These Smoked Pork Carnitas are packed with flavor and offer a Mexican flair to traditional barbeque. Rich, melt in your mouth pork…..perfect for tacos or on its own!
Last week, my hubby fired up the smoker and offered to make dinner. Who was I to turn down a night off, right?!
He had thawed a pork loin the night before and decided to use it for tacos! Now, if you have a pork shoulder, that is typically what is used for carnitas, but either work!
After injecting the pork, coating in a dry rub, smoking it then crisping it….this pork finished perfectly and was packed with flavor!
To be honest, as he was shredding the pork, I was grabbing several pieces to eat as it was quite addicting! You can definitely enjoy this on its own, or serve in tacos, on nachos, enchiladas, and more!
If you have a favorite dry rub, feel free to use that! We love Chupacabra seasoning in our house and use it on just about anything, therefore, that is what we used on ours!
Traditional carnitas are slow cooked (usually in a pot on the stove, and braised with onions, oranges and seasoning), then pan fried at the end to give it that crisp texture. We tried to replicate it by handling the slow cook portion on the smoker, then finishing with a quick visit in the hot skillet to give it those crispy bits that make Carnitas so wonderful.
Enjoy these Smoked Pork Carnitas and be sure to let me know what you think! Come connect with me on Instagram too!
Chupacabra Seasoning: https://amzn.to/3ifvHmr
Meat Claws (perfect for shredding meat): https://amzn.to/31qNtNl
Smoked Pork Carnitas
- 1 cup orange juice
- 4 tbsp seasoning, plus desired amount for outside of meat *we use Chupacabra, any seasoning works
- 3-4 lb pork loin *or pork shoulder works
- Using an injection tool, inject mixture into meat.
- Using additional seasoning, coat the outside of the meat liberally.
- Place seasoned, injected pork into aluminum cooking pan.
- Add additional water or orange juice to cover the bottom of the pan to about 1/2" deep.
- Place pan onto smoker for about 4 hours on low setting (180 degrees on Traeger)
- After 4 hours, turn up heat to 225 degrees and cook until pork is fork tender (we took ours all the way to internal temp of 204, normal temp for pulled pork)
- Remove pan from smoker and let meat rest for about an hour, allowing meat to continue soaking up juices.
- Shred meat using two forks or a set of meat claws (link above)
- Heat up a cast iron skillet on the grill or stove top.
- Once hot, toss in the shredded pork and cook over medium-high heat until crispy.
- Remove from heat and serve in tacos, enchiladas, nachos, etc.