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Mojo Smoked Pork Carnitas Tacos!

KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,275
edited May 2015 in EggHead Forum
I have posted this cook before, HERE.  It is the method that Eggcelsior cooked last year.
So maybe we should call it "Eggcelsior's Mojo Pork!"  (it's awesome stuff)
Anyway, I'm posting it again for two reasons-
  1. There are new folks on the forum and it's an easy summer party cook that impresses everyone.
  2. I took better pictures this time.  :)

So, if you have seen it before, my apologies. I'm sure some folks are looking for a different pork cook and this will be a good reminder.

The are a few unique things about this cook for me that have made it a keeper. 
First of all, since it is only smoking 90 minutes it limits the amount of time you have to really pay attention to the grill.  That makes it easy. 
Second, for your guests they get to see the benefits of an egg cook by tasting a tender smoky meat, but they also get something unique with the taco serving.  Tacos seem to be very "in"  now and Mojo is even better.

The meat has a tender juicy smokey flavor, but there is also a unique citrus flavor brought on by the mojo.   Not overpowering.  It also isn't too spicy and I find that when you add your own hot sauce upon serving, the vinegar really kicks it up by bolding up the flavor and delivering spice. I love it!  BUT, for those who don't like heat you can keep it as-is.  Everybody is happy.

Okay, here it goes. 

The recipe for rub and the mojo is in the link I posted up top, so I won't repeat that.  But basically for the rub, in a food processor you mix up honey, garlic cloves, and all your favorite spices from the cabinet, leaning heavily towards any that are latinish.  I also add olive oil to get more liquid, maybe a little apple cider vinegar.

I mixed up the rub and hit the meat with it before I got the grill ready.  I'm sure it could have sat overnight, but this was a one afternoon cook for me.

This is a Costco double pack of pork shoulders.  Weighed in at just under 11 lbs. total.

Let it go for 90 minutes or so at 350ish, until the internal temp was at 135 degrees.   I cooked it on RO and threw in several cherry chunks.  This is my 3rd time making it now (and my 6 and 7th shoulder of this method) and it is so reliable you don't need temp probes for anything but the grill.  

While that cook was happening I mixed up the mojo and cut up the peppers and onions.  The pot was ready and waiting for the meat.  For mojo (again, recipe in link above) you are basically mixing up a few cups of citrus juice, with garlic, S&P, oregano, and putting that over the peppers and onions.

You can see when I put the meat in the dutch oven you can barely see the liquid level down there, but it's probably 3 cups of mojo or so.  The meat was a tight squeeze, but this Lodge dutch oven fit about 11 lbs of shoulder.  I actually cooked it with a brick on top of the pot because the shoulder was juuuuust barely pushing up the top.

Let it cook for 2 hours, covered.  Still at 350. Again, you don't have to use a thermometer.  It'll hit 200 in two hours...maybe a little early, but it's covered and it's come our great every time I've made it.   You can do this stage in the oven.  One time I did 4 shoulders at a time and finished it in a big slow cooking roaster.  This time I kept it pure, though.  ;)

When you take it off you'll note how much the liquid level has raised.  This is a good point so you don't put too much liquid in on the front end and overflow your pot.

I let it rest for 30 minutes or so.  Before and after I take the meat out I ladle off most of the fat from the surface. I'm not sure how much to leave in it, but I figure there is enough residual on the meat or in the stock.  If you don't want to do anything, you can take it off after a night in the fridge when it all congeals on the top.

Anyway, I pull the meat...   (eating a good bit in the process)

And put it back in the pot.  

Then I threw the dutch oven in the fridge and it sat over night.  That's another beautiful point of the recipe- this thing is not only better the next day, but it's better for the cook because you did all the hard work the day before the party!  The morning of the party I put it in a LOW temp oven to slowly bring it up to a serving temp of 150-160 degrees.  I didn't boil it or cook it, just brought it up to temp.  Then I put it on a warming plate on top of my stove and just kept it at serving temp.  Again, very low...the pot didn't simmer or anything. 

Here is is all mixed up with the yummy Mojo and pork juices -

Great cook!   I would like to make two pots next time, though.  One for the masses, and maybe a smaller pot that is kicked up with some habanero and other good hot spices in the mojo!   HOT Smoked Pork Mojo.  =)

For serving, I let people build their own tacos. I had out...
  • corn and flour tortillas
  • hot sauces
  • 4 kinds of salsa (green, pico, mango, southern slaw)
  • fresh cilantro
  • queso blanco (crumbled white Mexican cheese)
  • shredded cheese (for the gringos)
  • corn
  • black beans
  • limes
They ate it all.  :) 

Once again, HUGE props to Eggcelsior for inspiring this great cook.  His original post is HERE.   :plus_one: 



  • calikingcaliking Posts: 12,820

    Whoa! That looks phenomenal ! :)

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,300
    This is a fantastic write-up. Blows mine away!
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 9,039
    Righteous meat right there.  
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • Rusty412Rusty412 Posts: 24
    Love pork carnitas!  I'll add this to my cooks, thanks!
  • s_clauss_claus Posts: 74
    Great way to do the pork. Always like things I can fix ahead of time and serve at a party. Gives me time to party and not just cook.
    HO HO HO
    LBGE in Lawrenceville, GA
  • LDRLDR Posts: 391
    It looks great.  I need to pull a couple of those foodsaver bags out of the fridge and try this Saturday when I'm doing yard work.
  • IPASoonerIPASooner Posts: 208
    Wow, this is right up my alley...can't wait to give it a shot. Great cook!

    Marblehead, MA
  • GATravellerGATraveller Posts: 6,993

    "Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community [...] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It's the invasion of the idiots."

                                                                                  -Umberto Eco

    2 Large
    Peachtree Corners, GA
  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 6,584
    Awesome cook.  So when's the party and what time should we show up?
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • jonnymackjonnymack Posts: 627
    edited May 2015
    By Gawd!! I'm going to definitely try this some day, looks amazing. You should be wary of anyone taking the flour tortillas over the corn, they are not to be trusted.
    Firing up the BGE in Covington, GA

  • Grillin_beersGrillin_beers Posts: 1,342
    That's a great looking cook.  I might do this next weekend instead of traditional pulled pork. 
    1 large BGE, Spartanburg SC

    My dog thinks I'm a grilling god. 
  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,275
    YEMTrey said:
    Awesome cook.  So when's the party and what time should we show up?
    Ha!  It was a Memorial day party.   I cooked this the afternoon prior, and did an easy cook (slow cooked wings) the day of the party between beers and yard games.
    jonnymack said:
    By Gawd!! I'm going to definitely try this some day, looks amazing. You should be wary of anyone taking the flour tortillas over the corn, they are not to be trusted.
    I agree!  I was hesitant to even put them out.  Thankfully, most guests went with the corn tortillas, which were in the FRONT!  ;)
  • PhatchrisPhatchris Posts: 1,710
    Awesome... I gotta try this one B)
  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 17,748
    That's right up my alley. Bookmarked. 
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • tfhansontfhanson Posts: 219
    What size dutch oven is that?
    Johns Creek, GA - LBGE and a some stuff
  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,275
    tfhanson said:
    What size dutch oven is that?
    That's the Lodge L10DO3 Dutch Oven with Spiral Handle Bail and Iron Cover, 7-Quart.

    It was able to jam in two pork shoulders that were uncooked (I did a fit check) but there was much more room after the 90 minute cook as they shrunk a good bit.
  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,275
    Figured I'd list the recipe all in one place since there is interest.
    This is how I typed it up for a friend after the first time I made it.  As you can see, you can vary the rub and the mojo to your liking or based on what you have on hand -



    THE RUB - The original recipe said... “I then tossed lots of garlic cloves, cilantro, oregano, paprika, sazon, salt, pepper and maybe some other stuff into the food processor. & honey”

    I used something different based on what I had-

    * In food processor combine - it’s all to taste.  I went with latinish spices plus whatever else sounded good.
        Garlic cloves
        black pepper & sea salt
        celery seed
        crushed red pepper
        onion powder
        fresh ground nutmeg
        parsley and some basil
        (I kept it mild so the kids would eat it.  If it is for adults, spice it up with some cayenne or hot peppers)

    Set the BGE grill to 350 degrees.
    Smoke for 1.5 hours.
    Pork will hit around 135 degrees after that time.

    Put in dutch oven (heavy covered pot) with sliced peppers and onions
    along with some mojo…

    Okay the MOJO!  Found lot of good recipes for this and with the tips and what I had on hand I used the following-
        1.5 cups OJ
        Splash of passion fruit juice
        the juice of one lime
        lots of crushed garlic (I used a whole head for 2 shoulders)
        oregeno, salt & pepper.
        And more fresh ground nutmeg because I like the mild island taste   it can bring.

    Mixed that up in the pot and added sliced red pepper and red onion
    Also a yellow tomato from my neighbors garden because I had it and it seemed to go with the theme (it is kind of citrusy in flavor)
    Put the meat in the pot on top of the peppers and onions.  Cover.

    Cook an additional 2 hours in the covered pot until the meat is super tender (internal temp will be 200 degrees).
    For this part you could leave the pot on the grill as I did, or just throw it in an oven at 350.

    Let the meat rest in the covered pot for 30 minutes or whenever you are ready to pull it.

    Take the meat out, pull it, put it back in the sauce.
    Before you put it back in you may want to skim the fat off.  If you are going to serve it the next day, you can also just throw it in the fridge and pick the fat off the top once it solidifies.  (it is even better the next day)

    Readjust salt and pepper and serve however you like.
    It's exceptional in a bowl with a fork and some hot sauce :) or we had it on some corn tortillas fixed up like tacos which was awesome.
    Enjoy!  :plus_one: 
  • First off Awesome!
    Second Thanks for the convenient printable version.
    Third, Awesome!

    Me and My wife order pork carnitas as an appetizer at a local restaurant, coincidentally that same guy who sold me my egg, and I always say I should make them.  After reading your step by step method, I have no excuse, lol.

    Thanks both @KiterTodd and @Eggcelsior , wifes gonna be happy!
  • JohnnyTarheelJohnnyTarheel Posts: 6,021
    Top Notch!!
    Charlotte, NC - Large BGE 2014, Maverick ET 733, Thermopen, Nest, Platesetter, Woo2 and Extender w/Grid, Kick Ash Basket, Pizza Stone, SS Smokeware Cap, Blackstone 36"
  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,114
    Definitely doing this very soon!
    XL & Small Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, Pitmaker Vault, Blackstone Griddle, 6 gal Cajun Fryer, BlueStar 60" Range
  • SmokinBassSmokinBass Posts: 54
    Tagged this one. Thnks for sharing 
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 13,383
    Gonna Bookmark this one....A certain do though. Have a daughter getting married (out of town later this month)....and will be shelving the experimental cooks until July ( :o
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 4,191
    Oh my goodness! 
    New Albany, Ohio 

  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,275
    Thanks for the feedback guys.  Would love to see the results when @GalanteNate_OneEa ; and others try it!
  • Ladeback69Ladeback69 Posts: 4,460
    Man that looks better then the Carnitas I did a month ago.  I should have used this recipe instead.  It was good, but I cooked most of it in 2 CI dutch ovens then tired to brown it in oil, but it didn't come out with the flavor I get with my pulled pork.  I may just stick to pulled pork.  It looks fantastic. 
    XL, WSM, Coleman Road Trip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • johnmitchelljohnmitchell Posts: 5,108
    Absolutely stunning... What a great post..
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • YYZeggerYYZegger Posts: 231
    Beautiful!!  I will definitely try that one day, thanks for posting!
    Toronto, Canada  LBGE
  • Hawg FanHawg Fan Posts: 1,517
    Great post.  Absolutely one of the best post, pictures and cooks I've ever seen posted to date.  I definitely will try this recipe.

    Any road will take you there if you don't know where you're going.


    Rockwall, TX
  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 3,399
    Bravo.... Simply bravo
    Seattle, WA
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