Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas (Video!)

These are the BEST Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork) you will ever try! Or so say all the reviews! 

Your search for the Best Pork Carnitas Recipe stops here.  These Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas are super juicy, easy and so much more flavorful than other versions complete with glorious caramelized crispy burnt ends!  They are great for large crowds or make ahead meals and makes the best tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, etc.  

Pork Carnitas Recipe Video

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas on a plate  garnished with cilantro

Pork Carnitas Recipe

Pork Carnitas!!!  Whenever Patrick and I frequent Mexican restaurants here in San Diego (or more accurately hole in the wall joints – the best), one of us usually ends up with Pork Carnitas Street Tacos.  The crazy tender juicy pork shoulder with addictively crispy edges is hard to beat.  And now we can all devour them at home!

Carnitas are more mild in flavor than my intensely flavored Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef, which make them incredibly versatile for anything and everything you want to make with them and pair fabulously with my Homemade Salsa Recipe, Salsa Verde and Pico de Gallo!  

They also make a fabulous base if you want to “get saucy” and stir in some enchilada sauce, salsa and a touch of brown sugar at the end of cooking.  But more than likely, you are going to want to devour these Crockpot Carnitas just. the. way. they. are.

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE:

  • FLAVOR.  Onions, garlic, jalapenos, oregano, orange juice, lime juice, liquid smoke slow cook together to create layers complex flavor that envelop every nook and cranny of your tender, juicy shredded pork.
  • EASY.  The slow cooker does most of the work! Sear the pork, apply the wet rub then let the pork cook low and slow until fall apart tender. And the you get to employ my EASY, hands-off method of roasting the carnitas in the oven!
  • PANTRY FRIENDLY.  If you’re craving some authentic-tasting carnitas, this recipe is just the ticket.  The ingredients are easy to find at most grocery stores so you an keep them stocked and ready to go.
  • PREP AHEAD FRIENDLY.  This carnitas recipe reheats beautifully so you can make some on Sunday and be grateful for leftovers all week long. 
  • VERSATILE.  Remember those leftovers?  You can reinvent pork carnitas every time you serve them for the perfect impromptu meal loaded with flavor.  Carnitas are fabulous just with rice, beans and lettuce or wrapped in tortillas, burritos, tacos, flautas or piled on tostadas, tortas or nachos.  It’s seriously delicious every way you serve it! 
  • FREEZER FRIENDLY.  Whether you want to prep ahead or stash leftovers, carnitas freezes beautifully.  Now, just grab some from the freezer for quick and easy lunches or dinners throughout the week.
plate of pork carnitas with fork sticking out from middle

What Are Carnitas? 

While Carnitas are traditionally made by simmering large chunks of seasoned pork in hot lard on the stove top, then coarsely chopping to achieve the name Carnitas (translated as “little meats”), virtually the same result can be achieved in the slow cooker then baking and broiling the meat once shredded to achieve the crunchy bits. 

Some might call this method blasphemy, but I call it easy, smart, healthier, and absolutely scrumdiddlyumptious.  Your family and friends will thank you for making this slow cooker pork carnitas recipe again and again – think easy taco bar!

Pork Carnitas Ingredients

The ingredients list in the recipe card below may look lengthy, but that’s just because there are so many flavorful spices in this dish! In reality, you don’t need much to make Crockpot pork carnitas.

  • Pork butt/shoulder: You’ll want to use 4-5 pounds pork butt or pork shoulder. Both come from the front of the pig (not the rear). If you have a choice between pork butt and pork shoulder, use pork butt, often called Boston butt. It is named after the barrels (butts) pork used to be stored in around the time of the Revolutionary War. Pork butt has more fat marbling throughout the meat so it emerges more fall-apart-tender. Be sure to trim off any excess fat.
  • Vegetable oil: You need a drizzle of high smoking point oil in the hot skillet to properly sear the meat.
  • Orange juice: Use freshly squeezed orange juice if possible. Otherwise, buy a good quality bottled brand.
  • Lime juice: Adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat. Freshly squeezed is best.
  • Liquid smoke: Liquid Smoke can be found next to the barbecue sauces in your grocery store and adds a wonderfully smoky flavor.
  • Bay leaves: Adds a lovely depth of flavor to the pork.
  • Onion: Any variety will work here.
  • Jalapeño: Remove the veins and seeds so the Mexican pulled pork doesn’t end up being super spicy.
  • Tomato paste: This is the backbone of the wet spice rub.
  • Soy sauce: I recommend buying reduced sodium soy sauce so you can control the amount of salt in this dish.
  • Brown sugar: You need a little sugar to balance out the spicy, smoky flavors in the wet spice rub.
  • Dried herbs and spices: This slow cooker carnitas recipe is packed with spices. Use good-quality spices, and give them a sniff first to make sure they’re fragrant (this means they’re fresh and still good for cooking).
showing how to make pork carnitas by shredding pork in slow cooker insert

How to Make Carnitas

To make these restaurant-quality Mexican pulled pork carnitas, you first sear the pork to seal in the juices, and caramelize the sugars in the meat.  I also like to leave my pork in one large piece instead of chopping it smaller because the inside of the meat stays extra moist — not to mention it’s much easier to sear!

Next, (once cool enough to handle), massage it with a wet spice rub of hand picked Mexican spices as well as tomato paste, soy sauce and brown sugar. This wet spice rub really sets this carnitas recipe apart from other versions as it infuses the meat with flavor (but not too much flavor), so it is eat-plain-delectable. 

Now it might seem a little counter intuitive to rub the meat with the Spice Rub after you sear it, but because this rub contains brown sugar, it can easily burn and blacken when seared. The spices will still penetrate the meat, as it simmers in the bath of orange juice, lime juice, onions, garlic, jalapeños and liquid smoke for truly glorious slow cooker pork carnitas.  The aforementioned liquid smoke also adds an undeniably smoky flavor that makes these Carnitas taste truly authentic.

After your meat has cooked on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 5-6 hours, it’s time get those edges nice and crispy!  Please don’t skip this step otherwise you just have slow cooker Mexican pork, but NOT pork carnitas!

Mexican carnitas meat on sheet pan with wooden spoon showing  how to  make crispy

How to Get Crispy Carnitas the Easy Way

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to getting the edges crispy.  Some people fry up their shredded pork on the stove, which, while delicious, is more labor intensive and takes way too many batches for so much pork. 

