Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

Oh my goodness, people.  I’ve stumbled upon a new way to make crispy pork carnitas.  But instead of spending hours upon hours babysitting your carnitas in the oven, turning them countless times to get the crispies, and adding in tons of extra oil (or lard – eek), these delicious and crispy carnitas can be made in your slow cooker!

Are you ready for the secret?!?

It’s fabulously easy.

You just let the slow cooker do all of the work of preparing your tender and oh-so-flavorful pork.  (And get ready – your home is going to smell amazing!)  Then once the pork is ready, you shred it and lay it out on some baking sheets, and then briefly pop them under the broiler, giving them a quick turn and an extra dose of broth as they cook to keep them moist.  BRILLIANT.

And to top it all off, I thought that the seasoning combo I tried for these carnitas turned out fantastic!  Loved all of the Mexi spices, and I also threw in a bottle of a favorite (Kansas City!) beer for the cooking broth, which was fab.  Definitely a delicious recipe everyone will love on tacos, burritos, salads, sandwiches, or whatever carnitas dish your heart desires.  I know this one will definitely become a staple in my house!

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

A flavorful and easy way to make crispy carnitas using your slow cooker!


  • 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 (4-5 lb.) lean boneless pork roast, excess fat trimmed, cut into 3-inch chunks
  • 8 oz. beer
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle powder (or 1 chipotle in adobo sauce)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper


Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork and sear on each side until browned (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer pork to the slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients, and give the mixture a careful stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the pork is completely tender and shreds easily with a fork.

Once the pork is cooked, preheat your broiler to high heat and prepare two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Use a fork to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, and then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the prepared baking sheets, spreading it out evenly in a single layer. Reserve the remaining broth from the slow cooker.

Place one sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin crisping up. Remove the sheet, and use a spatula or tongs to carefully toss the pork. Then ladle about 1/4 cup of the remaining slow cooker broth over the pork. Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat more crispy. Then remove and ladle an additional 1/4 cup of broth over the crispy pork.

Repeat with the other baking sheet of pork.

Serve immediately in tacos, burritos, salads, or whatever sounds good to you! Or cover and refrigerate or freeze.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Leave a Comment:


  1. Blog is the New Black — September 26, 2012 @ 4:36 am (#)

    I adore pork carnitas… and awesome pics here!

  2. Kathryn — September 26, 2012 @ 7:37 am (#)

    Such a great idea to use the slow cooker; the meat looks like it’s falling apart. Love the pictures too!

  3. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — September 26, 2012 @ 7:54 am (#)

    Oh heck yes, I will be trying these. They look absolutely amazing. Pork carnitas rock!

  4. Lori @ RecipeGirl — September 26, 2012 @ 7:56 am (#)

    Delicious! I do slow cooker carnitas, but I don’t crisp them up. Nice twist!

  5. Meghan — September 26, 2012 @ 9:05 am (#)

    Can’t wait to try this! They look delicious and beautiful photos!

  6. Bev @ Bev Cooks — September 26, 2012 @ 9:06 am (#)

    Freaking. Love. This.

  7. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — September 26, 2012 @ 9:18 am (#)

    Look at all that cilantro + onion goodness! I neeed.

  8. Stephanie Hubers — September 26, 2012 @ 10:42 am (#)

    Ali – what beer did you use for this recipe? I think Jeremy would love this!

    • ali — September 27, 2012 @ 8:30 pm (#)

      Boulevard, baby — we’re in KC! ;)

      Tell Jeremy hi for me!

  9. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — September 26, 2012 @ 11:45 am (#)

    The slow cooker truly is a dream! Love these… now where are mine? I’m hungry.

  10. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — September 26, 2012 @ 11:49 am (#)

    These are my kind of tacos!

  11. Julie — September 26, 2012 @ 11:55 am (#)

    it looks amazing! I cna’t wait to try making it!

  12. Melinda T — September 26, 2012 @ 11:57 am (#)

    oh, this looks delicious! will have to try this one!

  13. Cassie — September 26, 2012 @ 12:56 pm (#)

    I’d love to have some of this right now, love the method!!

  14. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — September 26, 2012 @ 2:45 pm (#)

    I was just craving tacos! I was in search of the perfect recipe and I think I’ve found it!

