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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Crispy pork carnitas are fabulous enough for a nourishing snack, though they are equally exciting for dinner – all you need is time and patience to let them simmer with spices, orange and lime juice in the slow cooker. While you are at work, dinner can slowly, but surely, be simmering away. All that is left to do when you get home is to shred the pork shoulder and place in a hot oven for 10 to 12 minutes to slightly char and crisp the wonderful bites of meat. You might also want to make some cauliflower tortillas to brighten up your day. Giving you room to choose your toppings: salsa, Paleo sour cream and guacamole are optional, and all are highly recommended.

Traditionally cooked in lard, pork carnitas are famous for being braised and then fried. They are ultimately, and deliciously, tender and crispy. Who doesn’t love that? With a fattier cut of meat you can skip stirring in additional lard, and let the roast simmer in its own juices. You can use pork shoulder or pork butt, both of which come from the shoulder blade of the hog, both being equally wonderful for braising and roasting. The Boston butt (most commonly used for pulled pork) comes from above the shoulder blade and has juicy, marbled fat. Go with that cut, and you will not be disappointed.

Enjoy a frozen coconut limeade on the side, and you will be transported to another place in another time.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe

Serves: 6Prep: 20 minCook: 8 h

Protein: 70g / %

Carbs: 8g / %

Fat: 65g / %

Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.


  • 4 to 5 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pork Preparation


  1. In a bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Rub the pork shoulder evenly with the spice mixture.
  3. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the garlic, onion, and jalapeno.
  4. In another bowl whisk together the tomato paste, orange juice and lime juice.
  5. Pour the sauce over the pork, cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Once the pork is cooked through, shred the pork using a fork and place back in the slow cooker mixing it with all the juices from the cooking process.
  7. Grill the shredded pork on a preheated grill, or in the oven at the 475 F for 10 to 12 minutes, to get a nice charred texture.
Photo of Ashley Noël

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