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4.7 from 13 votes

Easy Carnitas, Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven

Easy Carnitas with tortillas.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno seeded and ribs removed, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • 1 orange cut in half
  • 4 limes divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 2-4 cups beef broth or water
  • tortillas
  • 2 red onions diced to serve with carnitas
  • handful cilantro
  • guacamole or sliced avocado


  • Trim excess fat from pork shoulder. Cut into 4 separate pieces.
  • Salt liberally.
  • Heat tablespoon of olive oil in dutch oven and brown pork pieces on all sides. Remove.
  • Add onions, pepper to pan. Cook for two minutes. Add garlic. Cook for one minute.
  • Add in juice of orange and orange pieces, juice of lime. I refrain from adding in lime pieces; they tend to add a bitterness.
  • Add pork back in.
  • Add in just enough water or broth to cover 2/3 of the meat. Add cinnamon Stick and chile powder.
  • Cover and braise for 3 1/2 hours.
  • You place in slow cooker on high for 4 hours, or low for 10 hours. (You may need to add in a little more water. Check hourly if you are using dutch oven. ). I put my dutch oven in a 300 degrees F. oven with lid.
  • Remove from oven. Take pork out, reserve broth. Pull pork into pieces. Add in a baking pan. Strain the broth. Pour over the pork. Carnitas can dry out if there is not enough broth.
  • Bake in oven at 375 degrees F. for approximately twenty minutes until most of the broth is gone and the meat is has crispy crackling edges.
  • Serve with tortillas, chopped red onion, cilantro, sliced avocado, lime slices.
  • If you're eating low carb, use this tortilla recipe.