I prefer the oven method.  Simply line 2 baking sheets with foil, spread out your shredded pork, drizzle with some of the leftover seasoned slow cooking juices that are bursting with flavor and bake for 20 minutes. 

At this point, your pork will start to crisp up in a few places but to finish it off, broil it to desired crispiness for an extra 5-10 minutes then drizzle with more scrumptious juices so it’s crispy AND juicy.

Pile your slow cooker carnitas high…

And either wrap in a warm tortilla smothered with your favorite toppings or pack on a plate with or stuff in ridiculously delicious Cheesy BBQ Pork Taquitos and savor the beauty of Carnitas without standing in front of a stove all day.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Tips for Making the Best Carnitas

  • Cook until tender, but not fall apart tender.  When your pork is tender enough to shred into chunks but not fall apart tender, shred it into larger sections in the slow cooker and continue to cook on LOW for 20 minutes until it is practically fall apart fork tender.  This allows the flavorful slow cooker contents to seep into every pork crevice without it becoming overcooked. 
  • Add some spice. This Crockpot carnitas recipe is flavorful but not spicy when you use ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder. If you know you like a kick, then use 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • Sear the meat. When searing, the pork will naturally release from the pan once it’s properly seared. If it’s sticking to the bottom of the pan, it is most likely needs more time. It will take 2-5 minutes per side (longer if using a nonstick pan).

Carnitas Variations to Try

  • Add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Instead of a jalapeño, add a canned chipotle pepper for some added spice and extra smokiness. Be careful, chipotle peppers are much more potent than jalapeños!
  • Make it saucy. For a saucy version, instead of broiling the pork, drain off excess juices then add: ½ cup enchilada sauce, ¼ cup salsa, 4 oz. green chilies, and brown sugar and hot sauce to taste.
  • Add toppings. Pork carnitas can be piled high with any number of toppings. My favorites are Restaurant-Style Salsa, Salsa Verde, and Guacamole!
close up of wooden spoon scooping out portion of pork carnitas to  show how  crispy they are

HOW DO YOU SERVE Carnitas?

The ways to serve carnitas are endless from serving with rice and beans, to piled in tacos or in salads or even on pizza! Here are just a few ideas – but don’t let this limit your imagination:

Mexican Favorites:

  • Carnitas Tacos:  warm tortillas then layer with carnitas, black or pinto beans, and desired toppings such as lettuce, onions, cilantro, homemade guacamole, cotija cheese, and sour cream. 
  • Baked Carnitas Tacos: line a 9×13 baking dish with hard taco shells and fill each shell with 2 tablespoons refried beans (optional), followed by pork carnitas and cheese (like this recipe). Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.  Top carnitas tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.
  • Carnitas Taco Salad:  pile carnitas over a bed of chopped Romaine lettuce. Add bell peppers, black beans, cucumbers, pepitas, olives, etc. and top with crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips.  Serve with Tomatillo Avocado Ranch or Cilantro Lime Dressing.
  • Carnitas Burritos: layer a burrito size tortilla with cilantro lime rice or Mexican Rice, black or pinto beans, cheese, carnitas, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce.  Serve with additional sour cream and either pico de gallo or salsa. You can also add French fries like in this California Burrito recipe.
  • Smothered/Wet Carnitas Burritos:  preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Prepare burritos by layering each burrito size tortilla down the center with ¼ cup rice, ¼ cup black beans (if using refried beans, layer first), 1 tablespoon sour cream, ⅓ cup carnitas, and desired amount of cheese then roll up burrito style. Place burritos on prepared foil and lightly brush tops and sides with olive oil (or spray with nonstick cooking spray). Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden then remove from oven. Fold sides of foil up around burritos (to keep sauce from escaping) and evenly pour red or green enchilada sauce over burritos then evenly top with one cup cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Carnitas Burrito Bowls: layer cilantro lime rice with cheese, black beans or pinto beans, carnitas, chopped lettuce, crushed tortilla chips and serve with your favorite salsa (homemade salsa. salsa verde, corn salsa, avocado corn salsa, mango salsa, pineapple salsa, pico de gallo), sour cream and guacamole. I also love adding pineapple or mango – yum!
  • Carnitas Enchiladas: take minutes to assemble once the carnitas are made! Simply swap the beef in this enchilada recipe and make sure to use my homemade enchilada sauce for the best enchiladas of your life!
  • Carnitas Quesadillas:  layer a burrito size tortilla with Mexican cheese and pork carnitas and grill until golden, cheesy perfection.  Serve with your favs of sour cream, salsa, chopped lettuce, guacamole, etc.
  • Carnitas Nachos:  pile thick restaurant style tortilla chips with cheese and beans and bake.  Top with carnitas and toppings such as jalapenos, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.
  • Carnitas Flautas/taquitos: go as simple as filling tortillas with carnitas, cheese and beans or make my BBQ Carnitas Taquitos recipe that mixes carnitas with barbecue sauce, cream cheese and cheese – SO good! Brush taquitos with olive oil and bake on a greased rack over a baking sheet at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
  • Carnitas Sopes: slather sopes with refried beans, top with carnitas then pile with lettuce, sour cream, radishes, tomatoes, avocados etc.
  • Carnitas Tostadas:  are extremely similar to sopes, just with a different base. Layer a tostada with refried beans or avocado mash, top with carnitas, lettuce, red onions, cilantro, avocados, sour cream, cotija cheese or queso fresco etc. 
  • Carnitas Tortas:  slice French-style bread in half horizontally, spread refried beans on each side, top with carnitas, cheese, avocado slices or guacamole, tomatoes slices, pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, etc. 
  • Carnitas chilaquilles: the perfect way to use up leftovers! Use this recipe as a guide along with your favorite salsa.
  • Mexican Soups: swap the shredded chicken in any of your favorite Mexican soup recipes with pork carnitas! Simply add the shredded pork at the end to warm through. Carnitas would be excellent in Tortilla Soup, Caldo de Pollo, Enchilada Soup, Fajita Soup, Taco Soup, Chipotle Black Bean Chili and even this BBQ Chili!

Non Traditional – great for leftovers!

