Keto Carnitas

Keto Carnitas

Carnitas are great for feeding a crowd. Roast or smoke the pork or cook it in a slow cooker for busy days. Just be sure to follow the final step of browning the meat in some of the roasting juices. The browned bits are where the magic happens.

Keto Carnitas

Carnitas are great for feeding a crowd. Roast or smoke the pork or cook it in a slow cooker for busy days. Just be sure to follow the final step of browning the meat in some of the roasting juices. The browned bits are where the magic happens.
10 servingservings


  • 5 lbs 2.3 kg pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp salt
  • 13 cup 75 ml fresh or pickled jalapeños
  • 1 1 orange, zest and juiceoranges, zest and juice
  • 1 1 lime, the juicelimes, the juice
  • 1 1 lemon, the juice
  • 4 tbsp 4 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 1 yellow onion, slicedyellow onions, sliced (optional)
  • 2 2 green bell pepper, slicedgreen bell peppers, sliced (optional)
  • 5 5 avocado, dicedavocados, diced
  • 4 4 tomato, dicedtomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup 125 ml pickled jalapeños or fresh
  • 1 cup 225 ml (100 g) shredded cheese
  • 1 cup 225 ml sour cream
  • ½ cup 125 ml fresh cilantro, chopped


Instructions are for 10 servings. Please modify as needed.

  1. Mix the dry spices and rub them on the meat. Place the meat fatty side up into a slow cooker, and add the remaining seasonings.
  2. Sprinkle jalapeños over the pork shoulder. Pour fresh orange zest and juice, lime juice and lemon juice, over the pork. Cook on low in the slow cooker for 10-12 hours or overnight.
  3. When the meat is tender, remove it from the slow cooker and chop into smaller chunks. Reserve the drippings and add to a pot. Over medium high heat, reduce drippings in half.
  4. Optional step: Warm the coconut oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers until tender, and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Add some of the reduced drippings to the pan. Once drippings are hot, add pork, and fry until the pieces are browned and crispy. Continue this process until all pork is fried. Getting the meat crisped up is really important in making it so delicious!
  6. Serve with avocado, tomato, jalapeño, shredded cheese, sour cream. Don’t forget the fresh cilantro!


Dice up some limes and squeeze lime juice over each serving!

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  1. Endre
    What is the oven equivalent temperature of the crock pot low setting? (Fahrenheit/Celsius)
  2. Karen
    I live in Spain now & struggle to find an equivalent to pork shoulder - which I love to slow roast. Do you know what I should look for?
  3. Angel
    This had really nice flavor but the pork was falling apart (in a good way!) when I took it out of the crockpot, making it nearly impossible to brown it easily. While the browned bits were nice, in the end I felt like it made the meat way too heavy/greasy and muted the really nice spices. I'll skip that step next time and just serve it right out of the crockpot.
    Reply: #4
  4. Seth
    Here’s how you crisp up carnitas. Shred the meat and transfer it to a oven-compatible pan using a strainer or skimmer spoon to avoid transferring the liquid. Put the meat under the broiler for a few minutes until it crisps up. The meat will stay moist because of the high fat content. You can also brown it on the stove. You can serve it with/in the liquid (my favorite) or use the liquid for something else (preferable for filling tacos).

    PS Don’t omit the juice from the orange as the sugars are (unfortunately) essential for getting that classic crispness of carnitas.

  5. Lesley
    How many onions? How many peppers? These are in the method but not listed in the ingredients.
    What is the oven method? Time and temp???
  7. kathryn
    I cooked the pork in the crock pot, followed the recipe and it is delicious!! A hit in my household.

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