Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

The sweetness of pineapple combined with the slow heat of jalapeños make our Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas something you won’t want to pass up! This easy recipe takes minimal effort but tastes like you spent hours cooking. Broiled on high for only 2 minutes, this little trick gives you the special crispy that all carnitas should have!

Our Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas on a sheet pan next to tomatoes and jalapenos.

My husband is a sucker for all things ‘pulled-pork’. Sadly, we were all getting tired of the pork only coming in the form of bar-b-que, so we created something authentic and delicious and different. Combining fresh ingredients with pantry staples, this slow cooker meal is delicious and easy to throw together, especially on a hectic morning. The soy sauce and pineapple make for the sweet and salty portion while the jalapeños give you a great amount of heat that isn’t overbearing. The flavors come together wonderfully and really give flavor the meat as it slowly cooks.

Are carnitas always pork?

No! First of all, carnitas means “little meats” in Spanish. Carnitas are typically pork but a lot of people make them with beef and chicken. They are usually chopped meat, but are also pulled, like this recipe. The part that makes them special is when you take the one extra step of making them crispy, and thats by placing them under the broiler right before serving.

Can I make this into a carnita tostada?

Yes! You can make carnita-meat into just about anything you want! We use them on tostadas, in burritos, quesadillas and even in morning eggs! I love throwing the meat on a large salad and drizzling it with chipotle dressings. You can make them into tacos and even make a carnita pizza! The options with this meat are endless!

Ingredients for our Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Ingredients for our Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas:

How to make our Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas:

First, place your pork shoulder, fat side up, in a slow cooker.

Dice up the jalapeños and onions into small pieces. In a small bowl combine the yellow onion, diced jalapeño, soy sauce, brown sugar and canned pineapple tidbits (with the juices) and stir completely.

Cutting board with diced jalapenos and onions next to a bowl of soy sauce and brown sugar and a can of pineapple tidbits.
A clear bowl with soy sauce, brown sugar, diced onions and jalapenos about to be mix with pineapple tidbits.

Pour the pineapple-jalapeño mixture over top of the pork, evenly distributing the contents through out the pot.

Pineapple mixture in a bowl being poured over a pork shoulder in a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. When the time is up, you need to remove the top layer of fat. It should be pretty easy. I’m able to lift it off with a form and transfer to the trash in one piece. Next, with two forks, shred the pork in the slow cooker and mix it with the juices and pineapple chunks.

A pork shoulder in a slow cooker with pineapple and jalapeno mixture overtop.

Transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and place under the oven broiler. Cook at 450 F for 2-3 minutes. This will cause the meat to become super crispy and delicious! Pull out of the oven and serve!

*Reserve the juices! You can use them on leftovers. Simply drizzle over the meat anytime you reheat. Another GREAT option is to cook rice with the juices. Replace the water a recipe calls for with the juice and you will have wonderfully flavored rice to complete this dish!

Our Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas all cooked and ready to be served.

Dish the meat out into taco shells, on a tostada, or top a big salad! You can even make it into a sandwich or eat plain with a side like our Mexican Street Corn or Easy Refried Beans! Great garnishes include cilantro, queso, regular cheese, limes, purple cabbage, sautéed peppers and onions, avocados and refried beans! You can personalize this dish anyway you like. There is a little bit of a kick, but nothing the kiddos can’t handle… my 8 and 9 year old will attest to that! This is a great dish to make on a Monday night and eat from throughout the whole week!

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Yield: 14-16 Servings

Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 pound pork shoulder roast
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 2 jalapenos , diced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Can of pineapple tidbits, with juice

Instructions

    1. First, place your pork should, fat side up, in a slow cooker.
    2. Dice up the jalapeños and onions into small pieces. In a small bowl add the yellow onion, diced jalapeño, soy sauce, brown sugar and canned pineapple tidbits (with the juices) and stir to combine.
    3. Pour the pineapple-jalapeño mixture over top of the pork, evenly distributing the contents through out the pot.
    4. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. When the time is up, it should be pretty easy to take the layer of fat from the pork off and discard.
    5. Next, with two forks, shred the pork in the slow cooker and mix it with the juices and pineapple chunks.
    6. Transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and place under the oven broiler. Cook at 450 F for 2-3 minutes.
    7. Dish the meat out into taco shells, on a tostada, or top a big salad! You can even make it into a sandwich or eat plain!
    8. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 528Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 413mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 41g

(Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)



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