Carnitas Tacos (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)

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This carnitas tacos recipe was made specifically for the slow cooker. Add your meat and Mexican seasonings and walk away, it’s as easy as that! Enjoy this tender and juicy dish, perfect for street or weeknight tacos.

Carnitas Tacos - Mexican slow cooker pulled pork

Seasoned with warming spices like cinnamon and orange juice, this is one of my favorite recipes for carnitas tacos. Carnitas (little meats in spanish) is best cooked when slow roasted at a low heat, making it perfect for the crockpot. Made with a variety of different spices, you really can’t go wrong. Now traditionally this dish is made with lard. Depending on your grocery store or local butcher, you might be able to find lard. However, if you can’t, I have a trick that will give a good deep flavor that is distinctive with carnitas.

My trick is BACON! Provides such a great flavor and adds that little bit a lard that is needed. I try and use bacon whenever lard is requested in a traditional Mexican recipe, also, it is always in my freezer. 🙂 Butter is also a good alternative or an addition.

Slow Cooker Ingredients for carnitas tacos:

Start by adding 6 strips of bacon to the bottom of the slow cooker. Then chop two onions and add them to the slow cooker, with juice from one whole fresh lime (estimated 2 tablespoons), 1 jalapeno chopped (leave seeds in for heat or take out seeds and membrane from inside the Jalapeno before chopping),  1/2 cup of Orange Juice, 4 tablespoons of butter and one bay leaf (save this for the very end or it will be hard to find later).

The Meat for carnitas tacos:

Turn the slow cooker on the low setting, this will allow the slow cooker to warm up before you add the meat. This recipe is for 6 pounds of  pork shoulder. To prepare the meat before placing it in the slow cooker, grab a separate bowl and mix all the seasonings together, then rub them really well all over the pork until it is fully covered.


Finally add the meat to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Carnitas Tacos - Mexican slow cooker pulled pork

Optional: for the crispy bits! When the meat is done, add the meat to a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes in the oven with the rack on one of the highest levels. So good!

Carnitas Tacos - Mexican slow cooker pulled pork

Now you are ready to eat some delicious tacos! Due to the amount of seasoning and flavor that comes off of the meat. I usually eat this street taco style, just adding cilantro and white onion. So tender, juicy and delicious!

Carnitas Tacos - Mexican slow cooker pulled pork

Enjoy this delicious carnitas taco recipe, perfect for a big Sunday dinner or weekly prep using leftovers. This recipe re-heats extremely well.

Carnitas Tacos - Mexican slow cooker pulled pork

For more taco recipes, please check out my recipes for shrimp tacos or chorizo and egg tacos.


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Carnitas Tacos (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)

  • Author: Elena
  • Total Time: 6 hours 15 min


Juicy, tender carnitas straight from your slow cooker. Add tortillas and you can enjoy delicious tacos tonight!



6 pounds of Pork Shoulder

2 tablespoons of chili powder

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

4 teaspoons of cumin

4 teaspoons of dried oregano

4 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of pepper

2 teaspoons of roasted garlic powder(regular garlic powder will work too)

2 teaspoons of onion powder

2 onions sliced

1 fresh lime juice(from one whole lime est 2 tablespoons of liquid)

1 jalapeno (spicy with seeds, less spicy with membrane and seeds removed)

6 strips of bacon

1/2 cup of Orange Juice

4 tablespoons of butter

1 bay leaf


Turn on slow cooker and adjust to low setting.

Cover the bottom of the slow cooker with bacon.

Add onions, lime juice, jalapeno, OJ, butter to slow cooker.

Combine all seasoning in a small bowl. When seasoning is combined, spread over meat until meat is completely covered with seasoning.

Add seasoned meat to slow cooker with finally the bay leaf added on the top

cook on low for 6 hours.

Optional for crispy bits: When meat is fully cooked, add to baking sheet and place under the oven broiler for 5 minutes.

Optional: Add to tortillas with cilantro and white onion…Enjoy.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Slow cooker tacos
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Carnitas Tacos




I'm Elena, the driving spirit behind Savor Paradise, where the Culinary Travel Lifestyle meets unique Airbnb experiences. Join me in a flavorful journey, discovering exceptional recipes and hidden Airbnb gems, as we embrace the adventure of culinary travel.

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