Carnitas Recipe - Crockpot Cooked Pork Carnitas (2024)

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Home Recipes Mexican Food Carnitas Recipe – Crockpot Cooked Pork Carnitas

(12 votes)

151 Comments

3 minutes

March 10, 2023

Andi GleesonJump to Recipe

Red MeatMexican FoodSlow CookerAll Time Favorite Recipes

These Carnitas are the best thing to ever come out of my slow cooker! There’s fiesta night, and then there’s FIESTA NIGHT! Porkcarnitasare about as good as it gets at our house. This easy carnitas recipe is mostly hands off because you put it in the slow cooker and forget about it (except that your house smells like delicious pork all day). However, there is a little detail about baking it for 45 minutes before serving. I know 45 minutes is a long time, and you could skip this step. However, allow me to show you the deliciousness that 45 minutes brings you:

Carnitas Recipe - Crockpot Cooked Pork Carnitas (1)

God bless America, that baked version looks brown and crispy and beautiful. Try to make time for the slow-baking step if possible. It gives the taste and texture of authentic fried carnitas without doing any actual frying.

Carnitas Recipe - Crockpot Cooked Pork Carnitas (2)
Carnitas Recipe - Crockpot Cooked Pork Carnitas (3)

Enjoy yourleftover carnitas on their own or in taco salad, quesadillas, or on buns with BBQ sauce. You could also try them as Queso Carnitas Loaded Potatoes!

Carnitas Recipe - Crockpot Cooked Pork Carnitas (4)

How to Make a Tasty Pork Carnitas?

We make the carnitas recipe with a piece of pork shoulder (Boston butt) that we cut into 3-4-5 pieces and mix with the secret ingredients: taco sauce, garlic, onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, cayenne, and water. Although our pork carnitas recipe is cooked in the crockpot, once it is ready, it will need to be cooked in the oven for about 45 minutes. Together with the ingredients mentioned below that we will add to the carnitas oven, you will give the pork a delicious taste and you will feel that it melts in your mouth.

Tasty Pork Carnitas Recipe

This week I revamped this Crockpotcarnitas recipe. Many of you loved the old version (as did I!), but a fewof you commented that it was too bland. I always appreciate your feedback, and while carnitas aren’t supposed to be particularly spicy or saucy, Icertainly want you to be happy with the recipe. This new awesome(er) version has a few changes to make it even better:

  • Cut the roastinto chunks and pierce it to allow more flavor to penetrate the meat
  • Eliminate the beef broth and reduce the water contentto make the sauce more concentrated
  • Use taco sauce instead of salsa and increase the spices to boost theflavor

I feel sure that you are going to love this new version even more, and I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Print

Carnitas Recipe - Crockpot Cooked Pork Carnitas (5)

Pork Carnitas Recipe (Crockpot Cooked Carnitas)

★★★★★4.6 from 12 reviews
Print Recipe

You can’t beat this easy recipe for homemade carnitas, perfect for tacos!

  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale

  • 34 pounds pork shoulder roast
  • 15 ounces green taco sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk (Do not add to crockpot.)
  • 1012 small tortillas (Corn and whole wheat blend tortillas are my current fav.)

Instructions

  1. Cut roast into 3-4 large pieces. Pierce meat all over with a knife.
  2. Stir together taco sauce, garlic, onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, cayenne, and water. Add pork pieces, and spoon liquid over the meat to coat all sides.
  3. Cover crockpot and cook on high 6-8 hours or low 8-10 hours, until meat shreds easily.
  4. When meat is done, preheat oven to 275 degrees. Take pork out of the slow cooker and shred on a large-rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or a baking mat to make cleanup easier. Discard any large pieces of fat. (Leave most of the onion behind, but it’s OK if some is incorporated with the meat.)
  5. Pour ½ cup of cooking liquid and ½ cup of milk over shredded pork. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes until brown and crispy. Remove meat for serving with tongs to leave excess fat behind.
  6. Serve with tortillas, finely shredded cabbage, guacamole or avocado, and green salsa.

Notes

Suggested condiments: Finely shredded cabbage, guacamole or sliced avocado, and green salsa.

Are you a fan of the old version? Just make these simple changes:

  • Substitute a 16 oz. jar of green salsa for the taco sauce and a 15 oz. can of beef broth for the water.
  • Substitute 1 tbsp. of onion powder for the fresh onion and 1 tsp. garlic powder for the fresh garlic.

