This Smoked Carnitas is a delicious way to enjoy smoked pork. The shredded pork is delicious served with tacos, burritos and more.

Pork Carnitas Tacos on a serving board with fresh lime wedges
Want to save this?

Get My Easy Grilling Cookbook Bundle for 75% OFF

We love making smoker recipes because of the flavor and how tender the meat cooks. Smoking carnitas is one of our favorites because the meat cooks so tender that it melts in your mouth.

Make these Mexican flavored meat for your next family gathering or large crowd. Another crowd favorite is this Smoked Queso Recipe, Smoked Eye of Round, Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe or Smoked Burger Recipe. This queso would pair perfectly with Carnitas Tacos.

If you love seafood, check out these Smoked Scallops.

What are Carnitas?

Carnitas means little meats. Tender pork is cooked in simple Mexican inspired seasoning to create delicious and juicy meat. We have cooked traditional carnitas in many different ways – Instant Pot Pork Carnitas and Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas. But smoking it has now our favorite ways because of the amazing flavor.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Smoky Flavor – There is something about the way the smoker fills the meat with that deep smoky flavor.
  • Perfect for Feeding a Crowd – We love to have friends and family over for game day or the holidays. Smoking this fork tender pork shoulder allows us to use the shredded meat for many different recipes.
  • Simple Ingredients – All you need is a few simple ingredients and it turns your pork shoulder into the best smoked pork carnitas recipe.

Ingredients

Smoked Carnitas Ingredients - Pork Shoulder, oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, orange, limes, chicken broth, cilantro, corn tortillas
  • Boneless Pork Shoulder, cut into large chunks
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Ground Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Onion, roughly chopped
  • Cloves Garlic, minced
  • Orange, juiced
  • Limes, juiced
  • Chicken Broth
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped (for serving)
  • Corn Tortillas, for serving

Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Step by Step Instructions

Combining the seasoning in a bowl

Step 1 – Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees to 250 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the ground cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper to create a dry rub.

Coating the diced pork shoulder with the seasoning in a bowl

Step 2 – Rub the pork shoulder chunks with the dry rub, ensuring the meat is evenly coated.

Cooking the diced pork shoulder in a cast iron skillet

Step 3 – In a large cast iron skillet or disposable aluminum pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add the seasoned pork chunks and sear them on all sides until browned. Remove the pork from the skillet and set it aside.

Cooking diced onions in a skillet

Step 4 – In the same skillet, sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic until softened.

Placing the diced pork and onions in a disposable pan

Step 5 – Place the seared pork, sautéed onion, and garlic in the smoker-safe pan. Pour the orange juice, lime juice, and chicken broth over the pork.

Covering the pan with foil to smoke

Step 6 – Cover the pan with aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated smoker. Smoke the pork for 3-4 hours, or until the slow cooking meat is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.

  • Step 7 – Once the pork is fully cooked, remove the pan from the smoker and let the pork rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 8 – Using two forks, shred the pulled pork into smaller pieces.
  • Step 9 – Serve the smoked carnitas in warm corn tortillas, garnished with freshly chopped cilantro and your choice of toppings.

Recipe Tips

  • Marinate Pork – For even more flavor, you can marinate the pork shoulder with the dry rub and let it chill in the fridge overnight before smoking. This helps the spices really soak into the meat, making it more flavorful.
  • Crispy Texture – For crispier carnitas, transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the edges are golden and crispy.
  • Sear Meat – For the best flavor, we recommend searing the meat in a cast iron skillet before smoking.
  • Pellet Grill – You can even smoke this pork shoulder or pork butt in a pellet grill.
Pork Carnitas Tacos

Serving Suggestions

This shredded pork can be used in many different dishes. We love to serve in corn tortillas or flour tortillas to make the best tacos or burritos with fresh squeezed lime wedges. It is even delicious served to make nachos or burrito bowls with diced avocados.

Make sure to add your favorite toppings such as salsa verde and cotija cheese with a side of rice for a complete meal idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Can I Freeze?

Yes, this is the perfect recipe to freeze in a freezer safe container. This shredded pork will stay fresh for up to 3 months.

Close up image of shredded pork carnitas with fresh limes

More Easy Smoked Recipes

We love hearing from you. If you make these Smoked Carnitas Recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.

Smoked Carnitas

5 from 1 vote
This Smoked Carnitas is a delicious way to enjoy smoked pork. The shredded pork is delicious served with tacos, burritos and more.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Let Rest 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine Mexican
Course Main Course
Calories 328

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 orange juiced
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh cilantro chopped (for serving)
  • Corn tortillas for serving
Want to save this?
Just enter your email and I’ll send it right to you, plus great new recipes weekly!

Instructions

  • Preheat the smoker to 250°F.
  • In a small bowl, mix the ground cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper to create a dry rub.
  • Rub the pork shoulder chunks with the dry rub, ensuring the meat is evenly coated.
  • In a large cast iron skillet or disposable aluminum pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add the seasoned pork chunks and sear them on all sides until browned. Remove the pork from the skillet and set it aside.
  • In the same skillet, sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic until softened.
  • Place the seared pork, sautéed onion, and garlic in the smoker-safe pan. Pour the orange juice, lime juice, and chicken broth over the pork.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated smoker. Smoke the pork for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.
  • Once the pork is fully cooked, remove the pan from the smoker and let the pork rest for 10-15
  • minutes.
  • Using two forks, shred the pork into smaller pieces.
  • Serve the smoked carnitas in warm corn tortillas, garnished with freshly chopped cilantro and your choice of toppings.

Recipe Notes

– For even more flavor, you can marinate the pork shoulder with the dry rub and let it chill in the fridge overnight before smoking. This helps the spices really soak into the meat, making it more flavorful.
For crispier carnitas, transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 5-10
minutes until the edges are golden and crispy.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 328kcal, Carbohydrates 8g, Protein 37g, Fat 16g, Saturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Monounsaturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 0.01g, Cholesterol 124mg, Sodium 542mg, Potassium 770mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 3g, Vitamin A 346IU, Vitamin C 22mg, Calcium 62mg, Iron 3mg

Pin This Now to Remember It Later

Pin Recipe

Try these other recipes

Share this recipe!

PinYummly

About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

Leave A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating