Crispy Pork Carnitas

These crispy pork carnitas are simple, delicious, and SO tender and juicy! The meat cooks up easily in slow cooker or Instant Pot, and is browned in the oven until perfectly crisp. Finish with my cilantro lime crema for a flavorful kick!  

Prep: 10Cook: 6-8 hoursTotal: 8 hours
Servings: 8-10 1x


  • 34 lbs. pork shoulder (slighted trimmed of excess fat and cut into 23 large chunks)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Siete chipotle hot sauce (optional)
  • ⅓ cup orange juice (2 medium oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (roughly 2 small limes)

Cilantro Lime Crema (optional)

  • ½ cup Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For serving:

  • Siete tortillas
  • Diced avocado
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Fresh cilantro 


  1. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle the meat with sea salt, cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic, paprika, pepper, and cinnamon. Rub the seasoning evenly onto the pork. 
  3. Add the chipotle hot sauce, orange juice, and lime juice to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Once the meat has cooked, shred the meat with two forks directly in the slow cooker. You can also put the pork in a stand mixer and mix it on high with the beater attachment. The pork will shred in about 5-10 seconds. Add the pork back to the slow cooker.
  5. Preheat the broiler on high. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the shredded pork to the prepared baking pan with a slotted spoon. You want a small amount of juice with the pork to keep it moist. 
  6. Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until the pork is crispy.
  7. If preparing the lime crema, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.
  8. Serve with tortillas, shredded lettuce, avocado, and cilantro. Drizzle the lime crema on top of the meat before wrapping up the tortilla.


  1. To cook this in the Instant Pot, cut the pork into 2-inch chunks and place the meat in the Instant Pot. Rub the spices on the pork, then add the chipotle hot sauce, orange juice, and lime juice to the pot. Add 1 cup water, and close the lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, followed by a natural pressure release (about 15-20 minutes). 
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