Adapted from Carnitas by Honey Pickles.

  • Author: Andi Gleeson
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 360
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Carnitas go great with…

Andi Gleeson

151 comments

Denise

4 years ago

Moving this from “recipes I have to try ” to “recipes I love!” So good

Jenny

5 years ago

Can you post this again? All I see is a picture and this recipe was AMAZING

Erika

5 years ago

I hate cooking and you can definitely taste the hate when I do! However, I have been making this recipe since 2014 and omg it’s amazing! I leave out the broth and do half verde and half taco sauce with the juice of a lime…..PERFECTION. I make this anytime someone visits. It’s kind of hard to mess up a slow cooker meal. Don’t ever remove this recipe

Jace

6 years ago

I didn’t read through all comments, so I apologize if this was already addressed. I’ve made many carnita recipes and have always crisped them. I’ve never heard of adding milk and am hesitate to do so. What does adding milk do for the meat?

Stacy

7 years ago

Is there any way to get the old recipe? I can’t handle spicy foods at all. Truthfully, my taste buds are so strong I can tell the color of an M&M by taste alone. I need foods that others would describe as “bland.”

Andi Gleeson

7 years ago

Hi, Stacy! This recipe isn’t spicy at all (just leave out the cayenne pepper). I do have a note in the recipe about how to make it the original way if you want to try that :)

Meghan

8 years ago

I love to cook and I love new recipes. I go through at least 3 new recipes a week and I never leave a comment on any of the recipes I’ve tried. I HAD to comment on this recipe because it has been one of my favorites by far. So easy… great flavor… just delicious! This will be a regular in our house!

Andi Gleeson

7 years ago

Thank you so much, Meghan! This is such a wonderful compliment, and I really appreciate that you took the time to leave a review :) :)

Lori

8 years ago

Just wondered WHY you’d want to crisp up the meat. Doesn’t that make it dry? Making this tonight so wondered about skipping this step.

Andi Gleeson

8 years ago

Hi, Lori. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to reply before you had made this dish. I think the crispy edges do a good job of duplicating the texture of authentic fried carnitas, but you won’t go wrong with eating the meat right of the slow cooker either. I hope you enjoyed it however you decided to make it. Thank you!

Penny

9 years ago

Here in the UK we don’t seem to be able to buy the green taco sauce what could I use instead as I would love to make this dish as it looks so good.

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

Hi, Penny! Do you have any sort of green (made with tomatillos) salsa or green enchilada sauce? If not, just try it with red taco sauce instead if that is available. It will still turn out great I think :) Thank you!

Penny

9 years ago

Thank you Andi for your reply I can get salsa and red taco sauce . Can’t wait to try it looks so yummy

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

OK, great! I really think it’s about the pork, slow cooking, and then crisping them in the oven. If you change the salsa or seasoning a bit, they will still turn out good :)

Carla

5 years ago

I am Mexican and do my own salsa. I use green or red and both turn out great. It is very easy to make. In a large pan put a little oil and add either green (15) or red (8)) tomatoes, 1 jalapeño, 1 glove garlic and 1 onion. Cover and when it is soft put in blender with salt to taste. You will love it!

kayla

6 years ago

how about canned chopped green chiles?

L Darley

9 years ago

Sounds delicious. Can you make ahead and freeze?

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

I have to say that I’m not very experienced with freezer cooking because I don’t plan ahead very well :) I would put it in the freezer with about a cup of the broth right out of the slow cooker. Then, I would thaw in the fridge and do the baking step with milk to “wake it up.” I think that would work well. Let me know how it turns out if you try it. Thanks so much!

Abby

9 years ago

I made these tonight! So good! I feel like putting them in the oven kind of dried out the top though. Did I do something wrong, or was it supposed to do that? Thank you for a new favorite! I would try to post my pic, but I don’t know how!!

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

Hi, Abby! Drying them out on top is kind of what it’s supposed to do. I call it crispy :) If you didn’t like that texture though, you could just skip that step next time. I’m so happy that you liked the recipe otherwise! You can post your pic on my Facebook page if you want: facebook.com/wearychef/. I’d love to see it!

Julie @ Cooks with co*cktails

9 years ago

These look fabulous! And so easy… I was looking for an easy recipe to make to take camping this weekend and Im going to make this one! Thanks for the recipe.

