These Pork Street Tacos are easy to make at home with your slow cooker. Popping the carnitas under the broiler at the end ensures that they get nice and crispy!
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’m a sucker for a good slow cooker recipe. I love the fact that I can do all the prep work the night before, turn the crockpot on in the morning and be welcomed home to a fully cooked meal.
Gone are the days of the basic crockpot roast.
Or, how about these Slow Cooker Carnitas?
They’re flavorful, crispy, salty and perfect for loading into street tacos.
Street tacos are much different than the Americanized version found most often here in the states.
Missing is the cheese, sour cream, and salsa. The main focus of these tacos is the meat.
The meat being these amazing Slow Cooker Carnitas. Slow cooking ensures that they’re tender, flavorful, and so easy to make!
🛒 Ingredients Needed
- Pork Shoulder – Bone in or boneless, slightly trimmed of excess fat. You can also use pork butt.
- Spices – Garlic salt, cumin, oregano, brown sugar, basil, coriander, chili powder, and paprika. Or, simply swap in this taco seasoning.
- Fresh Oranges + Limes
- For Serving – Tortillas and your favorite toppings. See below for suggestions ↓↓↓
📋 How to Make
- In a small bowl, combine the spices.
- Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork.
- Place pork in your slow cooker and squeeze the lime and orange juice over the pork.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours, or HIGH for 5-6 hours, until the pork is tender.
- Use forks to shred the meat.
- Preheat your oven broiler. Arrange the pulled pork in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Taste the pork for saltiness. You may want to sprinkle some additional salt on top. (I especially like using my homemade citrus salts at this stage of the recipe!)
- Place the shredded pork underneath broiler until tips of pork are browned and slightly crisp, about 3-5 minutes.
- Enjoy the carnitas in flour or corn tortillas with your favorite toppings!
✔️ How Do You Make Crispy Carnitas in the Crockpot?
- To make your slow cooker carnitas crispy, just pop them under the broiler with a sprinkle of salt when they’re done cooking. After a few minutes, they’ll become browned and slightly crisp and perfect.
- Tip: Don’t walk away from it. Keep an eye on meat to make sure it doesn’t burn or become overly browned.
🥣 Toppings for Carnitas Street Tacos
I generally like to serve my carnitas street tacos simply with just some cilantro, onions and cotija cheese. However, there are lots of great toppings that you can pile on:
- Pineapple Salsa
- Salsa Taquera
- Quick Pickled Onions
- Pico de Gallo
- Cilantro Lime Crema
- Chipotle Crema
- Vinegar Slaw
- MORE → 9+ tasty taco sauces.
🕕 How to Store & Freeze
Store leftover carnitas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Or, freeze for up to three months. I like portion the cooked pork into individual freezer bags and freeze them flat.
You can also use pork butt for this recipe. You want something with a good amount of fat. Lean cuts, like a pork tenderloin, will not become fall apart tender, which is what you want for this carnitas recipe.
Pulled pork and carnitas are both slow braised in cooking liquid or fat. However, carnitas are finished off under a broiler so that they become crispy at the end.
Carne asada is marinated beef that is most often grilled. Carnitas are made from pork, that is braised until it is fall-apart tender.
Al pastor and carnitas are both pork, however they are prepared differently. Carnitas are slow braised in cooking liquid or fat. Al pastor is marinated (often with pineapple), then put on a hot grill to caramelize.
🍷 Wine Pairings
- An authentic Mexican dish is always excellent with beer. I went with a classic Corona, but feel free to choose any light Mexican beer of your choice.
- If you’d like to pair these tacos with a bottle of wine, a Tempranillo would be an excellent choice for complimenting the spices in the meat.
- Margaritas – Try this one, this one, or this one.
🍽 What to Serve with Pork Street Tacos
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Mexican Black Beans
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Oven Roasted Carrots (Elote Style)
- Vinegar Slaw
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- MORE → 30+ Sides for Carnitas
🌮 More Taco Recipes
- Taco Zucchini Boats
- Korean Tacos with Bulgogi Beef
- Slow Cooker Carnitas
- Instant Pot Cuban Mojo Pork
- Sweet Potato Tacos with Chipotle Crema
- Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Lime Crema
🌟 More Slow Cooker Recipes
- Slow Cooker Pork Chops
- Bolognese Sauce
- Salsa Chicken
- Butter Chicken
- Glazed Corned Beef and Cabbage
- More → 37+ favorite Slow Cooker Recipes
Did you try this pork street tacos recipe?
If you loved these pork shoulder street tacos I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
- Be sure to check out these 25+ Mexican Desserts too!
- For a quicker version of this recipe, check out my Instant Pot Carnitas.
Pork Carnitas Street Tacos (Slow Cooker Recipe)
- 4-6 pound pork shoulder (or pork butt, slightly trimmed of excess fat (bone in or boneless) )
- 1 Tablespoons garlic salt
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 oranges (juiced)
- 1 lime (juiced)
- Combine garlic salt, chili powder, dried oregano, dried basil, cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar, and sweet paprika.
- Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork. Place pork in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Pour the orange and lime juice over the pork.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours, or HIGH for 5-6 hours, or until pork is tender and falling apart. Use a fork to shred the meat.
- Preheat oven broiler to HIGH. Arrange the pork in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Taste the pork for saltiness. You may want to sprinkle some additional salt on top.
- Place underneath broiler until tips of pork are browned and slightly crisp, about 3-5 minutes. (Don’t walk away from it. Keep an eye on meat to make sure it doesn’t burn or become overly browned).
- Enjoy in tortillas with your favorite toppings.
This post was originally published in 2015. It was updated in 2023 to add new information. The pork street tacos recipe has changed slightly as well.