Carnitas Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

30 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 52

Every tortilla dreams of being filled with Carnitas. picture pro beef sluggish-cooked into tender submission, gently shredded, and pan-fried to golden, crispy perfection. Carnitas has that elusive mixture of juicy and crispy that’s so irresistible. The excellent part of this Carnitas? five mins prep!

that is a reader-favored recipe blanketed using famous demand in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!

Pulled Pork


Is there anything higher in this global than beef slowly cooked until it’s crazy juicy and falls apart gentle, then crisped to golden perfection?


while it’s internal a taco

The one and only Pork Carnitas

I went via a variety of beef Carnitas recipes earlier than deciding on this as the one. I’ve been unswerving to it for over a decade as it ticks all my bins:

✅ Extremely quick 5 minute guidance
✅ Made with smooth-to-locate herbal elements
✅ Sufficient flavor to eat undeniable (and you will choose it out of the pan!)
✅ diffused sufficient flavor so it may be utilized in any Mexican dish (over salting and spicing is a commonplace trouble);
✅ Best caramelized brown bits while preserving the extraordinary juiciness from gradual cooking;
✅ Best freezer food – reheats 100% flawlessly; and
✅ great food for gatherings – huge batch recipe, remains clean even hours after cooking it

What are Carnitas?

In case you’re new to Carnitas, allow me to be the primary to welcome you in your new dependency.

Carnitas is Mexico’s version of pulled pork. It’s the first aspect you are searching for upon landing in Mexico. It’s why we trawled the lower back streets of Mexico town in torrential rains, hunting down a hole-in-the-wall carnitas joint that changed into famous with locals.

Made using gradual cooking of beef completely submerged in lard, this confit technique of cooking yields beef that’s unbelievably wealthy and tender with hundreds of crispy golden bits.

unluckily for most domestic chefs, a massive cauldron of lard isn’t feasible or realistic.

but thankfully, it’s miles feasible to make carnitas that taste very much like actual beef Carnitas without gallons of lard. And it’s unbelievably easy.

How to make Pork Carnitas

Exceptional red meat reduction for red meat Carnitas – for final juicy pulled beef full of flavor, you can’t beat pork shoulder, aka beef butt. Bone in or out, it needs to be skinless so it can be rubbed with the Carnitas seasoning

Carnitas seasoning – rub the beef with an easy spice blend of oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Flavor for cooking – pinnacle beef in a sluggish cooker with onion, garlic, and jalapeño, then pour over orange juice (the name of the game aspect!). It sounds so easy, however with hours of slow cooking, mingling with the pork juices, it transforms into the most notable braising broth that more than makes up for the absence of gallons of lard.

slow cook dinner until the red meat is pull-aside gently and infused with extremely good flavor

Pan fry till golden, doused with the juices from the gradual cooker. Pan frying is so much higher than broiling/grill or oven!

Can Carnitas be made in an instantaneous Pot or strain cooker?
sure! The final result is precisely identical – nobody can the distinction once browned inside the skillet. I make this in a strain cooker whilst time is of the essence!

The BEST Pork Carnitas are browned in a skillet!

Don’t skip the step to brown the red meat Carnitas! this is the important thing that makes this the excellent pork Carnitas you’ll have out of doors of Mexico.

Hand on coronary heart, it’s miles as correct as the carnitas I had at a authentic Mexican joint known as vintage city Mexican Cafe in San Diego which is famous for its beef Carnitas.

So if you assume you’ve had splendid carnitas before, however, you haven’t tried browning in a skillet, this is going to be a sport changer!

What to serve with Pork Carnitas

whilst I have a top-notch fondness and tendency to favor Tacos de Carnitas (red meat Carnitas Tacos), red meat this juicy and full of flavor is tremendously versatile – plus it freezes 10000% perfectly.

I exploit red meat Carnitas to make Enchiladas, Burritos, Quesadillas, Sliders, and Mexican pizzas. I toss them into my Mexican Fried Rice (don’t laugh, this is a company favorite with many readers!), and I make Carnitas Plates – pile Carnitas over Mexican crimson Rice with an aspect of % de Gallo or Guacamole, and steamed corn.

And of the path, I eat it instantly out of the skillet.

And the pleasant element?

  • You’re just five mins faraway from getting this beef Carnitas for your slow cooker, stress cooker, or oven.
  • it could be frozen without any loss of excellent.
  • There are smooth approaches to pan frying to golden perfection and nevertheless be juicy and fresh hours later – even after refrigerating.

There’s a motive I’m rarely with out a stash of Carnitas in my freezer!!!

