Perfect Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas – Crispy Pork Recipe

Hello, culinary enthusiasts! Welcome back to SpiceMelt.com, your ultimate destination for mouth-watering recipes. Today, we’re bringing the zest and zing of Mexican cuisine to your kitchen with our Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas. This dish is a delightful blend of simplicity and flavor, perfect for anyone looking to add a touch of fiesta to their mealtime!

Why Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas?

Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas are the epitome of effortless cooking with extraordinary results. The slow cooker does all the heavy lifting, ensuring the pork is tender and infused with flavors, while a quick broil at the end adds that irresistible crispiness. Perfect for tacos, burritos, or just on their own, these carnitas are sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire.


  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Olive oil (for broiling)

Preparation Method

1. Preparing the Pork:

  • Choosing the Meat: Opt for a 4-5 lb pork shoulder (also known as pork butt). This cut is ideal due to its fat content, which contributes to the tenderness and flavor.
  • Trimming: Trim off any excess fat from the pork shoulder. While some fat is desirable for flavor and moisture, too much can make the dish greasy.
  • Cutting: Cut the pork into large chunks, about 2-3 inches in size. This ensures that the meat cooks evenly and is easy to shred later.

2. Seasoning:

  • Dry Rub: In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. This blend of spices will give the carnitas their signature flavor.
  • Applying the Rub: Rub this mixture thoroughly over each pork chunk, ensuring every piece is well-coated. This step is crucial for developing depth of flavor.

3. Layering in the Slow Cooker:

  • Base Layer: Place the finely chopped onion at the bottom of the slow cooker. This creates a bed for the pork to rest on and infuses the meat with additional flavor.
  • Adding Garlic: Scatter minced garlic over the onions.
  • Placing the Pork: Arrange the seasoned pork chunks on top of the onion and garlic layer.
  • Liquids: Pour freshly squeezed orange and lime juice over the pork. The acidity in the citrus juices helps tenderize the meat and adds a bright flavor.
  • Bay Leaves: Tuck two bay leaves among the pork chunks for an aromatic touch.

4. Slow Cooking Process:

  • Cooking Time: Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours. The long, slow cooking process allows the pork to become incredibly tender and flavorsome.
  • Checking for Doneness: The pork should be fork-tender and easily shred with a fork.

5. Shredding and Broiling for Crispiness:

  • Shredding: Remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer it to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  • Broiling Setup: Preheat your oven’s broiler. Spread the shredded pork in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil for crispiness.
  • Broiling: Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 5-6 minutes, or until the edges of the pork are crispy and golden brown. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  • Optional Step: For extra flavor, spoon some of the cooking juices from the slow cooker over the pork before broiling.

6. Serving:

  • Presentation: Serve the crispy carnitas on a platter. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges for a burst of freshness.


Our Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas recipe brings a piece of Mexican culinary delight right to your dining table. It’s simple, flavorful, and perfect for any occasion. Head over to SpiceMelt.com for more tantalizing recipes and share your carnitas creations with our community!

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