Bison in the Backyard: Smoked Mango Sazon Pulled Pork

A couple of John’s friends from the Dominic Republic taught him how to make a true sazon years ago (using things like mango, papaya, coconut, and more) and it’s become a staple for pulled pork in our house. To celebrate the end of summer, we made a special spice rub and smoked a beautiful mango sazon pulled pork in the backyard!

For the spice rub:

  • 1 cup Demerara sugar
  • 3 cups chili powder
  • 1/2 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

This is a basic rub, so it won’t overpower the sauce. Basically just combine all of your spices together and liberally rub onto a pork butt. Be sure to get the rub in every nook and cranny. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

For the sazon:

  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cored
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cored
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 4 cups of water or chicken stock
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil all of the ingredients until soft. Puree to a paste. Mix with shredded pork and bake covered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

To smoke:

Place coals on one side of a grill or in the bottom of your smoker. Important: just light one side of the coals and let the flame creep. Too much heat from lighting and all that coal will ruin your pork. Place apple and hickory wood chips (that have been soaked in water) on your coals. Place pork fat side up on the opposite side of the coals and chips. Smoke at 225 to 250 degrees for 4 to 6 hours. When finished, take off the grill and shred in a bowl. If there is too much fat on the cap, you can scrape some off with your tongs.


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