Slow Cooker Carnitas (Shredded Pork)

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Cooking carnitas in the crock pot or slow cooker has got to be the easiest way ever. This method would be perfect over the holidays, especially if you have a house full of guests.

Since you're making them in a slow cooker, it's "set it and forget it" and you can literally leave the finished carnitas warming in the slow cooker all day and evening allowing your guests to eat at will and you won't have to lift a finger. Oh, and these make excellent breakfast tacos, too!

Plan to coat your pork roast in the dry rub the day before you plan to cook, and then allow at least 10-11 hours of cooking time on the low setting of your slow cooker.

So let's say you wanted to have these ready for Christmas Eve day, here's a sample timeline:

  • Evening of Dec. 22nd - coat roast in dry rub
  • Evening of Dec. 23rd - place roast in slow cooker
  • Morning of Dec. 24th - shred pork, add potatoes and green chiles and cook another hour or so, turn slow cooker to 'warm setting' and leave all day and evening for everyone to eat when desired

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Serves 10 (serving size 2 tacos)

Dry Rub:
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper

4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 cup chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, including juices
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 4-ounce can whole green chiles
2 pounds small white potatoes
20 small tortillas

chopped fresh cilantro
diced red onion
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Mix all dry rub ingredients together then rub on all sides of the pork roast. Wrap roast in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours.

After roast has been refrigerated in dry rub for recommended time, place chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and garlic in slow cooker and then place roast on top. Place cover on slow cooker and turn setting to 'low'. Allow to cook for about 10 hours or overnight.

Carefully remove excess fat from exterior of roast and discard.  Using two forks, shred the roast and stir.

Quarter potatoes and add. I don't recommend using Yukon Golds for this dish as they won't hold up. These small white potatoes were perfect.

Hand shred the green chiles and add, then stir.

Cover and allow to continue to cook on low setting for approximately an hour or so until potatoes are tender. Taste and salt if needed. Turn to 'warm setting' and leave covered for guests to eat when desired. Be sure to have garnish items ready in the refrigerator for guests to access easily.

the potatoes cooked in the broth are absolutely delicious
on the taco or by themselves

Slow Cooker Carnitas

To make breakfast tacos, just add scrambled eggs.


  1. We love, love, LOVE carnitas, and I believe we actually have a ginormous pork shoulder in our freezer as I speak. It might be too big for our slow cooker, though. Maybe I can chop it in portions to make this!

  2. This is one of my all time favorite ways to use a pork roast - yummy!

  3. The detail in the first photo is magnificient. Laying a proposed schedule like that is a practical and useful touch. Its breakfast time but I don't have anything quite this tasty available!


  4. This looks yummy...I gotta make it!

  5. This would definitely be perfect for a crowd!! So helpful for people who are still trying to figure out their menus!

  6. Oh my...yum! That looks so yummy!btw great photos!

  7. beautiful pix and a great easy recipe!

  8. My husband loves carnitas and I just posted a recipe about a month ago. The slow cooker is a great idea too!

  9. These have my mouth watering!! Sound so yummy after all the sweets!:)

  10. Wow those picture just makes my mouth watering. I don't usually do a slow cooking because I am so impatient. But this is so inspiring. I will need to try it :)

  11. Wow these look amazing, gorgeous photos!!! Thank you so much for posting your recipe, I really can't wait to try it. I love that it's so simple to make and you can just put it in the slow crocker. Mmmm oh it looks so delicious!

  12. Like this idea of "set it and forget it" - Luv that you added the green chiles and potatoes with the roast to slow cook. Will be making this for sure - Hubbs will love it!

  13. Yum! I bet that was as delicious as it looks! :)

  14. Pork tacos for breakfast?? That is a stellar idea young lady!

  15. This is perfect! My boyfriend just told me last night that he wants to do a week of slow cooker meals.. I just know we're going to love this!

  16. Congrats Veronica on top 9! Like I said before, they look absolutely wonderful and yummy!:)

  17. Looks amazing, and another reminder that I need to get a slow-cooker! :-)


  19. Congrats on making foodbuzz top 9!!

  20. Veronica, this will work well for my husband. It's one of those that I can look at and know he will absolutely love. Lovely pic too!
    And Congrats on the Top 9 to you as well!!

  21. Oh wow, those carnitas look so moist and delicious! Beautiful photos too, and congrats on making the top 9 :)

  22. Hi Veronica,
    I couldn't find your email on here, but I wanted to let you know that the O Olive oil package got here today. It's gorgeous and I can't wait to try it out! My thanks to both you and the company.


  23. Hi Veronica-I received the Olive Oil, and Vinegar, the days before Christmas Eve.
    Thank you so much, and thanks to O, for this wonderful gift. I will sure to be using it and enjoying it. I linked it back to you, from my blog.
    Your carnitas, as so yummy, I will sure to take out my slow cooker, and try it.

    Wishing you and your loved ones, a Very Merry Christmas!

  24. To Carolyn and others....a Crock-Pot on Low is roughly 200 degs. so if you wanted to cook something that doesn't fit in your slow cooker, you can put your oven to 200 and continue as the recipe states! I made this (yummy!!)in the oven with 2 aluminum roast pans, so I didn't have anything to scrub!!
    Merry Christmas Everyone!!!