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Smoked Pork Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Smoked Pork Tacos are slowly smoked all day long until the pork is perfectly shredded! Topped with my Creamy Cilantro Sauce, these pork tacos are sure to be a crowd favorite!

Smoked Pork Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

We’ve been making these smoked pork tacos for years now, and I am so excited to finally share the recipe.  This is one of those meals that I make whenever we have a big backyard party during the warmer months.  People love smoked meat and, while it can be a little time intensive because the meat smokes all day, it’s relatively hands off and is a fun project to keep an eye on throughout the day.  

What Cut of Pork to Use

Let’s talk about the specifics of this smoked pork taco recipe.  The pork starts with a pork butt which, unlike how it sounds, is not from the rear of the pork.  It’s actually from more of the upper shoulder region, and is well-marbled which makes it perfect for pulled pork.  It can be sold bone-in or boneless and we’ve used both.  

Smoked Pork Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

How Much Pork to Smoke

For the size of the pork butt, it really just depends on how many people you are cooking for.  When we are just cooking for our family, I like a 4-5 lb pork butt, which gives us plenty of leftovers and we don’t have to wake up at 5 a.m. to start.  Typically you want ⅓-½ lb per person, so keep that in mind.  

Pork Dry Rub

The pork is covered with a dry rub the night before, allowing it a good 8-12 hours for soaking in a bunch of flavor.  The rub that I use in this recipe is a combination of chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion powder, oregano, dry mustard, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  The recipe for the rub makes more than you will likely use, and you will probably have leftover for next time.  This is a good thing!  

How to Smoke Pork Butt

The morning of, I sit the pork out for an hour to let it come closer to room temperature.  Then the pork butt gets smoked for 90 minutes per pound of meat at 240-250 degrees F.  We always use a meat thermometer for determining when the pork is done, and it’s recommended to cook it to 195-205 degrees F.  If you like it to be completely shreddable, cook to at least 200 degrees F.  We like ours super tender and shreddable, so we always go to 200-205 degrees F.  

While the meat itself is incredible and so flavorful, the creamy cilantro sauce totally makes these tacos irresistible.  I make this cilantro sauce all of the time and in addition to putting it on our pork tacos, we love it on nachos, eggs, grain bowls, burritos, and even as a chip dip!  Seriously, it’s so good.  

Believe me, with this combination of smoked pork and cilantro sauce, you’re going to have people begging you to have them over for a BBQ!

Like this recipe? Check these out, too!

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Smoked Pork Tacos

Smoked Pork Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Slow smoked pork butt is perfect for tacos, topped with a creamy cilantro sauce!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pork, smoked pork, tacos, cilantro sauce
Prep Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 622kcal
Author: Taylor

Ingredients

Dry Rub:

  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Pork:

  • 5 lb pork butt

Creamy Cilantro Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

The night before:

  • In a medium bowl, combine all of the rub ingredients together.
  • Rub a generous amount of rub over the pork butt. You might have some rub leftover - just save it for next time!
  • Cover the pork butt with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. I like to place mine in a roasting pan.

Day Of:

  • On the day of, remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator one hour prior to starting cooking.
  • Preheat your smoker to 225-250 degrees F. We aim to keep ours around 240 degrees F.
  • Smoke the pork approximately 90 minutes per pound, until the inner temperature reaches 200 degrees F, for shreddable pork. Note: the temperature often stalls around 145-160 degrees F. Don't worry - it will get past this range, it just takes a little longer.
  • Remove the pork from the smoker and wrap with aluminum foil. Place in a cooler wrapped in towels to retain moisture and temperature, and let rest for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pork from the cooler and shred.

To Make the Cilantro Sauce:

  • Place all ingredients for the cilantro sauce in the blender and blend until creamy.
  • Serve the shredded pork in taco shells topped with creamy cilantro sauce. We also love topping it with Mexican Street Corn Dip.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 622kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 1063mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1056IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @greensnchocolate to let me know!
Need more ideas?Find all of my recipe pins @greenschocolate


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  1. These look very good! Did you make the taco shells too? Would love the recipe for how to do that.