Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Carnitas

These rich, flavorful carnitas braise in a slow cooker while you’re at work. Simply crisp under the broiler, throw out a stack of steaming tortillas and taco toppings, and dinner is ready in minutes.


For the slow cooker:
Pork shoulder, butt, 3 pounds
Zest of one orange
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
3 Tbsp. Head Country Championship Seasoning, High Plains Heat
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

For serving:
24 taco-sized corn tortillas
Chopped cilantro
Minced onion
1 bottle Head Country BBQ Sauce, Apple Habanero


Low in slow cooker


6-8 hours


Cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Add pork to a large slow cooker. Add orange zest, garlic, onion, cinnamon, cloves, and Head Country Championship seasoning. Add 1-1/2 cups of water.

Cook the meat mixture on low for 6-8 hours. (Instant Pot version: Prepare as described above, seal the Instant Pot, and turn to manual or meat setting for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure using the release valve.)

Carefully scoop meat cubes out of the slow cooker and onto a foil-lined baking sheet or baking pan. Make sure the cubes are in a single layer; if not, do the next step in batches.

Broil the meat cubes under the broiler of an oven for 3-5 minutes, or beginning to caramelize and char. Carefully turn the meat cubes and broil for another 3-5 minutes.

Top warmed tortillas with carnitas (a bed of greens is delicious, too, if you need to substitute in place of tortillas). Top each taco with cilantro, onion, and a generous drizzle of Apple Habanero sauce. Serve. Enjoy!

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Our Ultimate List of Fall Recipes: Oven, Grilling, Slow-Cooker, and Instant Pot Recipes