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First I need to thank AndyJ, Big_Texan, SmokinOkie, MaxQue, Pags, Cal, and Tom for the input as I was getting ready to try this recipe.

A close friend of mine asked me if I could prepare this for her family.

It looked interesting enough so I thought I’d give it a try, and like everything else there is more than what meets the eye.


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  • 2_Pork_butts
  • glands
  • Glands_removed
  • Banana_leaves
  • Smoked
  • In_the_crock
  • Money_shot
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Because of the steaming affect from being wrapped in the banana leaves the pork butts finished 5 hours earlier than I had expected.

Holding for 7 hours in the cooler allowed more of the fat to render before the meat was shredded and continued to tenderize the meat.

The trade off was no smoke flavor. I am not sure why, but the recipe called for more wood for smoke than I am used to using.

Even with the extra smoke none of was able to penetrate the banana leaves.

The banana leaves did speed up the cooking time and impart a light flavor on the meat at the cost of the hickory flavor.
Originally posted by Pags:
Nice job Arnie. That looks awesome. I'm going to give it another go and use banana leaves. Would you recommend smoking for a couple hours at, say, 180* then using the banana leaves in order to get some smoke flavoring? Or banana all the way?

Pags - That's pretty much what I do when I'm using the smoker to make pibil. For my recipe, I don't cook the whole butt. I cut it into 2" - 3" cubes, then marinade the cubes overnight in the achiote recado. I then remove the cubes form the marinade and wipe off and reserve as much of the excess marinade as possible. I put the meat cubes on a perforated metal sheet that fits the smoker, and let it run for about an hour at 185°F. I then transfer the cubes and reserved marinade into a large dutch oven or roasting pan that's lined with banana leaves, cover with more leaves, foil, and put in a 300°F oven until it's done - 3 to 4 hours. Works like a charm everytime.
Last edited by dls
Thanks for the comments.

I will most likely do this one again, but start it out as Pags suggested by smoking for a couple of hours before wrapping in the banana leaves. I think that would put it over the top.

It was good, but it was just missing something (hickory)

Max I am just not a fan of liquid smoke. Don’t really know what I have against it I just don’t use it

If I’m smoking I’m smoking if it starts in the AmeriQue it finishes in the AmeriQue.
(Then, no matter what I say, everyone thinks it was harder than it was. Don’t let my secret out. I have my reputation to think about)
Sorry. I forgot to post the recipe

3 Tbsp Ground ancho chili pepper
2 tsp Sea salt
1 Tbsp Dried Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp Ground coriander
1 tsp Ground cumin
1 Tbsp Ground black pepper
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp Ground allspice
1 Tbsp Ground cloves
6 oz Achiote paste (1/2 of a brick)
3 Tbsp Minced garlic (12 cloves)
2 Tbsp Dehydrated onion
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup Orange juice
½ cup Lime juice
½ cup Cider vinegar
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil

2 7 lb pork butts

Banana leaves (soaked in water)

4-6 oz Hickory chunks

Corn tortillas
Sour cream
Thinly sliced red onion
Lime wedges
White rice

A word of caution about the achiote paste;
Achiote is also used to make tattoo pigment, and it can stain just about anything it comes in contact with. Be very careful with this marinade.

Mix the marinade in a blender the day before it is to be used so the flavors have a chance to marry. Just prior to massaging it into the pork butt, with gloved hands, blend it again to help smooth out the grittiness of the spices.

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