Smoked Pork Shoulder~Time Well Spent


Smoked Pork Shoulder

I am not saying that learning to smoke meats is not for everyone. It’s a process and you really have to invest the time. And everytime we fire up that charcoal grill or smoker, I learn something new. Thank goodness my husband enjoys tending to the fire. And even more thankful for friends that are professional grillers and smokers. They give be the best tips and information on how to smoke the meat succesfully. There are many times that we have had to finish cooking our smoked pork shoulder and brisket in the oven. It gets pitch dark outside and it’s kinda hard to see with no outdoor lighting. Lol! After 3-4 hours the meat will pretty much be smoked it now just a matter of cooking all the way through to the stage of either sliced or pulled pork. This time around, I had a 9 pound boneless pork shoulder and decided to slice it into 2 smaller roast. For me, easier to manage on the grill and in my freezer! If I can’t go to my favorite smoked barbeque place in Texas, than I can try to bring a little Texas barbeque into my own kitchen. Time well spent!!


Smoked Pork Shoulder




4 1/2-5 pound pork butt/shoulder, boneless, excess fat trimmed
1/3 cup homemade or store bought dry rub seasoning
1/2 cup apple juice
Wood chunks of your choice for smoking (I used applewood)
Disposable roasting pan
Heavy duty foil paper




1. Rub the pork generously with dry rub seasoning until evenly coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours.

2. Remove the pork from refrigerator 40 minutes to 1 hour before cooking. Unwrap, transfer to disposable pan, fat side up, and set aside.

3. Prepare your grill for indirect cooking.We have an off set smoker. You are looking for a temperature of between 225 to 250 degrees. If using wood chunks, nest a couple large pieces near the hot coals. Close lid for 5 minutes.

4. Place the pork in pan, fat side up, on cool side of the grill, close lid and cook for 6 hours. Rotate the pan and spray with apple juice every hour for the first 3 to 4 hours. Watch the temperature and add more charcoal as needed. After the 3rd hour, we don’t add anymore wood. 

5. After the 6th hour, cover the pan tightly with heavy foil paper. Continue cooking for 4-5 hours or until internal temperature reads 200-204 degrees F. for pulled pork. Let rest for 1  hours before pulling or chopping for sandwiches. Yields 4 pounds of pulled pork.

Smoked Pork Shoulder

* I had to pull mine off the grill after the 9th hour because it was too dark outside. I finished the last 2 hours in a 250 degree oven on the bottom rack.

Smoked Pork Shoulder

And also this time around, I forgot one of the important steps! That was covering the pork tightly with foil paper after it reaches 160 degrees F internally!! Lucky for me it was still ok. 

Smoked Pork Shoulder

The first day, we always like to have pulled pork sandwiches! It’s a must. Simply some mayonnaise on the bun, local produced barbeque sauce and pickled onions on top. 

Smoked Pork Shoulder-Pulled Pork

To reheat the pork, I place the amount I want in a stoneware type of dish. Cover with plastic wrap and heat in the microwave at 30 percent power for 4 minutes. This will gently reheat the pork. 


Smoked Pulled Pork

Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos

And the second day, there are TACOS! Onion, jalapeño, sometimes bell pepper and tomato quickly stir fried with the pork. Salt, pepper and lime before it comes off the heat and done. Add your favorite salsa, cilantro and tortillas. 

Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos

Smoked Salsa Verde. The version in the picture above was blended until smooth with some cilantro.  Both the red and green smoked salsa recipes can be found on this link. 

A Duo of Smokin’ Salsa’s! (Smoked Salsa)

Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos


Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos

Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas

Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas

This recipe for carnitas was inspired by my sister-in-law Norma Leticia. Years ago, before she was married to my brother, she owned a busy taco business in Texas and I always admire anyone who takes on a food business on there own. She would tell me how her son Irving, who was very young at the time, would help her prepare.  She described how she would cook the carnitas is an oversized copper cazuela outdoors. She no longer has the taco business, but still holds on to that cazuela. Her preperation of the carnitas was so simple, I could not even believe it. I expected this line up of ingredients and there was really only two things she used. One, rendered pork manteca(lard) to cook the carnitas and the other main ingredient, Mexican coca cola! Seriously? It’s true and it works. The coca cola yields the most beautiful colored pork carnitas and the most tender I have had in a long time. I have to admit, I would have like a more crispy exterior on the carnitas, but they were absolutely delicious. With just a few additions of my own, this is my version of Norma’s recipe for carnitas. I don’t cook like this with lard very often, but I knew I had to try it at least once.  If cooking with lard is really not your thing, go to the end of the post to find more ways on how to enjoy Pork Carnitas! #foodieforlife #carnitas



Mexican Coca Cola Pork Carnitas



Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas

Salsa Verde Recipes

Tomatillo Salsa Recipes


Coca Cola Carnitas!

