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Tacos al Pastor: Pork Butt or Pork Loin?

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  • surfdog
    replied
    I generally use pork butt...but could see the attraction of using the loin as there's generally less trimming involved.

    And then you NEED one of these...
    No seriously, you NEED it! ;-)
    https://www.amazon.com/KeyTop-Shawar...s%2C210&sr=8-5
    If nothing else than because of the shear insanity of it. LOL That and they work really well.

    Leave a comment:


  • barelfly
    replied
    An easy way, depending on number of guests being served, would be shoulder steaks cooked hot and fast. I’ve done this a few times, slather adobo on and marinade for however long then to the grill and sliced thing on the bias and served on homemade tortillas.pork is tenserved and full of flavor from the adobo.i postedon this exact cook a few weeks back as well.

    if I had a spit and was serving for 8 or more, I’d go pork butt like you mention above.

    Leave a comment:


  • HouseHomey
    replied
    Pork butt

    Leave a comment:


  • Texas Larry
    replied
    I have to go with pork butt for the reasons you mention. Just my .02😁.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael_in_TX
    started a topic Tacos al Pastor: Pork Butt or Pork Loin?

    Tacos al Pastor: Pork Butt or Pork Loin?

    Ever since I've learned of the existence of tacos al pastor, I've wanted to try it...the earthiness of the marinade; the sweetness of the pineapple.

    If you're not familiar with it, it is thinly sliced cuts of pork, marinated in a chili sauce, then cooked on a spit with the pork slices interspersed between pineapple slides. The cooked pork is then shaved into corn tortillas and garnished with grilled and fresh pineapple, diced onion, and cilantro. Basically, street tacos.

    Now that I have a Pit Barrel Cooker, I must do tacos al pastor as I found a video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3CgiNQfLP0) on TheHollarBBQ's channel in which he uses the PBC turkey hanger as the "spit." I just gotta do it after seeing that.


    Click image for larger version

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    Now, there are a decent number of tacos al pastor videos and recipes on the internet. To be sure, much of the variance in is in the pastor marinade, but one primary difference is the cut of pork used. I'd say about 75% of them use pork butt or shoulder, while the rest -- including Steven Raichlen, to my surprise -- use pork loin.

    Both cuts of pork are prepared consistently the same: 1/4" to 1/2" slices, marinated overnight, then baked or smoked for several hours (often piled up on a skewer with pineapple rings spaced in between the slices). The videos that do mention a final internal temp seem to be pulling the pork when it hits 160-165 for the pork butt and 150 for the pork loin.

    My thinking and inexperience makes me want to try pork butt over loin as it is fattier (more flavorful?), but only if I can get it tender and it surprises me that people are pulling it so early (as opposed to 190 or 203). Perhaps the thinness of the slices helps make it tender, even at such a low temperature for cooking pork butt. (And even in the video I linked above, the pork sure seems to be shredding nicely.)

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    Which cut do yall think would work best?

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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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