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

Thank you, Julie! I hope it turned out well for your camping trip. So sorry I missed your comment until now! Have a good weekend :)

Jayla

9 years ago

I have this recipe in my slow cooker as we ‘speak’. I had no idea what green taco sauce is, so I used red enchilada sauce and some green salsa (it’s what I had on hand). And all the seasonings, of course. Getting ready to shred it, milk it, and throw it in the oven. I hope it tastes as good as it smells –IOW, totally and completely amazing! Thanks for the share, Andi.

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

I hope you love it, Jayla. I just made this for dinner Friday night, and it’s still one of our favorites :) Thank you!

Jayla

9 years ago

Update: It was 110% delicious! Husband loved it, so I will be making it often.

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

So glad to hear it, Jayla! Thank you!

Liz

9 years ago

Yum Andi – thank you!

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

Thanks, Liz!

Marsha

9 years ago

I can’t wait to make this.
Thanks,And i.

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

Thanks, Marsha! I think you’ll love it. This is one of our favorites!

Jess

9 years ago

Cooking these up as I speak :) These have become a special treat for us. Whenever I find a pork roast on sale, we are sure to be having carnitas! Absolutely my FAVORITE Pin-spired recipe. Thanks again Andi!

amy

9 years ago

I clicked for the recipe and the link goes to an error page! This recipe looks amazing and I would love to get it. Help please! :)

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

I’m so sorry about that! I think it’s fixed now, or you can go directly to Carnitas Recipe. That’s what I get for trying to get fancy! Thanks for letting me know, Amy.

Kathy Wilder

9 years ago

Thanks so much for this recipe! I made these, and they were completely awesome!! Yum!

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

Thank you, Kathy! I’m so happy to hear it!

Emma

9 years ago

This comment may seem trivial, but I was wondering what brand tortillas you use? I know you said you enjoy corn/whole wheat (me too!) and I’ve seen them pop up in quite a few of your recipes. Are you loyal to one or two types? I would love suggestions!

Andi Gleeson

9 years ago

Not trivial at all! I actually just learned how to make my own corn tortillas and wrote a post about it here if you are interested. If you can eat wheat, my favorite store-bought tortillas are Mission Artisan Corn & Whole Wheat Blend tortillas. Have you seen those? They are really soft and delicious! Thanks for asking, Emma :)

Tanya

9 years ago

I made these are they were awesome! My kids took the leftovers for lunch the next day to school!! I did change one ingredient – the green taco sauce. I didn’t have any (and didn’t know what it was!) so I improvised with a green chili enchilada sauce from a can. It was wonderful! DEFINITELY making again :)

Andi

9 years ago

Thank you so much, Tanya! Using enchilada sauce instead of taco sauce is a great idea. I think one other reader said they tried that too. I should make it that way next time. So glad you enjoyed my recipe. Happy Mother’s Day!

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

9 years ago

These look SO yum! Pinned, totally making them soon!

Andi

9 years ago

Thanks so much, Dorothy! This is a classic around here :)

Roma

9 years ago

Loved this recipe! The pork was crispy and made my apartment smell good all day. And what’s more, my family all loved it too!!

Andi

9 years ago

Thank you so much, Roma! I’m glad this one was a hit at your house too.

Laurie

9 years ago

These cooked all day today and are now in the oven (after I sampled done, of course!). I have my limes, avocado, cilantro & finely chopped onion ready to go. But my one question-do you just toss this beautiful, flavorful yummy looking sauce that it cooked in all day? I hate to but can’t figure out what I would do with it!

Andi

9 years ago

I hope you loved your dinner, Laurie! To be honest, I’m not the best at figuring out how to use pan drippings and things like that, but I bet if you let the juices separate and discarded the fat, you could make an amazing soup base or gravy. Let me know if you figure out a good use for the sauce! Thanks so much :)

Erica Chanelle

9 years ago

Seriously so great! I made these two weeks ago but used pork loin instead since I bought so much when it was on sale, I was worried about the meat coming out dry so I added extra beef broth and they came out amazing, And spicy! I used stubbs salsa verde sauce.
And since we had lots of leftovers I froze it and reheated it tonight for dinner..made my husband sweet baby rays bbq tacos with it and I made my tacos with Frank’s red hot sauce! So delicious! Definitely will make these again.

Andi

9 years ago

Hi, Erica! Thanks for your nice comment. I’m so glad you liked my recipe! I have seen Stubbs BBQ sauce but not salsa verde sauce. I’ll have to keep my eye out for it!

