Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas


The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!

Such a classic Mexican meal… made easy in the slow cooker! ย Easy to make, full of delicious citrus flavors, and perfect for burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas… just about anything!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | The Chunky Chef | The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!

If you’ve been a reader of The Chunky Chef since I started this little blog, you probably remember these carnitas. ย In case some of you missed them though… I’m re-sharing the recipe! ย Especially since it’s officially slow cooker season ๐Ÿ˜‰

Without further adieu… here’s the original post, with a few updated photos

Brought to you by your slow cooker, these pork carnitas are a breeze to make, and oh. em. gee… the flavor is so GOOD!!

Admittedly, I had never had pork carnitas before making these… you know me and pork… we have a tenuous history lol. ย But I tried the carnitas from Chipotle a few weeks ago, and wow, these blow theirs out of the water! ย If you’re at all on the fence about trying these, allow me to nudge you a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚

All you do is rub your pork with the spices, squeeze the citrus juice over the pork and toss the citrus in with the meat. ย Cover and cook for a longgggg time… I did about 12 hours. ย Try not to drool all over yourself from smelling the deliciousness all day long. ย Good luck… I think I was hungry the whole day lol. ย When you shred your pork, it will literally fall off the bone. ย Spread the pork out on a baking sheet and broil for a few minutes to get that crispy, caramelized flavor. ย You could omit this step if you want, but it really takes these carnitas over the top!

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I had a 7 lb pork shoulder (bone in), that I cut in half to fit into my slow cooker

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All rubbed with the spice mixture, drizzled with lemon and lime juice, and ready to cook all day with those lemons and limes

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I was feeling ambitious that day and I decided to make my own homemade flour tortillas ๐Ÿ™‚ ย It really wasn’t even all that ambitious, they were a lot easier than I thought they’d be! ย Just mix up the dough, separate into balls, let rest for a few minutes, roll them out, cook in a pan for a minute…. and done ๐Ÿ™‚ ย The hardest part I found was rolling the balls into circles… I have an inability to roll dough into a circle. ย So. Frustrating. ย The OCD and perfectionist part of me (which, let’s face it, is a big part), really wants that perfect circle… and. I. just. can’t. get. it! ย So alas, my rustic homemade flour tortillas have a little character ๐Ÿ™‚ ย 

Pssst… I call them rustic… that’s my way of making it okay that they’re not round lol.

You might be thinking, “why go through that effort when they sell flour tortillas for cheap at the grocery store“. ย I know I was always thinking that! ย And of course you could totally use store bought tortillas, your pork will still taste just as amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ ย But the flavor of these homemade tortillas is really sooooo much better than store bought. ย I think they’re worth a try!

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^^^ see those shapes? ย Grrrrrrr.

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Once they’re cooked, keep them in a ziploc bag so they stay pliable

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Now you need some deliciousness to put on those tortillas! ย For my carnitas I chose to top them simply, with fresh cilantro, red onion slices, diced avocado, a drizzle of sour cream, and a squirt of lime juice. ย Bright and fresh and insanely addicting!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | The Chunky Chef | The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | The Chunky Chef | The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!

Make these for your family and you’ll be a rockstar!

The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe! And they're done in the slow cooker!

I can’t take credit, this recipe is adapted from Jess over at Cooking is my Sport, and fromย The Cafe Sucrefarineย ๐Ÿ™‚

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | The Chunky Chef | The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | The Chunky Chef | The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | The Chunky Chef | The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Completely drool-worthy, and full of flavor!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 12 hrs 10 mins
Total Time: 12 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4-6 lbs . pork shoulder slightly trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 tbsp . garlic salt
  • 1 tsp . chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp . dried basil
  • 1 tsp . Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp . sweet paprika
  • 2 in oranges sliced half
  • 1 in lime sliced half

Instructions

  • Combine garlic salt, chili powder, dried oregano, dried basil, cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar, and sweet paprika.
  • Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork. Place pork in the bottom of a slow cooker (minimum of 6 quarts)*
  • Squeeze the juice from the oranges and limes over the pork. Place rinds pulp side down in slow cooker over the meat.
  • Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or until pork is tender and falling off the bone. Use a fork to pull away from bone and discard it.
  • Preheat oven broiler. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange pork in a single layer. Place underneath broiler until tips of pork are browned and slightly crisp, about 3-5 minutes. (Donโ€™t walk away from it. Keep an eye on meat to make sure it doesnโ€™t burn or become overly browned).
  • Serve finished pork in corn/flour tortillas, or over rice.

Notes

** Keep in mind that you need to trim your pork so that it fits in your slow cooker... I cut mine in half to end up with a 3.5 lb cut of meat (and I froze the other half)
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Homemade Flour Tortilas

Minimal effort with a huge flavor payout! Store-bought tortillas just can't compete with this amazing homemade version!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin comment
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 16 tortillas

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • cup โ…“ vegetable oil one third
  • 1 cup warm water