  15. sally @ sallys baking addiction — September 26, 2012 @ 4:28 pm (#)

    Ugh ok, now you’ve convinced me Ali. I need a slow cooker! I don’t have one. I feel so unladylike. :(

    These look divine! And I have a mexican night on Friday… I already know I’m making guacamole but I needed a main dish. Perhaps this is my excuse to get that slow cooker!!!

  16. Tina {My Life as a Mrs} — September 26, 2012 @ 9:26 pm (#)

    Oh, girl… these are SOOOOO up my alley!!!!!!! :)

  17. carrian — September 26, 2012 @ 10:37 pm (#)

    mmmmm I wish this had been my dinner tonight ;)

  18. Anna @ hiddenponies — September 27, 2012 @ 12:14 am (#)

    This IS brilliant! I love slow cooker season :)

  19. kita — September 27, 2012 @ 11:02 am (#)

    Love a simpler way to make delicious carnitas! These are beautiful.

  20. Erin @ Texanerin Baking — September 28, 2012 @ 2:03 pm (#)

    Love these pictures! They look really good but wow, the pictures. I think dishes with tortillas are always difficult to photograph but you did an awesome job. :)

  21. kelley — October 2, 2012 @ 8:37 am (#)

    You are a genius!!! The slow cooker is my BFF this time of year and you just gave me a new recipe to through in the rotation. We eat tacos at least once a week! ps- I always cook my pork in beer- love that you are on the same page!!

  22. Shannon — October 2, 2012 @ 5:53 pm (#)

    Wow! I’ve loved every recipe I’ve looked at so far. New to your site and about to be a frequent stalker .. I mean visitor to your site. Good grief don’t give out your address lmao or you’ll have guests for supper frequently! <3

  23. Julie — October 29, 2012 @ 12:30 pm (#)

    Oh my dear god. I made these last night and they were way better than the carnitas I normally make. Thank you!

  24. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — December 6, 2012 @ 2:30 pm (#)

    I want these so badly it makes me cry.

  25. Karrie — January 31, 2013 @ 4:29 pm (#)

    THIS is exactly what I was searching for… assembling my spices right away! Thanks!

  26. Matthew Insardi — February 11, 2013 @ 12:07 pm (#)

    About to make these a reality… thanks for the recipe… tell you how they taste soon!

  27. Alice — February 24, 2013 @ 10:05 pm (#)

    Made this last night–it was great! Much better than what I’ve made before. I will reduce the salt next time.

  28. Alice — February 24, 2013 @ 10:06 pm (#)

    Where can I get chipotle powder?

    • Maralyn Woods — November 16, 2013 @ 11:30 am (#)

      I got mine on Amazon. Spicely Organic Chili Chipotle Ground. It’s great stuff.

  29. Taryn — March 1, 2013 @ 2:04 pm (#)

    My family made this for Superbowl Sunday and now I’m trying to make it again but, I can’t find the recipe. Just the pictures and blog entry no recipe. Please help.

  30. maggie — March 5, 2013 @ 7:34 pm (#)

    Omg…made these for dinner tonight and they are fantastic!!! Super easy to make and totally crave inducing! Hubby’s on a diet and he’s mad mad mad. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

  31. Alicia — March 11, 2013 @ 12:59 pm (#)

    Can you cook on high for a shorter time and still get the same results?

    • LESLY — August 3, 2014 @ 11:24 pm (#)


  32. kristi Smith — April 3, 2013 @ 3:08 pm (#)

    I found Chipotle bullion type cubes… haven’t been able to find the powder. Do you think those will work?

  33. lisa@cookingwithcurls — April 27, 2013 @ 8:11 pm (#)

    I have got to learn how to use a slow cooker…those look amazing!!!

  34. Andrea — May 4, 2013 @ 10:39 am (#)

    Can’t wait to make these! One question: cut into 3 inch cubes before the crockpot? I can’t tell if you cook the roast whole or in little chunks? Please help! Thanks!!

  35. Brandi — June 11, 2013 @ 3:14 pm (#)

    This recipe is fantastic! I followed the cooking directions but seasoned with Badia Complete Seasoning (a mixture of most of the ones listed) and added lime juice. I used half the meat one day for carnita tacos and the rest the next day for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with BBQ sauce. This will probably become a biweekly recipe in our house :)

  36. Katelyn Smith — June 25, 2013 @ 4:32 pm (#)

    Hi Ali!

    What can I substitute for beer?

