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+ servings

Slow Cooker Chipotle Carnitas

This Slow Cooker Chipotle Carnitas are smoky, juicy, tasty and totally irresistible! Perfect for Family Style Taco Bar Night. 
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword carnitas, chipotle, dinner, easy, slow cooker, tacos
Servings 10
Calories 507kcal
Author Oriana Romero


  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 – 3 individual chipotle peppers from a can of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 3 - 4 lbs. skinless boneless pork shoulder (excess fat trimmed)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped to garnish

For the Taco Bar:

  • Flour tortillas and/or corn tortillas
  • Sliced avocado
  • Finely sliced red onions
  • Sliced jalapeño
  • Diced pineapple
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Charred corn
  • Crumbed queso fresco
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa verde
  • Lime wedges


Chipotle Carnitas:

  • Wash hands with soap and water.
  • Gently rub garlic and limes under cold running water.
  • Place garlic, lime juice, oil, salt, black pepper, oregano, onion powder, cumin, peppers, and adobo sauce in a small food processor. Pulse until well combined and a paste is formed.
  • Rub the pork shoulder with the chipotle paste, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides. Do not rinse raw poultry or meat. I used gloves to rub the pork but if you don't have cloves available wash hands with soap and water after handling raw pork.
  • Gently rub orange under cold running water.
  • Place orange juice, chicken broth, bay leaves, and seasoned pork shoulder into a slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high, until internal temperature reaches 145 °F on a food thermometer. The pork should be so tender that meat falls apart easily.
  • Remove pork from slow cooker and shred the meat using two forks, removing excess fat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Heat oven to broil. Line one baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil.
  • Place carnitas onto a baking sheet, with a cup, or so, of the juices, and broil until most of the pork looks golden, crisp and crusted, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • Gently rinse cilantro, pat dry and chop.
  • Garnish carnitas with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Taco Bar:

  • Just before serving, heat your tortillas. Stack warm tortillas in a dish towel to keep them hot for longer.
  • Place chipotle carnitas in a big serving plate.
  • Rinse under running water all the fresh vegetables, before cutting. Arrange all toppings in various small bowls so that each person can make their own tacos. Serve.


In this recipe I’m adding food safety steps, provided by Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE), to help improve food safety practices.
The best meat for carnitas is pork shoulder or pork butt. it is important to highlight that pork shoulder or butt are the same things, a cut of meat from the same section of the pig: the shoulder.
STORE: If you have leftovers carnitas store them in the extra cooking liquid to keep them moist and juicy.
You can also crisp up the carnitas on the stove: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add pork in batches and sear until just crisp. Add about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and continue cooking until the liquid reduces down and the meat is nice and crispy.
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Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate and it can vary depending on the products used.


Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 832mg | Potassium: 1137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 4mg