Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Why, oh why are carnitas sooooo delicious?!?! Is it the meat itself? Is it the tortillas you put them in? The fixin’s? Or a combination of it all? For whatever the reason(s), I love to make a slow cooker version of this yummy pork. It’s inexpensive to make and can feed a ton of people. In fact, if you have a nice little crowd over, you might want to think about making my carnitas for super bowl. Enjoy!


Health tips:  kidney friendly, diabetes friendly

Ingredients: 10 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 lb. pork shoulder (or pork butt), cut into big chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into 6 wedges (or 2 small onions, quartered)
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
  • ½ bunch of cilantro
  • 12 oz. can of beer (I used Bud Light because I had it on hand, but you can use Corona, Modelo, Coors, etc).
  • Salt
  • Flour or corn tortillas (I love corn with this meal)



  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Lemons or/and limes, cut into wedges
  • Your favorite salsa(s)



  1. This first step is optional: Salt the outside of your pork pieces and brown on all sides in a skillet over high heat. (I ran out of time this morning, so I just skipped to step 2)
  2. Or, skip step 1. Either way, layer the pork, onions, and garlic in the Crockpot; Lay some onion wedges on the bottom of the crock pot with crushed garlic. Add a layer of pork pieces on top. Layer some more onions and garlic, then top with more pork. Do this until all onions, garlic, and pork are used up, ending with onions and garlic on top of pork. Add a ½ bunch of cilantro to the crock pot and pour in a can/bottle of beer.


  1. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  2. Take pork out to cool until you can handle it. Shred the meat, discarding the bones, onions, garlic, and cilantro. Strain and reserve the juice left in the Crockpot.


  1. On a foil lined cookie sheet, spread the pork. Broil on high in the oven for 10-15 minutes. When the pork gets crispy around the edges, give it a stir and broil for a few minutes longer, or until you are satisfied with the crispiness of the carnitas.


  1. Char up some tortillas on a grill or straight onto the fiery burners on your stove. Wrap and keep the tortillas in a towel or a big piece of foil until they are all charred.
  2. To serve, put some carnitas inside a prepared tortilla. Top with lemon, cilantro, and onions. ENJOY!


2 thoughts on “Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos

  1. This was so good! I made it with a bottle of Shock Top beer and let it cook on high for 5 hours…the carnitas were delicious. We added cilantro, lime and guacamole to the tacos. My husband and I easily ate 5 tacos each….he even asked that this go into our dinner rotation. Thank you for this easy recipe! Any ideas what to make with the leftover juice? Thanks!


    • Wonderful! I’m soooo glad! Yes, make a “pork tortilla soup”. Cook up some onions and garlic in a pot. Add some leftover pork juice and some chicken broth/stock, add a can of Rotel. Add leftover carnitas. You can also add black beans or roasted corn. You can top with lime, shredded lettuce, chopped avocados, crushed tortillas, cilantro, and/or cheese or queso fresco. Delicious!


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