Easy Carnitas Recipe + Video
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This easy carnitas recipe is ready in about 4 hours. Combine tender slow cooker pork sirloin tip roast with your favorite toppings for the most incredible pulled pork tacos!
When you love Mexican food, there are so many delicious options for easy dinners that it can be tough to pick a favorite.
Mexican pork dishes like this one are a favorite of ours because they can be frozen, then used to make dinner on busy nights!!
Easy Carnitas Recipe
Tender and flavorful bites of spice-rubbed pork are slow cooked, then finished under the broiler to obtain the most magnificent crisp around the edges.
This easy carnitas recipe is one to keep, and it’s certainly one that we enjoy serving at parties and celebrations!
Looking for more slow cooker recipes to feed a crowd? Try these chicken tacos or my incredible barbacoa that tastes just like the one from Chipotle.
Ingredients Needed For Mexican Pork
- Sirloin Tip Roast – Leaner than the typical shoulder cut, but just as delicious, this becomes incredibly tender when cooked in a crockpot.
Be sure that it’s boneless so you get the most meat for your money.
- Chicken Stock – Instead of buying a carton from the store, mix 1 tablespoon low sodium chicken base into 2 cups of water.
- Spices – A delicious blend of garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and dried oregano.
I also add a healthy dose of New Mexico chili powder, which has earthy and fruity undertones and a medium level of heat.
- Limes – Squeeze a couple of fresh limes over the cooked meat before serving. The bright citrus cuts through the fat and enhances the flavor of the spices.
Storage and Reheating
Unless you prepare this easy carnitas recipe for a large group, you’re bound to have leftovers!
Allow the meat to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container with some of the cooking liquid.
Mexican pulled pork can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Reheat pork sirloin tip roast in the slow cooker, microwave, or oven until warmed through, adding a splash of broth as needed for moisture.
If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight first.
Easy Carnitas Recipe FAQ
A shoulder roast (also known as pork butt) is the top choice for a number of reasons. It’s easy to shred, especially when slow cooked for hours, and the fat provides plenty of flavor and moisture.
It’s also one of the most inexpensive cuts, making it a budget-friendly option for many families.
I personally like to use boneless pork sirloin tip roast for this slow cooker recipe. It’s not as fatty as the shoulder, but it’s not as lean as tenderloin. It has just the right balance of texture and flavor!
Essentially, yes. Both are slow cooked for hours until the meat is falling apart and extra tender.
The difference is one small step at the end — carnitas are broiled before serving so the ends become brown and crispy.
Just about everything! We love to spoon some of the slow cooker pork sirloin tip roast into flour tortillas with all of our favorite toppings — an easy pork tacos recipe!
Mexican pork is also incredible over cilantro lime rice with beans, salsa, and guacamole or stuffed into a cheesy quesadilla. You could even add some to homemade nachos!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Other Slow Cooker Recipes
Easy Carnitas Recipe + Video
- 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 the 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!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published October 2014, updated and republished March 2023.
Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.
I know limes are essential in pulling the flavor together… My 4 year old is allergic to citrus (lime/lemon/pineapple), but I'd love to make this pork. Is there a good substitute that pairs well? or is omitting limes all together the better bet?
Pretty good stuff! It doesn't get the crisp that cooking it in a pot does but the flavor is right and I didn't even need 2 forks to shred it – just pushed the back of the serving spoon on it and it separated. Poured all of the juice back on it and mixed it up – delish!
Ha! Just noticed to put it in the oven to crisp!
I make this in the slow cooker using pork butt. I just pull the fat out as I spread it out on the sheet to finish the carnitas under the broiler.
Can I use a sirloin pork loin roast ?
I just tried these last night and I have to say they have the perfect balance of flavors. I’m not usually a fan of pork, but this recipe looked too good not to make. It came together easily, and while it took a while a majority of it was waiting for the pork.