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Slow Cooker Crispy Pork Carnitas

These carnitas couldn’t be easier to make.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Dinner on plate

With the hustle and bustle work, errands and daily tasks that need to get done, a slow cooker sure comes in handy.

This easy slow cooker recipe for pulled pork is made with a dry rub and then quick sear in a skillet adds a whole new wonderful dimension to the pork.

It’s similar to this 3-ingredient slow cooker pulled pork recipe in that no liquid is added to the slow cooker.

The meat cooks in its own juices which to my taste buds, really brings out the pork flavor.

For this recipe, after the dry rub pork roast is done cooking and pulled apart, into a hot skillet (with a little oil) it goes.

It’s seared until the edges of the meat are crispy.

And it tastes sooo good.

Then serve it up as carnitas in tacos, burritos, nachos, over rice, in a salad or just by itself.

If there are any leftovers, the crispy pork is wonderful when mixed in with barbecue sauce and served either as is or in a soft bun.

It makes delicious sliders as an appetizer too.

Here are some side dish recipes that would taste wonderful with this pork “Easy Potato Salad with Egg“, “Elbow Macaroni Salad” and “Oven-Roasted Steak Fries with Smoky Ketchup“.

Let’s check out the ingredients and how to make it.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas ingredients

Pork roast (shoulder or butt roast), brown sugar, chili powder, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, ground sage, dried red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Also, olive oil for making the carnitas.

printable recipe with the measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post.

Here’s how to make it.

For the Dry Rub:

Spices for Pork Carnitas ingredients

In a medium size bowl, add all of the ingredients for the dry rub (brown sugar, chili powder, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, ground sage, dried red pepper flakes, salt and pepper).

Spices for Pork Carnitas in bowl

Next,

Spices for pork carnitas in bowl

mix until evenly combined.

For the Pulled Pork:

Seasoned pork roast on plate

Remove excess fat from the roast.

With a paper towel, pat dry each side of the roast.

Firmly rub each side of the roast with the dry rub so that…

Seasoned pork roast on plate

…the roast is entirely coated.

Seasoned pork roast in slow cooker pot

Lay the roast fat-side up in the middle of the slow cooker pot.

Lid on slow cooker pot with pork inside

Cover with a lid and cook on the low setting for 6 hours.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas in pot

After the roast is done cooking, use a ladle to transfer half of the liquid from the slow cooker pot to a heat resistant medium size bowl or large pouring measuring cup (for optional use when serving).

Pulled pork in slow cooker with forks

Remove any excess fat from the roast and discard.

Using 2 forks, pull apart the pork roast so that it’s in fairly small shredded pieces.

Give it a taste test and add salt if desired.  Set aside.

For the Carnitas:

Add olive oil in skillet on stove

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add olive oil.

The amount of olive oil needed may vary depending on the size of the skillet used and, or if cooking is done in batches.

Pulled Pork in Skillet

To the skillet, add just the pulled pork (not the liquid that’s left in the slow cooker pot).

Be careful not to overfill the skillet with pork.

Leave some room in the pan to stir the pork as it cooks.

Cook in batches if necessary.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas on plate

Stir and cook just long enough for the edges of the meat to turn crispy (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Dinner on plate

Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner…

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Dinner on plate

…topped with lime juice (and, or the liquid reserved from the slow cooker pot)

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Dinner on plate

…over rice with avocado, pico de gallo, and egg if desired.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Dinner on plate

Or serve in tacos or burritos…

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Fried Egg

…or in a salad or tostadas…

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Fried Egg

…or…

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Dinner on plate

…just by itself.

Thank you so much for stopping by CCC!

More Pork Recipes You May Like:

Pork Meatballs with Pasta and Tomato Wine Sauce

Slow Cooker Saucy Taco Meat (made with a combination of ground pork and beef)

Pan-Fried Pork and Cilantro Chinese Dumplings

Chicken Fried Pork Medallions

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Crispy Shredded Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Crispy Pork Carnitas

These carnitas couldn't be easier to make!  
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Carnitas, Pulled Pork
Servings: 3 (Serves 3 to 4)

Ingredients

For the Pulled Pork:

  • 2 pounds pork roast (shoulder or butt roast) excess fat trimmed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • Dry rub
  • Salt to taste

For the Dry Rub:

  • ¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • For the Carnitas:
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil amount may vary depending on size of skillet used and if cooking the carnitas in batches (use 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil per batch, if applicable).
  • Pulled pork
  • Leftover liquid from the slow cooker after cooking the pork roast (optional for serving)

Instructions

For the Dry Rub:

  • In a medium size bowl, add all ingredients and mix until evenly combined.  

For the Pulled Pork:

  • Firmly rub each side of the roast with the dry rub so that the roast is entirely coated. 
  • Lay the roast fat-side up in the middle of the slow cooker pot. Cover with a lid and cook on the low setting for 6 hours. 
  • After the roast is done cooking, use a ladle to transfer half of the liquid from the slow cooker pot to a heat resistant medium size bowl or large pouring measuring cup (for optional use when serving). 
  • Pull off any excess fat and discard. Using 2 forks, pull apart the pork roast so that it's in fairly small shredded pieces. Add salt to taste. Set aside.

For the Carnitas:

  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. The amount of olive oil needed may vary depending on the size of the skillet used and/or if cooking is done in batches. 
  • To the skillet, add just the pulled pork (not the liquid that's left in the slow cooker pot). Be careful not to overfill the skillet with pork. Leave some room in the pan to stir the pork as it cooks. 
  • Cook in batches if necessary. Stir and cook just long enough for the edges of the meat to turn crispy (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  • Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner topped with lime juice (and/or the liquid reserved from the slow cooker pot). Serve over rice with avocado, pico de gallo, and egg if desired. Or serve in tacos, burritos, tostadas, salads or just by itself as a main dish.
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