Tacos al Pastor

Chef Tom cooks up a classic Tacos al Pastor recipe on a Kamado Joe Grill. This fusion of Lebanese and Mexican dishes and techniques packs big flavor. You will marinade your pork for an hour and cook in the traditional method on a rotisserie.

Tacos al Pastor Recipe

Yield: 20 tacos


  • 4 lbs Boston butt pork shoulder, sliced thin
  • Cattleman’s Grill Carne Asada 8 Second Ride
  • Al Pastor marinade (recipe below)
  • 1 whole pineapple
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 20 small tortillas

For the Al Pastor marinade:

  • 14 oz Achiote paste
  • Adobo Sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the Adobo Sauce:

  • 2 oz dried chipotle chiles
  • 2 oz dried guajillo chiles
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 6 fl oz pineapple juice
  • 4 fl oz orange juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 oz piloncillo (or brown sugar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tbsp ground toasted cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


To make the adobo sauce, toast the dried chiles in a Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Skillet on both sides, until fragrant and just browned. Remove from the skillet. Remove the stems and seeds. Place the chiles back in the skillet. Cover with water. Bring the water to a simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for five minutes (or until tender). Drain the water and discard. Transfer the chiles to a blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt level as desired.

To prepare the marinade, combine the marinade ingredients bowl and mix well.

Next, combine the marinade and pork in a zip-top bag or plastic container. Rub the marinade into the meat, making sure that there is marinade on all surfaces. Marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.

Build a charcoal fire in your Kamado Joe Classic Joe II and preheat to 400ºF, set up for direct grilling, with a the JoeTisserie attachment. Slice the top and bottom off of the pineapple. Stand the pineapple upright. Slice off all of the prickly skin from the sides. Slice off the top and bottom 1/4 of the pineapple in discs. Set aside, then core and dice the middle portion.

Remove the meat from the marinade, wiping off excess marinade. Season the pork with the Cattleman’s Grill Carne Asada 8 Second Ride. Thread the pineapple bottom onto the rotisserie spit rod and secure with the prongs. Then thread the slices of marinated pork onto the rod. Once all of the pork is threaded on, place the top of the trimmed pineapple on the end to cap it off, secured with the prongs.

Place the spit rod in place on the rotisserie in the grill. Cook until the outside layer is cooked and lightly charred. Slice off the thin outside layer of the pork, catching it in a bowl or tray under the spit rod. Continue cooking and slicing off the outside layer as it cooks. Hold the pork in a warm place.

Serve the pork wrapped in warm tortillas, with diced pineapple, red onions, cilantro and cotija cheese.


  1. Dusty Tellessen
    December 3, 2017

    Looks delicious !! What was the burner you were using for the cast iron skillet on

    1. Josh Cary
      December 5, 2017

      That is just a portable induction cooktop. Not sure the brand, but they’re available from most big box stores and online as well.

  2. Mark
    February 24, 2018

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing. The video is spot on. This is my second time using your recipe. Best tasting al Pastor I’ve ever had.

  3. Dustin
    May 22, 2018

    Just made this on a regular Weber kettle without a rotisserie because that’s all I have. Took a little extra work to turn it and a little longer before I could start slicing, but it still turned out absolutely dynamite. Awesome recipe.

  4. Ron
    August 22, 2018

    How much heat does this have? Bought the Cattlemans and it seems to have a little kick. Making it for a family reunion and want to make sure it is edible for people with an aversion to spice.

    1. Admin
      August 30, 2018

      In that case I would use the Cattlemans Tri-tip on the meat and put the 8-Second Ride on the table. That way your fire-eaters and more daring guests can bump up the heat.

  5. Gary McNeff
    January 4, 2019

    I have a question related to the previous one about heat level. How spicy is it minus the Cattleman’s and the 8-Second Ride? I guess I really need to know how spicy the Achiote paste and the Adobo sauce are. We have a lot of wimps in the house (including me) that love different spices but want no heat along with them. Will this still work?

    And whether we end up trying it or not, the video was great. Loved your explanations for everything. Thanks!

    1. Josh Cary
      January 5, 2019

      The marinade is not too spicy, most of the spice comes from the 8 Second Ride. If you swap it for salt and pepper you should be good. Thanks for watching!

      1. Gary McNeff
        January 16, 2019

        Just thought I’d let you know that it worked out great. I picked up a vertical rotisserie to try this and everyone loved it. Next time I just have to remove a bit more of the marinade before putting it on the spit but the taste was amazing.

        Thanks for the recipe!

        1. Todd Solomon
          January 17, 2019

          Why remove more marinade? I’m going to try this weekend on my Kamado Joe and I want to make sure it’s really good.

  6. Marina Calderon
    February 4, 2020

    I tried making alpastor meat from another recipe I found online. I cooked it in the oven but It didn’t turn out well at all it was very pasty, what do you think went wrong?


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