Slow Cooker Carnitas

10 servings


10 minutes

active time

5 hours 16 minutes

total time


4 to 5 pounds boneless pork butt ((Boston butt, or pork shoulder))

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from about 1 large orange

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

3 cloves garlic (minced, about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 yellow onion (diced)

Flour or corn tortillas (or cooked brown rice)

Toppings of choice: chopped fresh cilantro (and feta or queso fresco, sliced avocado, sliced or diced onion, diced jalapeno)


Trim the pork of excess fat and cut into 3 to 4-inch cubes. Season the meat on all sides with salt.


In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, chipotle chile powder, cumin, oregano, chile powder, and black pepper.

Scatter the onion in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.


Add the pork on top of the onion, then pour in the orange juice mixture. With a large spoon, turn the pork pieces to combine the ingredients and coat the pork with the juices on all sides.


Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until the pork is fall-apart tender and shreds easily with a fork.


Place a rack in the upper third (but not topmost) rack of the oven and preheat the oven's broiler to high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.


With two forks, shred the pork directly in the slow cooker, discarding any large bits of remaining fat. Stir the pork in the sauce to coat it evenly, then use a slotted spoon to scoop the pork onto the prepared baking sheet (it's OK for some of the juices to come with it). Spread the pork into an even layer.


To warm the tortillas, wrap them in foil and pop them into the oven’s center rack while the pork broils. Or, you can heat the tortillas in a dry skillet on the stove.

Broil the pork for 3 to 5 minutes, until the edges of the pork begin browning and crisping up (don't walk away! It can quickly start to burn).


Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Spoon a little sauce over the top, lightly toss and stir the pork to expose unbroiled sides. Return the pan to the oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes more (the meat should become nice and crispy at its edges). Repeat once more if you'd like your pork a bit more crisp. Enjoy hot, piled into warm tortillas or over rice with toppings of choice.


Serving Size

1 (of 10)


270 kcal

Total Fat

12 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Unsaturated Fat

7 g

Trans Fat

1 g


109 mg



Total Carbohydrate

4 g

Dietary Fiber

1 g

Total Sugars

2 g


35 g

10 servings


10 minutes

active time

5 hours 16 minutes

total time
Start Cooking