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finished plate with pork carnitas on a tortilla with pico de gallo

Traditional Mexican Slow-Cooked Pork Carnitas Recipe

This succulent pork slow-cooker recipe brings you a super simple dish originating from the heart of Mexico.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican


  • large skillet
  • slow-cooker
  • Chef’s knife
  • Tongs


  • 2 lb. pork butt
  • 1 tbsp. lard
  • 3 oz. orange juice
  • 3 oz. Coca Cola
  • 3 oz. milk
  • salt (to taste)


  • Cut your pork into 3”x 3” pieces, give or take.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and once hot, add the lard. Once the lard is melted, brown the pork pieces on all sides. 
  • Place the pork pieces and all their juices into a slow cooker. Add salt to taste; I usually put about 3 pinches. 
  • Add the orange juice for citrus, the coca cola to caramelize, and the milk to tenderize.  
  • Cover the slow cooker with a lid and set it to ‘low.’ 
  • Cook until the internal temp is 145 degrees and the carnitas easily fall apart (about 5 hours).
Keyword Carnitas, pork, slow-cooker