(The Best) Slow-Cooker Carnitas

(The Best) Slow-Cooker Carnitas

Every where my partner and I travel we have to try the local taco truck. Can you guess our favorite thing to get to try? You guessed it- the Carnitas!

At the beginning of the pandemic I began a mission to make the best food-truck style tacos at home. After many, many trials and errors, I’ve finally got it down to a science.

The Best Slow Cooker Carnitas – and with the Crock-Pot doing 90% of the work for you, these are both the best and the easiest make at home Carnitas for all of your taco needs.

  • Servings– 10-12 cups
  • Total Time– 12 hours
Carnitas- Must Love Garlic

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Ingredients:

  • Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder– be sure to get a cut that is bone-in and still has the fat cap. This will help keep the meat moist and create a deeper, richer flavor.
  • Red onion– diced.
  • Jalapenos– sliced. If you would like less heat, remove seeds.
  • Garlic– minced.
  • Orange Juice– the acidity of the oranges help tenderize the meat and adds a nice subtle citrus flavor.
  • Good Citrus Wheat Beer– cooking meat in beer helps tenderize the meat and also adds a nice robust flavor. I like looking for a local craft citrus wheat beer or Blue Moon.
  • Seasoning Rub– salt, olive oil, ground pepper, oregano, cumin

Carnitas Serving Ideas:

  • Tacos! This is the most common way, and as we say around here- tacos are never a bad idea.
  • As a salad. I love mixing carnitas with some lettuce, avocado, and salsa. It’s simple and oh-so delicious.
  • Cuban Benedicts
  • Queso Fundido topping
  • As a pizza topping

These are just a few ideas, but the options are endless. Get creative!

Carnitas- Must Love Garlic

Equipment Needed:

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How to Make Slow-Cooker Carnitas:

  • Season Pork with Rub: Pat pork roast dry with paper towels. Rub roast with 4 tsp salt. In a small mixing bowl mix olive oil, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Rub mixture into all side of pork roast.

  • Set Crock-Pot: Place roast into Crock-Pot with fat cap facing up. Top roast with diced onions, sliced jalapenos, minced garlic, wheat beer, and orange juice. The roast should be mostly submerged but it’s ok if the fat cap isn’t fully under liquid. Set Crock-Pot to low for 10-12 hours.

  • Rest & Shred: Once roast is done, use tongs to gently remove it from Crock-Pot and let it rest undisturbed for 5 minutes. (Do not discard juices, you’ll need them for the best bit!) Pull the bone from roast, then using two forks, shred the roast.

  • Crisp Meat: Now for what really makes these special, the crisping! Heat a large skillet on high. Once hot, spread some of shredded roast in a single layer in the skillet. You’ll need to do this in batches. Top shredded meat with 1/2 cup of Crock-Pot liquid and fry for 4 minutes undisturbed. After four minutes, the juice should be evaporated and the bottoms of the meat brown and crisp. Turn shreds and lightly sear other side for 1 minute. Repeat with remaining shreds.
Carnitas- Must Love Garlic

Leftovers:

  • Store– crispy carnitas can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Store meat and crock-pot liquid separately. If you would like to freeze carnitas, add them to a freezer bag before crisping. Push the air out of the bag and seal. They will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Once ready to cook, let carnitas thaw completely before crisping.
  • Reheat-carnitas can be reheated in the microwave or skillet. To reheat in the microwave, add carnitas to a microwave safe plate and heat on high for 1 minutes. Add time in 30 second intervals if needed. To reheat in a skillet, add carnitas and a splash of cooking liquid to pan over medium-high heat, cover with lid, and steam stirring occasionally until warmed through.

More Mexican-Style Recipes You Will Love:

  • Queso & Rice Stuffed Poblano Pepperseasy vegetarian Queso & Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers filled with fluffy Spanish rice, black beans, corn, and lots and lots of cheese.
  • Slow-Cooker Birria Tacos– pork shoulder slow cooked in a delicious chile consumé until fall-off-the-bone tender, crispy corn tortilla, and ooey gooey melty cheese.
  • Creamy Chipotle Shrimp-shrimp, bacon, and onions swimming in a creamy yet spicy chipotle sauce. It only has a few ingredients, but it is PACKED with flavor & comes together in about 20 minutes.
Crispy Carnitas with Queso Fresco & Cilantro

The Best-Slow Cooker Carnitas

Juicy, crispy pulled pork with notes of citrus and garlic. And with the Crock-Pot doing 90% of the work for you, these are both the best and the easiest make at home Carnitas for all of your taco needs
Total Time 12 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 cups

Equipment

  • Crock-Pot
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Large Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Measuring Cup- 1/2 cup

Ingredients
  

  • 4 lb pork butt roast bone-in & fat cap on
  • 1 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup jalapenos sliced
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup a good citrus wheat beer

For Rub:

  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin

Instructions
 

  • Season Pork with Rub: Pat pork roast dry with paper towels. Rub roast with 4 tsp salt. In a small mixing bowl mix olive oil, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Rub mixture into all side of pork roast.
  • Set Crock-Pot: Place roast into Crock-Pot with fat cap facing up. Top roast with diced onions, sliced jalepenos, minced garlic, wheat beer, and orange juice. The roast should be mostly submerged but it’s ok if the fat cap isn’t fully under liquid. Set Crock-Pot to low for 10-12 hours.
  • Rest & Shred: Once roast is done, use tongs to gently remove it from Crock-Pot and let it rest undisturbed for 5 minutes. (Do not discard juices, you’ll need them for the best bit!) Pull the bone from roast, then using two forks, shred the roast.
  • Crisp Meat: Now for what really makes these special, the crisping! Heat a large skillet on high. Once hot, spread some of shredded roast in a single layer in the skillet. You’ll need to do this in batches. Top shredded meat with 1/2 cup of Crock-Pot liquid and fry for 4 minutes undisturbed. After four minutes, the juice should be evaporated and the bottoms of the meat brown and crisp. Turn shreds and lightly sear other side for 1 minute. Repeat with remaining shreds
Keyword carnitas, crock pot carnitas, pork, pulled pork, slow cooker carnitas, tacos

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