Amanda

9 years ago

Is it okay to use a bone in pork shoulder?

Andi

9 years ago

Sure! Just remove the bone when you shred the meat. Thanks!

Jennifer

9 years ago

Tried this recipe last night. (with just a few changes due to what I had on hand) It was, AMAZING! I’m patting myself on the back a little. ;) Thank you for sharing this, it was fantastic and perfect! Directions were easy to follow.

Andi

9 years ago

Thanks so much, Jennifer! This made my day! :)

Lori in NC

9 years ago

Well, this put my previous carnitas recipe to shame. It’s a bit more work, but definitely worth the effort. Served on flour tortillas with homemade guac, and roasted zucchini with fajita seasoning on the side. We have enough left for burrito bowls tomorrow, yay! Thanks for sharing.

Andi

9 years ago

Thank you so much, Lori! I’m very happy to hear that it was a hit at your house too :)

Mary

9 years ago

This looks fabulous Andi, thank you! We will be making this week definitely. Stumbled upon your site through Pinterest and I’ll be checking out your other recipes too! Merry Christmas!

Andi

9 years ago

Thank you so much, Mary! Merry Christmas!

Marcy

9 years ago

I agree carnitas are as good as it gets! I just wrote about making them too. (I made mine in the oven, though.) The crisping-up at the end is so worth it!

Andi

9 years ago

I’ll have to go check out your version, Marcy. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Nicole

9 years ago

Just made these last night and they’re seriously the most amazing tacos I’ve ever made.

Andi

9 years ago

Wow, thank you, Nicole! I’m so happy you liked the recipe! Happy Holidays :)

Kerry

9 years ago

This meat sounds amazing. Hypothetically, if I were intending to make some enchiladas out of this, would you recommend that I still crisp up the carnitas in the oven before rolling them up and baking them? Or are enchiladas even a good choice, would the filling become too dry? Either way, I still can’t wait to try this out. Stopped by via pinterest.

Andi

9 years ago

Hi, Kerry! I definitely think this pork would be great in enchiladas, and you could skip the crisping step. Let me know how you like the recipe, and thanks for stopping by :)

Amanda

9 years ago

This recipe was outstanding and I am now making it for the 2nd time this month! The entire family loved it and you are absolutely right about baking it, MUST DO THIS!!!! Thank you for a great recipe.

Andi

9 years ago

Thank you so much, Amanda! I’m happy to hear that you love it as much as we do :)

Sarah

10 years ago

I’ve made these twice now, both the old way and new. I gotta say that I like the new one a lot better! I liked the old version fine but also felt that the spices didn’t absorb into the meat very well. I just put this batch in the oven to slow roast after chasing my husband away from the pan of freshly shredded pork! Even my 3 year old was grabbing it off the tray! We’ll eat half for dinner tonight & put the other half in the freezer for a busy weeknight meal. Thanks for continuing to experiment & improve your recipes!

Andi

10 years ago

Thanks, Sarah! I’m feel the same way. I liked the old way perfectly fine, but I think this new way is more flavorful. I’m so happy to hear that your whole family liked it. Thank you for taking the time to come back to let me know :)

cloey

10 years ago

hi i found you said reduce the water from original recipes (and not adding beef broth). how much should I gotta reduce it? like half cup from 1 cup? I plan to cook tomorrow morning so hopefully i can get the answer back from you ;)
Also I plan to double the spices too and still gonna use green salsa (because that is what I have) so would it be still too bland because of not using taco sauce? thanks!

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Cloey. I’m happy to hear that you are going to try the recipe! I’m sorry if the post was confusing because I listed the changes I made to the original recipe (doubling the spices, reducing the water, etc.) The recipe is ready to go as you see it in the post and doesn’t need any changes. Your carnitas will turn out great if you substitute green salsa for the green taco sauce. Let me know if you still have questions, and I’d love to hear how you like it. This is one of our favorites! Thank you :)

Shyla

10 years ago

Just saw your notes about the old recipe substitutions. Thanks for keeping them !

Andi

10 years ago

I’m glad you found the notes about the old version! It makes me happy to hear that your family loves this recipe too. Thanks so much, Shyla!

Shyla

10 years ago

I have to say I am sad to not see the original recipe. My family LOVES it. I have found that if you pull the pork and let it sit in the juices for a few hours or even over night, it is quite flavorful! Would it be possible to get the original recipe? Thanks for sharing your deliciousness with us!

Tania

10 years ago

I made the old version of this with my own modifications and it tastes great! It want bland at all! I didn’t use any onion powder. Rather, I roughly diced some onion and liquified it in the blender with the beef broth and the rest of the spices. I poured this concoction over the whole piece of meat and proceeded as the recipe instructed. SO GOOD!

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you, Tania! That sounds like a great tip to blend the onion. I think this recipe is pretty flexible, so you can definitely play around with the spices and still get good results. I’m so happy to hear you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to come back to let me know!

Rachel

10 years ago

You must have just recently updated and changed the recipe because I went shopping and bought the old recipe that you had so I still used the beef broth instead of water and the green salsa then I went with your measurements on the spices from the recipe that is now showing and I just wanted you to know that I thought it was delicious. My 9 year old son called it “the best meat I have ever had” and told me it was good at least three times while he ate three different servings!!! Then I fed the sister missionaries from our church who is originally from Arizona and she said that it was great and she loved it because it tasted authentic and it made her think of home and then she ate all that I had left! So it definitely was not bland it was delicious for sure!! thanks for sharing this recipe!

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you so much, Rachel! I appreciate this sweet comment so much! Swapping the salsa and beef broth was the biggest change from the original. I did increase the spices a little but not too much. So happy that it was such a hit with everyone, especially your son! Tell him I said thank you too :)

Mons

10 years ago

Love the recipe . Could u please put up the old one?
Loved that even more!!
Thanks!

Andi

10 years ago

Great idea, Mons! Let me figure out how best to do that, but the changes weren’t too drastic. I’m sure you’ll like this version just as well :) Thank you so much!

Jill

10 years ago

Was just about to post the same request for the old recipe! I didn’t find the first recipe bland at all and my kids LOVED it…my oldest actually complained when the last of the leftovers were gone! I’ll try the new recipe sometime too, but it’s hard to want to change something that was already so great!

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you, Jill! I’ll work on writing up the old one again today or tomorrow. So glad your family liked it!

Rachel

10 years ago

Quick tip. Instead of baking the pork I made it crispy in the frying pan with just a little oil. The flavor and crispiness is amazing. A couple of servings at a time with about a teaspoon of oil. In fact we only crisped up what we needed for the meal and the leftovers went into the fridge to be heated and crisped up as needed.

Andi

10 years ago

That’s a great idea, Rachel, especially since it’s easy to just do a little at a time before serving. Thanks for the tip!

laz

10 years ago

I tried it again. Instead of a crock pot, I use an oven at 200 F for 8 hours, with a foil covered glass pot. This works really well with the chicken stroganoff. I found the pork to be tasteless. My theory is that all the spices evaporate from the 8 hours at 200 F and just stink up the house..

How I made this appetizing was after the long slow bake and shredding the pork to add the milk, spices, and bake at 275 F for 45 minutes uncovered. The milk makes the pork rich, and the spices diffuse through the meat.

I know form watching the TV cooking channel that everyone else gets great results from doing the dry rub and the long slow bake.

Andi

10 years ago

We will just have to agree to disagree on this one, Laz! :) I liked the original version fine and the new version even better. I’m glad you found a version that suits your taste. Have a great weekend, and I hope to hear from you again!

laz

10 years ago

Ok, I used RED salsa instead of the the GREEN so I shouldn’t critique this recipe.

And I’m not Gordon Ramsey nor Robert Irving (why do we americans love to be chastized by loud mouth arrogant brits??), so I want to know is if the salsa is required? How the pork roast turn out with out the beef broth and the salsa??

What I learned from this recipe is how to make pulled pork. I didn’t care for that red salsa, would green salsa make that much difference? I’d like to try this again with out the beef broth and salsa but don’t want to risk ruining $15 worth of fine pork roast.

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Laz. I’m really sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t your favorite. I do think green salsa is important to get the right flavor, but a few others have commented that they thought this carnitas was too bland. I liked it the old way, but I value my readers’ feedback and completely revamped the recipe this week! You can read my note about what changes I made and why, and I hope you might give it a try again to see what you think. Thank you!

Wendy

10 years ago

I didn’t read the directions carefully and put the milk in the Crock Pot. Is it ruined? :(

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Wendy! I’m sorry I missed this comment yesterday. It was a crazy day! How did your carnitas turn out? I’m sure the milk wouldn’t ruin it! I’m actually making carnitas right now! I hope you enjoyed it.

