Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas. Cooked low and slow for 8 hours then broiled in the oven until crispy on the outside!


These Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas are one of the best recipes I’ve ever made! They are juicy and tender on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside. They are the perfect addition to tacos, burritos, salads and quesadillas.

The pork is cooked low and slow for 8 hours until it is fall apart tender. The pork is so flavorful thanks to the spices, diced green chili, fresh squeezed lime juice, garlic & onions.



This pork only take 10 minutes of prep time to throw together. I like to sear the pork before putting it in the slow cooker for extra flavor. Then I add the pork along with the other ingredients directly to the slow cooker. That’s it!

After the pork is done cooking it gets shredded then broiled until crispy. I reserve the juices and pour them on after I crisp them up and broil again.

Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

I love serving these pork carnitas with a generous sprinkle of cilantro and extra lime wedges.

These carnitas also freeze well. Just store in an airtight ziplock bag and reheat in a hot skillet or in the oven or broiler to crisp them up again.


Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

  • 4.7
  • 30 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas. Cooked low and slow for 8 hours then broiled in the oven until crispy on the outside!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (4-5 pound) pork shoulder/pork butt trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • cilantro for serving, if desired


  1. Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the pork and sear on each side until browned, about 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer pork to a large slow cooker.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours or until the pork is tender. Remove the bay leaves.
  3. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred. (Make sure to keep the liquid)
  4. Transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes or until crispy.
  5. Remove from the oven and pour ¼ cup of the reserved juices from the slow cooker onto the crispy pork and toss.
  6. Place the baking sheet back in the broiler for an additional 5 minutes or until the meat is crispy. Pour an additional ¼ cup liquid over the crispy pork and serve immediately with cilantro for serving, if desired.
  7. The pork can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
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    • Hi Caitlin!

      Yes this will work perfectly with chicken. I would cook on high or 4 hours or on low for 6.



    • Marie

      Can’t wait to get to the store tonight and make this 🥑🥗🌮🌯🥂🍽

  • Jeannie Johansen

    You rock! This was so good I can’t even describe it. Perfect! I have tried making carnitas as well as pulled pork so many times. It always turned out dry & bland. Usually the dog got it. Never again. Thank you!

  • Jeannie Johansen

    Poor Buddy. He will no longer be eating carnitas….it’s all too good to share

  • phil

    couple questions,

    1. after it is broiled, why does it have to refrigerated in an airtight container? is it ok to just put foil or saran wrap over the baking pan and refrigerated that?

    2. would it be a good idea to marinate the pork over night before browning and slow cooking it?

    • Hi Phil,

      I always prefer to put whatever I cooked in a different container than the one cooked in for food safety.

      You can’t go wrong marinating the pork. I think that’s an excellent idea!!

      Thanks & Enjoy!


    • Marie

      Can’t wait to get to the store tonight and make this 🥑🥗🌮🌯🥂🍽🌮

    • Hi Cailey,

      Pork carnitas is not a type of meat. Is there another name for the type of meat you would like to substitute so I can better assist?



  • Travis

    This recipe is a WINNER! This is EXACTLY what I want when I think of Carnitas. This has been added to the favorites list.

  • Amanda

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was absolutely amazing! Only change I made was instead of chipotle powder I used a few chopped up canned chipotle peppers. It was so good! My family has requested I make this this upcoming week, and for 2 little picky eating girls….that’s an accomplishment!

  • Rick D

    That is almost exactly how I do it…..nice recipe (broiling after shredding) and reintroducing the juices.

  • Jen C

    Made it for a football gathering and it got rave reviews from a few people I consider great cooks, so it’s a keeper!

  • Kristy

    My pork butt is in the crockpot now , making tacos so if I don’t want to use it all tonight should I save some juice and not broil what I don’t use till later ?

    • Hi Kristy,

      Yes you can reserve some of the juices to broil later when you are ready to eat the leftovers.



  • Ann O'Mahony

    Hi Kelley
    Greetings from Ireland.
    As we don’t have canned green chillies here, could I substitute a jar of sliced jalapeno chillies? If so, would it be the same quantity please? Many thanks. Ann

    • Hi Ann,

      Yes you can substitute some jalapeño chilies but I would add maybe 2 tablespoons or so. The canned green chilies aren’t too spicy.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • Miri Bracho

    Hi! I’m a carnitas lover but I have never done it by my self. The ones I’ve tried are not spicy, I cannot eat spicy food, I wonder if i avoid the green chiles and the chipotle and chili powder they still would be tasteful? Or if maybe there is something I can use to substitute those ingredients that are no spicy.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Miri,

      The green chilies are not spicy at all they are more on the sweeter side in my opinion. I think they will still taste awesome without those ingredients. You can always add extra garlic powder, onion powder and cumin.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • Kilgore

    This is a regular at our house. We adjusted the spice quantities to give a bit more kick. Also, we found that tasting after slow cooker time gives another chance to make an adjustment. Good stuff

  • Michelle

    Made this today. I marinated
    the meat onernite and slow cooked all day it was absolutely delish my family lived it. Thank you

  • Jen

    I’ve made these twice now. They are super easy and incredibly delicious!!