Instructions

  • Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the dough hook attached mix dry ingredients until well combined. Add oil and water with mixer running at a medium speed. Mix for 1 minute, stopping several times to scrape the sides of the bowl. After about 1 minute, or when mixture comes together and begins to form a ball, decrease mixing speed to low. Continue to mix for 1 minute or until dough is smooth.
  • Transfer from mixing bowl to a well-floured work surface. Divide dough in half, then in half again. Continue until you have 16 fairly equal portions. Form each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand as much as possible. If dough is sticky, use a bit more flour. Cover flattened balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes before proceeding.
  • After rest period, heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Roll each dough piece into a rough circle, about 6-7 inches in diameter, keep work surface and rolling pin lightly floured. Donโ€™t stack uncooked tortillas on top of each other or they will get soggy.
  • When pan is very hot, place one dough circle into pan and allow to cook about 1 minute or until bottom surface has a few pale brown spots. The uncooked surface will begin to show a few little bubbles. If tortilla is browning too fast, reduced heat a bit. If itโ€™s taking longer than a minute to see a few pale golden brown spots on underside of tortillas, increase heat a bit. Flip to other side and cook for about 30 seconds. You want the tortilla to be soft but have a few small pale golden brown spots on surface. Remove from pan with tongs and stack in a covered container or zippered bag till all tortillas are cooked. This will keep them soft and pliable.
  • Wipe out the pan in between tortillas if flour is starting to accumulate.
  • Serve warm or allow to cool for later use. When ready to use, place a slightly damp paper towel in the bottom of a container (with a cover) that will hold the stacked tortillas. Microwave, uncovered for 15-25 seconds (start with 15) or until warm, then cover to hold heat while serving.
  • The tortillas will keep well stored in an airtight container or zippered bag at at room temperature for 24 hours or can be frozen indefinitely. To freeze, separate tortillas with parchment paper or waxed paper and place in a ziploc bag before placing in freezer.
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54 comments on “Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas”

  1. These look AMAZING Amanda!! I love carnitas! ๐Ÿ™‚ love the tortillas too… I hate store bought Tortillas now! There’s something about homemade tortillas that taste heaps better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. There’s nothing quite like homemade tortillas! So yummy! And I love that you cook the pork with the limes and lemons.

  3. Yum yum yum!Thesecarnitas look so fresh and colorful! I love me a good slow cooker recipe and this one I am for sure keeping and trying out!

  4. i want those tortillas. I’ve been on the look out for a good recipe for awhile – yours look perfect. I love the simplicity of the pork topping too – it looks colourful, juicy and so tempting. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I don’t have a slow cooker but I bet these will come out great from my cast iron dutch oven. I’m doing it !

  6. I make this plain regularly especially when our family is going different directions. Teens, you know. But I am going to spice it up this way next time. It will be even better! My girls will love it IF I do make fresh tortillas. They miss them from when we lived overseas and homemade was the only way. Linda visiting from FoodieDIY.

  7. Gorgeous!!! I love the versatility of these! And that you can freeze them!!! Awesome! And your photos are just getting better and better!

  8. Mouthwatering!!! Could you send me some please? ๐Ÿ˜€
    Hope you’re enjoying FF party!

  9. Slow cookers are the best! This pork looks awesome!

  10. We love pork carnitas at our house. All the citrus and tender pork…yum!! I love that you made your own tortillas as well, so much better!

  11. Smelling this for 12 hours would make me go crazy. It always does and I sneak some pieces too early. I’ve gotten food poisoning twice that way. Haha. So I have to make stuff like this overnight. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And those homemade tortillas! Sooo good!

  12. While I’d happily eat this any night of the week, this would be perfect for the Super Bowl!

  13. Thanks for sharing! This sounds AMAZING!!

  14. I LOVE pork carnitas! Seriously one of my favorite meals, especially when we have company over. A little goes a long way! I am sooo trying your tortillas too! YUM!

  15. Really beautiful! I love easy recipes and even better, easy and delicious recipes! Cannot wait to give these a try!

  16. this looks absolutely delicious !! Happy new year ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Such a busy time, I’m only just getting around to reading the Fiesta Friday entries. This recipe looks amazaing and I think your homemade tortillas are perfect! They look homemade, as they should.

  18. Love carnitas and am imoressed with the homemade tortillas! Wow!

  19. Looks delicious – I love to use my slow cookers as well. I can imagine how much additional flavor was added to the meat with the citrus ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Your pork carnitas look fabulous! We love Mexican food at our house…can’t wait to try these! I’ll be sharing these on my Facebook page over the next few days! Happy New Year!

  21. Wow, these look amazing. I love that you made it in the slow cooker, I too had pork simmering in the slow cooker all of yesterday. I can only imagine the aroma with all the citrus and spicy flavors going on. Wonderful that you made your own tortillas too. How impressive!

  22. I love pork carnitas. Every time I make them they don’t turn out as good as I think they will in my head. Maybe I’ll try your recipe because they look AMAZING!! Pinning! Thanks for linking up with #FoodieFridays!

  23. These look sooooo yummy! I love that you made your own tortillas too, I always thought that would be way too hard and you’d need some kind of fancy equipment – definitely need to try making my own now!
    Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year to you too Michelle! Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€ I always thought the same thing… too much work, I’d need something fancy, they’d taste the same… if you try them, I hope you LOVE them ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. Hi!

    Thanks for coming to Fiesta Friday; I’m choosing with Mr. Fitz this week. I’m so glad that you began blogging again, and can’t wait to read some of your other recipes. This recipe looks simple, yet so flavorful. I loved the picture of the dough, and how you left the lemon and limes in the slow cooker. What a great idea, I’m sure it adds a lot of flavor! Do you do that win some of your other slow cooker recipes? (I’ve never had a slow cooker before.)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Hello there! Thank you!! I’m glad to be back, with the new site, and back to my usual routine ๐Ÿ™‚ That was the first time I’d tried leaving the citrus in the slow cooker with the meat, but I think I’ll be doing it more and more from now on ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks pretty gross after cooking all day, but I can only imagine how much more flavor it leaves ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend as well!

  25. What a wonderful thing to kick off the Fiesta with! Home made tortillas are indeed so much better! Getting them round? don’t worry! (although you could try just applying a little more pressure on one end of the pin when rolling.. it seems to work!

  26. I’m drooling! Your carnita’s look amazing. I made my own shells once but the recipe wasn’t too good. I’ll be trying yours!

  27. Can’t wait to try this… looks very tasty. And Happy Birthday to your daughter!