May 4th, 2013

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

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I’ve tried a lot of pork taco recipes. A lot. And these Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas are by far my favorite pork taco filling!


  The flavors are fabulous, and I love the crispy edges on the pork.  I also love that this pork filling isn’t so soggy and wet that my tortillas turn to mush. Whatever you do, don’t skip the broiling step. It just wouldn’t be carnitas without all those delicious crunchy bits. You can use any of your favorite taco toppings, but some fresh squeezed lime juice is definitely a must!  And here’s a handy tip: you can freeze your leftover chipotles in adobo.  I just put two or three (I can’t imagine ever using more than that in a single recipe) into small, zip-top bags and freeze them to use later.  My husband and kids also proclaimed this their favorite pork taco filling, so we’ll definitely be making it again. 

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

Preparation 10 min Cook Time 6 hr Total Time 6 hrs 10 mins


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (2 lb.) pork tenderloin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Lime wedges


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  2. Add the pork and sear on each side until browned (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together chicken broth, onions, garlic, chipotle and spices. Pour over the pork in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the pork is completely tender and shreds easily with a fork.
  5. When the pork is cooked, preheat the broiler to high heat and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  6. Using a fork, shred the pork into bite-sized pieces, then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the baking sheet, spreading it evenly in a single layer. Do not discard the remaining broth from the slow cooker.
  7. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin crisping up. Gently toss the pork with tongs and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until pork reaches desired crispiness.
  8. Place pork into a bowl or serving dish and toss with some of the remaining broth from the slow cooker.
  9. Serve in tortillas with fresh lime wedges and your favorite toppings.

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If you love this recipe, you might also like:

Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork


Who Dished it Up First: Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.



  1. OH my- I love carnitas. I can’t get enough. I sooooo needed this recipe. Thank you!

  2. I love this idea! I’m never a fan of the “mushy” slow-cooker carnitas texture, but this I could get on board with!

  3. This looks perfect–and cooked in a crock pot is a plus. I will try it.

  4. I made this for dinner tonight. I give it two thumbs up. It’s delicious! I’ll be making it often.

  5. I’ve made this twice and it’s been great both times! Broiling the meat is a such a good idea and the recipe directions are easy to follow. Two thumbs up!


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