Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas

Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas


When we go to visit my parents in California we usually go to a restaurant in San Clemente called South of Nick’s.  They have fantastic Mexican food and some of my favorite margaritas.  The first time we went my husband ordered the carnitas and that was it!  He loved them and so did I.  Now every time we make it in he orders the carnitas.  They cook them in Dr. Pepper!  I had never heard of that but then after did some research and found other recipes that use some kind of soda to either marinade the meat or use it as the cooking liquid.  I thought, why not both.

I also found that with most carnitas recipes if you want them crispy you’re either frying the meat in some kind of oil or you aren’t eating them crispy.  This method gets the meat crispy but still moist using the broiler for a few minutes after it’s finished cooking.  It works!!!  The meat was so moist and delicious but the edges were just the right amount of crispiness.

Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas

I made these to eat while we watched the Super Bowl this weekend.  I wanted something different to top them with than just the traditional taco toppings.  There is something about pork that calls for sweet something to go with it.  We eat apple sauce with pork chops, baked apples with pork loin, and now these carnitas and red cabbage slaw.  I usually like fresh jalapenos in my food but the vinegar flavor of the pickled jalapenos really works well with the slightly sweet flavor of the red cabbage slaw.   I definitely recommend these for your next family dinner.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas are moist and delicious. They get an overnight marinade in Dr. Pepper and then cook in the soda in a slow cooker to make them the most moist meat you'll ever have.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 10
  • 2 liter of Dr. Pepper
  • 4-5 lb boneless pork roast, trim the fat off and cut into 3 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c orange juice
  1. place pork chunks in a large bowl and cover with Dr. Pepper
  2. allow to sit overnight in the fridge covered
  3. drain the Dr. Pepper
  4. in a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper
  5. rub half the mixture on the pork
  6. in a large skillet heat oil over med high heat
  7. sear the pork on all sides for 3 min
  8. place the onions and bay leaves int eh bottom of the slow cooker
  9. remove the pork and place in the slow cooker
  10. pour 1/4 of orange juice into the hot skillet that cooked the pork and scrape up the flavor bits on the bottom of the pan, then pour into the slow cooker
  11. add remaining orange juice and 1 c of Dr Pepper into the slow cooker
  12. mix in the remaining spice mixture and garlic
  13. cook on low for 6-8 hrs, until meat is tender and falling apart
  14. line a baking sheet with foil
  15. shred the meat and place in a single layer on the baking sheet
  16. place under the broiler for 5 minutes
  17. flip the meat over and drizzle with 2/3 of the cooking liquid in the slow cooker
  18. place back under the broiler for another 5 min
  19. remove from oven and drizzle with another 2/3 of the cooking liquid
building the taco
  1. warm tortillas
  2. place pork on tortillas
  3. top with red cabbage slaw and jalapenos
  4. enjoy!


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  1. Kristin R. says

    Yumm this sounds so Delish I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for your recipe I have been looking for a slow cooker carnitas recipe and this sounds perfect. I will let you know how it comes out. :)

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