  • Carnitas Pizza: Use this pulled pork pizza recipe as a guide and swap in carnitas for the meat.
  • Carnitas pasta:  this might sound odd, but adding carnitas to pasta is so good! Add it to salsa verde mac and cheese, cacio e pepe, ramen, etc.
  • Carnitas Baked Potatoes: poke holes in washed, dried potatoes. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender and the skin is crispy.  Slice open the potatoes, top with carnitas and cheese then place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Top with sour cream, green onions, etc.
  • Carnitas Scrambled Eggs or Omelettes: add to scrambled eggs along with pepper Jack cheese or Monterrey Jack when the eggs are almost set.
  • Carnitas Frittata: add carnitas to this scrumptious frittata recipe.
plate of mexican pulled pork with fork sticking up from middle

How to Prep Pork Carnitas in Advance

You can make this Mexican pulled pork mostly the day before if that’s easier and then you don’t have to worry about cooking times later on.

If making ahead, cook the slow cooker carnitas until it is tender enough to shred, then shred the pork into large sections. After you do this, let your slow cooker sit at room temperature for a bit so the ceramic insert can cool down. Then, cover and place ceramic insert into fridge (including both the pork and the liquid it’s sitting in). 

The next day, skim off the hardened fat from the top and heat on LOW for about 1- 1 ½ hours to heat through, then continue with the rest of the recipe as written. You can’t crisp up the carnitas in advance, as the meat loses its crispy edges over time.

How to Store Pork Carnitas

The slow cooker carnitas should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last up to 4 days.

How to Reheat Pork Carnitas

I recommend reheating any leftover Mexican pulled pork in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. This way, you don’t lose the crispness of the meat.

How to Freeze Pork Carnitas

Slow cooker carnitas makes for a great freezer meal! To freeze:

  1. Prepare the pork according to directions.
  2. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Add the meat to a large freezer bag OR portion into smaller size sandwich bags.
  4. Press bag(s) flat and squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
  5. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. To thaw, place in your fridge overnight.

What to Serve with Carnitas

Choose your favorite toppings and sides to transform these already fabulous carnitas into an epic meal!

Toppings:

Sides:

Fruit:

Dessert

Looking for More Pork Recipes?

these are the BEST Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork) I have ever tried! Super juicy, easy and so much more flavorful than other versions I've tried and the crispy burnt ends are the best! Great for large crowds and for tacos, burritos, or nachos!

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

these are the BEST Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork) I have ever tried! Super juicy, easy and so much more flavorful than other versions I've tried and the crispy burnt ends are the best! Great for large crowds and for tacos, burritos, or nachos!

Pork Carnitas Recipe (Video!)

These are the BEST Pork Carnitas (Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork) you will ever try!  Or so say all the reviews!  These Slow Cooker Carnitas are super juicy, easy and so much more flavorful than other versions complete with glorious caramelized crispy burnt ends!  They are great for large crowds or make ahead meals and makes the best tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, etc!
Servings: 8 -10 servings
Total Time: 6 hrs 15 mins
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs

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Ingredients

Wet Spice Rub

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat in a large skillet. Using tongs or 2 forks, sear pork on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer pork to cutting board until cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together all of the Wet Spice Rub ingredients in a medium bowl. When pork is cool enough, massage Wet Spice Rub evenly all over then transfer pork to slow cooker. Add orange juice, lime juice, liquid smoke, and 2 bay leaves to slow cooker. Top pork with onions and jalapeno. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours OR until pork is fall apart tender and easily shreds with a fork.
  • Remove pork from slow cooker to cutting board, shred, and add back to slow cooker and toss with juices. Cook on low for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.
  • After 20 minutes, remove pork (do NOT discard juices in slow cooker) and add shredded pork to both baking sheets in an even layer. Drizzle with some of the remaining juices (about ¼ cup) and bake for 15 minutes then broil to desired crispiness, watching closely so meat doesn’t burn (about 5-10 minutes). Drizzle with additional juices and toss.
  • Serve warm in tortillas, on rice, salad, etc. with favorite toppings.

Variation

  • This pork is a great springboard for several variations. For a saucy version, instead of broiling the pork, drain off excess juices then add (more or less to taste): ½ cup enchilada sauce, ¼ cup salsa, 4 oz. green chilies and brown sugar and hot sauce to taste.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
**Liquid Smoke can be found next to the barbecue sauces in your grocery store and adds a wonderfully smokey flavor.

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*Try using leftovers in these amazing Cheesy BBQ Pork Taquitos! 

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184 Comments

  1. LaTrice says

    I LOVE pork carnitas!!!! 🙂

    • Jen says

      I hope you love this recipe too LaTrice!!!

  2. Layne says

    it’s like you knew I had a couple pork roasts frozen in my freezer that I didn’t know what to do with! Definitely making this soon!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Layne! Me too 🙂 I hope its a new favorite!

  3. Malinda @Countryside Cravings says

    I actually haven’t made carnitas because they seem way to labor intensive but love the idea of doing it in the crock pot!! Your recipe sounds soooo flavorful and I can’t wait to try this!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Malinda, YES! these are so much easier in the slow cooker! I am excited you get to try these for the first time without all the work 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Patrick! I am excited for you to get that liquid smoke so you can make this ASAP! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  4. Alaina @ A Not So Quiet Kitchen says

    Oh my gosh I’m drooling over here!! This sounds SO good! I can’t wait to try it! I love liquid smoke, I actually just used it in a wet rub myself the other day for some chicken drumsticks and it adds the best flavor! Definitely saving this for later! 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Alaina, I am excited for you to try it! I love the idea of using liquid smoke in a wet rub – now I am excited to try that, thank you! 🙂

  5. Layne says

    finally invested in liquid smoke- who knew that stuff is only a dollar?! this was incredibly easy and versatile!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Layne! I’m so glad you got the liquid smoke – it really is key for the smoky taste in this recipe. So glad you found it easy and versatile! I am sure you did something delicious with it!

  6. Natalie says

    Made this tonight. AMAZING!!! My husband is actually the cook. However, I cook once a week or so. We both loved it. He even said it was one of the best carnitas he’s had. He requested to never loose the receipe! My husband usually will put his own twist on things….but said this doesn’t need any change! Awesome as is.

    • Jen says

      YAY!!! I always love when I get a review on a new recipe, so thank you for making my day Natalie! I am thrilled your husband thought it was one of the “best carnitas he’s had” – wahoo! I hope you find more delicious and easy recipes here to impress him with 🙂

  7. Annie says

    I absolutely love this recipe but.. I don’t have a slow cooker. Can I replace it by something?

    • Jen says

      Hi Annie! I haven’t tried another method but I would suggest cutting into several large pieces, searing it, then cooking it in the oven at 400 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until its tender. Hope this helps – let me know how it goes!

