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Unread 05-16-2011, 05:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: 03-25-11
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Default Anyone experienced with carnitas?

So I made carnitas for the first time about a week ago- the boiled-down kind, not the cooked in lard kind (even I have limits). Anyway, this was a stovetop endeavor in an enameled cast iron dutch oven. The result was some of the best damn meat I've ever made.

The basic method is to make something vaguely resembling a beef stew with cubed pork shoulder in place of beef, and it gets simmered down until all the liquid is gone from it. While the texture reminds me of alpo, the taste is spot on. I gave the pot a few shakes of liquid smoke as it was included in more recipes than not. This got me thinking- would it pick up smoke flavor if I did in my SnP? It's definitely a low-and-slow recipe anyway, so it'd be easy enough to do while I have some meat in the smoker, it'd just be more work than doing it stovetop. But since for the majority of the cook time the carnitas is essentially a stew, I'm not sure if it would pick up the smoke flavor or not. My plan is to do it in a large aluminum pan next to the bun pan I use as a heat deflector.

Of course, Plan B would be to simply give the cubed pork a quick smoke (~30 minutes) and then toss it in the dutch oven to cook.

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Unread 05-16-2011, 07:59 AM   #2
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Here's how I usually do it with excellent results.

I just smoke the butt as normal on the smoker and right when it hits 195 I will take it off and bring it inside to pull large hunks off then season with mexican spices with a cumin based seasoning and toss in a hot dutch oven with lard in it, not a lot is needed. I crisp up the edges in the lard and bring them out to the cutting board and chop it down to even sized pieces. Done, easy as pie, dang tasty too.

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