pork carnitas tacos.

pork carnitas tacos
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 jalapeño 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.  🙂 
 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! 🙂 

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. 🙂

© 2016 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord
Print Recipe
No ratings yet

pork carnitas tacos.

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs 45 mins
Total Time9 hrs
Servings: 8
Author: sara rose :


  • 2 - 2.5 lb. top loin pork loin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt divided
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper divided
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (equals one heaping tablespoon)
  • 2 Tbsp. jalapeno finely chopped with membrane and a few seeds
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 medium orange or 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup beer malty if possible. this is optional!


  • Rinse the pork with cold water, then pat completely dry.
  • Season each surface with salt and pepper (1/4 tsp. of each per side).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Flip the pork loin over and repeat on the other side.
  • Place the pork loin into your crockpot, and set the temperature to "low".
  • Add minced garlic, jalapeño and onion to the top of the pork loin.
  • 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).
  • *optional* : also pour the beer on top of the veggies.
  • Cover and let it cook for 8 1/2 - 9 hours, or until tender enough to shred.
  • 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.
  • Serve on warm tortillas, and top with pico de gallo or any garnish you prefer!


I actually let my first version cook for ten hours, it was incredibly tender and shredded apart with nearly no effort.
I HIGHLY recommend heating a small sauté 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

check the "about me" page for more information on Sara.
  1. Reply

    This looks so yummy, I’m going to try this weekend!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Jennifer! I would love to know how it turns out!

  2. Reply

    Yum! I was just looking for a recipe like this yesterday! This is dinner this week for sure!

    1. Reply

      That’s awesome, Brittany! I’m really addicted to this one. I may make it again this week, too! 😀

  3. Reply

    I love carnitas! This sounds so delicious! And slow cooker recipes are always a winner in my book!

    1. Reply

      Mine too! I hope you get to try it – I made it AGAIN yesterday for a family party!

  4. Reply

    This looks so great, I’m gonna try it out this weekend!I I don’t know why but I’ve always been a little intimidated when it comes to carnitas, I just thought it’d be way more involved to make. I was wrong 😉

    1. Reply

      I hope you got to try it! I made it again, and it was a huge hit with my whole family. Carnitas seems like it would be difficult, but this is still maybe one of the easiest recipes I’ve made to date!

  5. Reply

    Is it dinnertime yet!? These have me drooling over Taco Tuesday’s fiesta already! I’ve got to give these a try!

    1. Reply

      I hope you get the opportunity! I have made these more than ANY other recipe I’ve posted. I can’t get enough! 🙂

    • Dom
    • July 22, 2016

    This looks damn good. DAMN GOOD! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply

      Thank you so much, Dom!! They’re one of my FAVORITES. <3 Hope you can try them out!

    • Sofia
    • July 22, 2016

    This is making me drool! Your photography is amazing. I’m lazy in the kitchen so I love that you included the clean-up difficulty!

    1. Reply

      Haha, thank you! I get lazy, too. 🙁 and feel like it’s always an entire process (cooking/baking, cleaning…), so I wanted to include everything! 🙂

  6. Reply

    Carnitas tacos…ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! *Drooling* Especially when they’re nice and juicy! YES!!!

    1. Reply

      Right?! This is seriously one of my FAVORITES.

  7. Reply

    This looks so yummyy !

    1. Reply

      Thank you!!

  8. Reply

    I don’t eat pork, but my hubby does. I should make this for him.

    1. Reply

      You should if you’d like to! It’s just so easy!

  9. Reply

    Now I have a great recipe for my pork loin I have in the freezer. We love food like this.

    1. Reply

      That’s awesome! I hope you love it as much as me!

  10. Reply

    We started raising our own pork. Good pork recipes are appreciated!

    1. Reply

      Oh my gosh I wish I lived near you to buy pork from you! That’s amazing! Let me know how his recipe goes!

  11. Those look delicious!

    1. Reply

      Thank you so much, Jessica!

  12. Reply

    Yum this look Delicious, I love tacos. xx

    1. Reply

      Yes! What is better than tacos?!

  13. Reply

    I always love your photos 🙂 So tasty!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Paige!!!

  14. Reply

    OK I just ate and now I’m hungry again. These look so delicious. I have to make them soon. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe

    1. Reply

      My pleasure, Melanie! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. OMG I’m drooling, this looks so frickin good!!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Crystal! I know it. I crave these on a weekly basis!

  16. Reply

    The perfect summer night dinner ! Love it.

    1. Reply

      Exactly! It’s so easy!

  17. Reply

    Yum!! Love carnitas tacos. So good!

    1. Reply

      Yes – me too!! Thank you for stopping by!

  18. Reply

    These are the best! We prepared something similar a few days ago! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Reply

      My pleasure, Rebecca! They’re soooo addictive.

  19. Reply

    First of all, you’ve made me hungry! Those look/sound delicious and the way you laid everything out makes it all more approachable for miss Un-Domestic me. So thank you!! ☺️

    Ps. LOVE your writing style. Quirky, fun and full of personality.

    1. Reply

      Thank you SO much Heather – definitely one of the best comments I’ve ever received!! 😀 😀 and I do hope you get to try it sometime – it’s so worth it!

  20. YUM! I can totally see why this is a staple! I am printing off now and can see it being a staple in my house too! And I MUST get me some of those slow cooker liners!! Genius!

    1. Reply

      Oh my gosh, slow cooker liners are seriously one of the best kitchen hacks EVER! And I hope this becomes a staple for you – I really do think about this stuff on a weekly basis…

  21. Aren’t slow cookers awesome?? I can’t cook but this I think I can do. And we love (just love) pork carnitas. PS: We have got to find ourselves those slow cooker liners!

    1. Reply

      Jolina, you so have to get some. It seems kind of gimmicky, but the first time you’ll take one out of your slow cooker, throw it away, and just stare at your clean slow cooker you’ll be like, “oh. my…god-where-have-these-been-all-my-life?!” 🙂

  22. My husband loves this dish! yum

  23. Reply

    Looks good!

  24. Reply

    Yum! I love Pork Carnitas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

a flavor journal.
Close Cookmode