  8. Roz says

    I made this and it was so delicious. I am a huge fan. The only thing I did was substitute the orange for coke cola ( I read elsewhere someone did this).
    Will defo make this again

    • Jen says

      Awesome Roz, I am so happy you are a huge fan, yay! I use Coke instead of Orange Juice in my Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Pork and it is a delicious substitute!

  9. Natalie says

    I have fixed this twice now The first time I followed the recipe closely – I did use a pork loin instead, which left no extra “juices”. The second time, I doubled most of the ingredients (increased the oil and salt slightly but didn’t double). Also, I had forgotten to get orange juice and ,after reading that someone used Coke, I decided to substitute Sun-Drop, my husband’s drink of choice. Oh, my!!! So much flavor! I love your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Natalie, so sorry for my delayed response as I have been super behind with the holidays, but THANK YOU so much for taking the time to comment! I am thrilled you have already made this twice already and that it is such a hit! So glad that the Coke substitute works well – haven’t tried it in this recipe yet but use it in my Chipotle Pork and its definitely handy to have around! Thanks for making my recipes Natalie, I am so happy you are loving them!

  10. Stefanie Richter says

    Looks delicious! What is the white cream sauce you added? Do you have a recipe for that?

    • Jen says

      Hi Stefanie, it was a white sauce recipe of:
      3/4 cup sour cream
      1/4 cup mayonnaise
      1 tablespoon lime juice
      1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
      1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      Enjoy!

  11. Gena says

    My pork shoulder is 7.6 lbs, should I double the recipe?

    • Jen says

      Hi Gena, I would 1 1/2 the recipe -hope this helps!

  12. Corey says

    Made the carnitas for family. Better than restaurant!! Prep and timing is key but boy is it worth it!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Corey, I am so flattered this was better than any restaurant, thank you so much!

  13. Lindsey says

    Can I make this with chicken?

    • Jen says

      Hi Lindsey, I have never tried it with chicken but I don’t see why not! You might want to half the recipe as 4-5lbs chicken seems to be more than 4-5 beef for some reason 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

  14. Ramona says

    Can a pork loin be used?

    • Jen says

      Hi Ramona, I’m sorry but I don’t recommend pork loin. Its leaner so it won’t have as much flavor but more importantly it will dry out easily and not shred well. Sorry!

  15. Kara says

    YUM! This was SO GOOD!! We used the carnitas on tacos and nachos….delicious! I made a larger roast so that I would have leftovers — making your Cheesy Baked BBQ Taquitos tomorrow. I can’t wait! Thanks for always making me look like a rock star in the kitchen. 🙂

    • Jen says

      You ARE a rockstar in the kitchen! Thank you for making my recipes and taking the time to comment! I’m so happy this was a winner and your tacos, nachos and the taquitos sound so good! Love a recipe with multiple uses!

  16. Jill says

    I made this tonight it was so good! Thank you for another amazing recipe! Instead of crisping up two trays I did one and am freezing the rest for another night. Plus I still have enough leftover for taquitos tomorrow night!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Jill! I am so happy it was a hit and I am excited for you to make the taquitos too!

  17. Karen says

    This is a fantastic recipe. But true confession: the first 2 times I made it I modified it slightly and it was just ‘okay.’ That’s what happens when you read too many recipes online so I added a few add’l ingredients based on what EVERYBODY said had to be in there so it wasn’t anything special. So last week, I decided to make this recipe again and followed your recipe ingredients EXACTLY! The only modification I made was adding more jalapenos as I used TJs frozen Hatch chiles. And it turned out GREAT. When hubby and I took our first bites, he looked at me and said “well this is delicious so I hope you make it again!” Forget about freezing leftovers. We’ve been enjoying it every night! (Even our cat loves it!) So lesson learned…Jen does know best!!!

    • Jen says

      hahaha! I hear ya! It can be SO HARD not to change a recipe – I do it all the time – I even change my own recipes when I make them again 🙂 but I’m glad you loved it just the way it is written and that your husband loved it too – yay! Thanks for taking the time to comment and for trying my recipes – with or without modifications 🙂

  18. Monica says

    This was my 5th Carlsbad Craving recipe this week! They have all turned out amazing and so flavorful! I am Mexican and grew up just north of Carlsbad, so living in Southern California, carnitas is a common food. I’ve eaten this my whole life and never tasted carnitas as good as these! This was a fantastic dinner loved by my entire family! Thank you again for sharing! I’ll be printing many more of your recipes out today. 🙂

    • Jen says

      5 for 5, wahoo! That is awesome Monica, thank you! It sounds like you definitely know your Mexican food, so the fact these are the best carnitas you have ever tasted is truly mind blowing – even to myself 🙂 I am thrilled you loved this recipe so much and thank you for taking the time to comment!!

  19. Tabitha says

    I’ve made this a few times for the family already…. Let me just say, WOW. Everyone eats these carnitas up like candy. Even my picky 13 yr old son who never likes anything. He specifically requests these carnitas! That never happens. I’m about to make these again overnight for us to graze on all day tomorrow. Haha! That’s our favorite way to eat them. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! It’s pure melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so so much Tabitha! I am thrilled your entire family loves these carnitas so much, even your picky eater! Thank goodness they are versatile so maybe he can eat them in several variations :)! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and making my recipes!

  20. Anna Roscigno says

    I’ve made this twice and its the best. I make a batch on Sundays and meal prep carnita bowls for the rest of the week with your one pot cilantro lime rice with black beans and add some romaine lettuce, avocados and grated Monterey Jack cheese. Who needs chipotle? not me!

    need to work out the nutrition so i can count my macros better but plan to make this at least twice month! thank you for an awesome recipe and hope to check out others soon if I can stop making this one!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Anna! I am thrilled these carnitas have become a regular and I’m so happy you are able to meal prep with them! Your carnita bowls sound wonderful! You might also love my Slow cooker Mexican Chicken 🙂

  21. Diana says

    I’m allergic to oranges. Is there any substitution you can recommend for the OJ in order to still have liquid of some kind? Chicken broth? Tomato juice? Other?

    • Jen says

      Hi Diana! I would use chicken broth and increase the lime juice by one tablespoon. Hope this helps, enjoy!

  22. Liz says

    I am these tonight. Since there are only two of us, I plan to divide them up and freeze some for another meal. Could you let me know the best way to freeze them? I thought I would freeze the carnitas before I finish them in the oven. Also, should I divide up the juice and pour it on the carnitas before I freeze it or would you recommend freezing the juice separately and combining it later. Thanks so much for your sharing heart. You are my favorite food blogger…I have never made one of your recipes that I didn’t love!

