These crockpot pork carnitas are crazy easy to make. You don't even need to brown the meat first. All you have to do is put the meat in the pot, squeeze in some orange and lime juice and a few other spices and press the button that says, “Start.” How easy is that?
Once the pork is tender enough to shred with two forks I like to put it under the broiler to crisp it up a little. It becomes even more flavorful, and the contrasting crispy/soft textures take it over the edge.
Could you eat it straight out of the pot? Of course! But you'd be missing out on those magical crispy bits.
So what do you do with crockpot pork carnitas?
Eat 'em! (I know, I know. That was bad.)
Here are a few ideas:
- Grab some tortillas and some crunchy slaw and call them tacos.
- Roll up a burrito.
- Load up a bun and call it a crock pot pork carnitas sandwich. Don't forget the coleslaw.
- Put it on top of nachos.
- Eat it with a side of mashed potatoes and some veggies.
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Favorite Mexican Recipes
- Spicy Mexican Rice
- Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing
- Loaded Food Truck Mexican Nacho Fries
- Lightened Up Mexican Corn Dip
- Creamy Avocado Sauce
- Baja Fish Tacos with Southern Slaw
Mexican Crockpot Pork Carnitas
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 1 large orange, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 medium onion, finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup tomato paste, about ½ a can
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ lb. pork butt, pork shoulder or boneless pork ribs (see notes)
- Combine all the ingredients, except the pork, in your crockpot and mix together well. Lay the pork on top and turn your crockpot to low. Cook on low for 8 hours.1 large orange, 1 lime, 1 medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ cup tomato paste, ¼ cup water, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 ½ lb. pork butt, pork shoulder or boneless pork ribs (see notes)
- When the pork is tender, gently shred it using 2 forks. Pull the pork against the grain to get long strips of meat. Mix the shredded pork with the sauce in the crockpot.
- Preheat your oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer the pulled pork to the prepared baking sheet and spread it out so that it's in a thin layer.
- Broil in the oven for 15-20 minutes, mixing halfway through until the pork is crispy in many spots.
- Remove from the oven and serve on sandwiches, in tacos, burritos or as a side with some potatoes and salad.
If I wanted to double the recipe, could I put all of the pork ribs in the pot? Would I still only cook for 8 hours?
Yep! 8 hours will do it!
I already had a go to pork carnitas recipe, but I stumbled upon yours while looking for something to make in the crock pot. I made it for dinner tonight and the whole family agreed that it was the best! We will be making your version from now on. Thanks! The tip about broiling the meat afterward was delicious.
This is one of my daughter’s favorites (she’s 26). When I think of Mexican pulled pork I go for cholorio. I did some combining of your old and new recipes. I’m sure that it will turn out great. What i would like to know is how/if you could do this in an Insta-pot? I am really new at insta-pot cooking so i need as much help as i can. Thanks. Look forward to sampling this and your Korean pulled pork as well.
I suspect it would work well in an Instant Pot but I haven’t tried it myself yet.
Everybody asked for the recipe.
Family favourite now ?
How many tacos or servings will this make??
I want to try it for taco Tuesday this week!
We use 4″ tortillas and there is enough meat to generously fill 16 tacos.
Both my husband and myself loved this recipe. Easy ingredients and directions. A hassle to broil it at the end….BUT so worth it, it is the cherry on top! Great flavor! This recipe is going into my recipe book/box. Thank you!
Thank you for letting us know you loved the recipe!
Will it be ok if I only cook it 6 hrs — running way late today!
I haven’t actually tried it at 6 hours, so I can’t say for sure. It may be just fine, but I would hate for the meat to still be tough!
I imagine these would be great between 2 slices of Ciabatta with some melted Colby Jack and fresh crunchy lettuce. Gosh, it’s past midnight over where I am now and I’m salivating.
Thanks for sharing this versatile recipe and the awesome photos, Kristen!
Oh heck ya it would! Such a great idea!
I can see easily why this is your favorite. It looks delicious. I love the idea of broiling it a bit after it’s cooked.
You should totally try broiling pulled meat. I’ve done it with chicken, pork and beef and it totally changes it. The crispy parts are the best. 🙂
Well I think I’ll just have to make this with chicken and we’ll call it a day 😉 Wonderful combo of spices and flavors!
Oh yes … this would be so good with chicken!!
I’m obsessed with the crock pot + Mexican + carnitas so this a winner here for me!
You’re going to love this one!