Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

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As I mentioned before, I love a good taco. Time to share another taco recipe…my favorite carnitas.

There are a lot of carnitas recipes out there. I took the best out of a few recipes and created this one, which I like because of the fruit juices and real Coke. You get that orange and lime flavor with the sweetness of the cola. Be sure to use Mexican Coke with sugar, not the stuff with corn syrup or sugar substitute.

This recipe takes all day because you make it in the slow cooker, but doesn’t have the lard so it’s healthier for you. It makes a lot so I usually split it into 3 meals and freeze it. When you are ready to use it, defrost and then crisp it up on the stove.

First, measure out your seasonings.

Mix the seasonings together and add them to the slow cooker. Roll your pork around in the slow cooker. This makes coating your pork so much easier and less messy. Everything is contained in the pot.

Add onion, garlic, juices, Coke, and bay leaves. Be sure to pour around the pork, not over the pork. You want to leave the seasonings on the meat.

Cook it in the slow cooker. When it’s done, all you have left to do is shred it and crisp it up in a pan. Super easy.

This makes a delicious taco with cilantro and chopped onion. Happy Taco Tuesday!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Servings 12


  • 4 pounds skinless, boneless pork butt or shoulder
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 large onion cut into wedges
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 large oranges juiced, or 3/4 cup of orange juice
  • 3/4 cup Mexican Coke cola made with real sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  • Combine salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin in the slow cooker pot. Roll pork in the seasonings until well coated.
  • In the slow cooker, add onion, garlic, juices, Coke, and bay leaves around the pork.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. It's done when the meat falls apart.
  • Remove pork and shred with two forks. Save the liquid.
  • To crisp, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add pork shreds and sear until it starts to crisp. Add 1/2 cup of liquid from the slow cooker. Continue cooking until the juices begin to reduce down and the meat is crispy.
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