    • Jen says

      Hi Liz, sorry I am super behind on comments- just getting over pneumonia. I know this is too late but I would have said you are right on about freezing them before you finish them in the oven. I would add the juice directly to the meat so when you freeze it so it will be all the more flavorful. Thanks for making my recipes – I am thrilled you are enjoying them! and thanks for your flattery of being your favorite food blogger – that means the world to me! xo

  23. Ciera says

    Hi! Can I do the searing and wet rub the night before than add in the rest in the morning? I don’t want to ruin anything by not following the recipe exactly. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      That should work out great Ciera, enjoy!

  24. Maria says

    Hi Jen, I made these carnitas for my family and they absolutely loved them! I want to make them again for an event and was hoping that you could share some insight on the best way to re-heat them after being frozen. I’m making two batches so I wanted to get started a bit early (the event is in two weeks). Any and all insight you have to offer is greatly appreciated! Thanks for the amazing recipe!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Maria, I’m so sorry but I got way behind on comments and I’m afraid I’m responding after your event. How did it go?!!!

  25. Noelle says

    Should the pork shoulder be bone-in or boneless?

    • Jen says

      Hi Noelle! I use boneless, enjoy! 🙂

  26. Molly says

    These were the BEST carnitas that I have ever eaten and I can’t believe how easy it was! Thank you so much. I followed the recipe exactly and also made your Cilantro Lime Rice. My oh my. Thank you!!! Huli Huli Chicken is next!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Molly and for the ultimate compliment of being the “best’ carnitas! Can’t beat easy and delicious! I’m excited for you to make the Huli Huli Chicken as well, can’t wait to hear what you think!

  27. Michelle says

    Hi, I would love to make this today…However… I have leftover cooked pork shoulder that I froze last week . The meat is cooked and shredded, with little seasoning. Can I use the ingredients you listed and reheat on the stove top?

    • Jen says

      Hi Michelle, that’s a great idea! I would use half of the marinade ingredients and all of the wet spice rub ingredients. Enjoy!

  28. Shanna says

    I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I read the ingredients for this recipe. I also am not the biggest fan of pork but I had a shoulder roast and my husband loves carnitas so I gave it a whirl. I seriously wasn’t expecting to like this meal at all but OMG- it was amazing! Definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Shanna, sorry for the delay as I am way behind after recovering from pneumonia, but I so appreciate your comment! And I so appreciate your trust in trying this recipe! I am so happy you ended up loving it! Thanks Shanna!

  29. Kelli says

    This looks so good! Have you ever frozen it before? Would I do anything different if I were to freeze it. Also your blog is the best! 🙂

    • Jen says

      You are so sweet, thank you so much Kelli! I haven’t frozen these carnitas before but I imagine they would freeze beautifully. To freeze, pour the juices over the pulled pork and store in ziploc bags. After you defrost you might want to oven broil again.

  30. Kate Menz says

    Seriously, my new favorite recipe. Thank you!!!

    • Jen says

      Awesome, so happy you loved it Kate! Thank you!

  31. Heather says

    Ay de mí! Made these tonight and they truly are the BEST ever!! So glad I went with your recipe to make carnitas Only thing I did differently was sub coconut sugar for the brown sugar. And because my roast was 8 pounds, I had to double the wet rub and other ingredients (juices etc) and cook in a low temp oven because the whole thing wouldn’t fit in my slow cooker But it turned out awesome. I love the crispy edges from using the broiler. This recipe is incredible and I’ll definitely be making again. Everyone must try this!! Thanks SO much for sharing! Love ❤️ your site

    • Jen says

      YAY! Thank you so much Heather for such an awesome comment! I am thrilled you loved this version so much and that you had success cooking it on low. Now what to do with all that extra meat….:)

  32. Jessica says

    Hi there! I don’t own a slow cooker. Would you know if I could do this in the oven? And , if so, would I have to change any of the ingredients. Thank you so much and I LOVE your blog…..so many tasty recipes that have come to my aid at dinner time.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jessica! To make in the oven: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Let cook for at 425 for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 200 degrees F and roast for 4-5 hours OR until fall apart tender (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast) then continue with recipe. Enjoy!

  33. Bunny says

    Confession: I had never had carnitas before. I was looking for something new to do with pork butt. Being in the south, we smoke and barbeque them often. It was time to change up our “Game Day” menus and I found this by chance. This recipe was absolutely delicious. We made it today and I’m interrupting college football watching to come say thank you for this wonderful recipe. It has been an absolute hit. We served with lime-cilantro rice and black beans. It will be making a return appearance. I’ll be perusing your other recipes and can’t wait to try some.

    • Jen says

      Awesome Bunny! I am thrilled it was such a hit and I love that you interrupted your football game to comment – thank you so much! I hope you have fun exploring and trying my other recipes – I highly suggest my Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs or French Dips 🙂

  34. SuperSafeway says

    Thank you so much for the amazing recipe! Had for dinner the other night and my family loved it! Shared over on Super-Safeway.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome, I’m happy it was such a hit! Thanks for sharing!

  35. Jackie says

    I love your recipes they always turn out great.
    Quick question do I put the liquid smoke in the wet rub?
    I put it in the cooking liquid as it was listed…but looking back you mention the liquid smoke in wet rub.
    Thank you for all your fantastic recipes

    • Jen says

      Hi Jackie, I am so sorry for the confusion – I just corrected it in the text. You were correct to add the liquid smoke with the rest of the liquid ingredients – enjoy!

  36. Renae says

    Which liquid smoke fo you recommend? Hickory or Mesquite?

    • Jen says

      Hi Renae, I personally like Mesquite 🙂

  37. Daryl says

    OMG! I made this last yesterday and it was awesome. My family absolutely loved it. Wife even said this is totally do over. I seared the meat the night before and put the wet rub on to let it soak into the pork overnight. When I got home from work the aroma that greeted me was mind blowing. I setup a condiment bar with Pico de Gallo, onions, cilantro, avocado, mango habanero salsa, regular hot salsa, lines, cheese & sour cream. I’m telling you this was better than a restaurant. I can’t wait to make this again. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jen says

      Yay for a “do over” recipe! I’m thrilled it was such a hit and I love your tip of searing the meat and letting the wet rub soak overnight! Your condiment bar is making me drool! Thanks so much Daryl!

  38. Debi says

    Just served this for my workmates. Everyone LOVED it. Served it with cotija cheese, cilantro, red onions, sour cream, and lime. Amazing! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Debi, I am so happy it was a hit! Your whole meal sound divine! I hope find more favorites here!

  39. Koree says

    AMAZING!! Thanks again for yet another of my family’s favorites!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Koree! I’m thrilled it was a hit!

  40. Sean says

    The wet spice mix is crying out for some puréed Chipotle’s in Adobe, otherwise , delish

    • Jen says

      That would be amazing! I kept it on the mild heat side so everyone can adjust according to taste 🙂

  41. Penny says

    BEST is a greatly overused word but these are TRULY THE BEST carnitas. As a busy mom I love recipes that are make ahead, use ingredients already on hand, make great leftovers and are kid friendly! This recipe is all that and more. I’ve made this several times to raves from my kids and hubby. I usually use a 2-3 lb pork sirloin roast (4 pack from Costco) halving wet rub recipe and doubling oj/lime/ liquid smoke to compensate for lean cut of meat and it is perfect for 4 people with some leftovers. My favorite part is getting first pick at the really crispy edges on the baking sheets before serving. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    • Jen says

      What a fabulous comment, thank you so much Penny! I’m thrilled you think this recipe truly is “the best!” – the ultimate compliment! I’m so glad you have successfully adapted it using pork sirloin roast and that its a hit with the entire fam! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  42. Gigi says

    I cooked mine overnight. Can I leave the meat to marinate more in the sauce during the day in the fridge and do the last step (crisping in oven) tonight before eating dinner?

  43. Cinthya Sequeira Sibaja says

    Hello Jen,

    I’ve noticed no salt was added. Does it need it? Thank you.

    • Jen says

      Hi, there yes, it is easy to miss: 2 tsps EACH dried oregano, SALT Enjoy!

  44. Diana says

    I made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious! Cooked it on low for 9 hours and the meat fell apart and was so tender! Will definitely make this recipe again and again!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Diana, I’m so happy you loved it!!

  45. Sam says

    This was so good!! We ended up using these as toppings for nachos, and it was perfect. Would you be able to do this in the Instant Pot??

    Another great recipe from your blog, everything on here is so good! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Sam, I am thrilled you are loving all my recipes! These sound absolutely perfect for nachos! I am sure you can make this in an instant pot but unfortunately I don’t have instructions for that yet. Sorry!

  46. Bob says

    Made this tonight for family. Absolutely fantastic. The flavors from the rub are so great. Made tacos with all the fixings and everyone loved it. Will make over and over!! Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Bob! I’m thrilled it was a hit with everyone and a new favorite! Thank you so much!

  47. Jessi says

    Incredible!! When I make it, I don’t drain it…we eat it like you would a BBQ pork sandwich….love it!

    • Jen says

      YUM! I can totally seeing that being delicious with all the extra juices! I’m going to have to try that next time!

  48. Susan says

    Jen.
    So darn yummy. I made this for quesadillas night st work. Super big hit and so many great compliments

    I also made your maple apple cider ham glaze. So great as well.

    And great directions
    Thankyou so much.
    Sue W

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Susan, thank you so much for taking thee time to comment! I always love hearing what recipes readers are making and enjoying! And quesadilla night sounds like such a fun idea!

  49. Nichole says

    Can I use pork tenderloin?

    • Jen says

      Hi Nicole, I don’t recommend pork tenderloin as it is much more lean pulled pork needs some fat to not taste excessively dry in my opinion. Sorry!

  50. Jen says

    These really are the best! I love them as is, but what was super nice about them was that my friend made them when she was on a low-fodmap diet (so she had to remove the garlic powder and onion/onion powder) and there are so many other delicious flavors going on that you could hardly tell and they were still delicious! I’ve also made them with pork tenderloin and while not AS good, they’re still pretty darn tasty. They’re awesome in a burrito bowl, in tacos, mac and cheese, and make my favorite-ever quesadillas.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Jen and I’m so glad you could make them to meat your friends needs as well! If you can believe it, I haven’t tried these carnitas in quesadillas yet, so you’ve inspired me to try that next!

  51. Cindy says

    Hi Jen! If I want to quadruple this recipe n serve it the next day can I just make one batch but in fridge when shred it then put in refrigerator when it cools down then take them all out n broil them the next day? Or how would u do it? I need it Sunday morning n would luv to just do everything except last step of broil day of. Please lmk tyty!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Cindy! If I were you, I would cook the meat until tender but don’t shred it, then refrigerate it in the juices so it stays nice and juicy. The next day, heat it LOW for about 1 hour to reheat it (you can skim off any fat that’s hardened first) and the shred it and continue with the recipe. If this doesn’t work for you then you can shred it the day before and refrigerate it in some of the juices so it doesn’t dry out and then broil as directed. I hope that helps!

      • Cindy says

        Thank you soooooo much Jen you’re so down to earth and amazing!!!!

        • Jen says

          You are so welcome! You are amazing for providing food for so many!

      • Cindy says

        Aww man I hv so many questions. So I decided to do what you said but since I will be having 4 pans since I’m making 18 pound one can I reheat in oven before I shred n if so what temperature n how long? It’ll be too hard for me to reheat in slow cooker due to time and will hv to reheat 4 separate time. Will be making this for my church lunch this Sunday can’t wait! Ty for all your help btw!!

        • Jen says

          Hi Cindy, I believe 200 degrees F is what low is in the crockpot so I would plan on that for the oven for about 2 hours. Also, I would take care when heating your oven later to 550 for the crispiness because the oven will be baking and not just broiling the top which can dry it out. You might not want to go for extra crispy without a broiler. It will be delicious just shredded. Just a thought. Good luck!!!

          • Cindy says

            Thank you amazing Jen!!!!!

  52. Cindy says

    Sorry one more question my oven doesn’t have a broiler so is it ok if I bake on lowest rack instead n what temperature?

    • Jen says

      No problem! I would bake on the middle-top rack so the oven reflects heat from the top and set to 550 degrees F. If you want it extra crispy then you can also
      heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan over high heat, add pork, drizzle with some juices, cook until the juices evaporate and the bottom is seared then flip meat and sear the other side and repeat in batches. The second method would be quite labor intensive though for all that meat!

  53. Yvonne says

    These carnitas are so great! I did have to omit the jalapeño and chipotle to appease the kiddos, but they still taste amazing. I have one question and one tip to share: I followed the liquid instructions exactly and had none left over whatsoever after tossing the shredded meat back in the slow cooker. This may have affected the end result in that I did not end up with “juicy/crispy” carnitas,, so I’m wondering whether I should double the liquids? There was no basting or drizzling possible.
    The tip I picked up on Pinterest in recent weeks and it’s a life-changer. Instead of using two forks to shred the meat (or any shred-able meat for that matter), throw the meat in a large bowl and use a hand mixer on low. I shredded 3+lbs of pork in less than 20 seconds, I kid you not.
    Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe on your blog…it’s going to be a staple in our family from here on out!

    • Jen says

      I’m so happy you loved the Carnitas Yvonne and it’s going o be a new staple! Yes you can definitely double or 1 1/2 the liquids if you didn’t have any left. Thank you also for the fabulous tip – 20 seconds?! – that is a life changer!

  54. Cassia says

    So yummy! Absolutely saving this! We love all things tacos at our house and have quite a few recipes we love, and I’m for sure adding this to the top of the list! If anyone reads the comments before you make it, I needed a quick Sunday recipe to feed our family and our friends after church and only had 15 minutes to prep before I needed to leave, so I literally tossed everything into my ceramic cast iron pot (with lid of course) and tossed it in the oven at 220 degrees (I didn’t follow the specific instructions for searing the meat and making the rub and all that – terrible, I know) and when we got home, the aroma was heaven, and we still crisped it up at the end and it was a massive win! So, if anyone is in a big hurry, tossing it all in the pot will still be fantastic!

    • Jen says

      I’m so happy this is being added to the top of the list! Thank you also for your super quick instructions – I’m thrilled it still turned out fantastic for friends and family!

  55. Rod Scott says

    I have been looking all over for an easy recipe for this Cinco-de-Mayo. I am a Wine Guide and in Culinary School. I am cooking for 200+ people on an island in the middle of Tampa Bay, Florida. I am going with this recipe and multiplying it by a million :-). I thought it would be great as carnitas tacos that I can make the night before and warm up on a BBQ griddle on the island? I will follow up with comments after this weekend. Wish me luck!

    Rod
    http://www.CRSwines.com

    • Jen says

      Hi Rod, your job sounds super interesting! And that is a huge task cooking for 200+ people – I hope you get some help! I love the idea of warming it on a bbq griddle, I think it will give it an extra layer of great flavor! Best of luck, I hope you have a very happy Cinco de Mayo!

  56. Kristine says

    This pork carnita recipe has become a staple in my home. Very full of delicious flavors.

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that Kristine, thank you!

  57. Dorothy says

    Literally the best recipe I’ve ever found on Pinterest. So delicious and fun to make. And EVERY step makes it even better – as I had to insist to the hubs as it was so good right out of the crockpot he wanted to know why he couldn’t just eat it already! :-). Thought I would have days of leftovers but I think it barely lasted 2…!

    • Jen says

      That is amazing Dorothy! I am honored this is the “best recipe [you’ve] found on Pinteret!” I hope you have fun exploring more of my recipes! My other Mexican Slow Cooker Recipes are also fab (in my humble opinion) 🙂 I’d suggest starting with the the beef barbacoa:)

  58. Alice says

    Holy Moley! This was incredible! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome, thank you Alice!

  59. Jen says

    Hi do you by chance have a instant pot version? Maybe same recipe more water or juice? Looks great can’t wait to try it

    • Jen says

      Hi Jen, I am late to the InstaPot bandwagon and haven’t experimented much with it yet so not yet – sorry!

  60. Ashlie Solomon says

    It looks like you use boneless pork shoulder. Would you recommend that over the bone in? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Ashlie, you can also use bone-in, but you will want to account for the weight of the bone (approx 1 pound). Enjoy!

  61. Aimee says

    I made this recipe with a beef roast, oh my so tasty!!! I love your recipes.

    • Jen says

      mmmm! I’m so happy to hear it was delish with roast – I bet it was so tender! Thanks for making my recipes, I’m so happy you’re enjoying them!

  62. Betsy G says

    I just made this 2 weeks ago for a bbq. It was fabulous!! I used a 6-lb bone-in, as it was the only cut I could find (and was on sale $0.99/lb!!). I upped the ingredients a tad to compensate for extra meat. Only thing I did not use was jalapeno as I forgot to buy one. Guests LOVED it!!

    I seared it around 10:30pm, got it in the crockpot at 11pm. Let it go 9.5 hrs and it was perfect. Shredded it, held it til party time at 5pm, then heated it oven & broiled. Turned out just like video!! I will absolutely make this one again & again!!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Betsy, you made my day! I’m thrilled this was such a hit with all your guest and is a new repeat favorite!

  63. Liz says

    Did you use a flour tortilla? Yours looks puffy. I really want to make this for my daughters birthday party.

    • Jen says

      I used flour in these pics but the carnitas are delicious with either ;).

  64. Sabrina says

    We made this tonight. It was so good and a big hit! Easy to throw together. Will definitely be making it again!

    • Jen says

      Awesome, I’m so happy these carnita were a hit, thanks Sabrina!

  65. Brandi says

    Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!!! So delicious!!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Brandi, I’m so please you loved the carnitas!

  66. Mandy says

    Hi Jen!
    I’m making this in a few days as a part of your pork taquitos recipe! However, I wanted to prep the pork earlier. When it comes to the crisping part in the oven, would you recommend waiting until the day of, or doing it immediately and then refrigerating?
    Thanks in advance, I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

    • Jen says

      Hi Mandy, I’m so sorry I’m just getting to your comment – I am swamped right now with Thanksgiving comments/questions so I’m sure my response is too late but I would have advised to do the “crispy” process the day of. I hope you liked them!

  67. Pam says

    What is the bowl of creamy sauce pictured with the pork carnitas? You have it drizzled over the pork carnita…looks so good!
    Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Pam! It’s just a mixture of sour cream, salsa, lime juice and hot sauce – no recipe, just something I throw together 😉

  68. Jamie - from Grand Rapids, MI says

    Okay. Just made this last night for a Christmas party and these are some of the best carnitas I’ve had in a while. Easy to double the recipe for a large group and didn’t need to double the time (8lb pork shoulder still took 8 hours) and it was falling apart. Don’t skip the extra step of roasting in the oven. I put it in the oven along with the tortilla shells and the timing was perfect.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for your awesome comment Jamie! I’m thrilled these are some of the best carnintas you’ve ever had! Merry Christmas!

