Crock-Pot Pork Carnitas

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x


  • 4–5 lbs. pork loin roast
  • 2 limes, juice and zest
  • 2 large oranges, juice and zest of 1
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1/2 large jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Place the pork loin into your crock-pot. Set it aside, while you mix up the cooking marinade.
  2. For the marinade, stir together orange juice and zest, lime juice and zest, water, bay leaves, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, jalapeno and minced onion.
  3. Once combined, pour the marinade over the roast in your crock-pot.
  4. Set the slow cooker to low and allow to cook for 8-10 hours. The roast will be fall-apart tender and able to be shredded with a fork when it is done.
  5. Once the roast is done, I shred it and then put half away for another meal. I also strain and reserve the cooking liquid. We use it to drizzle over the meat that has been crisped in the oven.
  6. Once you have the half you will be saving put away, spread the other half on a *baking sheet and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes. Let it just start to get some crispy edges. Don’t leave it long enough to dry out. (You can definitely skip this step and serve your carnitas just as they come out of the crock-pot, juicy, succulent and delicious. But, the authentic carnitas experience is more about the crisping of the edges.)
  7. Remove from the oven and serve in the dish you have planned, i.e.  tacos, rice bowls, nachos, loaded baked potatoes, barbecue sandwiches, etc.

  • Category: Main Dish, Meat, Protein
  • Cuisine: Mexican