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melissa holding taco

BBQ Yucatan Pork

  • Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


Here's my take on the famous Yucatan pork! The earthy marinade based on achiote paste lends a brilliant color and flavor to the pork. Of course, I had to incorporate some smoke into the equation!



Marinade/cooking sauce Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork butt (cut into 2" pieces)
  • 2 TBS Melissa's Bold Rub (or your favorite spicy BBQ rub)
  • 1 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 brick achiote paste
  • 1 TBS kosher salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBS ancho chili powder
  • 1 TBS dried oregeno (mexican if available)
  • 1 lime, juice from
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion (roughly chopped)

Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 medium red onion (very thinly sliced)
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)

Roasted Pineapple

  • 1 pineapple (peeled)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBS BBQ rub


For the Pork

  1. Prepare smoker to run at 275 degrees. Cut pork into pieces and season with BBQ rub. Add orange juice, achiote, vinegar, salt, chili powder, oregeno, red pepper flakes, lime juice, garlic and onion to a blender and puree. Form a "basket" with the banana leaves over an aluminun half pan. Pour marinade over pork, and place in smoker for 1 hour. Remove from smoker, fold banana leaves over pork and tie to form a basket. Return to smoker for 4-5 hours or until tender.

For the Red Onions

  1. Some people just marinade the onions in the pickling liquid for a few hours. I prefer to put in a sauce pan, bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then turn off heat and let onions/liquid cool naturally. This softens the onions somewhat and gets a stronger flavor.

For the Pineapple

  1. Peel the pineapple, leaving the bottom and top attached. Roll the pineapple in the sugar and BBQ rub. Place in smoker for 2 hours, rotating every 30 minutes.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: achiote, pork butt, tacos