2 1/2  pounds pork shoulder
5 cups pork lard, manteca(rendered pork fat)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 cup Mexican brand Coca Cola
1 inch piece of Mexican canela
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Slice the pork into 2 inch chunks. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat the pork fat to medium heat in a medium heavy pot. After about 5 minutes, add the seasoned pork. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until pork is lightly browned.

Add in the coke, canela, bay leaves and thyme. The carnitas will cook for the next 90 minutes to 2 hours and a steady boil. Skim the top as needed as it cooks.

At about the 2 hour mark, the carnitas will be this nice caramelized color and should pull apart easily with a fork. Drain onto paper towels. For a crispy carnita, transfer carnitas to a nonstick pan with no oil. Heat on high and toss carnitas as needed. Serve right away.


Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas

Freshly prepared corn tortillas infused with jalapeño is what we enjoyed on the first day. Simple follow the directions for the corn tortillas on the link. to infuse with jalapeño, you will rehydrate 1 tablespoon of jalapeño flakes in a little hot water before mixing in to the masa. Cook as directed.

Corn Tortillas

Fresh Corn Tortillas

Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas


Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas

Instead of salsa on the first day, I simple chopped and diced all of the ingredients for pico de gallo and served lime on the side. You will need tomato, onion, cilantro and chile serrano or jalapeño.

Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas

Pork Carnitas Recipes



Frijoles a la Charra-Frijoles Borrachos-Charro Beans


Frijoles a la Charra-Charro Beans

This recipe for frijoles a la charra or frijoles borrachos, as many peple call it, was pretty much a staple in our house. Any special occasion, cook out, family visit and these beans were automatically part of the menu. Mom’s version was simple. No hot dogs, no chorizo, but still so delicious and one of our all time favorites. Every family has their own version and that’s what makes it special to each of us. I do enjoy the fully loaded frijoles charros as well. It is a meal in itself! Just slap on a, hot of the grill, piece of carne asada on top and it’s ready! Don’t forget the spicy salsa and warm tortillas. #foodieforlife #mexicanfood #frijoles

Frijoles a La Charra-Charro Beans


6-8 strips of smoked bacon, chopped small 
4-5 cups cooked pinto beans

1 or more cup broth from beans
1 small white onion, diced
2 serrano chile, sliced into thick rings or minced
1 large roma tomato, diced
Handful of chopped cilantro

12 oz of a light beer
salt and pepper, to taste


Variations: These beans are also known as Charro Beans and many people like to add hot dogs (or sausage), sliced and ground chorizo to their charro beans. The beer is something my Mom added. I add more than she did. If you don’t want to use the beer, just add chicken broth or more bean broth. Chef’s choice!



1. Preheat pot or deep skillet to medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Add the onions and chile serrano. Saute for a few minutes. Add the tomato and cilantro, stir well to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Add the beans, liquid from the beans and the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Season with salt and  pepper to taste, stir, cover and cook for a good 20 minutes. Taste for salt.


Tips~ If you wanted to prepare these without beer, I like to replace the beer with low sodium chicken or beef brothGarnish with lime wedges, cilantro, crema (Mexican cream) and warm tortillas or tostadas. My family would always prepare these beans with carne asada or any grilled meats

Frijoles a La Charra-Charro Beans

Also known as “Drunken Beans”, frijoles borrachos!

Frijoles a La Charra-Charro Beans

I like preparing this recipe with black beans and red beans as well. So tasty!

Frijoles a La Charra-Charro Beans


Frijoles Charros Con Salchichas(Mexican-Style Beans)

Frijoles Charros Con Salchichas-Mexican-Style Beans

Frijoles Charros con Salchichas (Mexican-Style Beans)


More Delicious Beans! Click Onto The Link! 

Frijoles~ Beans~Legume – In My Kitchen

Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.

%d bloggers like this: