Smoked Cuban (Cubano) Pork

Andy Anderson !


You can’t have a really good Cubano sandwich without a good slow-smoked pork butt. Nothin’ like a good smoked butt. That’s what I always say.

This is a classic way to smoke a pork butt for use in a Cubano sandwich. And low and slow is definitely the way to go…

First we’re going to marinade the pork for 24 hours, and then put it in the smoker for about 7 to 12 hours. Sounds like fun to me.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

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24 Hr
12 Hr


5-7 lb
pork butt, bone in


3 c
organic apple cider
1 c
sweet orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 c
lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp
cumin, ground
2 Tbsp
salt, kosher variety
2 Tbsp
cracked peppercorns

How to Make Smoked Cuban (Cubano) Pork


  • 1Gather your ingredients
  • 2Add all the marinade ingredients to a large bowl and stir until completely dissolved.
  • 3Use a sharp knife to cut a crosshatch pattern into the fat cap, and the bottom of the pork.
  • 4Chef’s Note: This will help the marinade to penetrate into the pork.
  • 5Add the pork and the marinade to a large Ziploc bag, or non-reactive bowl.
  • 6Chef’s Note: Because of the size of these pork butts, I’m using turkey-basting bags that I got from Williams-Sonoma.
  • 7Place in the fridge for 12, and up to 24 hours.
  • 8Chef’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.
  • 9Chef’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.
  • 10After 24 hours remove the pork from the marinade, and save about two cups.
  • 11Place the marinade into a small saucepan, and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes, then remove and reserve.
  • 12Preheat your smoker to 225f (107c).
  • 13Thoroughly coat the pork with the dry rub… Rub it in good.
  • 14Chef’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.
  • 15Add the pork butt to the smoker, along with two bricks.
  • 16Chef’s Note: The bricks are optional, but I’ll explain that later.
  • 17Allow the pork butt to smoke until reaching an internal temperature of 200f (94c).
  • 18Chef’s Note: Once an hour, for the first 6 hours, open the smoker, and mop the pork butt with the reserved marinade.
  • 19Chef’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.
  • 20Optional 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.
  • 21Chef’s Tip: I made my own box out of Styrofoam, but a typical Coleman cooler will work just fine.
  • 22Remove from the cooler, and shred. If the meat is a bit dry, add a small amount of the reserved marinade.
  • 23Chef’s Note: I tried several ways to cut the meat for a Cubano sandwich; however, shredded is the way to go.
  • 24There you go… the perfect Cuban smoked pork.
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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About Smoked Cuban (Cubano) Pork

Course/Dish: Sandwiches
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Cuban
Other Tags: For Kids, Healthy, Heirloom