Add all the marinade ingredients to a large bowl and stir until completely dissolved.
Use a sharp knife to cut a crosshatch pattern into the fat cap, and the bottom of the pork.
Chef’s Note: This will help the marinade to penetrate into the pork.
Add the pork and the marinade to a large Ziploc bag, or non-reactive bowl.
Chef’s Note: Because of the size of these pork butts, I’m using turkey-basting bags that I got from Williams-Sonoma.
Place in the fridge for 12, and up to 24 hours.
Chef’s Note: If you’re like me, and you like to peek into the fridge every now and then… Well, while you’re in there, give the bag a big old squeeze or two.
Chef’s Tip: Ziploc bags have been known to spring a leak. To keep this from becoming a problem, place the bag in a bowl, or on a large plate.
After 24 hours remove the pork from the marinade, and save about two cups.
Place the marinade into a small saucepan, and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes, then remove and reserve.
Preheat your smoker to 225f (107c).
Thoroughly coat the pork with the dry rub… Rub it in good.
Chef’s Note: My dry rub consists of equal amounts of black pepper, cumin, paprika, onion powder, salt, and then a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.
Add the pork butt to the smoker, along with two bricks.
Chef’s Note: The bricks are optional, but I’ll explain that later.
Allow the pork butt to smoke until reaching an internal temperature of 200f (94c).
Chef’s Note: Once an hour, for the first 6 hours, open the smoker, and mop the pork butt with the reserved marinade.
Chef’s Note: Depending on your cut of meat, it could take 12 hours to reach the magic number. But don’t hasten the process by raising the heat… have patience.
Optional Step: Remove the pork butt from the smoker, wrap in foil, then place into a beverage cooler, and place some tea towels around it, plus the two hot bricks. Let it sit for two hours. What this does is finish up the melting of the collagen, and makes this pork melt in your mouth.
Chef’s Tip: I made my own box out of Styrofoam, but a typical Coleman cooler will work just fine.
Remove from the cooler, and shred. If the meat is a bit dry, add a small amount of the reserved marinade.
Chef’s Note: I tried several ways to cut the meat for a Cubano sandwich; however, shredded is the way to go.
There you go… the perfect Cuban smoked pork.
Keep the faith, and keep cooking.