Jess

10 years ago

I made these for dinner last night, and they were AMAZING!!!!! I highly suggest eating them with avocado and sour cream, they made for a great texture combo with the pork. It was torturous smelling them all day long, especially as I popped them into the oven for another 45…but soooooooo worth it :) Mine did come out just a bit bland, I think next time I’ll kinda coat the roast with the seasoning before I pop it into the crockpot, just for a little extra kick. My picky fiance’ even loved them! Just finished off a couple more for lunch, and they were even better after sitting in the fridge :) Thanks so much for the post, these will definitely be included in the dinner rotation from here on out!

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you so much, Jess! I’m really happy you liked this recipe, but I think I’m going to amp up the spices since a few people have said it was bland. I’ll be happy to have an excuse to make carnitas again this week for research purposes ;) Hope you are having a good week!

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Jess! I wanted to let you know that I revamped this recipe this week to boost the flavor since a few readers said they thought it was bland. I hope you like the new version even more! Thanks so much :)

jr wink

10 years ago

I agree with the bland,comment. I was kind of embarrassEd to serve this, even with my teenaGE grandaughter and her boyfriend, I had hosted him 4 1st time for him. hopefully for the lack of excitement came with My display of peppers tomatoes ,Guac ,etc. , thank you, as I do look forward tryiñg many more recipies as I have in the past

Andi

10 years ago

I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it! I’ve made this many times as written, and other folks have commented here that they loved it too. I’m not sure what went wrong with your batch, but I wonder if it depends on the brand/flavor of the salsa. Carnitas is not typically spicy or overly flavored, but maybe you were expecting something different. You could certainly add more spice to taste. Thanks for being a loyal reader, and I hope you find more recipes here to suit your tastes!

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, JR. Because a few other readers commented that they thought this carnitas was bland, I completely revamped the recipe this week! You can read my note in the post about what changes I made and why, and I hope you might give it a try again to see what you think. Thank you for your feedback!

Feven

10 years ago

This is Ahhhhmazing!

Andi

10 years ago

Thanks so much! Have a nice weekend!

Tara

10 years ago

I made this today and it was outstanding! It was so flavorful and juicy. I used a pork butt and followed recipe exactly as described. I accidently got HOT green Salsa but we like spicy so it worked out well. Served it with guacamole, lettuce and sour cream. On the side we had Esquites (Mexican style corn) which I found from this recipe.

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Tara! I’m so sorry I am just now replying! I’m so happy to hear that you loved this recipe as much as we do. I love spicy food, so using hot salsa sounds good to me :) I’m going to go check out that corn recipe. Everything from Closet Cooking looks amazing. Thanks so much!

Tara

10 years ago

We want to try this but I just have two questions.. What is the best kind of pork roast for this, my grocery store offers several cuts. I’m going to cook this for two, and want to have left overs for one more meal for two. If I get a 2LB roast how long should I cook it for?

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Tara. Sorry for not replying sooner! A pork shoulder or pork butt (which I think is still the shoulder!) should work well. You want a roast with a good bit of fat on the meat, not a lean cut like a pork loin. You can remove excess fat when you shred the pork at the end, but it will keep the meat moist during cooking. You should still be able to cook a 2-pound roast all day in the slow cooker. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great weekend!

Kim

10 years ago

Hi,
This looks great, I can’t wait to try it! I LOVE carnitas!
Do you think leftovers would freeze well? I am close to having a baby and would like to make a big batch or two and freeze leftovers for a rainy day.
Thanks!

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you, Kim! To be honest, I haven’t tried freezing it and can’t say for sure. I think it’s one of those recipes that is so quick to throw in the slow cooker, it is just as easy as thawing and reheating it. Definitely let me know how it goes if you try it though, and good luck with your new baby. I’m excited for you!

Sharon

10 years ago

This is a wonderful recipe. My family called it great restaurant quality. I’ll be looking for more. My husband is from Southern California and I’m always looking for something that will please his pallet without burning the rest of ours.

Sharon

10 years ago

My tablet wouldn’t let me give this a 5 star rating. So add the 1 star above and I’d give it at least 6!

