This recipe is for deliciously crispy pork carnitas tacos served with lime, cilantro and red onion. The pork is cooked until tender in a slow cooker with fresh lime & orange juice. It's then broiled in the oven until crispy & ready for tacos!
About This Recipe
To make the carnitas for this recipe, you'll use a traditional mix of spices (chili powder, cumin & oregano) along with orange & lime juice.
The result is perfectly tender, flavorful pork that's broiled in the oven until the edges are caramelized & crispy.
This recipe can be prepped in about 5 minutes and then you 'set it & forget it' in your slow cooker until it's done cooking. It's an easy dinner to make in the morning and serve as tacos in the evening.
How to Make Pork Carnitas Tacos
To make pork carnitas tacos, you'll slow cook your pork in spices and fresh lime & orange juice (along with onion & garlic). Then you'll broil the pork in the oven until crispy. Once it's crispy, it's ready to be served as tacos!
What Kind of Meat Is Best for Carnitas Tacos?
Carnitas tacos are best made with pork shoulder or pork butt, which are nearly the same cut of meat. Both are fatty and become very tender when slow cooked. This recipe calls for boneless, skinless pork shoulder/butt.
Tips & Tricks for the Recipe
- How to know when your pork is done: the pork for this recipe takes about 5 to 6 hours on high and 8 to 10 hours on low to cook. It should be fall apart tender and cooked through to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Customize your tacos: make these tacos your own by adding your favorite toppings! Avocado, guacamole, cheese, pico de gallo, white onion, red onion, cilantro, or jalapeños are all popular options.
- To make this recipe gluten-free or paleo: This recipe is naturally all of these categories, except for the tortillas. Swap out your tortilla to fit your eating style. For example, Cassava Flour Tortillas fit these diets (gluten-free & paleo).
How to Store Carnitas for Tacos
To store this recipe, store your carnitas separate from your taco fixings (instead of trying to store already-assembled tacos).
- In the fridge: store in the carnitas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- In the freezer: store the carnitas in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Freeze with some of the liquid from the slow cooker to prevent the pork from drying out.
The recipe below is for Carnitas tacos — if you're looking for a stand alone carnitas recipe, click here: Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas.
Pork Carnitas Tacos
To make carnitas:
- 4 pounds boneless skinless pork shoulder (or butt)
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 yellow onion quartered
- 2 oranges juiced
- 3 limes juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
To make the tacos:
- ¾ cup red onion diced
- ¾ cup cilantro chopped
- 6 - 8 Tortillas
- 3 - 4 Limes cut into wedges
Make the carnitas:
- Mix together the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub it over the pork on all sides.
- Add the pork to the slow cooker along with the orange juice, lime juice, onion and garlic on top.
- Cook for 8 - 10 hours on low or 5 - 6 hours on high. The pork should be fall-apart tender.
- Take the pork out of the slow cooker and shred it on a cutting board using 2 forks.
- Place the pork on a baking sheet in one layer and pour in 1 cup liquid from the slow cooker. Add pork to the oven, turn the oven to broil at 450 degrees and cook for 7 - 10 minutes, until the edges of the pork are crispy.
Assemble the tacos:
- Make your tacos by layering your tortilla with carnitas, onion, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Onion: you can use either red onion or white onion for topping your carnitas.
- Avocado: adding avocado or guacamole on top of your tacos is also tasty!
- Cassava Flour Tortillas fit these diets (gluten-free & paleo). This recipe is naturally all of these categories, except for the tortillas. Swap out your tortilla to fit your eating style. For example,