  69. Christine Webb says

    I made this last night and I am never losing the recipe. These were easy and had awesome flavor. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Christine, I’m thrilled these carnitas are a new favorite!

  70. Lauren says

    Could I sear the pork and marinate it in the oj soy sauce mix over night and cook the next day in order to cut back on prep time?

  71. Jessi says

    I made these for dinner tonight, my family and I LOVED them!! I’m currently doing Whole30, so I subbed date paste for the brown sugar and coconut aminos for the soy sauce. Great recipe, will definitely save it and make it again!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Jessi, I’m so happy it was a winner with the whole family! Thank you for sharing how to make theme Whole30 compliant!

  72. Susan says

    Made these-so delicious! The rub was great by itself, I just happened to have all ingredients on hand. Had to use toppings I had on hand for the tacos-shredded cabbage mix, spicy Mexican salad dressing, siracha, sour cream and fresh cilantro. The meat was delicious,- moist & flavorful. Cooking aroma was great when in the crock pot, and the final crisped meat amazing! Served with some sangria and will definitely make again! Thanks for an awesome recipe! A keeper!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your awesome comment Susan! I’m thrilled you loved these carnitas so much – your entire meal sounds delicious!

  73. Heather in Ottawa says

    This is in my crockpot right now and smells amazing. The first time I made this I did it exactly as written and it was delicious! This time it’s a quarantine version as I had to substitute a few things and only use what I had on hand. I did the rub exactly as written, but for the wet ingredients I subbed orange soda for orange juice (what I had on hand), added a splash or two of apple cider vinegar, used pickled jalapenos and a little juice (again, what I had on hand) and tossed in a handful of pineapple tidbits that were languishing in the fridge from pizza night. It’s been in the crock for six hours and smells heavenly! The broth is amazing, even if I forgot to add the liquid smoke (which we actually have). So don’t worry if you don’t have everything on hand for this recipe – the seasoning is fantastic. Be brave, experiment! Can’t wait for dinner tonight!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your encouraging review Heather! Your substitutions sound delicious and I’m drooling at the addition of pineapple!

  74. Marci says

    Absolutely delicious, I couldn’t stop eating the really crispy bits off the pan. Tonight we will be making the BBQ Pork Taquitos that you featured to use up the leftover meat. I am not so sure we have 2 1/2 cups remaining though…eek.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Marci, I’m thrilled you loved them! I hope you love the taquitos as well! You can half the recipe if you don’t have enough leftovers, enjoy!

  75. Jen says

    This recipe rocks! Just the right level of spice! Definitely a new go-to for our family 🙂

    • Jen says

      I love hearing it’s a new fav, thanks Jen!

  76. Rachael Matasin says

    This is amazing i didnt use a slow cooker cooked in cast iron pot in the oven for 5hrs

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Rachel, I’m so pleased you loved it! And thanks for sharing your oven version!

  77. Libby fletcher says

    Made this tonight. Cooked 10 hrs in crockpot. 7 lb pork butt. Was delicious. Followed recipe to a tee. Served with warm tortillas coleslaw and homemade guacamole. Will definitely make this again! Thank you for the recipe.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Libby! I’m sop pleased it will be on repeat!

  78. Sheila says

    This is the most delicious recipe ever. My family devoured it. The smells were so torturous but in a good way. The flavors are fantastic. We ate them as tacos the first night and on buns for sliders the next night. All of your recipes are super! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for the awesome review Sheila! I’m so pleased this carnitas recipe was such a hit with the entire family!

  79. Jasmine says

    Making this for the second time tonight! Do you think it would be good with your avocado crema? Its either that, or I make the salsa topping that you mentioned! You’re the best!!

    • Jen says

      YES! Avocado crema is my favorite!

  80. Ashly says

    We make homemade fries and top them with nacho fixings and pork carnitas…and your carnitas recipe is the best one we’ve tried. I make it in the instant pot, with pineapple juice making my one cup of liquid. 55 minutes on high with 15 NR…perfectly shredded pork. And of course, we like it crispy. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Jen says

      Mmmmmm, I am drooling over your carnitas fries! I’m so pleased this recipe is your favorite! Thanks for sharing the IP instructions, I’m sure many readers will find that helpful.

    • Kim Lohberg says

      Do you cut the meat up into large chunks when you use your IP or leave it whole? Besides using the 1 C Pineapple juice – did you make any other changes to make this in the IP? Thanks!

      • Ashley says

        I do cut it up, big chunks..and the time I use is for my high altitude(7k ft) and I’m reducing it to about 50min. I think that’s the only change I’ve made, because I always have pineapple juice in the house and whatever ratio to make 1cup liquid.

        • Kim Lohberg says

          Thank you so much! I’m making this today! Thanks for the tips!

  81. Alexis R says

    I am in LOVE with your slow cooker Pork Carnitas recipe!!! I have used it over a handful of times now and I have guests RAVING over it! I feel like a true chef when I make it! Thank you for this amazing recipe

    • Jen says

      You are a true chef now that you’ve mastered them! Thank you so much for making my day Alexis!

  82. Sara says

    This looks amazing. Trying this recipe tomorrow! By any chance, do you have nutrition facts on this recipe? Or just carb count?

  83. MARY TOGNAZZINI says

    WOULD THIS WORK IN A COOKING BAG? PORK IS A FAVORITE,

  84. Tess says

    This has been my go-to recipe for carnitas for the last few years. We love it for street tacos or sheet pan nachos. I never have liquid smoke and it still always turns out delicious.

    • Jen says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Tess, I love hearing this recipe is on repeat!

  85. Noor says

    Can you use pork shoulder?

    • Jen says

      Yes, pork “butt” is actually pork shoulder. I know it is confusing 😉

  86. Trish says

    This is sooooo GOOD!

    If I’m talking about a recipe to my husband and I tell him it’s one of yours, he tell me this is CARLSBAD CRAVING….it’s always GOOD! He say, make it! This is the ONLY recipe that he LOVE in the slow cooker! The only thing that I do different is that I prep the meat like you but I do this the day before our supper!

    We just eat it again for supper and AGAIN it was a BIG HIT! Thank you soooo much for sharing this recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Trish, I’m so pleased these carnitas were another hit! I’m honored to be a household name :)!

  87. Nikki says

    These are a new go-to at our house! The first time I made these, my husband said “this is so good” at least 5 times. I like them on a street taco sized tortilla with guacamole and salsa verde.

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that, thank you so much Nikki! I’m so pleased they will be on repeat!

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