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you, Sharon! I don’t know what your tablet has against me ;)

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Sharon! I’m so happy your family liked the recipe, and I appreciate that you took the time to come back and tell me! I like my food pretty spicy too, so I have to be careful to not make it too spicy for my kids. I’m glad this carnitas pleased all of you :)

janet

10 years ago

Do you have to use Green Salsa, or can I use Red? I prefer Red.

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Janet. I don’t see why red salsa wouldn’t work too. I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure it will turn out great! Enjoy :)

Christina Boksh

10 years ago

We tried this last night. It was wonderful. I Followed the recipe just as you posted. It will be a regular on our menu. Thank you for sharing.

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you so much for letting me know, Christina! I am really happy that you lived it as much as we do. Have a great evening :)

Sandy

10 years ago

I found your site while looking for a beef/hamburger stroganoff recipe w/o canned soup. I haven’t tried that recipe yet – maybe later this week. I’m glad I looked around your site a bit more though cuz I’ve been looking for more crock pot recipes & this one sounds great! BUT…I’m not a great cook , so I have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind. Your recipe calls for a pork roast, but doesn’t say which kind & there are 3 different kinds on sale this week! Shoulder roast, butt roast & loin roast. Does it make a difference which I use? Also, I’ve had carnitas meat, but maybe not actual carnitas cuz I’ve never heard of baking it. Can you explain the point of baking the meat after it’s cooked? Thanks for your patience!

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Sandy! I’m so glad you found me and browsed around to find some recipes you like. The pork shoulder or butt roasts will work for this recipe, but a pork loin will be too lean. The baking step at the end gives the meat a nice, crispy texture around the edges. You can eat it without doing that step if you don’t have time for it. Thanks so much for your message :)

Deanna

10 years ago

This sounds so good. I can’t wait to go to the store for the pork roast.

Andi

10 years ago

Let me know how you like it, Deanna! We love it as written, but another commenter thought it was bland. Just add extra cayenne or even sliced jalapeños if you want it spicier :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

Amanda

10 years ago

Made this tonight for dinner. Man did the house smell amazing! Unfortunately it came out bland though. Going to try the leftovers with bbq sauce.

Andi

10 years ago

I’m sorry to hear that you thought it was bland, Amanda! I actually doubled the spices and added some new ones when I adapted the original recipe, and we like it this way at our house. I will make a note on the recipe to adjust the salt and cayenne to taste. I hope you liked it otherwise and will make it again with the spices to your liking. Have a great week!

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Amanda. Because a few other readers commented that they thought this carnitas was bland, I completely revamped the recipe this week! You can read my note in the post about what changes I made and why, and I hope you might give it a try again to see what you think. Thank you for your feedback!

Amanda

10 years ago

Thanks for letting me know. I will give it a try again. After hearing a few other people I know saying this recipe is amazing did make me wonder what went wrong with mine. I did follow the recipe to the T but the only thing I could think of was the brand of green salsa. Either way I will be trying it again.

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you, Amanda! I hope you like it more the second time! :)

Heather

10 years ago

Hi! I’ve got this in the crock pot right now. However, I don’t have green salsa. Would you replace it with green enchilada sauce or red Chi-Chi’s medium salsa? Thanks! I’m so excited to try this!

Andi

10 years ago

Good morning, Heather! I’m glad I’m not the only who likes to start my day thinking about dinner ;) I would try the enchilada sauce. Let me know how it turns out!

Heather

10 years ago

Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. I did end up using the green enchilada sauce. It turned out great! We were able to get three dinners out of it! First night, I didn’t bake it and we had it in tortillas with grilled onions and roasted red peppers. Second night, I baked it according to your directions, and we had it with mashed potatoes and gravy I made from the crock pot liquid. Third night, I mixed it with barbecue sauce and had it inside a kaiser bun. I do like it better baked, especially since I let the pork marinade in its juices from the crock pot over night, and then baked it the next day. Thanks for the yummy recipe! Will definitely make this again!

Andi

10 years ago

Heather, that all sounds so good! Making gravy with the juices sounds amazing, and I love how you were able to eat it three different ways. Thanks so much for coming back to let me know how you liked it and to share your great ideas!

Kim

10 years ago

Can you substitute the milk with almond milk? I just finished with the crockpot step and they are fab with this step alone.
Thanks for sharing!

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Kim! I haven’t tried almond milk, but I say go for it! I don’t think it would hurt anything for sure. I think the sweetness in the milk might be what makes them brown so nicely.

