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Nothing says summer like grilling your favorite foods. And I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, the char-grilled taste of some cuts of meat simply can not be captured via any other means of cooking. And I’m talking about grilling in this recipe post. Now, when most people think of tacos, they think of the ground meat variety. But today, my friend, I’m going to challenge you to try something different. Something with a hearty bite. Something with a bit more savory flavor and a whole-lot more meat. I’m going to challenge you to try my Grilled Carnitas Taco Recipe.
Grilled Carnitas Tacos Recipe
Now, this Grilled Carnitas Tacos Recipe is based on an old Latin American favorite – carnitas tacos. The meat is pork shoulder and the flavor is built right in, courtesy of Smithfield’s®. Since the pork comes already marinated, it saves you a step. There is no need to prep ahead of time and marinate the meat. It’s done for you. Which means you can pick it up from the meat case, and take it straight to the grill. Thank goodness for time-saving steps!
Why does this recipe taste so great? Well, the seasoning is ahh-mahh-zzinnngg. Plus you get the semi-effect of bacon. Except better… This pork dish is way meatier than bacon and nowhere near as salty. It’s somewhere between the meaty, all-white meat of pork and the crisp taste of bacon.
I know… Bacon. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
OK, back to the recipe.
Grilled Carnitas Tacos Recipe Ingredients
This dish is a new take on tacos. Not your average ground meat taco, but a hearty, filling, and savory variety. The type of taco that will leave your family asking for this variety of taco on your next Taco-Tuesday! My best tip is this, leave the Mexican seasoning in the pantry. This carnitas pork from Smithfield® doesn’t need a single dash of anything else. It tastes delicious right out of the packaging. So, save yourself a step and just cut, cook, serve, and eat. It’s that simple!
- Special Equipment: Outdoor grill, grill tongs, and grill grate.
- 1 Package of Smithfield Seasoned Carnitas Boneless Pork Shoulder
- 2-3 Tablespoons of butter to coat the grill grate
- 3 Roma Tomatoes chopped – some for the tacos and some for pico
- 1 Head of Romaine lettuce
- 1 Bundle of fresh Cilantro
- 6-8 Crispy Taco Shells (you can also opt for soft taco shells)
- 1 Cup shredded cheese – any flavor
- 1/2 Medium to Large Red Onion chopped
- 1/2 Cup Pico (create this by combing some red onion, tomatoes, and cilantro – see below)
Grilled Carnitas Tacos Recipe Directions
Step 1: Preheat the grill. The key to cooking up these Grilled Carnitas Tacos is to preheat the grill. Get it to somewhere between 350 to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Use a non-stick grill grate. To keep the meat on top of the grill, you’ll need either a basket or a grill grate. I found an inexpensive grill grate and greased it with butter to make it non-stick. You could spray it with non-stick oil, but I love the taste of butter.
Step 3: Cut the meat into slices. Prep is super simple. Remove the pork from the packaging and slice it into 1” thick slices. Some of the meat may come apart as you cut it, but don’t worry, it will not impact the flavor or cooking time. Use it as an opportunity to trim some fat. Leave some fat on though, it enhances the juiciness of the meat and the flavor.
You do not need to add any spices to the Smithfield Carnitas Pork. It comes pre-marinated in a delicious savory and salty flavor.
Step 4: Check the grill temp. Lay the 1” slices on the greased grill grate and place it on a serving plate to keep your countertops clean. Double check the grill before heading outside to make sure the grill has reached at least 350 degrees.
Once your grill is ready, head outside and lay the grill grate, with the meat on top onto the grill.
Step 5: Sear the outside. The meat will sear on the outside first. Turn the meat after just two minutes to sear the other side. Since the meat may not be evenly flat, feel free to turn again and again until you sear all sides. Then, close the lid and grill for 3-4 minutes.
Step 6: Cook evenly by frequently turning for 15 -20 minutes. The total cook time truly depends on the consistent heat coming from the grill, the thickness of the meat, and the flame. So keep an eye on things. The pieces you see in the photos took 15 minutes to fully cook, and I kept turning the meat every three to four minutes. When in doubt, use a meat thermometer. Thrust it into the thickest part of the meat and ensure the temp has reached 160 degrees fahrenheit before taking it off the grill.
Step 7: Shred with a fork. Let it set for 3 minutes and shred with a fork. If you’d rather, you can also chop into smaller bites.
My favorite outcome from cooking this Smithfield Carnitas Pork, was the flavor. And a few bites of crisp carnitas pork from the open flame of the grill.
Step 8: Load your Taco. I made our tacos by loading up a crispy stand-up taco shell with the shredded grilled Smithfield’s® carnitas pork, chopped red onion, chopped Roma tomatoes, shredded Monetary Jack cheese, and fresh cilantro.
I whipped up some pico de gallo to go with our tacos. Pico is easy to make, just take two parts chopped tomatoes to one part chopped red onion and garnish with chopped cilantro. So easy and tastes fresh! You can serve this Grilled Carnitas Tacos Recipe alongside yellow rice and refried beans for the perfect Mexican dish!
Where to find Smithfield® Seasoned Carnitas Boneless Pork Shoulder?
You can find everything I’ve featured here at Walmart. I got the Smithfield® Seasoned Carnitas Boneless Pork Shoulder through Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup Service. Just shop online, place an order, and pick it up when Walmart gives you the green light for a pick-up window of time within the next 24 hours. So easy, and I did not even have to get the kids out of the car! If you are shopping in-store, just pick up Smithfield Seasoned Carnitas Boneless Pork Shoulder in the meat section under “pork”. If you love this recipe, check out more Smithfield Meal Ideas here: Smithfield Easy Recipes
Hero of the Grill Contest and Sweepstakes
Make sure to check out the Hero of the Grill Contest and Sweepstakes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com where you can share and nominate who inspired you to get grilling for a chance for your hero to win $5,000! Not to mention you can enjoy great grilling content and enter for a chance to win prizes EVERY DAY!
How do you get your summer grill on?
Do you have any mouthwatering tips for tender, juicy grilled dishes that I could try this summer? Leave your recipe idea in the comments below for other HappyandBlessedHome.com readers. I’m always looking for new ideas and I love hearing from my readers.
I hope you enjoyed my Grilled Carnitas Tacos Recipe. If you any amazing summer grilling recipes please let me know – I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for being a fan!
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