Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas by fivelittlechefs.com is a great slow cooker recipe that can be started the night before and done by morning. #recipe #pork #pork carnitas

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. While this recipe was not designed for that purpose, because I forgot, it is good timing though that I finally found a recipe I love for pork carnitas! The best thing I love about this recipe is everything goes into the slow cooker at night and by morning it is done. I can shred the pork before the day really gets crazy. It makes dinner super fast which is necessary on some nights!

A pork shoulder (or pork butt roast) is necessary to use. Yes it has more fat but that is what gives the moisture and the flavor. (When I shred the pork later I take out all that fat and throw it away.) Pat dry the pork shoulder. Season with salt and pepper. Don’t skimp on this but then again don’t over due it. I tell my Little Chefs you need to see it then there will be enough. If you cannot see it put on a little more. In a small bowl mix together the oregano and cumin with olive oil then rub it all over the pork. The Little Chefs are SO happy to be done with this step and to go wash their hands!

Sear the pork in a skillet over high heat with a little oil just until the outside has browned to trap in those juices. This should only take a few minutes. Be careful with your Little Chefs helping with this step. Sometimes the oil likes to “spit at you” as we say and it hurts if the oil lands on your skin.

In a large slow cooker with Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners (if you haven’t used these liners you are missing out, the clean up is SO easy!) place your seasoned seared pork shoulder. Add to the slow cooker the chopped onion, garlic, roasted green chili and jalapeno. These are just rough chops they will be thrown out after cooking so keep them large enough to find. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the top and add the lime to the slow cooker. Add 1 can of cola. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high 4 hours.

In the morning before things are crazy take everything out of the slow cooker. Throw out everything but the meat and juices. The meat will be very tender and very easy to shred with two forks. The meat is incredibly tender this is a very easy job for Little Chefs. Again, I like to get rid of the fat at this point. Put the shredded pork back into the slow cooker with the juices that are still remaining and keep it on low until dinner time.

 crockpot  shreddedpork

 When you are preparing everything else for your meal put some oil in a saute pan. When the oil is hot add the shredded pork to brown. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crusty on one side.


We serve our Pork Carnitas buffet style so that everyone can choose what they desire. A meal like this is when I am so grateful I have Little Chefs who are learning to cook. Based upon their ability I can give them all a job because we serve this meal with many components. We cook tortillas for those who want burritos. Chop up some lettuce, shredded cheese, black beans, rice, make pico de gallo, and cilantro ranch dressing. It is a great way to give everyone choices, yet cook the same thing. This truly is a group cooking experience! What would you choose? A pork carnitas burrito or a pork carnitas salad?

Pork Carnitas by fivelittlechefs.com is a great slow cooker recipe that can be started the night before and done by morning. #recipe #pork #pork carnitas

Pork Carnitas


  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (pork butt roast)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 roasted green chili
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1 can cola
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Pat dry the pork shoulder. Season with salt and pepper liberally. Mix the oregano and cumin with the olive oil and rub all over the pork. In a saute pan heat 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil and sear the pork on all sides.
  2. Place pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, roasted green chili, jalapeno. Squeeze the lime over the pork and add the rinds. Add 1 can cola. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker. Use two forks to shred it. If you are not eating immediately remove everything else from the slow cooker except the liquid. Add the shredded pork to the liquid and cook on low until you are ready to eat.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crust on one side. Serve.


I am a mom to Five Little Chefs who love to cook and create anything with their hands. Watching over 10 additional hands keeps me busy but is so much fun! We laugh and cry everyday, but then want to do it again the next day. That is how we know we are enjoying life!

7 Replies to "Pork Carnitas"

  • comment-avatar
    Merry May 1, 2013 (7:58 am)

    Yum! This sounds perfect for picky eaters too, as the whole family can use their desired toppings. Easy to make and easy to personalize!

  • comment-avatar
    Mary Beth @ Cupcakes and Crinoline May 1, 2013 (8:00 pm)

    Kim ~ this looks absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing at Project Inspire{d}.


    Have a wonderful week.

  • comment-avatar
    Andi (The Weary Chef) May 4, 2013 (1:02 pm)

    I love carnitas, and this sounds wonderful. I have my own recipe for slow cooker carnitas, but I think I will give the cola a try next time. Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes!

  • comment-avatar
    Cathy Compeau May 5, 2013 (9:15 pm)


    I would love for you to share this and link up to my TGIF Link Party! Who knows, you just might be featured next week!


    Hugs, Cathy

  • comment-avatar
    cheeriosandlattes1 May 10, 2013 (8:34 pm)

    This sounds awesome; we love carnitas! I will have to try this soon! Thanks Kimberly! 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    amy @ commona-my house May 11, 2013 (8:24 am)

    I totally need to make this for my husband. He loves Carnitas and even in 16 years of marriage I haven’t ever made them…THANKS!!!

    • comment-avatar
      Kimberly FiveLittleChefs May 13, 2013 (7:35 am)

      There are some things my husband likes that I haven’t tried making. Maybe that should be what we figure out and cook for father’s day. My Little Chefs would love that challenge!

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