Jenn A

10 years ago

We love to make carnitas in the crock pot. We used to bake ours also but found using the broiler is quicker and gives nice crispy results.

Andi

10 years ago

Oh good tip, Jenn. Maybe I’ll try the broiler next time! Thanks so much!

chloe jackson

10 years ago

Quick question, What exactly is cooking liquid? Making these for tonight.

Andi

10 years ago

I’m SO sorry I missed this yesterday, Chloe! The cooking liquid is just the liquid left over in the slow cooker after you remove the meat. I hope you figured that out and your carnitas turned out great! Next time I’ll try to answer more quickly. Have a great evening!

Tanya Schroeder

10 years ago

Ah yes, I love all the crispy edges the pork get! You cannot skip that step!! My son requested tacos for his upcoming birthday-I’m thinking this is what we have to fill them with!

Andi

10 years ago

I hope you like it as much we do, Tanya. Tacos are a perfect birthday meal :)

Betsy

10 years ago

I’m def going to dry the baking process. I haven’t done that yet! When I make carnitas, I use a half a can to a whole can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, (depending on how spicy you want it) it adds all kinds of “fiesta” flavor. Garlic and onion are always a must. Shred it. Now the condiments are different for us. You have to try these on your carnitas! Fresh lime juice, cilantro, finely chopped onions (or even a homemade pico), and even add diced fresh pineapple. Yum!

Andi

10 years ago

Your recipe sounds great, Betsy, especially the chipotle peppers! I have never thought to put pineapple on carnitas, but I bet the sweet-salty combination is great. I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks so much for your comment :)

Zainab @ Blahnik Baker

10 years ago

This is such a great recipe. Easy and comfy!!

Andi

10 years ago

Thank, Zainab! It’s one of my favorites :)

The Apartment Manager's Blog

10 years ago

This looks amazing! I am always on the look out for a good crock pot meal.

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you so much! This is definitely one of my favorite things to make in my slow cooker. I hope you like it too. Thanks for your nice comment :)

Joann

10 years ago

I just saw this recipe for the carnitas, just wandering if you don’t have time for the baking process, what do you do with milk? I know it’s a dumb question but just want to make sure before I try this. Can’t wait, I will most likely bake it cause it just looks so GOOD :). But just in case I would be in a hurry. :) Thanks so much.

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Joann. If you don’t do the baking step, just leave the milk out. It just works some kind of magic to give the meat that crispy crust when baked, but you will love it shredded right out of the crockpot too if you don’t have time for the slow baking part. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks so much for your visit!

Heather

10 years ago

This recipe looks so delicious – I love Carnitas and never in a million years believed I would be able to make them at home! I stumbled onto your site while looking for an easy chicken and dumplings recipe. I am trying yours out tonight and will try the carnitas soon. ALWAYS looking for fast easy meals – we don’t get home most nights til 7 or so and planning ahead would be so helpful. Looking forward to exploring your website further. Thanks!

Andi

10 years ago

I felt the same way, Heather, thinking I couldn’t make my own carnitas, but this recipe sure changed my mind! I hope you get a chance to try it soon, and try to save time for the oven crisping part because it makes them so good! Thanks so much for your visit, and I hope you find my recipes and dinner menus helpful :)

Liz

10 years ago

Thank you for the nice recipe.

Andi

10 years ago

You are so welcome! I think you will love this carnitas if you try it. So good! The leftovers are also good on sandwiches with BBQ sauce.

linda

10 years ago

Why is milk added?

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Linda! I think the milk helps the meat brown and kind of caramelizes on the outside, but you could leave it out if you prefer and still have great results! Thanks for your question :)

lisa

10 years ago

this Looks amazing! Would the oven process be the same if I wanted to use chicken instead of pork?

Andi

10 years ago

Hi, Lisa. I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you! If you made this with chicken, I would recommend bone-in, skin-on breasts and/or thighs to keep the meet from getting too overcooked. For the last step, you might need a shorter baking time. I would just keep an eye on it and take it out before the meat gets too dry. Sorry that isn’t a more specific answer, but I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure! Thanks so much for your visit and question :)

Amanda

10 years ago

Hi! These look amazing! Will it work with a pork tenderloin?

Andi

10 years ago

Thank you, Amanda! I’m afraid that a tenderloin would get too dry since it’s pretty lean, but you could definitely try it. Just add more salsa and you’ll never notice if the meat is a bit dry ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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