Carnitas Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Carnitas Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Every tortilla dreams of being filled with Carnitas. picture pro beef sluggish-cooked into tender submission, gently shredded, and pan-fried to golden, crispy perfection. Carnitas has that elusive mixture of juicy and crispy that’s so irresistible. The excellent part of this Carnitas? five mins prep!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
30 mins
total time
40 mins



  • 2 kg / 4 lb pork shoulder (pork butt) , skinless, boneless (5lb/2.5kg bone in) (Note 1)

  • 2 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 onion , chopped

  • 1 jalapeno , deseeded, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4 cup juice from orange (2 oranges)

  • RUB

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, rub throughout with salt and pepper.
combine the Rub components then rub everywhere in the beef.
the vicinity of the beef in a sluggish cooker (fats cap up), top with the onion, jalapeño, and minced garlic (don’t fear approximately spreading it) and squeeze over the juice of the oranges.
slow cook on low for 10 hours or on excessive for 7 hours. (word 2 for different prepare dinner methods)
red meat should be tender enough to shred. take away from the sluggish cooker and let cool barely. Then shred the use of two forks.
optional: Skim off the fats from the juices ultimate in the slow cooker and discard.
when you have loads more than 2 cups of juice, then reduce it right down to approximately 2 cups. The liquid might be salty, it's miles the seasoning for the pork. Set liquid aside – don’t hassle straining onion and so on, it’s wonderful and gentle.


heat 1 tbsp of oil in a big nonstick pan or well-pro skillet over high warmth. unfold the pork within the pan, and drizzle over a few juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the lowest side is golden brown and crusty. flip and simply briefly sear the opposite facet – you don’t need to make it brown all over because then it’s too crispy, and need gentle juicy bits.
remove pork from the skillet. Repeat in batches (takes me four batches) – don’t crowd the pan.
simply before serving, drizzle over extra juices and serve warm, filled-in tacos (see notes for sides, different serving ideas and garage/make in advance).


The pork: Use red meat with the skin eliminated however leaving some of the fats cap on. The fat adds juiciness to the carnitas – and excess fats may be skimmed off later. unique sizes: Recipe best as is for 1.7 – 2.5kg / 3.five – 5 lb beef. If large / smaller, scale recipe use a recipe scaler (hover/click on servings and slide) and the other elements will trade. these are boneless beef weights (upload zero.5kg/1lb for bone): 1 – 1. five kg / 2 – three lb: eight hours on low. 1.5 – three kg / 3 – 6 lb: cook time per recipe. 3 – four kg / 6 – eight lb: Use a huge oval gradual cooker, 12 hours on low. other cooking strategies: electric powered strain cooker or immediate Pot: 1 h half-hour on excessive. permit stress release. continue with Step Five of the recipe. range stress cooker: use a rack or balls of scrunched-up foil to raise it from the bottom OR add three/4 cup of water. prepare dinner for 1 h half-hour. continue with Step Five of the recipe. Oven: comply with a recipe but put beef in a roasting pan. add 2 cups water around the red meat. cover tightly with foil, roast in 325F/160C oven for 2 hours, then roast for a similarly 1 to at least one. five hours exposed. add extra water if the liquid dries out an excessive amount. You must turn out to be with 1 half to two cups of liquid whilst it finishes cooking, and you could bypass the pan frying step because you'll get a pleasing brown crust on your beef. Shred red meat then drizzled with juices. three. Taco Fixings: Diced avocado or make an actual right Guacamole, percent de Gallo, or eating place-style Salsa or even simply sliced tomato, grated cheese, or bitter cream. Sliced lettuce or pickled cabbage / pink onions could additionally be great, but unlike other tacos, you don’t want it for the texture due to the fact the carnitas have crispy bits! also, see this Carnitas Tacos dinner spread. four. different approaches to apply Carnitas: Burritos (switch for the pork), Quesadillas (baked model here), Enchiladas, Sliders, with Mexican purple Rice, in Taco Soup or Enchilada Soup. five. Storing / Make ahead: Crispiness is retained very well, the essential element is lack of moisture as the meat cools (happens with all meat, shredded meat cools quicker). a) nice way to keep: Shred beef but don’t pan fry. maintain pork and juice separate, refrigerate for up to a few days, or freeze for up to 3 months (for the freezer, I put red meat in packing containers/ baggage and positioned juice in zip lock baggage within the equal field). gently reheat juice to make it pourable (congeals whilst cold). Pan fry per recipe, drizzling with juice. b) Storing leftovers after pan frying: maintains extremely well, however, tends to lose juiciness whilst it cools down. just drizzle with juice, cover with hang wrap, and reheat – the crispy bits hold up thoroughly. It’s now not quite as crispy as whilst cooked sparkling, but severely tasty. c) Brown red meat some hours in advance / maintain warm: Works extremely nicely. Brown pork consistent with the recipe, then transfer to a gradual cooker on warm placing or food hotter and drizzle generously with juices to preserve it wet. cover loosely. so long as the red meat is warm when served, it’s genuinely juicy. The crispiness holds up extraordinarily nicely. source: that is a recipe I’ve been making for over a decade now, with minor tweaks over time so I can’t recall the exact source. I want to say Rick Bayless but I'm able to’t to discover the recipe, but, I did locate this one from the very similar food community. however, I’m no longer positive when it changed into published. nutrients according to serving, beef simplest, assuming 12 servings. energy is higher than it is because it does not remember discarded fat.
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