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These Spicy Slow Cooker Carnitas Are The Perfect Weeknight Dinner

Long live the Crock Pot.

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Photo by Lauren Zaser / Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

Slow cookers are the MVP of the kitchen.

That's because nothing beats a weeknight meal that practically makes itself while you're away at work or class for the day. This recipe — with its simple, 10-minute prep, and 10-hour cook time — is the perfect thing to toss in the Crock-Pot in the morning, and come home to at night.

Serve the spicy carnitas solo, over rice, piled onto nachos, or stuffed into tortillas with your favorite toppings. This version makes 6 to 8 servings, so you'll have plenty of leftovers to last through the week. (Or longer, if you decide to freeze them.)

Here's what you need to make the Crock-Pot carnitas:

(For exact amounts and the full recipe with video, jump to the bottom of the post.)
Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

(For exact amounts and the full recipe with video, jump to the bottom of the post.)

Start by trimming excess fat off the pork shoulder with your knife:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

We had a pretty fatty piece — and some fat is OK — but you don't want a ton.

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, salt, and Sriracha:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

And give it a mix. This is the rub for the pork:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Rub the mixture all over the pork until it's evenly covered, and cook on low for 10 hours:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Then ~shred away~:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

At this point, it should pull apart pretty easily with two forks:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Grab your favorite toppings.

Like avocado, cilantro, salsa, and cheese....
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Like avocado, cilantro, salsa, and cheese....

Our favorite is Sriracha + sour cream.

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Pile everything on warm tortillas:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Then feast!

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Spicy Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Recipe by Christine Byrne

Makes 6 to 8 servings. If you're only feeding 2 people, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight plastic container.


For the pork:

1 (2-lb) boneless, skinless pork shoulder

1 Tbsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. Sriracha

Kosher salt, to taste

For the Sriracha sour cream:

¼ cup sour cream

1 Tbsp. Sriracha

For the assembly and toppings:

Corn tortillas

Fresh cilantro

Lime wedges

Shredded cheese

Sliced avocado

Pico de gallo salsa


For the pork: If there's a lot of fat on your pork shoulder, carefully cut most of it off with a sharp chef's knife. Some fat is OK, but you don't want too much.

Place the pork shoulder in a slow cooker. Combine the chili powder, Sriracha, and kosher salt in a small bowl, then rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 hours.

For the Sriracha sour cream:
Stir together the sour cream and Sriracha in a small bowl.

For the assembly: Heat the tortillas in a large skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes per side, until they're warm and a little bit browned in spots. Lay the meat in the tortillas and top with the Sriracha sour cream and other toppings of your choice.

Let leftover pork cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Pin it for later:

Photo by Alvin Zhou / Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

For even more step-by-step dinners, click here.