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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Julie's Crockpot Carnitas

Hungry for more? This recipe was featured in a podcast episode!


Pork carnitas and all the toppings

Our friend Julie Strauss, host of the Best Book Ever Podcast, shared this recipe with us when she was a guest on our show. We all love it so much, it's a regular meal in all of our kitchens.

Prep Time: several hrs or overnight

Cook time: 8 hrs

Servings: 8


  • 1 4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast (also known as pork butt)

  • 4 tsp salt

  • 4 tsp garlic powder

  • 4 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 tsp ground oregano

  • 2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 2 cup chicken broth

  • 1 orange


The night before you plan to serve:

  1. Mix all dry spices together to make a rub.

  2. Prepare by trimming the fat cap to about 1/3 inch. Stab holes all over the roast with a sharp knife. Massage the entire roast, including fatty bits, with the rub, making sure to get it in the knife holes. Cover and pop in the fridge.

The morning of serving:

  1. Place bay leaves in the bottom of the crock pot and place the pork on top, fat side up.

  2. Pour the broth around the sides of the roast (so as not to rinse off the spice rub).

  3. Cut the orange into quarters, squeeze the juice into the liquid and drop the quarters in the pot.

  4. Cook on low for about 8 hrs.

To serve:

  1. Shred the meat with a fork (it should be falling apart tender) removing any chucks of fat remaining. Put meat in a bowl with the juice spooned over it. Discard the orange and bay leaves.

  2. Serve buffet style with toppings such as:

  • warm tortillas

  • shredded lettuce

  • sour cream

  • shredded cheese

  • tomato

  • guacamole

  • salsa

  • black beans

  • rice

  • pickled onions or jalepeños

  • cilantro

Zhuzh it up!

  1. We especially love these carnitas with a quick pickled red onion (get the recipe over here).

  2. We've made this same recipe with beef brisket and it's also fantastic!

  3. You will have leftovers! Try it with scrambled eggs for breakfast, over nachos, or as a sandwich filling.

Although we don't know the original creator of this amazing recipe, it was shared with us by Julie Strauss, and that's why we call it Julie's Crock Pot Carnitas. Check out Julie's podcast, Best Book Ever, and all the other cool things she's up to at


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