  • Okay, so I’m making this recipe now but I’m using fresh pablano chiles for my green and couldn’t find dry chipotle so I used a paste. My entire house smells incredible. I’m a chef and Mexican is one of my specialties but thought I’d try this recipe with my homemade corn and flour tortillas to choose from, salsa, beans and rice. Can’t wait. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

  • Norma

    OMG. DELICIOUS. My picky son loved it!!!!! Its a keeper n ure the best!!!! Thank you for sharing

  • I have frozen store bought carnitas seasoned with sea salt and lime notes(?) Do you think I could put these in my crock pot and add the missing ingredients and it would still come out good?

    • Hi Sandra!

      I would taste test the carnitas first then season with some of the same ingredients I used in my recipe.



    • Hi Donna,

      There is nutrition info under the recipe. There is a tab you can click on for nutrition information.



  • Could I make this with left over pulled pork? What would I use to season the meat? Right now it’s plain just salt and pepper.

    • Hi Sallie,

      You could reheat under the broiler with the same seasoning as the recipe.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • BaylorMom2

    Made this today and wrapped it in a flour tortilla shell, topped with white queso, shredded cheese, lettuce and guacamole/sour cream. Terrific! A home run for sure!

  • Kati

    I made this last night, and my guests & I loved it. I didn’t have chicken broth, so I used white wine. I also subbed shallots for the onion & smoked paprika for the chipotle powder. The end product was seriously amazing.

  • MommaDuck

    This looks yummy, do you have a cooking time conversion for using a pressure cooker?

    • Hi!

      I have not tried this in the pressure cooker. However I would try 30 minutes then check it to see if it needs to go longer.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • Lori

    Help ! My roast is too big for my crock pot. I planned on doubling your recipe to cook a 10 lb bone-in pork shoulder roast. How long do you recommend to cook in the oven And at what temp?

    • Hi Lori!

      Yes cooking it in the oven will work! I would do 300 degrees for 5-6 hours.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • kate y

    So excited for this!

    Can I use pork loin roast instead of pork butt?

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Kate!

      Yes you can! I would cook for the same amount of time as well.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • Julie

    Is this recipe very spicy? It doesn’t seem like a ton of chili powder but just want to check. I need a recipe that isn’t very spicy but it can have a little spice.

    • Hi Julie,

      It has a pretty good amount of spice but is not spicy at all.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • Casey

    What is the serving size for the nutritional info? I assume 1 cup?

    • Hi Casey,

      I don’t have an exact figure however 1 cup sounds about right if I were to guess.

      Thanks & Enjoy!!


  • Rachelle

    Making this tomorrow but I am not sure that I have enough pork meat for the number of ppl coming. Can I add some chicken breast to mix with pork?

  • Judy

    Kelly,I don’t usually post comments. But girl you got it going on with this recipe. I have had carnitas from east to west coast and in between. This is the best recipe yet. The only thing I did different was sub white wine for chicken broth only because I was out of broth and it was amazing. We loved it thank you for the great recipe. 5 stars to ya.

  • Chris

    Awesome! I didn’t have fresh onion, so I used onion flakes from the spice rack. I also added ½ bottle of Pacifico Mexican lager (drink the other half); I love meat which has been slow-cooked in beer, and this was no exception. I also made fresh salsa using roasted tomatoes and jalapeño peppers from the garden. Served with cilantro rice, refried black beans, sliced avacado, sour cream, cheese, and a cold michelada. Even my picky 7-year old loved it. Will definitely be making again.

  • Ana

    Added a tiny slice of green jalapeno.
    Thank you so much!!!
    HAPPY 4th!

  • Katrina Barnes

    Oh. My. Word. PHENOMENAL For the Fourth of July we decided to have a make ahead taco bar since the temps were going to be in the mid 90s. We had traditional taco beef, chicken shrimp, and these carnitas, and these were the first to go. My mouth is watering as I type this review at 3:50am for more of these. I didn’t even know what a carnita was! Thanks so much for sharing I see more in my future!

  • Andrea Hernandez

    OMG…This was delicious!!! My family loved it. I thought there was going to be left overs for tomorrow, but they went for seconds. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!!!

  • Megan Donaldson

    Just wondering if I have everything but bay leaves will it still come out good? I have everything chopped up and ready to throw in the crockpot in the morning before class so I didn’t plan on using them..

    • April Brandhorst

      How was it? Did you make any other adjustments, other than no bay leaves? So many positive responses from ppl about this dish, can’t wait to try!

  • Jay West

    Random question, do you season the pork with the spices then seat or are you adding the spice mix to the liquid?

  • Kevin

    I recently made crispy slow cooker pork carnitas served to family and friends and it was AWESOME! What a great recipe
    Thank You.

  • Kim Balvanz

    Could I use these spices to make carne asada in the crock pot? Or rather use something different?

