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Carnitas Tacos lined up and topped with fresh cilantro, and diced red onion, lime wedges on the side.
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5 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas Tacos

This crispy Pork Carnitas recipe is easy to make in a slow cooker, and delivers perfect flavorful, tender pulled pork. Perfect for using in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, tostadas and more!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 5 mins
Course: main dish
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Servings: 6
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Serene

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 1 white onion quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 oranges juiced
  • 1 jalapeno membranes and seeds removed

Instructions

  • Prepare Dry Rub: In a small bowl combine the cumin, chipotle powder, salt, oregano, and black pepper, stir to combine.
  • Prepare Meat: Cut the roast into 2-3 inch chunks.
  • Rub down the pork roast with the seasoning. Place the roast into the slow cooker.
  • Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker: Add the quartered onion, minced garlic, sliced jalapenos, and orange juice.
  • Cook: LOW heat for 6-8 hours.
  • Shred: Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred. Save the juices from cooking the meat. (I like to save the juices in a sealed plastic container, I use it when crisping the meat, and also save it for helping to reheat any leftovers)
  • Broil: Preheat the broiler in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Spread the shredded meat onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with the leftover juices from cooking the meat.
  • Broil until bits of the meat begin to crisp and caramelize, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the broiler.

Video

Notes

  • Pork Shoulder: This cut is also referred to as a “pork butt”. There is no need to have a bone in for this recipe. If needed this recipe can be made with other cuts of pork such as pork loin, 
  • Oranges: grab organic or clean the oranges well since we will be using the juice and also tossing the entire orange into our slow cooker for flavoring. 
  • Jalapeno: the recipe calls for the seeds and membranes to be removed, if you would prefer to have a little heat to the meat, you can leave those in or you could grab a hotter Chile such as a Serrano if you would prefer. 
  • How Many Pounds of Pork Do I Need?- The general rule is to use 1/3-1/2 pound of pork per person when shredding the pork.
  • Cook Times Per Size: 1-3 pounds follow the recipe as stated 6-8 hours on low. 3-6 pounds 10 hours on low or 6 hours on high. 6-8 pounds 12 hours on low.  Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 190-195. BUT it will shred and fall apart perfectly once it reaches 200.
  • There is no need to remove the fat from the pork before cooking, most of the fat will cook off, and if there is excess amounts of fat it can be removed later.
  • How to make this recipe on the stovetop: follow the recipe, except place all of the ingredients, PLUS 2 cups of chicken broth,  in a large dutch oven with the lid on, cook over medium heat for about 2-3 hours, checking to stir/move the meat around periodically and to ensure the liquid hasn't cooked out. Once the meat is easily shredded, remove it to shred and then place on a large baking sheet to crisp up. 
  • How to store this meat: leftovers of this recipe hold up very well. My favorite way to keep them is to keep the meat in a sealed container in the fridge, and then I keep the liquid from cooking in another container. That way when I reheat the meat I can add more juice as needed to keep the meat juicy.
  • When storing the liquids there is no need to skim the fat out unless you want to. After chilling in the fridge it will separate and you can use it or discard it and just use the juice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 710mg | Potassium: 609mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 527IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg