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Slow Cooker Easy Pork Carnitas Tacos

Easy pork carnitas tacos (Mexican pulled pork) can be made at home with the slow cooker, instant pot, or in the oven for completely satisfying meal!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time9 hrs 15 mins
Total Time9 hrs 25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Instant Pot, Low Carb, Meal Prep, Slow Cooker
Servings: 8
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Clean Fingers Laynie


  • 4-6 lbs Pork Shoulder
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 3 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt and Pepper


Preparing the Pork

  • In a small mixing bowl, mix garlic salt, cumin, Italian seasoning, brown sugar, ground coriander, chili powder, paprika, and about 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.
  • Rub spice mixture evenly on all sides of the pork.
  • Spray the inside of a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray, or line slow cooker with a protective liner. Add spice rubbed pork to bottom of slow cooker.
  • With water, wash and clean the outside of the oranges and lime. Roll the oranges and lime on the counter, beneath your hands, to start to release the juices.
  • Slice the oranges and lime in half and squeeze the juices over the top of the pork. Add oranges and lime halves to slow cooker, on top of the pork, pulp side down.
  • Cook on low for 9-10 hours until pork is tender and can be easily shredded with a fork.
  • Remove and discard orange and lime halves and any pork bones.
  • Removed pork onto a cutting board, and with two forks, shred the pork into bite-sized chunks. After shredding pork, add pork back to cooking liquid.

Crisping the Pork

  • Oven Method: Preheat oven broiler. Spray half-sized baking sheet (13 x 18 x 1 inch) with cooking spray, and add pork to baking sheet in a single layer. Broil pork for 3-5 minutes until pork starts to crisp and brown on the edges.
  • Stove Method: In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil. Without over-crowding the pan, add pork and some of the cooking liquid to the pan in a single layer. Without stirring, cook until the juices start to evaporate and the bottom of the pork starts to brown. Remove from heat.

Tacos Assembly

  • Place tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm.
  • Add pork and desired toppings in a warmed tortilla and serve!


Estimated Nutrition (meat only): Fat 15 g, Carbohydrate 4 g, Dietary Fiber g, Protein 14 g, Sodium 540 mg
Estimated Nutrition (meat, 2 corn tortillas, 1 tbsp sour cream, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 avocado, 1 tbsp pickled red onion, 1 tbsp cilantro): Calories 473, Fat 29 g, Carbohydrate 33 g, Dietary Fiber g, Protein 21 g, Sodium 647 mg
Note: Prepared carnitas will last about a week in the fridge or for 3 months if frozen.
See post for Instant Pot or Dutch Oven cooking times and temperatures. 
–Recipe adapted from Platings and Pairings.