Smoked Carnitas ((pork butt)) Tacos

Smoked Carnitas ((pork butt)) Tacos

Every year at this time, the clan heads to the lake. Our lake is Table Rock – we spend 51 weeks out of the year counting down to the one week we are ‘home’. There are 26 of us in total, well – this year there are 27.


We play hard all day – family style. Some are observers, some are drivers, some tube, others ski ((me)), wake board & slalom – others cruise of the wave runners. We have ‘our’ spots – the best coves on the lake and we swim – all of us, together. We also eat family-style and after 55 years of heading to the lake the same week every year…this clan has family-style eating down to a fine art.

Each individual family joins with another family & are responsible for 2 entire dinners in the week. This means that there are 5 nights we all have a ‘break’ from cooking. It works out great.


This year, I tagged teamed on ‘Mexican Night’. David & I started our work early by smoking 10 lbs of park butt & freezing it BEFORE we hit the road. With the main dish out of the way all that was left were the sides and dessert.


Along with the tacos, we served, flash-pickled peppers, onions & tomatoes, Mexicali style cream corn, queso with a secret ingredient, a simple fresh guacamole & homemade vanilla strawberry ice cream and birthday cookies for dessert. Here is a link to my recipe for flash-pickling veggies. ((Along with my all-time favorite ‘pin’ ever))

image This pork butt is something David & I do once or twice a year – usually once in the summer & once on Christmas Eve. Typically, I heavily season the meat with Lawry’s seasoned salt. But this time, I decided to add lemon pepper and Montreal style steak seasoning to the mix. It was a hit. The lemon pepper added that extra ‘something’…and will now be a permanent ‘go-to’ when seasoning pork for the smoker. 


 This is a little glimpse at our ‘lake food’ – that makes up our family’s favorite part of Food for a Year. Many more recipes to come!


Smoked Pork Butt ((Carnitas Tacos))
Serves 30
Mesquite smoked pork butt, well seasoned with a special blend of pantry staple seasonings. Perfectly smoked, shredded and turned into carnitas tacos. Perfect lake food -- well perfect anytime food!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 hr
211 calories
7 g
69 g
9 g
24 g
4 g
126 g
98 g
0 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 211
Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 4g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 69mg
Sodium 98mg
Total Carbohydrates 7g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 0g
Protein 24g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 - 5lb pork butts ((AKA pork shoulder))
  2. lemon pepper seasoning
  3. Lawry's seasoned salt
  4. Montreal style steak seasoning ((I like McCormicks))
  1. Flash-pickled veggies (recipe linked in the blog)
  2. this time, I used bell peppers, onions, tomatoes & cilantro
  3. hand-shredded cheese
  4. sour cream
  5. salsa
  6. corn & flour tortillas
  1. Prepare smoker ((we used a charcoal smoker)). While smoker is reaching temperature, soak mesquite chips in water.
  2. Season all sides of the pork generously with all 3 seasoning types. Keep in mind, this is the only seasoning this pork will receive - so do not skimp on seasoning.
  3. Smoke pork for 6 hours. Once smoking is complete, preheat oven to 325°. Remove from smoker, place in a large roasting pan, cover with foil. Place pork butt is oven for 3 hours. Remove, shred & serve.
  4. If making tacos, I serve in an assembly line style & let people make their own.
  1. I used two pork butts, but the same instructions apply for a single pork butt, up 7 lbs. Once the size exceeds 7 lbs, add 45 min on the smoker for every 2 lb increase in weight. Three hours in the oven will stay constant regardless of the size.
  2. This is a glimpse at lake food for the Schuermann Clan, hope you enjoy!
Food for a Year:

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