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Easy Slow-Cooker Carnitas
Slow-Cooker Carnitas Recipe
Casey Barber / TODAY
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(23 rated)
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Let your slow cooker turn a basic pork shoulder into a big batch of carnitas. Perfect for tacos, burritos or lettuce wraps, as a topping for nachos, or as the main protein in a grain bowl, this crispy-edged but tender meat is a tasty multitasker any time you get a Mexican food craving.


    • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • One 4-to 5-pound boneless pork shoulder
    • 1 large red onion, sliced into rounds
    • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
    • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 3 navel oranges)


1. Stir the salt, oregano, cumin and chili powder together in a bowl. 

2. Rub the pork shoulder with the spice blend.

3. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onion and garlic, and pour in the orange juice.

4. Place the pork in the slow cooker.

5. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

6. With tongs, carefully remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer the pieces to a rimmed baking sheet.

7. Chop the pork or pull apart with your fingers into bite-size chunks.

Slow-Cooker Carnitas recipe Casey Barber

8. Serve as a filling for tacos or burritos. Leftover carnitas can be reheated in a skillet until the edges are crispy.