    • Angel — December 24, 2013 @ 2:18 pm (#)

      Hi! I substitute organic vegetable broth or free range organic chicken broth for the beer! Both work great and give it great flavor!

    • Tiffany — March 4, 2014 @ 6:59 pm (#)

      try orange juice or a bottle of mexican coca cola (should be able to find at your local mexican store, comes in glass bottles instead of plastic. If not use a can of regular coke)

    • K. Eagan — May 1, 2014 @ 5:26 pm (#)

      Dr. Pepper is good too.

  37. Megan — November 8, 2013 @ 9:15 pm (#)

    I made these today for a birthday party and they were a big hit!

  38. GeorgeInNePa — December 27, 2013 @ 10:18 pm (#)

    This was amazing! Almost as good as my local Mexican estaurant. ,The only change/addition I made was adding the juice of one lime. Bookmarked for future use. Thanks!

  39. Steele Valenzuela — February 8, 2014 @ 10:35 am (#)

    I’ll be trying this later on today. I’m going to add serrano peppers, bay leaves, and a bit cinnamon, in addition to what you have added. Also, this is the only recipe I’ve found thus far that uses the oven for the crisping at the end. Kudos! I’ll let ya know how it goes.

  40. Laura — April 16, 2014 @ 8:41 am (#)

    Just wanted to say that I made these last night. I came home from work to find my husband standing over the crock-pot with a fork! Not sure how much he ate before I caught him! Needless to say, these were a big hit and I will be making them again.

  41. Cat — May 3, 2014 @ 7:30 pm (#)

    These are absolutely bloody delicious. We eat the meat in small corn tortillas with cheese, salsa, tomatoes, greens, chopped onions — all the usual suspects. The meat is so good. I’ve made this twice now and I think next time I might double the liquid; my slow cooker cooks a little hot and I find there’s barely any broth left at the end. But they’re so good I don’t care.

  42. Laura G — December 2, 2014 @ 12:57 pm (#)

    Just ran to the grocery store and home over lunch so I could get this in the crockpot for dinner tonight. Can’t wait!!

  43. Andrew C — December 13, 2014 @ 9:16 pm (#)

    Cut the ingredients in half, except for the beer. Turned out great! 

  44. Ryan — December 30, 2014 @ 4:32 am (#)

    Making this for the 2nd time as we speak. I didn’t broil the meat after slow cooking, rather I pan seared in small batches throughout the week as needed, also adding back the reserved broth from the crock pot. I also slow cooked for 10hrs on low. I found a great white sauce and served topped with that and some extra hot Valentina as well as the diced onion and cilantro, with white corn tortillas. They are fantastic. I can’t wait till tomorrow when my next batch will be ready. You can have all the toppings in the fridge ready to go and make up quick batches of tacos in minutes.

  45. Jarrett — January 6, 2015 @ 11:29 am (#)

    This looks fantastic!  But I don’t need to make that much food.  Anyway you could make another version with smaller portions?

  46. Kim — February 6, 2015 @ 12:06 pm (#)

    I was so excited to try this. I wish I didn’t cube the meat and cook it on each side before I put it in the crock. It’s only been on low for 4 hours and my meat is tough. I didn’t overcook it either. Hoping I can somehow ressurect my meat. 

  47. Kim — February 6, 2015 @ 4:25 pm (#)

    I came back to apologize for my earlier comment. If I would have just been patient then I would have realized that my pork would turn tender in the crock. This was a great recipe
     Thank you! 

  48. Cheri — February 24, 2015 @ 5:15 pm (#)

    I’ve made these a few times and they are fantastic, even with some slight modifications. I don’t drink beer or ever have any in the house, and my Zevia is too expensive to use (Ha Ha!) so I just used water and they taste fine. Also, I don’t stock Chipotle powder and wanted to make them immediately after first finding this recipe, so I left it out the first time and didn’t have a complaint about their taste. I’ve continued to make them in my limited ingredient way and they have been fabulous, so I encourage anyone who loves carnitas, but may not have all the ingredients not to be discouraged. This is a great dish and can withstand some modifications. Thanks Gimme Some Oven, for such a great recipe!! Love it!

  49. Olivia — March 13, 2015 @ 3:59 pm (#)

    Hi Ali! 

    Could I substitute chicken broth in place of the beer? 

    Thank you!


    • Ali — March 13, 2015 @ 6:51 pm (#)

      Sure thing!


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