Crispy, shredded slow cooker carnitas (pulled pork) are a Mexican favorite that you can easily bring to your home. Packed with flavor from the natural juices of the slow-cooked pork and delicious seasonings such as oregano, paprika, and garlic powder, these slow cooker pork carnitas might just become your next family favorite. Enjoy over rice, potatoes, beans, or veggies, or pair with tortillas for delicious pulled pork tacos. No matter how to choose to serve them, these slow cooker pork carnitas always hit the spot.
Why You’ll Love Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Crispy, salty, roasted pork. Pork is one of the most flavorful meats out there, and when you slow cook baby back ribs (or pork shoulder), the lean, tender, and flavorful meat transforms into one of the most amazing meals you’ll ever have.
- Slow-cooked for hours. Although 6-10 hours may seem like a large time commitment for these pork carnitas, you can simply forget about them and let the slow cooker do its job. It's one of the easiest meals to throw together with basically no maintenance and minimal dishes.
- Cook it to your liking. The last step in this slow cooker pork carnitas recipe crisps up the carnitas but it is completely optional. You can opt for the easy way out and decide you’re done cooking (and end up with something mouthwatering), or you can crisp up your pork even more in the oven to finish it off. Either way, the results are delicious, tender, and melt in your mouth.
To make these delicious Mexican pulled pork tacos, you will need the following ingredients:
- pork - to get the most tender and juicy carnitas, use boneless pork shoulder or baby back ribs.
- vegetable oil - you can use any vegetable oil such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil.
- salt and pepper
- seasoning - dried oregano, paprika, and garlic powder.
- scallions - optional, for garnish.
How to Make the Best Slow Cooker Carnitas (Pulled Pork)
- Prepare the pork. Pat dry pork shoulder or ribs with paper towel completely and set aside. In a small bowl, stir well to combine oil with all the dry rub ingredients until smooth (salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, and garlic powder). Rub and spread onto pork until evenly coated.
- Slow cook. Spread chopped onions evenly inside a 6-quart slow cooker (or crockpot) and add water. Place pork on top of onions. If using ribs, you can stack them on top of each other. Cover and cook on 8-10 hours on the LOW setting or 4-6 hours on the HIGH setting until fork tender.
- Shred the pork. Shred the pork by using two forks to pull the meat apart into small bite size and discard the bones (if using ribs).
- Crisp the pork (optional). Add shredded pork along with some drippings from the slow cooker into a large frying pan. Spread evenly. Heat over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until the juices evaporate and pork turns nicely brown and crispy.
- Serve. Garnish with scallions and serve with Cilantro Lime Rice or Pulled Pork Tacos.
Serving and Storing
- How to serve: Serve pork carnitas with White Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice and refried, pinto, or black beans, or roasted vegetables such as potatoes, broccoli, and carrots. You can also add them to tortillas to make Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos.
- How to store: Store leftover slow cooker pork carnitas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep in mind that raw pork is best cooked fresh and will only last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- How to freeze: Freeze carnitas in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- How to reheat: You can reheat leftover pork carnitas in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add some juices if you want to stop the meat from drying out or leave uncovered if you want to crisp up the pork.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
- Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs
- Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
- Crockpot Beef Chili
- Slow Cooker Bone Broth
- Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
- Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb
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