These Carnitas are the best thing to ever come out of my slow cooker! There’s fiesta night, and then there’s FIESTA NIGHT! Pork carnitas are about as good as it gets at our house. This easy carnitas recipe is mostly hands off because you put it in the slow cooker and forget about it (except that your house smells like delicious pork all day). However, there is a little detail about baking it for 45 minutes before serving. I know 45 minutes is a long time, and you could skip this step. However, allow me to show you the deliciousness that 45 minutes brings you:
God bless America, that baked version looks brown and crispy and beautiful. Try to make time for the slow-baking step if possible. It gives the taste and texture of authentic fried carnitas without doing any actual frying.
Enjoy your leftover carnitas on their own or in taco salad, quesadillas, or on buns with BBQ sauce. You could also try them as Queso Carnitas Loaded Potatoes!
How to Make a Tasty Pork Carnitas?
We make the carnitas recipe with a piece of pork shoulder (Boston butt) that we cut into 3-4-5 pieces and mix with the secret ingredients: taco sauce, garlic, onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, cayenne, and water. Although our pork carnitas recipe is cooked in the crockpot, once it is ready, it will need to be cooked in the oven for about 45 minutes. Together with the ingredients mentioned below that we will add to the carnitas oven, you will give the pork a delicious taste and you will feel that it melts in your mouth.
Tasty Pork Carnitas Recipe
This week I revamped this Crockpot carnitas recipe. Many of you loved the old version (as did I!), but a few of you commented that it was too bland. I always appreciate your feedback, and while carnitas aren’t supposed to be particularly spicy or saucy, I certainly want you to be happy with the recipe. This new awesome(er) version has a few changes to make it even better:
- Cut the roast into chunks and pierce it to allow more flavor to penetrate the meat
- Eliminate the beef broth and reduce the water content to make the sauce more concentrated
- Use taco sauce instead of salsa and increase the spices to boost the flavor
I feel sure that you are going to love this new version even more, and I can’t wait to hear what you think!Print
Pork Carnitas Recipe (Crockpot Cooked Carnitas)
You can’t beat this easy recipe for homemade carnitas, perfect for tacos!
- Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 3–4 pounds pork shoulder roast
- 15 ounces green taco sauce
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 sweet onion sliced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk (Do not add to crockpot.)
- 10–12 small tortillas (Corn and whole wheat blend tortillas are my current fav.)
- Cut roast into 3-4 large pieces. Pierce meat all over with a knife.
- Stir together taco sauce, garlic, onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, cayenne, and water. Add pork pieces, and spoon liquid over the meat to coat all sides.
- Cover crockpot and cook on high 6-8 hours or low 8-10 hours, until meat shreds easily.
- When meat is done, preheat oven to 275 degrees. Take pork out of the slow cooker and shred on a large-rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or a baking mat to make cleanup easier. Discard any large pieces of fat. (Leave most of the onion behind, but it’s OK if some is incorporated with the meat.)
- Pour ½ cup of cooking liquid and ½ cup of milk over shredded pork. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes until brown and crispy. Remove meat for serving with tongs to leave excess fat behind.
- Serve with tortillas, finely shredded cabbage, guacamole or avocado, and green salsa.
Suggested condiments: Finely shredded cabbage, guacamole or sliced avocado, and green salsa.
Are you a fan of the old version? Just make these simple changes:
- Substitute a 16 oz. jar of green salsa for the taco sauce and a 15 oz. can of beef broth for the water.
- Substitute 1 tbsp. of onion powder for the fresh onion and 1 tsp. garlic powder for the fresh garlic.
Adapted from Carnitas by Honey Pickles.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 360
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Mexican
Carnitas go great with…
Moving this from “recipes I have to try ” to “recipes I love!” So good
Can you post this again? All I see is a picture and this recipe was AMAZING
I hate cooking and you can definitely taste the hate when I do! However, I have been making this recipe since 2014 and omg it’s amazing! I leave out the broth and do half verde and half taco sauce with the juice of a lime…..PERFECTION. I make this anytime someone visits. It’s kind of hard to mess up a slow cooker meal. Don’t ever remove this recipe
I didn’t read through all comments, so I apologize if this was already addressed. I’ve made many carnita recipes and have always crisped them. I’ve never heard of adding milk and am hesitate to do so. What does adding milk do for the meat?
Is there any way to get the old recipe? I can’t handle spicy foods at all. Truthfully, my taste buds are so strong I can tell the color of an M&M by taste alone. I need foods that others would describe as “bland.”
Andi Gleeson says
Hi, Stacy! This recipe isn’t spicy at all (just leave out the cayenne pepper). I do have a note in the recipe about how to make it the original way if you want to try that :)