Taco Tuesday on the 4th of July

Carnitas Ready for Nachos

It’s been pretty busy around here, leaving little time for blogging. But I’m back and ready to go, with some great new ideas.

Rewind to the 4th of July. We always have a block party in the cul de sac and this was no exception. We all decided to do a nacho bar and have everyone chip in. Homemade guacamole, pico de gallo, smoked chicken, and my contribution, carnitas.
For the carnitas, I looked at a few recipes and got work!

The Recipe:
  • 4 to 5 pound pork butt
  • 3/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 5 Garlic Cloves – Minced

Carnitas on the Smoker
Carnitas on the Smoker
Combine the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, and spices. I used fresh squeezed juices for mine. Marinate the pork butt overnight. I used a gallon storage bag. Make sure to save the marinade for basting.
The next morning, get the smoker fired up. I use a combination of lump oak charcoal and hickory and pecan chunks in my smoker. Tips on getting the smoker started can be found here.
Once the smoker is ready, bring out the pork butt. Mine was on the smoker about 8 hours. I keep the smoker temperature between 200 – 250 degrees and go for a target internal temperature of at least 140 degrees.
Carnitas on the Smoker
Carnitas ready to come
off the smoker!
Once the pork butt is off the smoker, it needs to rest. If it comes out of the smoker too early, with maybe a few hours before dinner, wrap it in foil and put it in an empty cooler. This keeps it hot without over cooking it.
Once the pork butt is ready, it is time to pull it apart. I’ve found the best way to do this either with 2 forks or your hands.
Now, it’s time to pile the carnitas insise some tortillas or on a pile of chips!
Happy Eating!

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