Saturday, February 6, 2016

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Spice rubbed pork roast slow cooked to glorious perfection with only 20 minutes of active cook time makes this the best carnita recipe I have ever made! Tender and flavorful bites of pork are finished in the oven to obtain the most magnificent crisp around the edges. This recipe is a keeper.  We will certainly be serving Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas at our parties this year!

You have seen my pork recipe collection, correct? We kinda like our pork...  Just a lot.  We are so excited to be partnering with the National Pork Board. We are a match made in hog heaven. {{snort}}. I couldn't help myself.

Seriously though, this year one of my favorite stores is partnering with the National Pork Board to celebrate national pork month. Costco, which let's face it would be my only store if I had a bigger family and more freezers, has partnered with the National Pork Board with an entire month dedicated to pork.  It's 'Porktober'! Costco will be bringing you sales on different cuts of pork all month long.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED In honor of this fabulous occasion the National Pork Board has given us the most exciting Porktober Prize Pack valued at $250 to give away to one lucky reader.  Included are Costco gift cash for a membership and $100 shopping trip.  I could totally use that! Also included are the cutest pig cutting board and soup and sandwich set along with some other fun items.

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO ENTER week they are featuring the boneless pork sirloin tip roast which I had never cooked with before.  Don't get me wrong, I have made plenty of pork loin and tenderloin, but this cut was new to me.  I have to tell you I am already in love with it! It is pretty lean but the perfect cut so that I never missed the extra fat.

With the weather cooling off, it is the perfect time to sit down to dinner with family and friends and serve them something they will love.  What could be better than pork?  How about pork in the slow cooker! It is definitely time to dust off the slow cooker and I knew exactly what I wanted to create with these fabulous boneless pork sirloin tip roasts. You may have noticed I have a bit of a 'thing' for Mexican and southwestern flavors and I have been dreaming of pork carnitas.  {{slurp}}

So, Chad, Munchkin and I headed out to Costco for our weekly shopping trip.  Last time I told you about Wednesdays and Thursdays being the best days for shopping around us.  Well, someone must have told all our neighbors, because Costco was hopping this week. Sadly we missed the sample people, which bummed Munchkin out.  Funny that she so looks forward to samples.  haha

We love getting our pork at Costco, they have an awesome variety of cuts and you can't beat the prices. Not to mention the quality is truly a step above.

The pork sirloin tip roasts came 4 to a package and they are about 2 pounds each.  So I popped 2 in the slow cooker slathered them in my favorite southwestern spices, added chicken broth and cooked them until tender.  Then I cooked down the cooking liquid and poured it over the pulled pork on a baking sheet and broiled until the edges were crisp. Then when I pulled it out of the oven I squeezed a couple of fresh limes over the top and served it.

Oh my word!  Talk about mouthwatering delicious. Chad and I went nuts over this recipe. Carnitas wrapped in a flour tortilla with our favorite rice and toppings was fabulous.  What knocked it out of the park for me was the Carnita Bowl.  Carnitas served over cilantro lime rice, beans, salsa and guacamole.  Oh my goodness. I may have to share that recipe with you next week.

I was a little skeptical when I first started preparing pork, I guess it was a fear of over cooking it but now I just remember that for a flavorful, tender and juicy dish, cook loin roasts, chops and tenderloins to an internal temperature between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium), followed by a three-minute rest, using a digital thermometer to ensure accuracy. Bulls eye every time!

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With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
SERVES 12  |  ACTIVE TIME 20 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 4 Hours 20 Minutes

4 pounds boneless pork sirloin tip roast
1 tablespoon New Mexico chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 cups low sodium chicken stock (or 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon low sodium chicken base)
2 limes
salt to taste

Cut pork into 8 cubes.  Set aside.

In a small bowl combine chili powder, garlic, cumin, paprika and oregano.  Mix to combine.  Coat pork with spice mixture on all sides of pork pieces.  Place into a slow cooker (I used a 6 quart). Pour chicken stock around the sides of the pot.  Avoid pouring directly on top of pork or seasoning will come off.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours (alternately cook on low for 10 hours).  Meanwhile prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil. When the pork is tender, use 2 forks to shred meat into large pieces. Taste for seasoning, if necessary add salt to taste (mine did not need salt). Use a slotted spoon to remove pork from slow cooker and place on a cookie sheet. 

Pour cooking liquid into a pot and boil until thickened (spoon leaves a trail when swirled through) and pour over pork. Preheat oven to broil.  Place pork until broiler until edges are nice and crisp, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from oven and squeeze 2 limes over top.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2014 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.


 “Porktober”prize pack
$100 Costco Cash Card
$55 Gift Card to purchase Costco membership (or renew)
Pork Be Inspired apron
Pork Be Inspired tumbler
digital meat thermometer
pig-shaped cutting board
pig-shaped soup and sandwich set


Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with National Pork Board.  All opinions are our own.

Originally published 10/14/14


  1. I love slow cooking pork with Himalayan salt and liquid smoke then shredding it. I serve it with pineapple rice.

    1. The pineapple rice intrigues me...sounds like a great combo with the pork...could you publish the recipe?? thanks in advance

    2. The pineapple rice intrigues me....sounds great with pork...can you publish your recipe...thanks in advance Ruth

  2. We just filled the freezer with a side of pig. I can't wait to try this recipe!

  3. Tony Chacheres is my "go to" seasoning. I lightly sprinkle my pork loins, ribs, ect with it at least 24 hours in advance then slow cook on the grill till my meat thermometer says it's done. Let the meat rest 10 minutes then enjoy some goodness. Angela

  4. This looks wonderful! Cant wait to try this. I see a trip to Costco coming up!

  5. Pork Carnitas is our family favorite, I make it at least 2-3 times a month because it's so easy and tasty....I usually use the pork loin in Costco because it comes in 6-7lbs and I can make 2-3 meals out of it, I will look next time for the sirloin tip roast packages you mention and try your recipe version, it looks delicious, I love Costco.

  6. I would LOVE to try this recipe, and I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to Win this Contest!

  7. My favorite Mexican meal. Try it with corn tortillas. A little more "tooth" and they don't get soaked through as fast.

  8. What is your favorite way to cook pork? I love making Kaluha pork with real Hawaiian Salt.

  9. If we are making ribs we use the smoker, chops are grilled, and we do BBQ pulled pork in the crock pot.

  10. We love pork slow roasted and made into pulled pork sandwiches.

  11. As aaaalways, this looks amazing!

  12. Can a pork shoulder roast be used?

  13. What is NM chili powder & where can you buy it? Is it the same as "Chipotle Chili Powder"?

    1. New Mexico chile powder is made up entirely of ground chiles (unlike chili powder, which has other spices added) but it has a smokiness and a touch of heat to it. It is pretty readily available and you should find it in the international aisle in your grocery store (or super center).

      Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  14. Just made this for dinner tonight using the exact cut of pork pictured on this page. I had no idea what to do with this "4 pack" of roasts and this was the perfect recipe. My whole family loved it. We sauteed onions and peppers to serve along side the Carnitas.

    1. I am so happy to hear that y'all loved them! Onions and peppers are the perfect side.

  15. plan to try this this weekend, it looks/sounds wonderful! quick question; what is the purpose of the lime at the end? does it enhance the flavor of the pork?

  16. I couldn't find New Mexico chili powder so I bought the whole dried New Mexico Chili and put it on the blender and made my own powder!! The house smells so good, I just had a little of the pork and it tastes amazing!

  17. I followed this recipe to the letter and it was terrible, too dry. I feel that this is the wrong cut of meat, not enough fat. Traditionally the head of the pig is used to make carnitas, I live in TX and I have had carnitas a time or two.

  18. I made this for a Saturday lunch, and it turned out fantastic. I didn't have New Mexico chili powder, so I used regular chili powder and a dash of pepper flakes which turned out great. I am going to go find some at the grocery store though, because my family wants me to make it again next Saturday.

  19. Could I try this recipe with Sirloin Tip Roast?

  20. This is our favorite carnitas recipe, and I love picking up these sirloin tip roasts at Costco. However, my crockpot is currently non-functional--that's what happens when you forget to add liquid at the start (to a different recipe), and try adding it part of the way through--snap, crackle, pop! So, has anyone tried this recipe in the oven?

  21. I buy these pork roast at Costco and love your way of cooking them. Just hubby and me so I halve the recipe and it turns out great every time! Thanks for an easy great dinner recipe!

  22. In the slow cooker now! I didn't have chili and we're not spicy folks - plus need the 4yo to love this. He likes strong robust flavor and pork so I suspect this will be a winner! Thanks for the recipe.


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