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Slow Cooker Beer Braised Pork Carnitas

  • Author: Kylie Lato
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


10 minutes of prep time + an afternoon in the crock pot = a delicious a home cooked meal that your family will love!



  • 23 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 lb. (bone in) pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked 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 stock

Serve with:

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


  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 to the insert of a large slow cooker. Transfer all the extra spices and dripping from the pan as well as any spices leftover after rubbing the pork roast.
  5. Add onion, garlic, orange juice, beer and chicken broth to the slow cooker.
  6. 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 off the bone and shreds easily with two forks.
  7. Carefully transfer pork to a large sheet pan.
  8. Shred pork and discard bones, gristle and veggies. Discard all but 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  9. Spread shredded pork in an even layer and drizzle it with the cooking liquid.
  10. 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.
  11. And seriously, don’t skip that last step. It makes the dish.
  12. Serve with flour tortillas, diced onion, fresh cilantro, queso fresco and Mexican crema or sour cream. 


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 here. 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: crispy pork carnitas, authentic carnitas, shredded pork carnitas