5 from 7 votes
Taco al Pastor | Learn how to make delicious, tender pork al pastor on the grill or cast iron grill skillet every time. The flavors are unbeatable. #tacos #porktacos #alpastor #pineapplesauce #achiote
Tacos al Pastor
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Tacos al pastor made easy. Flavorful pork shoulder, marinated and grilled to perfection. Served over street sized corn tortillas with fresh pineapple, onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. The choice of salsa roja or salsa verde is up to you. 

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: al pastor, authentic tacos al pastor, Mexican pork tacos, street tacos, tacos al pastor
Servings: 6
Calories: 640 kcal
Author: CraftBeering
  • 2-5 lbs pork shoulder depending on how much you plan to make
  • 1 medium onion chopped + more to use as topping
  • 2 cups of fresh pineapple diced + more to use as topping
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2-3 tbsp achiote powder recommended; increase chili powder if not using
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 12 oz Negra Modelo optional, but highly recommended; sub with another Vienna lager; if not using sub with 6 oz OJ
  • 6 oz pineapple juice
  • street size white corn tortillas as needed
  • bunch fresh cilantro for topping
  • lime wedges to squeeze over tacos
  • salsa roja or salsa verde to drizzle over tacos
  1. In a blender combine the diced onion, pineapple, garlic, chili and achiote powders, oregano, salt, Negra Modelo and pineapple juice. Pulse until blended.
  2. Slice the pork shoulder in about 1 inch thick pieces.
  3. Place the sliced pork in a suitable container (with airtight lid) or large plastic bag (may need to use two) and smother with marinade.
  4. Seal container or bag and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
  5. Grill over hot grill (meat will be very tender) and chop up in small pieces.
  6. Warm up and char corn tortillas on grill.
  7. Assemble tacos by using two stacked tortillas. Place pork, fresh pineapple, onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
  8. Serve with salsa roja or salsa verde.
Slow Cooker | If you choose to use a slow cooker, simply
  1. Place the sliced pork in the pot and add the al pastor marinade. Cook on low heat for about 6 hours (possibly longer if you are using more meat).

    After six hours check the meat and decide if it is tender enough or needs a bit more time.

    Once you are satisfied (you can pull the pork with a fork) transfer the meat only (discard marinade juices) to an appropriately sized baking pan

    Pace under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the meat gets crispy around the edges.

Oven (If you choose to use the oven be prepared to slow cook the meat on low heat.)
  1. First marinade the sliced pork for about 2 hours in the fridge.

    Transfer to a baking pan and cover with aluminum foil so it will not dry out.

    Slow cook for 3-4 hours at 250 F, check for tenderness and continue cooking a little longer if needed.

    Remove the aluminum foil when the pork is almost fork tender and cook for another half hour to an hour.

Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot
  1. Marinade the sliced pork for 2 hours in the fridge to make sure it becomes infused with flavors and the protein begins to break.

    Transfer both meat and marinade to your pressure cooker or instant pot, close lid and set the valve to sealing.

    Manually set for high pressure cooking for one hour.

    When done, let the pressure be released naturally, about 20 minutes and transfer the pork to a baking pan.

    Cook in a 250 F oven for about an hour.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

The marinade in this recipe is enough for up to 5 lbs of pork. Yield will vary depending on how much meat is used. Allow for time to marinate pork.

A delicious recipe for salsa roja is this Salsa Borracha. 

Nutrition Facts
Tacos al Pastor
Amount Per Serving
Calories 640 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Potassium 1096mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 39.7g 13%
Protein 58g 116%
Calcium 13%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.