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Slow-Cooker Carnitas

Beth Lee
(adapted from the kitchn)
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 642 kcal


  • 8 lbs bone-in pork butt or approx. 6 lbs boneless
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce or 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 6 oz beer 1/2 of a 12 oz bottle
  • 1/4 cup salsa any red salsa that you enjoy will work
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 8 whole cloves garlic smashed
  • 4 chipotle peppers canned or dried, roughly chopped


  • Trim any excess fat on the exterior of the pork butt and then place it in the crock pot.
  • In a medium size bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, mix the next 13 ingredients together and then pour over the pork butt in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Or if you get a late start, cook on high for a couple of hours, then low for another 4 or 5. The pork is ready when you can put a fork in it and it feels like it will fall apart.
  • Remove the pork from the crock pot and place it on a large cutting board to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred it with two forks, removing any large chunks of fat you find along the way.
    On a foil-lined jelly-roll pan, place a single layer of the shredded pork and drizzle the pork with a bit of the cooking juice. Turn on the broiler and place the pork under the broiler (about 6 inches away) and let it crisp up for about 5 minutes (time will vary depending on how far away from the broiler you place the pan and how hot your broiler is. Mine was set for convect broil at 450 degrees about 6 inches from the element.)
  • The pork will now have some of the crispness you traditionally find in fried carnitas.
  • Serve with corn tortillas and a variety of taco garnishings such as salsa, sour cream, avocado, fresh tomatoes, crisp lettuce, a blend of Mexican cheeses, cilantro or as a platter with refried beans, rice, and salad.


Calories: 642kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 86gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 272mgSodium: 2373mgPotassium: 1769mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 460IUVitamin C: 15.7mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 6.8mg
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