Using a slow cooker for Mexican Pork Carnitas is the best way to have spicy, juicy and crispy carnitas. Cooking pork this way is great for a crowd or freeze the leftovers to make additional pork meals. This is the best recipe I have found and you are going to love it!
What type of pork is used for pulled pork
This is a great question. You want a large cut of pork for pulled pork for a long time. The pork shoulder offers a great deal of fat to meat ratio for a good flavor. The longer you cook it the easier it is to fall apart as the meat breaks down.
What do you put in carnitas tacos?
Anything you like on tacos. That is why tacos are always a hit in our house. Each person can customize tacos for themselves. With far fewer complaints at meal time, and more smiling faces. A few typical suggestions for tacos would be lettuce, tomatoes, homemade salsa, guacamole, jalapenos, onions, and just about anything else you love.
Can you overcook pork in slow cooker?
It is hard to over cook a piece of meat in the slow cooker. I recommend a slow cooker like this one. Usually 8-9 hours on low is the perfect time. The secret is to add at least a cup or two of liquid to the pot. As the meat cooks, it releases it own juices. The onions or vegetables added create an amazing broth to cook the meat in. This broth adds flavors the meat for a slow roasted flavor. All that juice allows the meat to stay moist and not overcook. If it is dry in the slow cooker, the meat can burn and over cook. Whenever cooking meat it is best to put in at least a cup of water to make sure you do not over cook pork. You can find more slow cooker tips here.
Are carnitas and pulled pork the same?
Not really. Carnitas starts as a pork shoulder or pork butt and cooked slow for a long period of time. Once it is cooked it is shredded or pulled apart. I recommend using these claws for pulling meat. What makes carnitas unique is after it is cooked you can throw it in the oven or throw in a hot skillet and crisp up the meat. So it gets a little caramel on the ends of the meat to add another layer of flavor and crunchy texture.
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The Best Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas
Use your slow cooker to make the best Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas. Pork carnitas are great meal idea for pork.
- 5 lbs pork shoulder/pork butt – trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin or paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 med onion chopped
- 1 jalapeno chopped, deveined and seeded
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, salt
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon each chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon each smoked paprika, pepper
- 1+ pepper chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (add as much as you like for optional heat)
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Using tongs or 2 forks, sear pork on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer pork to cutting board until cool enough to handle. (This is optional. I find if I sear the meat before it gives it a little more flavor. However, if you don't have time you may skip this step. I have made this both ways and it comes out fine.)
Then whisk together all of the ingredients for the Wet Spice Rub in a medium bowl. Once the pork is cool, massage the Wet Spice Rub evenly all over the pork. Then transfer the pork to the slow cooker. Add lemon juice, lime juice, cumin or paprika, and 2 bay leaves to slow cooker. Top pork with chopped onions and jalapeno. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours OR until pork is falls apart and is tender and easily shreds with a fork.
Remove pork from slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board, shred with two forks, and add back to slow cooker and toss with all the juices form the pork. Cook on low for an additional 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat a cast iron skillet.
After 20 minutes, remove pork from slow cooker (do NOT discard the juices) and add shredded pork to skillet in an even layer. Drizzle with some of the remaining juices (about 1/4 cup) and cook stirring frequently for about 5-10 minutes to desired crispiness, watching closely so meat doesn’t burn (about 5-10 minutes). Drizzle with additional juices and toss.
Serve warm with favorite toppings.
You can make pork carnitas with corn tortillas or try mini corn tortillas for street tacos.
Make rice and beans and have a pork carnita bowl with your favorite toppings.
Topping suggestions are sour cream, greek yogurt, cheese, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes.
Freeze the leftovers and reheat to plan for meals for the rest of the month.
What can you make with slow cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas?
This makes excellent pork carnitas tacos. Another option is to make pork enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce and homemade tortillas. You can also try to make pork carnitas bowls with cilantro lime rice and black beans. This way everyone can put their favorite toppings on. This is always a win meal in my house with way fewer complaints.
With the leftovers you can make any of the dishes above and serve later in the week or shred the pork and freeze to make dishes through out the month. This makes meal planning easy, since you can cook once and serve two to three times. I can’t wait to see make and share this dish!