Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

This carnitas recipe is sure to rival the taste of pork tacos from your favorite taqueria. Our slow-cooked pork recipe doesn’t just pack a punch of flavor (thanks to the secret ingredient of orange juice), you can also use the leftover meat in almost anything you can think of. 

Turn Tuesday’s taco night into Thursday’s nacho night and have everyone in your family build their own perfect plate of nachos. Use your favorite bread to make a sandwich with leftover meat, or spice up your salad with some extra protein.

We recommend using a nice cut of pork shoulder for this recipe. This cut of meat is relatively inexpensive and will also shred easily when you’re done cooking it. Orange juice is a great addition to recipes that can use a bit of extra flavor. The acids in the juice work as tenderizers and help break down tough fibers in meat. The sweetness of the juice can also add a nice hint of flavor to whatever you’re cooking without being too overpowering. 

There’s a quick hack spicy food lovers can use to get the most out of this recipe. We recommend adding a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the recipe for a little extra kick, but you can take your spice levels further. Are you interested in adding an authentic and smokey flavor to your meat? Use a food processor or blender to grind up 1-2 adobe peppers with a teaspoon of garlic and add it to your slow cooker. This blend will give the meat a nice level of spice and unique flavor. 

We have one more tip before we get to the recipe. Some people like soft carnitas and other people like to add a little crisp to their meat. If you want your carnitas to be a little crispy, all you need to do is add an extra step to this recipe. After you finish shredding the pork, set your oven to broil and put the meat in there for 3-5 minutes for an unforgettable crisp. 

Be sure to let us know any ways you like to spice up your pork with orange juice or any of your favorite Indian River Select juices. For now, let’s get to the recipe!


1 cup chicken broth

1 cup Indian River Select Orange Juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika 

½ teaspoon crumbled dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


Mix together salt, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of your slow cooker and place the pork on top. 

Step 3

Combine chicken broth and orange juice. Pour the mixture gently around the pork, and avoid rinsing off the coated spice. 

 Step 4

Cover and cook on low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, usually about 10 hours. If you’re cooking on high, adjust the cooking time to 4-5 hours. Be sure to rotate the meat once half of the cooking time has passed.

Step 5

Remove pork from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Use liquid from slow cooker to moisten the meat as necessary.

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