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Slow Cooker Beer Braised Pork Carnitas

  • Author: Kylie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


These pork carnitas require just 10 minutes of prep time and an afternoon in the crockpot to create a delicious home-cooked meal that your family will love! Tender shredded pork with crispy burnt ends stuffed inside soft flour tortillas and topped with diced onion and cilantro - the perfect meal prep recipe when you know you've got a busy week ahead!


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 lb. pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 12 oz. bottle of your favorite beer
  • 32 oz. chicken broth

Serve with:

  • flour tortillas
  • diced onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • queso fresco


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl combine cumin, oregano, chili powder, paprika, cayenne and a couple large pinches of salt and pepper.
  3. Rub spice mixture all over the surface of the pork roast. Sear the roast in oil, cooking each side for about 1-2 minutes or until the entire outside of the roast is seared nice and dark golden brown.
  4. Transfer pork to the insert of a large slow cooker. Return pan to medium-high heat without wiping it out.
  5. Add onion, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add a splash of broth to delgaze the pan and scrape all the yummy bits off the bottom. Then transfer veggies to the slow cooker. 
  6. Pour orange juice, beer, and chicken broth into the slow cooker.
  7. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours. You'll know the pork is done when it falls apart.
  8. Carefully transfer pork to a large sheet pan.
  9. Shred pork and discard bones, gristle, and veggies. Discard all but 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  10. Spread shredded pork in an even layer and drizzle it with the cooking liquid. Spray with olive oil if desired.
  11. Broil pork on high for 3-5 minutes. The goal here is to have tender, juicy shredded pork with dark golden brown crispy bits on the ends.
  12. And seriously, don't skip that last step. It makes the dish.
  13. Serve with flour tortillas, diced onion, fresh cilantro, and queso fresco.


Don't skip the sear on the pork! It might seem like a waste of time, but searing the pork roast is going to give it the maximum depth of flavor and really make those spices pop. Without the sear, the flavor of the shredded pork will be flat.

Don't rush the carnitas! Low and slow is the name of the game for these slow-cooked pulled pork tacos. The shoulder roast will need to cook at a low temperature for a long duration to become tender, juicy, and oh so flavorful!

Use a good, quality beer. This is a great excuse to head your local brewery and try some new beers! You're looking for a beer that you would enjoy drinking (that's not Bud Light). Beers with a hint of citrus work well in this recipe. My husband loves super hoppy IPAs so that is what we usually have on hand. I'd recommend not using a dark beer for this recipe as it will likely take over the flavor profile.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: slow cooked pork carnitas, slow cooked pulled pork tacos, shredded pork tacos