  • Deirdre

    Making this recipe for the second time! My family LOVED it the last time I made it. The only problem is that my house smells SO GOOD right now after browning the meat, that I am now starving!!! Cant wait for dinner.

  • Miya

    This recipe was delicious! Tastes even better the next day. I didn’t have chipotle chili powder on hand, so I mixed regular chili powder with Adobo seasoning.

    I mixed the meat with blackbeans, onions, and avocado and I had a Homer Simpson moment (laugh)

  • Alyssa

    This recipe was simple to make!
    It’s currently in my crockpot right now & im so excited to try it!

  • Emy

    Yay! I’m doing the happy dance!! My husband doesn’t eat carnitas, so I don’t make it. I have it when I go to a Mexican restaurant. A friend gave us some fresh pork and there was a beautiful roast! While my husband was working in the yard I prepared the roast following your recipe! exactly (he doesn’t do garlic either) I told him we were having pulled pork sandwiches for dinner. I cooked it for 8 hours and WOW! Beautiful!! I shredded it all and divided it up. I bagged up the juices in 2 freezer bags, bagged up 2/3 and put it in the freezer and the rest went into a pan with BBQ sauce. What a hit! Only bad thing was I was taste testing all day and couldn’t eat any more at dinnertime. Thank you, thank you so very much for a delicious recipe!

  • brett

    you should add “cilantro” to the “ingredients” list so people like me don’t forget to grab it at the store.

  • Gaby Forster

    Absolutely delicious and very simple!!!!! Already made it twice and can’t wait to make it again!!!!

  • Nancy

    I used leftover pork loin roast that I cooked down in a saucepan with the onions and rest of the ingredients some Coke and broke down the meat a little. This turned out great and my husband loved it.

  • Lcott

    Bringing this into work tomorrow for a party. Any suggestions for reheating on the go? I was thinking crock pot with some of the reserve juice added in.

  • Julie McShea

    I’m making this for a group-what is the traditional topping for tacos? Diced white onion and cilantro? Anything else?

    • Hi Julie,

      You can do sliced radishes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole as a topping as well.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • annmarie pfeiffer

    I made this for a homecoming party and served with other “kid friendly” food. The carnitas were a big hit pizza and sandwiches were hardly touched. Making again for New Years company!! thank you!

    • Hi Kara,

      You put the roast in whole. When it is done it will be easy to shred with two forks!

      Thank you & Enjoy,


  • M.L.

    I used a tenderloin and it came out amazing! And I used ancho chili powder instead of chipotle because that’s what was on hand.

    Had the in-laws over for dinner and this was gobbled up. Thanks for the great recipe—far better than what I used before!

  • Claire

    Any idea how long to cook in an Instant Pot vs crockpot? I don’t have enough time to do it in the crock today!
    Have made this before by the way and they are AMAZING! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Claire,

      I would try cooking for 30 minutes in the insta pot then checking it. You may have to cook an additional 10-15 minutes longer if its not tender enough.

      Thanks & Enjoy!


  • Desiree

    I have made it twice. The firstbtine i added guajillo because i had some on hand. I also add ancho chili powder , chili powder, smoked paprika. Today i added can of rotel by mistake ….grabbed for can of green chile. And I added tricolor bell peppers and cilantro. It was a hittttttt. Carnitas fajitas. Thanks. This recipe is a keeeeeeper

    • Nathan

      Hi Desiree,

      I’m so glad you tried it, as well as experimented and made it your own.
      Happy future cooking!


  • Stephanie

    Hello! I’ve made this before and it was super tasty! I’m making it again and cutting the recipe in half. What would you recommend on cook time for half? Thank you!

    • Nathan

      Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for making this recipe again!

      So regardless of size, the pork shoulder is going to shred and fall apart nicely when it reaches an internal temperature of 192-200. I would check it half way through and then recheck every hour or so after that. I hope this is useful!


  • teresa

    Hi Kelley,
    Do we have double broil it, can we just broil it once? Also, do we have to first sear, or can we just put it in the slow cooker? Just curious if it’ll still be tasty cutting out some steps. Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Teresa,

      You can skip the extra step of broiling a second time as well as not searing it before it goes in the slow cooker if you prefer. It will still be delicious!

      Thank you & Enjoy!


  • Cheryl L Ancona

    I normally don’t leave comments but I don’t get all of the five stars this was so strong with bay leaf. I followed everything to the T except for I didn’t have Chipotle powder so I used Chipotle in Adobo sauce. I had some really good carnitas and this tasted nothing like it sorry just being honest

    • Nathan

      Hi Connie,

      If I have the time, low and slow is the way to go. The faster the juices heat up, the quicker they flow toward the out side of the meat. That being said, the quicker version is still very tasty and good. I hope that helps, thanks for trying out the recipe!


  • Melissa

    Made this today and it was delicious!! I served it over riced cauliflower with an over-easy egg on top and sliced avocado. It was wonderful!

    • Nathan

      Hi Melissa,

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for trying out the pork and for commenting!