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Slow Cooker Carnitas

The most delicious slow cooker carnitas made with pork, chipotle, spices and juicy orange. Low prep and packed with flavor this Mexican dish won't disappoint
Course dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8 -10 people
Calories 330kcal


For the Chipotle-Orange Carnitas

  • 2 tbsp kosher salt 34g
  • 1 tbsp chili powder 8g
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin 6g
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder 2g
  • ½ tsp ground coffee 500mg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1g
  • 1 tbsp orange zest 6g
  • 1 6 to 7 lb. Boston butt pork roast
  • 6 garlic cloves halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 45mL
  • 1 cup lager beer 236mL, such as Corona
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped orange 450g
  • 3 tbsp pureed chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 orange halved
  • 1 tbsp chile para naranja
  • Lime-Cilantro Cabbage Slaw and Quick Black Beans to serve
  • Toasted tortillas salsa, and diced avocado, to serve

For the Lime-Cilantro Cabbage Slaw

  • ½ head red cabbage 25g, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp lime zest 4g
  • 2 tbsp lime juice 30mL
  • ½ tsp kosher salt 3g
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 25g


For the Chipotle-Orange Carnitas

  • In a small bowl, stir together salt, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, and orange zest.
  • Sprinkle half of mixture over pork roast. Using a paring knife, make 1-inch-deep incisions all over pork roast.
  • Using your fingers, insert garlic cloves into pork. Refrigerate overnight, if desired, or proceed with recipe.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until browned.
  • Transfer pork to a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Pour beer around pork; add chopped orange, chipotle-adobo puree, and remaining seasoning mix.
  • Cover and cook on low for 10 hours. Shred meat using two forks; discard fat and bones.
  • Let meat marinate in slow cooker for 30 minutes.
  • Transfer desired amount of meat to a colander; let drain (reserve liquid in slow cooker).
  • Transfer meat to rimmed sheet pans; scatter in an even layer. Squeeze one orange over pork; tuck other orange half onto sheet pan.
  • Sprinkle pork and orange with chili para naraja. Broil meat on high until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Serve crispy pork with toasted tortillas, salsa, diced avocado, Lime-Cilantro Slaw, and Quick Black Beans.

For the Lime-Cilantro Cabbage Slaw

  • In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • For the Quick Black Beans
  • In a medium bowl, stir together 1 can of rinsed and drained black beans with ¼ cup reserved liquid from slow cooker and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Microwave on high for 1 minute, if desired.


  • Make sure to seal the meat by browning it on all sides before adding to the slow cooker, this adds a ton of flavor.
  • To check the pork is tender enough try shredding part of it with two forks. If the pork shreds easily it's done.
  • Once the meat has been shredded add it back into the slow cooker to marinate in the cooking liquid.
  • I love to crisp the pork up under the broiler for a couple of minutes to add a crispy texture.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 576mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.6mg