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
  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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