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There's nothing like a juicy pulled pork sandwich, especially one inspired by a famous taco. Maybe it's the brine, or that I'm just easily satisfied, but it's been my experience that if you simply season aggressively and cook the meat over smoky coals up to a certain temp, you'll be rewarded with tender, moist, and very flavorful meat. Slather it with the grilled pineapple salsa for the full 'al pastor' experience.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
7 hrs 10 mins
additional:
13 hrs
total:
20 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
12 servings
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
For the Brine:
For the Rub:
For the Pineapple Salsa:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place pork in a large brining vessel. Cut a few slashes into the fat side of the pork.

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  • Whisk salt, pineapple juice, and water together in a large bowl. Pour brine over the pork. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

  • Combine salt, ancho powder, chipotle powder, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano together for the rub.

  • Remove pork from the brine and place on a deep baking pan lined with foil. Season generously with the spice rub. Reserve remaining spice rub for another use.

  • Preheat a charcoal grill for 300 to 325 degrees F (150 to 175 degrees C). Place 2 bricks on the grate, if you like, and place the baking pan on top.

  • Grill, occasionally spooning rendered juices over the meat, until very tender, about 7 hours. Make sure to maintain the same 25-degree range in temperature by adjusting the vents under, and on top of the grill, or smoker. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork should read 195 degrees F (91 degrees C).

  • Remove pan from the grill, wrap top in foil, and let rest for 1 hour. Meanwhile, cook pineapple over the last of the coals until nicely charred, 7 to 10 minutes.

  • Dice the grilled pineapple to get about 2 cups. Combine in a bowl with serrano pepper, red peppers, cilantro, and rice vinegar. Season with salt and a pinch of the leftover spice rub.

  • Remove pork bone and pull the meat apart. Add to a bowl with some of the rendered fat; pull apart with 2 forks. Place some pork over each bottom bun, top with pineapple salsa, and cover with the other bun half.

Chef's Notes:

Any ground chili pepper will work in place of the ancho.

Make sure you make the pineapple salsa; it's great on anything, including ice cream, so don't let the last of those hot coals go to waste.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of rub and brine ingredients. The actual amount consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

553 calories; protein 42.6g; carbohydrates 42.6g; fat 22.9g; cholesterol 133.9mg; sodium 8936.4mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (5)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/17/2019
Made no changes except had to cook inside due to rain (used the oven method for the meat and the gas stovetop to grill the pineapple and red pepper). The meat was flavorful and turned out well and everyone liked the salsa both on the meat and on chips. Read More
(2)
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2019
Made no changes except had to cook inside due to rain (used the oven method for the meat and the gas stovetop to grill the pineapple and red pepper). The meat was flavorful and turned out well and everyone liked the salsa both on the meat and on chips. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2019
Absolutely fantastic! Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
06/20/2019
I did not have a charcoal grill available which was regrettable. I roasted it in the oven and it still turned out fantastic. The pineapple salsa is very yummy. I think next time make this I will cut the salt down or dlbrine time down it was a bit salty for me. I did brine for 24hrs. Still delicious and will definately continue to make. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/17/2019
I used all the ingredients as written but I cooked the pork for 4 hours in my smoker refrigerated it overnight then finished the cooking in my oven. (I did this due to time constraints and rain). I grilled the pineapple on my propane grill. Everyone loved it! Next time I'll do it in the smoker for the whole time to get a more pronounced smoky flavor. The pineapple salsa is a must! Delicious! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/06/2019
delicious food.... Read More