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Pork Carnitas

Serves six.


  • 2 lb. pork shoulder*

  • 2 tsp. sodium-free ground chipotle

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic

  • 1 1/2 cup sliced onions           

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker** and stir gently. (Adjust level of spiciness by adding more or less ground chipotle.)

  2. Cook on low setting for eight hours, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

  3. Remove pork from the slow cooker and strain.

  4. Let cool slightly before pulling meat off the bone with a fork. You may need to chop up the pork with a knife if it’s not falling apart or if you take it out before eight hours.

  5. Serve on a plate. Garnish with cilantro. If desired, add warm tortillas to make tacos. 

*Pork shoulder can be referred to as either “Boston butt” or “picnic.” Boston butt is the top part of the shoulder, and picnic is the bottom part of the shoulder. Both can be used interchangeably in a pork shoulder recipe.

**No slow cooker? You can also cook this recipe for 2½ hours on the stovetop in a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, then transfer to a 400-degree oven and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Sear all sides of the pork first in a little bit of vegetable oil and then add the remaining ingredients.

Nutrition Data 

Amount per Serving

Calories 220, Calories from fat 80, Total fat 9 g, Saturated fat 3 g, Trans fats 0 g, Cholesterol 90 mg, Sodium 110 mg, Total carbohydrate 4 g, Dietary fiber <1 g, Sugars 1 g, Protein 29 g

% Daily Value

  • Total fat 14%

  • Saturated fat 15%

  • Cholesterol 30%

  • Sodium 5%

  • Total carbohydrate 1%

  • Dietary fiber 3%

  • Vitamin A 0%

  • Vitamin C 6%

  • Calcium 4%

  • Iron 10%