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+ servings
carnitas on top of mini tortillas on a white rectangular platter, garnished with lime slices.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Published by Kate
These slow cooker carnitas are perfect for a crowd, or for a hungry family. Transform the leftovers into quesadillas or burrito bowls, or freeze the extra meat for later use!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 10 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 –10 servings
Calories 325 kcal


  • 1 (4–5 lb) bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • cup orange juice
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • To serve: tortillas, chopped cilantro, chopped white onion, pico de gallo


  • Place pork shoulder and onions in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with the salt. Pour the chicken stock and orange juice around the pork shoulder. 
  • Cook on high for 4–5 hours or on low for 6–7 hours. Remove the pork shoulder and let cool for 15 minutes. Shred the meat with a fork and discard the bone. Combine the meat with the cooked onions and broil if desired (directions below), or skip to step #4. 
  • (Optional) Preheat oven to broil. Place the shredded pork and onions on a sheet pan. Broil for 3–4 minutes, or until the pork begins to get crispy. 
  • Serve the shredded pork and onions on tortillas with chopped cilantro, chopped white onion, and/or pico de gallo.


Reheat any leftover carnitas by following the optional step of broiling them until crispy/warm.
Here's how to make your own pico de gallo: combine two finely chopped tomatoes on the vine, half of a white onion (finely chopped), a handful of fresh chopped cilantro, the juice of half a lime, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Serve immediately. 
Add even more flavor by charring tortillas on the stovetop. To do so, heat a gas burner to low, and place a tortilla directly on the stovetop grate. Keep a set of tongs handy! Let cook for 10–20 seconds, or until charred in spots. Flip and repeat. 
Freeze leftovers in a freezer safe dish or resealable freezer bag with some of the accumulated juices. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for 24–48 hours, and reheat in the crockpot, on the stovetop, or in the microwave. Then, broil if desired. 


Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 35gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 570mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 2g
Keyword carnitas, taco night
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