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Slow Smoked CarnitasSlow Smoked Carnitas

Slow Smoked Carnitas, we love a good Carnitas and all the different ways to enjoy it. I think this is the best Carnitas I have ever enjoyed much less made. The meat was so tender, lightly covered with a savory sauce, lightly kissed with a fruit wood smoke. Over the top!! One of the nice things about getting old is that you can’t remember the “Last Best One I Ever Made”. The smells coming from the grill are awesome and the house was full of that wonderful aroma. We served it on tortillas with chopped cilantro and shredded sharp cheddar. Perfect for tacos, burritos, enchiladas or just in a bowl.

Patti and I have set one night a week just for us. It’s our date night. We usually put something special on our Green Mountain Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker but sometimes we cook inside. We always eat outside on our patio where it is very comfortable with a rainforest theme.  Wood Pellet Heater, little lights, candles, lanterns and surround sound. We enjoy a little wine, or strawberry margaritas using frozen strawberries for ice, good food, music and sometimes a dance or two…

Slow Smoked Carnitas
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Grill: Green Mountain Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker
Pellets: Green Mountain Premium Fruitwood Blend

Ingredients: Slow Smoked Carnitas

  • 9 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2” cubes
  • 2 large sweet onions, rough chopped
  • 10-12 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 ½ TBSP. orange zest
  • 2 TBSP. Country Bob’s Seasoning Salt
  • 2 TBSP. dried oregano
  • 2 TBSP. chipotle chili powder
  • 2 TBSP. red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBSP. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ cup bacon grease or lard/oil
  • 2 TBSP. corn starch (save to the end for the sauce)

Slow Smoked Carnitas
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Slow Smoked CarnitasCut Your Pork into 2 Inch Pieces

Directions: Slow Smoked Carnitas

Cut your pork into 2 inch pieces and trim off any big pieces of fat. In a large cast oven Dutch oven heat your oil or bacon dripping and sear the meat. You’ll need to do this in batches. After they’re seared set it aside. Add the onions and garlic to your Dutch oven and cook until they soften.

Remove your Dutch oven from the heat and add the meat back into it along with the rest of the ingredients.

Slow Smoked Carnitas Brown the Meat in Small Batches

Place your Dutch oven on the Green Mountain Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker and bring it up to a boil. I found that 350 degrees (177c) works well. After it comes to a boil turn the grill down to 225 degrees (107c) and do a slow boil for 2 hours. Cover the Dutch oven.

Slow Smoked CarnitasAdd the Onions and Garlic and Cook until they Soften

Slow Smoked CarnitasOn The Green Mountain Jim Bowie

Slow Smoked Carnitas
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

After 2 hours uncover your Dutch oven and increase the heat to a gentle boil reducing most of the liquid. I did this at 250 degrees (122c) for 40 minutes or so. Again the smells coming from the grill are awesome. Put a griddle on the grill and try to position it over the hot spot letting it start getting hot. When you’re cooking liquid is down to a ½ inch or so turn the grill up to 400 degrees (204c) put a little oil/grease on your griddle to get hot.

Now, with a slotted spoon put the pieces of pork on the griddle and brown all sides. Again you’ll have to do this in batches. This is going to smell so good you’ll love it. After the meat is done set it aside and take your Dutch oven to the stove top over low heat. I use a Maverick ProTemp Instant Read Thermometer for checking meat temperatures.

Mix the corn starch with water until it’s soupy and you can’t see any chunks. I added a cup of water to my Dutch oven and when it started to simmer I whisked in my corn starch and cooked this until I had nice gravy. Pour this over the pork and stir until it is evenly covered.

Slow Smoked CarnitasUncover After 2 Hours

Slow Smoked CarnitasGet Your Griddle Ready, A lot of Family History in this One

Slow Smoked Carnitas If Only You Could Smell This

Slow Smoked Carnitas

Sear the Pork in Small Batches

Slow Smoked Carnitas
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Slow Smoked CarnitasAlmost Ready

Slow Smoked CarnitasWhisk in the Corn Starch

Slow Smoked CarnitasPour Sauce over the Meat and Stir

Slow Smoked Carnitas
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Slow Smoked CarnitasLet’s Eat!

Slow Smoked Carnitas
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

About Our Recipes

We do our recipes on our patio where we have a lineup of grills, including Green Mountain, Sawtooth, Louisiana, Royall, Memphis, Traeger pellet grills, Char Griller side box smoker, Saber, Charmglow, Char-Broil, The Big Easy, Pacific Living Outdoor Oven, Lodge Sportsman’s, Brinkman and Weber. I call it our “Wall of Grill”. Our grilling styles are healthy and low fat and will fit pelletheads, gas, natural wood and even charcoal purists. Almost any of our recipes can be done on any kind of good BBQ.

The important thing to keep in mind is TIME & TEMPERATURE. You can even do some of them in the oven or crock pot, but, then you lose all the flavors you get from cooking outdoors. But sometimes it does rain.

Remember that a recipe is simply an outline; it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste. Take it and run with it….

Live your Passion and Do What You Love,
Ken & Patti
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Our Thanks To:

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Hi…trying the carnitas. Quick question. After bringing to a boil and turning down for the 2 hour slow boil, do I cover for these 2 hours. Then uncover for another 2 hours ? The directions confused me little bit.


    1. I did the 1st 2 hours covered, then uncovered for the slow cook….

  2. What’s the quart size of the Dutch oven?

    1. I think this one was a “6” qt. I have a few of them and try to use the biggest one I can because it seems that what’s in it always GROWS…

  3. How many people does this size pork feed? I am having almost 20 people over and just wanted to make sure I had enough.
    This recipe sounds delicious!! I also have a Traeger to use!


    1. Break it down for tacos it would be close. As a rule of thumb they say a 1/2 pound of meat per person…

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