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tray of tacos al pastor with limes and creama
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5 from 4 votes

Tacos Al Pastor

Delicious pork tacos made with your favorite Mexican flavors!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
marinating time4 hrs
Total Time12 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 187kcal

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs Pork butt or pork shoulder

MARINADE

  • 2 large papilla chile
  • 5-6 guajillo chiles
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 chipotle from can of adobe
  • 2 tablespoon of adobe sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 3 cups fresh pineapple
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon mexican oregano
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup orange juice

toppings

  • sliced limes
  • small tortilla shells
  • fresh pineapple or pinapple salsa

Instructions

  • In a small sauce pan boil pasilla chile and guajillo chiles until guajillo chile is soft. about 10 minutes.
  • Take chiles out, remove stems and seeds.
  • Place in blender with vinegar, orange juice, pineapple,garlic, onion, cumin, lime, chipotle, adobe sauce, vinegar, pineapple, salt, oregano, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Divide in to two.
  • Using an injector- inject ½ of the marinade into the pork.
  • Start by injecting your meat.  Place in the needle and move it 4 different directions squirting marinade into each direction.
  • Continue this all over the pork shoulder until you have used about ½ the marinade OR you have put all that you can into the meat. Pour the remaining al pastor sauce over and under the pork butt.
  • Allow to marinate 4 hours to overnight.

HOW TO SMOKE AL PASTOR

  • Preheat the smoker to 270, and wait until it burns clean.
  • Put your pork fat side up on the smoker. Also place a dish of water to the side. Let smoke for 3 hours at 270.
  • At hour 3 spritz with apple cider vinegar every hour. You can also place pineapple on the top if desired.
  • To remove from the smoker use a clean dry bowl and pick it up. Using a towel, instead of tongs will keep the meat from squeezing and juices excreting.
  • At about hour 6-7 you should see the fat cap separating and splitting at that point you will want to remove the pork from the smoker and wrap it in foil.
  • Once foil wrapped place back on the smoker for another at 270 for one house. Raise the temp to 290 and keep on smoker until the internal temp is about 200-204.  Remove from smoker. Let rest.

Notes

CAN I MAKE THIS MEAT AHEAD? 

YES! I GET IT. this meat basically takes all day to smoke. The beauty of smoking. So you may need to make it the day before a party or get together. When you do, smoke it and put it in foil pans,  or oven proof pans and cover. Before eating heat up the pork in the oven or on your grill or smoker. 

HOW DO I STORE LEFTOVERS? 

Store any leftovers in an air tight container. It will keep for 2 weeks. 

IS PORK SHOULDER THE SAME AS PORK BUTT?

BASICALLY, YES. (and no) When you are shopping for a pork shoulder and can find only pork butt- no worries! They really are the same. They both come from the shoulder of the pig, but pork butt is higher on the foreleg, while pork shoulder is farther down. They  tough and fatty cuts, both benefit from long, slow cooking methods such as smoking. Which is what his is the perfect slow smoked al pastor tacos OF YOUR LIFE!

WHY INJECT THE PORK SHOULDER?

Since traditional al pastor is thinly slices and marinated ALL OVER, we are going to try to incorporate that marinade through the entire cut of meat to get the same delicious flavor everywhere.

WHAT DO I MARINATE SUCH A BIG CUT OF MEAT IN?

We use a cheap, but airtight storage container from a store like target or walmart. It's hard to have an actual dish that is big enough for large cuts of meat. I find these work perfect!

HOW DO I KNOW MY PORK IS SMOKED PERFECT? 

While its wrapped in the foil if you press on the meat from side to side it will jiggle. Unwrap the meat and the bone will slide right out with no resistance. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3504mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 1598IU | Vitamin C: 138mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg