Holy Moly Pork Shoulder Crock Pot Goodness

This is what a 8lb pork shoulder looks like. There is a beauty to this that only few can appreciate.

This is what a 8lb pork shoulder looks like. There is a beauty to this that only few can appreciate. Fortunately for my family, I am one of those and there will be many things my family can say about me but starving them is not one of them!

Ok everyone, as you know, I am Cuban through and through and grew up on all things Cuban. Rice and beans were a staple in the Sanchez home and when we made pork… we MADE pork, Pernil style. Anyway, when I make a pork “Cuban style” I make my own flavorful “mojo” or wet rub, marinate the pork for 24+ hours, then slow roast it in the oven for 10+ hours on low heat. Hello, news flash people, many of us struggle to put a frozen pizza in the oven nonetheless do that much preparation in the middle of the week, right? And, yet, despite how busy we are, we still refuse to give up on taste and quality of food. Something has to give folks. For quite some time, I have been searching near and far for a yummy pork recipe that doesn’t take too much time but still falls off the bone like my native Pernil. For those of you who have been invited to my many Casa Cross parties know when I do cook my Cuban feasts I DO- IT- UP, but it is certainly an all day affair. This week I was in the mood for pork and I was getting tired of using pork tenderloin, “the other white meat” as they commonly refer to it. In my house, we always cook with pork tenderloin because it is so lean, so lean it has less saturated fat than chicken! Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Anyway, my intentions was to cook this 8-9lb pork shoulder I had in the freezer left over from a previous Casa Cross Bash. I wanted this pork to last for several meals and the result was a shredded goodness which Mexicans refer to as carnitas, Spanish for “little meats.” Usually Carnitas is roasted from a pork shoulder or Boston butt/ picnic cut and later deep fried. I don’t fry anything anymore so I tried to be creative with my rendition of Carnitas. If you are not a fan of the deep fryer, after it is shredded you can put the shredded beef on a cookie sheet and broil in an oven for 15 minutes and it will get the same crispy texture that it would when fried. Yum!


4.9 from 9 reviews

Holy Moly Pork Shoulder Crock Pot Goodness
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
It would be hard to convince anyone that this crock pot version of my childhood Cuban meal pork pernil was made any differently. It is too easy not to try.
Recipe type: Crock Pot, Dinner
Cuisine: Paleo, Cuban
Serves: 12-15
  • 8lb pork shoulder/ Boston butt/ picnic cut
  • Juice of 2 fresh oranges (it’s ok to add the pulp too)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place your pork on a cutting board and cut off any excess fat. Since this is probably the fattest/ marbled meat I cook with I took off as much as I could with a knife. Too much “white stuff” on my meats scares me 🙂
  2. Rub/ massage in all the dry ingredients to both sides of the pork
  3. Pour or squeeze in this case the liquid ingredients/ juices from the lemon and the orange.
  4. Put pork in crock pot and cook on low for 10+ hours. Note, mine was still a little frozen in the middle so 10 hours was great for us. If yours is completely fresh or thawed out I would say do at least 8 hours and if it does not fall off the bone (see picture below), like mine did than keep cooking it for another 1-2 hours. Remember pork is very forgiving and rarely will dry out, especially a marbled cut like this is extremely hard to mess up. Also, as you can see I had to shove and cut off a piece or two off of my 8lb pork shoulder cut to fit it into my tiny 6QT crock pot but it did fit! As you will all begin to learn more about me, I always lean towards the “more is better” approach when it comes to food because I always love to feed people and doubling or tripling recipes is so much easier. We, in the Cross home, love left overs because not only are left overs tasty but sometimes I don’t have to cook two days in a row if there are left overs. I am also a strong believer that the more you have in your crock pot the better it will cook and soak up all your ingredients and make your meat moist. So eat up.
  5. Ok back to the recipe. Once cooked through and the pork easily shreds with a fork, you are ready to claim your wonderful pork. Now I am going to warn you this step is super messy and honestly not fun. I am not used to having so much fat to take off but don’t let this scare you from trying this recipe. If you take off the fat, you are left with delicious lean pork. The work I had to do (10 minutes) was worth it. You can take out the entire pork if you like from the crock pot to separate the pork but mine was so juicy and tender that the bone and the pork itself just fell off as soon as I tried to take it out. So for me in this particular case, it was easier for me to shred the pork from the crock pot. After I was done I let the oil congeal and then discarded it into the garbage. Do not put it down the sink. Trust me I will save you a plumber bill. Anyway after the messy part is over you are done and ready to eat for the next 2-3 days like a Q-U-E-E-N!


Pork Shoulder Ingredients

Pork Shoulder Ingredients

Pork Shoulder

This is what a 8-9lb pork shoulder looks like

Pork Shoulder Cutting the fat

Cutting off some of the fat to make it leaner…too much white scares my thighs

Pork Shoulder with dry spices

Pork Shoulder with dry spices rubbed in and squeezed into my 6qt crock pot

Pork Shoulder with wet juices

Pork Shoulder with orange and lime juice poured in

Pork Shoulder cooked in crock pot

Pork Shoulder cooked in crock pot after 10+ hours

Pork Shoulder falling off the bone

The pork literally fell off the bone

pork shoulder shredded

The final product…6 or 7 lbs of wonderful shredded pulled pork for the week (or 3 days in my family)


We ate the carnitas just like that in all it’s juices and goodness with roasted sweet potato and carrots. I put the carnitas on a cookie sheet, added some of the juice from the crock pot on top of the pork and broiled it in the oven. Once it was done, it came out like I mentioned above, crispy, juicy and delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And the best part was there was plenty of left overs. We had delicious pork for breakfast, lunch and dinner…for the rest of the week.

Do you have any meals like this that you make enough to feed an Army but keep chipping at it all week?



Tags: , , , ,

FavoriteLoadingAdd to my Recipe Book
See your Recipe Book.

45 Responses to “Holy Moly Pork Shoulder Crock Pot Goodness”

  1. amyJuly 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to cook these since you first told me. Now with pictures, I *really* do!

    • LauraJuly 23, 2012 at 2:41 am #

      Making it for the breakfast alone is to die for! Try it and let me know how it turns out!

  2. MeganAugust 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I’m impressed my friend. But you know how the bones in meat scare me!!!

    • LauraAugust 10, 2012 at 3:56 am #

      You can do it! Don’t let those bones scare you away. There was only 1 and it fell right off. Besides this cut is half the price of pork tenderloin and so much yummier. Plus there is no garlic; your favorite 🙂

  3. VanessaSeptember 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I the pernil last night. It was awesome. My first slow cooker recipe. Tonight I am making “fricase” de pollo in the slow cooker. Let’s see!

    • LauraSeptember 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      Yay Vanny! So happy you liked it! What recipe are you using for the fricase? If the meal is a hit send it to me and I can post it on the blog too! Love it! I wnat to make the picadillo and platano dish you spoke about too soon.

  4. ChrisApril 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Hi! Recipe looks great! I’ve got an 8 pounder sitting in the fridge right now, and I can tell it won’t fit in my 6 qt. without some significant trimming or removing the bone. Do you think the bone is essential to the flavor during slow cooking, or could I remove it prior to cooking?

    Do you just serve this with rice (or your cauliflower rice)?

  5. LauraApril 19, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Chris, surprisingly the bone is so small for a Boston butt/ shoulder that it might not make too much of a dent. My advice is to cut it up in as many pieces as you can and shove what you can in the crock pot. The rest save for another time or you can place it in later in the cooking process when the pork shrinks and cooks. Obviously then you would leave those pieces in longer to cook. And you can serve this pork with ANYTHING! I serve it with my cauliflower rice because we are Paleo but I have served it with vegetables, over salad, over regular rice, etc. It is THAT good! Good luck!

  6. margerrySeptember 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Thanks for the wonderful Cubano recipe, I had all the ingredients and its now in its second hour. Can’t wait until tomorrow.

  7. Michelle WJanuary 16, 2014 at 9:06 pm #


  8. Michelle WJanuary 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm #


  9. Christie LMarch 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    I was wondering if I put carrots and potatoes in the crock pot also and do I add water to the crock pot.

    • LauraApril 5, 2014 at 3:55 am #

      Christie, add all the veggies you want but no water needed!

  10. jeromySeptember 22, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    With a 6lb shoulder, would you reduce the ingredients any? Thanks!

    • LauraOctober 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      Probably not but I am always a firm believer of more is better!

  11. RulaMay 9, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    Do I add the veggies with the meat or wait a couple of hours before? I do not want the veggies to be too soft. Also, would it be okay to add some water tot he crock pot?

    • LauraJuly 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

      Yes you can wait a few hours to add veggies if you prefer your veggies to be more “crunchy.” And yes feel free to add a tad of water but you do not need it. You will be surprised how much juices your pork emits. Trust me! Happy Cooking!

  12. KelliJuly 13, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    I have been buying already cooked carnitas from a small grocery store for a couple of years and they have always been good but this is the first time I’ve made them homemade. This was one of the most delicious crock-pot recipes I have ever made. The meat was so tender and the combination of flavors was so delicious. Thank you for this exciting new recipe. I will definitely be making this again.

  13. TeriAugust 15, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    Fortunately I have a larger crock pot. Due to timing issues (weekend laziness), my “overnight” was nearly 12 hours. The pork butt still looked like a solid piece of meat, except that it looked puffy. Once I stuck a fork in it, it pretty much shredded itself.

    This is a magnificent improvement from a couple months ago when I cooked the pork shoulder in the oven, basting madly every 30 minutes per the recipe. It wasn’t nearly this tender and it took me a good hour to shred, even though the meat thermometer said it was cooked to the right temperature.

    I am really glad you posted this! Thank you!

  14. Mary PNovember 9, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    I’m going to make it now… Will let you know in the morn….can’t wait…. Pork for breakfast!! Say whut??? Oh Yeah… Anytime is pork time… What I live about this recipe is the fact there’s no sugar, molasses, honey or any other sugar products out there…. Fresh juice is sweet enough…. Ok… Ta ta…

  15. DamonDecember 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    Using the juices as you say but in a toaster oven, how long would it broil in there to get it crispy as you say? I am trying this tomorrow. Letting the meat marinade in your rub for a day. Hope that it will make it that much better. Thank you for sharing and your response.

    • LauraDecember 29, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

      The juices has fat that secretes from meat so adding it over the meat and cooking it under the broiler is like frying something in a pan with oil. Let me know how it turns out

  16. MayMayMarch 6, 2016 at 5:39 am #

    Hello, sixthirty in the AM and we just put the lid on our crock pot. What a beautiful pork roast, spent a good fifteen to twenty min. Trimming the fat off. “I personally hate fat on my meat” then we gave it a nice rub with the dry spices and one step further my squeezed citrus was right off my trees. Now that is fresh! My husband and I can’t wait to endulge about five o’clock tonight. I think we will be having rice and veggies on the side. My homemade country biscuits. This eight lb. pork roast will carry us into the middle of this week. We love left overs.
    I will give an update with the results!
    Miss. May

  17. MayMayMarch 6, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    MayMay is here posting her follow up.

    WOW! I had to use two stainless spachulars to lift that georgious pork roast out of my crock pot on to a platter. Yes, it just gracefully fell apart. Moist along with so much juice, that was flavored by the rub and added citrus. No need to add any water.
    I thank You for sharing your recipe!

  18. Josh AlexanderMarch 19, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    I made my pork shoulder this way and it was awesome. My family couldn’t get enough. I lost the recipe shortly after and searched for a week to find it again. Im so happy i did. Looks like carolina burgers for the week.

  19. DanApril 2, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    Trying this with a 9+ pounder, 68 BBQ sauce! (And larger crock pot). Started 5-ish this evening. Thinking about serving with/over wild rice for tomorrow’s dinner, carnitas tacos or enchiladas another day, and possibly pork fritata if I’m frisky at breakfast time!

  20. AshtonApril 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

    This was incredibly well written. I usually just skip down to the recipe, but I really enjoyed the family details. I also really appreciate the photos at the end including removing the bone. I’ve never used bone-in and recently bought one by mistake, but now I’m not worried because you’ve made it seem simple enough! Thanks 🙂

  21. Edna PachecoApril 28, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    Do you set the crockpot on low or high?

    • LauraJanuary 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

      Depends how much time you have. Lately my poems are large and take longer so I cook it on high for 9 hrs to ensure it shreds by the time I get home from work.

  22. MjJune 15, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    Can u put it in frozen from the freezer to the crock pot?

    • LauraJanuary 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

      Yes but I would double the cook time like high for over 14 hours.

  23. LopeAugust 17, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

    So excited I’ve never made Carnitas and have always wanted to try so excited!!!! I’m gonna make this for my grandson 1st Birthday BBQ party this weekend!

  24. Size8huntersAugust 26, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

    Absolutely tasty my husband loves it we all loved it since i don’t have limes i used calamondin juice and lemon juice and i used 4 oranges so good and juicy. I used pressure cooker in a slow cooked for 4 hours i rolled up in the totillas with rice, cheese and sour cream it’s heaven i ate alot i can’t help it. My husband can’t wait to have some more again tomorrow.
    I have no idea what to make for dinner and so i did tried to google and thankful i stumble into your recipe which is very easy to make yet excellent taste. I shared to my friend right away.

    Thank you!

  25. TeresaOctober 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    This sounds & looks amazing!
    Take you for the visual……
    Mines is in the crock pot now?
    Thanks for sharing this Awesome recipe??
    I hope mines turns out as awesome looking as yours…YUMZERS can’t wait?

  26. JoshuaNovember 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    Fat doesn’t make you fat. You’re supposed to leave it and sear it before you slow cook it….

    • LauraJanuary 9, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

      I agree wholeheartedly, it only a choice I offer for others. I keep my fat on!

  27. Ysatis ElamNovember 16, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    Can I just season it and put water in the crock pot and cook it like that

    • LauraJanuary 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

      No water needed 🙂 The juices from the pork are enough, trust me!

  28. ElsineDecember 4, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    I am cuban decent and have tried roasting a roast pork in the oven, we use a marinate of sour oranges, oregano and garlic, Will those flavors work in the crockpot. will it soak into the meat like it would when you’re roasting it in the oven. With this recipe in the crockpot work with eating it with black beans and rice.

    • LauraJanuary 9, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

      Yes you can do either. I make my pernil in the oven with a mojo similar to yours. I promise you though this variety is also great!

  29. DIANNEJanuary 7, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    What is your suggestion for serving. Tacos? Over rice? What’s the best

    • LauraJanuary 9, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

      It’s good on EVERYTHING!! I love it over cauliflower rice the best personally but my boys prefer it with lettuce tacos. It’s up to you but either way you will love it; I promise you!

  30. LorettaJanuary 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    i want to try this…i made baked beans yesterday…will this pork go with a side of baked beans?

    • LauraJanuary 13, 2017 at 8:57 am #

      Yes!!! The pork goes well with EVERYTHING!


  1. best recipe boston butt pork roast | A Listly List - October 24, 2013

    […] Holy Moly Pork Shoulder Crock Pot Goodness

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: