Pork carnitas tacos may have changed my life a little.  Similar recipes have been floating around the internet for quite some time, yet I’ve never felt a strong urge to try them.  Truthfully, I’ve had pork carnitas and barbacoa on my radar for nearly a year.  I don’t use my slow cooker nearly as often as I should, so I’ve been debating which recipe would be chosen for my less than stellar amount of time spent using it.
Cleeeeearly, the pork carnitas recipe won the first round.  I couldn’t shake how easy the various recipes I’d found seemed to be.  Could it be true?  Do i really spend just ten minutes prepping this beautiful chunk of meat before sending it on its way into the depths of my slow cooker?  Apparently so.  *hesitation ensues* 
Needless to say, I fully anticipated a mediocre flavor profile with this recipe, but I could not have been more wrong.  I don’t know what happened, but the slow cooker worked miracles on this pork loin, and my taste buds could not be happier.  Listen, I was not exaggerating when I say that pork carnitas may have changed my life a little.
I still cannot get over how easy this recipe is!  You just have to lovingly coat the pork loin with seasoning and olive oil, lay it in your slow cooker, toss some diced onion, garlic, and jalapeรฑo on top, then squeeze fresh orange juice over it all.  That’s it?  That’s it?!  
Yep.  That’ll do. 
pork carnitas
I have to point out one of my recent discoveries.  To make the entire process in easier, I have started using  slow cooker liners – this is a total game changer.  Mark is usually left cleaning up after my slow cooker ventures, and he is beyond excited about this discovery.  You simply remove the plastic liner from the cooker, and throw it away.  That’s it!
 pork carnitas
Maybe the ease of cleanup makes this succulent creation taste even better, as I have now been eating this stuff for three days in a row.  It’s doing so many good things for me this week.  Do you know how often I need to switch up the different flavors in my life?  I’m one of those people that is at my happiest when I have at least three different apps/sides/dishes in front of me.  I think, “yessss!  all the goodies in one sitting!”  That’s my life, and if you’re into food as much as I am, I’m sure you can relate.  ๐Ÿ™‚ 
 pork carnitas
This recipe is going to be a new staple around here, and hopefully for you too.  I’ve now made pork carnitas tacos, burritos, nachos, tostadas, etc.  Side note : spread some of these creamy black beans on the bottom of the tostada before you start building it.  Ah-mahzing.
 pork carnitas
I know, I know.  It’s really all kind of the same thing.  But it’s cool that you can make yourself think you’re eating a different dish when you are actually just eating pork carnitas over and over again.  And loving every damn second of it. <3

I hope your experience is as good as mine! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

pork carnitas tacos are going to kill it at dinner tonight.  not only is it the easiest crockpot recipe you'll find, the flavor is perfect.

[my additional tips!]:

Actual Prep / cook time:  8 hours 30 minutes

Clean-up difficulty:  2

Overall difficulty to make:  1

Overall satisfaction:  10 

Price range?  This dish is under $10 for two people.

What I would change next time?  Not.  A.  Thing.

For your own version, I recommend:.

  • Use slow cooker liners to make your life SO MUCH EASIER.
  • Always pan sear the finished carnitas over medium-high heat.  This adds a crispy texture, and  accentuates the flavors even more.
  • The beer is optional, but recommended. ๐Ÿ™‚

ยฉ 2016 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord
pork carnitas tacos.
Serves 8
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr 45 min
Total Time
9 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr 45 min
Total Time
9 hr
  1. 2 - 2.5 lb. top loin pork loin
  2. 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  3. 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
  4. 1 Tbsp. cumin
  5. 1 Tbsp. oregano
  6. 1 Tbsp. paprika
  7. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  8. 3 cloves garlic, minced (equals one heaping tablespoon)
  9. 2 Tbsp. jalapeno, finely chopped with membrane and a few seeds
  10. 1 cup white onion, chopped
  11. 1 medium orange (or 1/3 cup orange juice)
  12. 1/3 cup beer (malty if possible. this is optional!)
  1. Rinse the pork with cold water, then pat completely dry.
  2. Season each surface with salt and pepper (1/4 tsp. of each per side).
  3. Mix cumin, paprika, and oregano together in a small bowl. Divide in half, and sprinkle the top side of the pork loin with half of the mixture, evenly distributing it across the entire surface of the loin.
  4. Slowly drizzle olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) onto the top side of the loin, patting gently so it sticks to the seasonings and the pork.
  5. Flip the pork loin over and repeat on the other side.
  6. Place the pork loin into your crockpot, and set the temperature to "low".
  7. Add minced garlic, jalapeรฑo and onion to the top of the pork loin.
  8. Cut the orange in half, and squeeze the juice from each half directly on top of the pork loin and veggies. (Or pour orange juice directly onto the top of the veggies).
  9. *optional* : also pour the beer on top of the veggies.
  10. Cover and let it cook for 8 1/2 - 9 hours, or until tender enough to shred.
  11. Remove crockpot lid, and shred the pork before removing it from the crockpot. I simply used tongs to do this (it should be VERY tender). Mix the shredded pork in with all of the juices in the crockpot, too.
  12. Serve on warm tortillas, and top with pico de gallo or any garnish you prefer!
  1. I actually let my first version cook for ten hours, it was incredibly tender and shredded apart with nearly no effort.
  2. I HIGHLY recommend heating a small sautรฉ pan over medium-high heat, and adding your desired amount of shredded pork to the pan once it is hot. Let it sizzle and cook for a few minutes, turning it over so each side gets a chance to crisp up some. This adds an incredible texture to any carnitas dish you are creating.
Adapted from RecipeTin Eats
Adapted from RecipeTin Eats
a flavor journal. http://aflavorjournal.com/