Smoked carnitas tacos

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I already planned on having the smoker going today to make some pulled pork, and decided to try smoking the meat for carnitas, instead of going for the more traditional lard cooked, or the more recent roasting. I'm glad that I did, because it's some of the best and easiest carnitas I've ever had. It wasn't quite as moist as the lard cooked, but the smoke added a lot more flavor.

I really doubt that I will make smoked carnitas if I'm not already planning on smoking something else, but I think that I will pick up a small roast whenever I'm planning on smoking another pork product. It might also work out with some turkey or chicken smokes, since they tend to use similar woods. I don't think It would turn out very good smoking it with beef because of the harsher smoke that comes with mesquite.

Servings:
About 20 tacos
Preparation Time:
A few minutes prep, and 5 hours in the smoker
Tools
  • smoker
  • remote reading thermometer
  • skillet
  • cleaver or chef's knife

Ingredients

  • 2 pound pork roast (it needs to be a fatty roast)
  • Apple and hickory wood chips
  • 20 small soft corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil
  • salsa

Rub

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano, crushed
Cooking Instructions
  1. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees. Soak your wood chips. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring it up to room temperature.
  2. Mix up all the ingredients in your rub, and sprinkle it on all sides of your meat. Pat and massage it in.
  3. Insert the probe for your remote read thermometer, and put the roast into the smoker fat side up. Add your first batch of wood chips and close it up.Whenever it stops smoking, add more chips.
  4. Cook until the meat reaches 195 F. Yes, you read that right, it needs to cook till extremely well done. This allows a good crust to form on the outside, and most of the fat and connective tissue inside will melt and spread that wonderful flavor through the meat.
  5. Remove the meat from the smoker and wrap it in aluminum foil for half an hour.
  6. Start shredding the meat with a couple of forks or your fingers. The fatty areas and the crust will need to be chopped up into tiny pieces and mixed in with the shredded pieces. This is important because that is where much of the flavor is located.
  7. Heat a tiny bit of oil in a skillet, when warm toss in a couple tortillas. Wait a couple minutes then flip them. cook a couple more minutes and put on a plate.
  8. Throw the appropriate amount of meat for the warm tortillas into the skillet. Once it's hot, dribble a little of the juice from your salsa onto the meat, to add flavor and help caramelize the meat. When the meat has browned a little, put it on your tortillas, add your favorite toppings and enjoy
Notes
The cooked and shredded meat can keep fro several days in the fridge before cooking up in the skillet. It will keep for even longer in the freezer, but it will dry out over time.

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This sounds really yummy. I

This sounds really yummy. I do not have a smoker - yet - but one is definitely in my future.

Next time you come up, you

Next time you come up, you can check out mine, and we can head over to Cabela's to see the rest of their selection. I'm really happy with my new one so far.