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Carnitas (Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker)

  • Author: Maxine Dubois
  • Total Time: 4 hours and 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Carnitas is pork shoulder that is slow cooked and shredded and served on a taco. It uses ancho chiles, or dried poblano peppers, to give it the best taste!


  • 1.5 lbs bone in pork shoulder
  • 2 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of chicken, beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Garnish with cilantro, chopped


  1. Soak the chiles. Start by putting the 2 destemmed and deseeded ancho chiles in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes to rehydrate. 
  2. Season the pork. Rub cumin, oregano, salt and pepper on the pork shoulder. Cut the pork into cubes and place in the pressure/slow cooker. 
  3. Cook in Slow Cooker/Pressure Cooker. Place chopped onion, minced garlic, ancho chiles with 1/4 cup of its water, broth, juice and zest of lime, and 1 bay leaf. For Slow Cooker: Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. For Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. Quick release after. 
  4. Preheat oven to broil (optional for crispiness). When the carnitas are done, use tongs to take the meat out and place on a baking dish. Throw the ancho chiles, bones, and the bay leaf out. Using two forks, shred the meat. Reserve 1/2 cup of the juice in the crockpot. Put the shredded meat in the oven to broil for 5 minutes. This will crisp the ends of the meat and provide a delicious texture!
  5. Serve. Take the meat out of the oven and garnish with chopped cilantro. 


  • I would fry the tortilla to serve as a tostada. It give it that crunch you need!
  • Ancho Chiles are difficult to find. You can always add a teaspoon of chili powder if you still want a nice spice to your carnitas. 
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 227
  • Sodium: 873 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg