Switching up the norm with these Al Pastor Pulled Pork Sandwiches with the help of King’s Hawaiian. Traditionally, Al Pastor is cooked on vertical spit with thinly sliced pork then served as a taco. Not today! We are going to marinate these bone-in pork shoulders overnight in the classic Al Pastor style marinade, then smoke them low & slow until they are falling apart. I also added some BBQ sauce, cured & seared pineapples and the ever delicious King’s Hawaiian burger buns. Put it all together, and you have an epic dinner!
Sponsored by KING’S HAWAIIAN
It began with Al Pastor & Pulled Pork
If you have never had an al pastor taco, then you are truly missing out. They are one of my favorite dinner meals because they combine the best of every flavor profile. You have savory, sweet, sour and more all in one single bite. They make for the most epic meals as well because they are uniquely cooked on a vertical spit next to the fire.
So why did I want to switch it up with this Al Pastor Pulled Pork Sandwich?
The answer is: when you combine three amazing things together you get something triple amazing! The first amazing thing is the al pastor flavor. Like I said above, it is delicious in every way. The second delicious thing is the pulled pork. Pulled pork is one of the staple pieces of barbecue cuisine. It is succulent and savory, and when done right, it can be one of the most tender foods you ever consume. The only down side of pulled pork is that it takes 8-10 hours in order to cook, and these Al Pastor Pulled Pork Sandwiches are no different.
The last amazing thing that this recipe combines is the King’s Hawaiian Burger Buns. These rolls are out of this world delicious. They are the hint of sweetness that the pulled pork sandwich needs to have in order to be delicious. The fun thing is the use of pineapple juice in the bread as well as its use in the marinade and the caramelized pineapple slices! Overall, you can only hit the ideal flavor when you have all three of these amazing things working together.
Bread, Pork, Sauce and More for these Al Pastor Sandwiches
Now, let us not forget that there are a few more ingredients that make this Al Pastor Pulled Pork Sandwich pop! Curing some pineapples overnight is sugar, salt and cinnamon help to add a nice sweet fruity flavor onto the sandwich the next day. These pineapples really make the other pineapple flavor shine bright on this rich sandwich. Finally, you need to add some of your favorite BBQ sauce on top. I prefer a spicy sauce as it helps to balance all the sweet and savory flavors you have going on the sandwich.
Let’s Dive Right In
In the end, this Al Pastor Pulled Pork Sandwich is a gamechanger and a crowd pleaser. This recipe can easily serve 8-10 people during your weekend events. Just make sure to grab some of those King’s Hawaiian Burger Buns! They make all the difference. Cheers and enjoy!
We are going to marinate these bone-in pork shoulders overnight in the classic Al Pastor style marinade, then smoke them low & slow until they are falling apart.
- 2 Bone In Pork Shoulders
- 1 pack of KING’S HAWAIIAN Original Sweet Hamburger Buns
- 1.5 tbsp of melted Butter for buns
- 1.5 cups of your Favorite BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup of Pineapples cubed
- 6-8 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 of a White Onion
- 1/4 cup of Pineapple Juice
- 1/4 cup of White Vinegar
- 2 tbsp of Chipotle in Adobo
- 1.5 tbsp of Achiote Paste
- 1.5 tbsp of Dried Oregano
- 1 tbsp of Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp of Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tsp of Black Peppers
- 2 tsp of Kosher Salt
- 3 Limes juiced
- 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup of Pineapple Juice
- 2 tsp of Hot Sauce
- 1 Pineapple sliced
- 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp of Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp of Cinnamon
Begin by scoring your bone in pork shoulders on the fat cap side. In a blender, add all the ingredients for the Al Pastor Marinade. Blend until smooth. Add your pork to a food safe container, cover in the marinade and then cover the container. Place the pork into the fridge for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight.
In a bag, add your pineapples with the cure ingredients. Place them into the fridge for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight.
Preheat your smoker to 275F for indirect cooking. Add some hickory wood for added flavor if desired.
Pull your pork out 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. Add the pork to the smoker and smoke until it reaches 165F internal (about 4-5 hours). After 2 hours of smoking, spritz the pork every 30 minutes.
Once the pork has reached 165F, pull it off the smoker and wrap in butcher paper or aluminum foil. Place it back onto the smoker and cook until it reaches 203F internal (about 4-6 hours). Once the pork is done, pull it off and let rest in an unheated oven for 30-60 minutes.
While the pork rests, warm up your BBQ sauce and sear each cured pineapple for 30-45 seconds per side over high heat until well caramelized. Lightly butter your Hawaiian Burger Buns and gently sear over the fire for 15-20 seconds.
Finally, pull your pork apart and begin building your sandwich. Start with your Hawaiian Burger Bun, caramelized pineapple, handful of pulled pork and top with BBQ Sauce. Enjoy!
Derek Wolf is the owner of OvertheFireCooking.com, published cookbook author, expert live fire chef, and creator of multiple spice lines.