Slow Smoked Mexican-style Pork Shoulder is a melt-in-your-mouth dish that requires nothing but a few spices like ancho chile powder, cumin, and a handful of other spices, and a good smoker to make the best Mexican pork you’ve ever had!
I got a new smoker a few weeks ago and I’ve made a couple of things in it but I haven’t really had time to play with it. I tried making chicken tikka bites in it, and while they got nice and smoky-tasting, I committed the newbie mistake of putting it into a foil pan and so I had chicken that was cooked–but it sat in a lot of liquid. No bueño. I used it for chicken tikka masala (which recipe I need to post) but when I had a few pounds of pork left over from making Carne adovada, I figured I’d try to create a Mexican-style rub and try smoking again.
I accidentally turned it off for a while and it was hours before I realized so the whole process took a lot longer than it should have. But this is what happens to women who refuse to read manuals.
Here’s the thing. I don’t think it would have mattered what rub I used. It’s really just the smoking that adds all the flavor. But if you don’t have a smoker, and you did this in the oven with the pork wrapped in foil, the rub would make a difference. So I’m going to share the rub mix here, and you can try it.
Either way, it is full of amazing flavor, and leaving the fat cap on the pork allowed it to self-baste, as well as protect the pork from drying out.
So here are the steps:
- Mix the rub
- Make long slashes in the fat and the meat to help the marinade penetrate and also not let the fat curl up too much during cooking
- Smoke until internal temperature is about 195-200F.
- If you don’t have a smoker, wrap in foil, bake at 250 for 4-6 hours, unwrap and bake for another hour until internal temperature reaches 195-200F
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- Slash the pork in multiple locations with a knife, especially on the fat cap so it doesn't curl during cooking, and also to allow the marinade to penetrate.
- In a small bowl, mix together all the other ingredients, and rub into both sides of the pork.
- Set your smoker to 250F, for 5-6 hours.
- Cook until internal temperature reaches 195F, remove and cover with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking.
- Shred and use for tacos, eat it plain, or use in a tamale pie recipe.
- Wrap in foil after seasoning, and cook it for 4-5 hours until temperature reaches 175F. Remove foil and either bake for another hour until temperature reaches 195F. You may choose to broil toward the end to get a well-browned exterior.