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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!