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Smoked Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

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Our slow cooker pork tacos are amazing but this time we took the time to smoke them too. Holy goodness! Top it with tangy purple cabbage slaw and a creamy avocado sauce for the perfect meal.
slow-cooker-pork-tacos

Weekends are the best time of the week. I’m usually exhausted from a big week keeping up with the kiddos/house/work and Kevin is home enough to relieve me from some of the cooking duties. Which often means, no matter the season, that we are grilling something….and it’s quite often meat for our famous slow cooker pork tacos. Insert happy dance.

grilled-pork-tacos

Every man should know how to cook. Not only is it super practical but it’s super attractive too. Kevin cooked me dinner for our first date and we’ve been together ever since. Coincidence? Well that orange lime chicken he makes would suggest otherwise. Of course it helps that he was adorable, and smart, and crazy about me too…

heating-grill-for-pork-tacos

Hickory is one of our go to smoking woods. Soak them in a bowl of water while you prep the grill. We smoke the meat before it goes in the slow cooker to give it all that amazing smokey taste. Just two large handfuls of wood chips is all it takes to get an incredible amount of aroma and flavor.

smoking-slow-cooker-pork-tacos

We were talking yesterday about exactly what cut of meat this was and honestly neither of us could remember since we make these so often and I photographed them a while ago. We use any kind of pork roast that we can find a good deal on.

pork-tenderloin-on-grill-for-tacos

Usually that is a pork shoulder (also called a Boston Butt in other places), rump roast, or some kind of boneless pork roasts. They all cook down just fine as long as they have a good bit of fat visible on them and have all day to cook. We have even cooked ones the butchers said wouldn’t break down and cut them off the bone at the end and give them another hour in the slow cooker. Works like a charm!

We also have used beef cheek with this recipe (it sounds so gross right?) but holy yum. We served those to my brother and sister in law. After they had eaten them we told them what they were, and that was a good thing as my brothers eyes got huge and you could tell his stomach flopped at the thought. Talk about an “adventure bite”! He admitted he probably wouldn’t have tried them had we told him ahead of time but that they were delicious!

slow-cooker-carnitas

And oh my word if you want to talk delicious, this is it. The meat is so full of flavor, the fat breaks down as it slow cooks and permeates the meat. The chiles and garlic and onion melt into the sauce. And the hickory smoke flows through all those layers of flavor.

Add in our creamy avocado cilantro sauce and the tangy coleslaw and crumble a bit of mexican cheese on it. Oh my gosh. Can you see now why I love it when he cooks?

slow-cooker-pork-carnitas

You have been tasked….make this recipe soon! As if you don’t already have enough reasons to make these delicious slow cooker tacos, it’s cinqo de mayo this next week!

We will be breaking out the grill for some of these and hope you will join us! We will be paring ours with our watermelon lime cocktails or a spiced honey mojito.

Here’s to happy tacos!

p.s. We have tried to be very detailed in our recipes to give you all our tips and tricks from lots of years. But these tacos truly are our simple happy food to cook. Once you have the basics down it’s easy to play and mix and match!

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Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Our slow cooker pork tacos are amazing but this time we took the time to smoke them too. Holy goodness! Top it with tangy purple cabbage slaw and our creamy avocado sauce for the perfect meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 generous servings
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Ingredients

  • 4 pounds boneless pork roast or a 5-6 lb bone in pork shoulder**see note
  • 1 head garlic chopped roughly
  • 1 onion medium diced
  • 2 7 ounce cans diced green chiles, we like fire roasted & peeled
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 large handfuls hickory wood chips optional
  • Serve with:
  • Tortilla shells**
  • 1 batch Avocado Sauce see below
  • 1 batch Quick Pickled Purple Coleslaw
  • Mexican cheese: you are looking for COTIJA queso anejado, not queso fresco which is a fresh much wetter cheese
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  • 1. If you are smoking the meat then prepare the charcoal grill for cooking by stacking and igniting the briquettes.
    2. While grill preheats, soak wood chips in a small bucket of water.
    3. When coals are white and glowing place the wood chips on top of the coals, replace grill and add meat directly over coals. Cook directly over coals turning regularly, until nicely browned on all sides.
    4. Move the meat off the coals to the side for indirect heat and continue to cook until the smoke stops.
    5. If you like you can leave it there for up to an hour or remove and transfer to the slow cooker.
    6. Place meat, garlic, onion and green chiles in crockpot on high for 3-5 hours, or on low for 8 hours. Meat should be easily shreddable with forks.
    7. Season to taste with cumin, pepper, and salt.
    8. Serve with tortilla shells lightly softened in olive oil or steamed, avocado sauce, coleslaw, Mexican cheese and extra cilantro.

Notes

**You can also use boston butt, and many other cuts. I always look at what is on sale and just ask the butcher if it will shred if slow cooked. It should have visible fat on it and not look too lean or it will turn out dry.
***For the tortilla shells we normally use basic corn shells that we quickly soften in a bit of olive oil. Add olive oil to a pan and swirl the shell around to evenly but lightly coat them with oil. Turn them several times in a pan until they are warm and soft and transfer to a plate in a warm oven.
The shells pictured are 1/2 flour and 1/2 corn blend which we do not soften. We also do not soften flour tortillas.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 7780kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 608g | Fat: 567g | Saturated Fat: 208g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 306g | Cholesterol: 2338mg | Sodium: 2257mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g
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Avocado Sauce

This avocado sauce is creamy and refreshing. Substitute greek yogurt for the mayonnaise for a healthier twist!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 medium avocados
  • 3/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • 1. Blend on medium until pureed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 1569kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 156g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 126g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 1360mg | Fiber: 35g | Sugar: 5g
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Quick Pickled Purple Cabbage Slaw

This quick pickled coleslaw is bright and tangy. It's also packs a visual punch with its brilliantly purple hue. Perfect with tacos, fish sandwiches or as a stand alone side dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 bag of slaw10
Print Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 of a large purple cabbage shredded
  • 4 radishes cut in matchsticks
  • 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • 1. Combine all ingredients in a zippered plastic bag.
    2. Refrigerate. Turn it occasionally to allow it to evenly coat everything. It can be used immediately but is better with a few hours in brine. Use within 24 hours.
By on April 30th, 2015

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About Dani Meyer

Hi, I’m Dani! I’m most importantly mama to 3 wild little dudes. I spend my days cooking, photographing and exploring the Pacific Northwest. I'm a full time food blogger and online business coach.

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6 thoughts on “Smoked Slow Cooker Pork Tacos”

  1. Hello,

    This looks so nice. I live in the Netherlands and I cannot get the cans of green chiles in Holland. With what could I replace it you think? I could get some spicy red pepper sauce or tomato sauce?

    If you want to eat these in the evening do you need to get the smoke part done first thing in the morning and after that straight in the slowcooker? How do you do that, planning-wise.

    Thanks for the lovely recipes!

    Groetjes,
    Wendy

    Reply
    • Hi Wendy,

      Great question! The green chiles can be replaced with any fresh mild green pepper you can find. They do have a bit of heat so if you can find a something that is not just a standard green bell pepper that would be preferable. In the USA the canned chiles are hatch chile peppers. You could also use a poblano peppers which we do a lot. Poblano’s are known for having varying levels of heat by the batch so some can be very mild and some quite spicy. Taste and adjust for your batch of peppers.

      As far as cooking goes yes we start smoking in the morning and immediately put it in the slow cooker. You can also smoke it the night before and store in the refrigerator overnight or cook it all night in the slow cooker. Prepare yourself to be awoken by glorious smells if you do that though!

      Thank you for your sweet comment and we hope to see you here again!

      Dani

      Reply

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