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Disclosure: Swift Meats compensated me for this recipe.

My husband is Filipino, so I have been enjoying his family’s recipes for more than 25 years. One of my favorite dishes is pork adobo, which is cubed pork shoulder braised in a soy sauce-vinegar broth.

bowl of smoked pork adobo


It seems every culture has its version of a soul-warming stew. In the Philippines, that comforting warmth is known as adobo. 

I remember the first time I was offered a big bowl; I immediately felt like I was a welcome part of the family. 

Unlike an American stew that is usually chock full of vegetables and meat, adobo is a simple dish with very few ingredients. When cooked properly, those ingredients shine and provide a bold, intoxicating bite that you can’t get enough of. 

Adobo recipes vary from region to region, but the base is usually onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper and bay leaves. Proteins range from pork to chicken to seafood. 

Swift Meats petite pork shoulder

For this recipe, I’m using the boneless petite pork shoulder roast from Swift Meats. I love it, because it only weighs about 3 pounds, which is the perfect amount for a hearty pot of this Filipino stew. 

How to smoke pork adobo

To add my twist to this dish, I smoke the pork shoulder. Smoking it creates a flavorful bark while imparting added depth to the broth.

seasoned petite pork shoulder

I keep the flavor authentic though by just seasoning the roast with salt and pepper. Then, I start developing the adobo flavors right away. 

Usually, adobo is made by chopping pork, browning it in a pot and braising it with vinegar, soy sauce and water. So, I use that braising liquid in a spray bottle. 

As the pork cooks over indirect heat at about 300F degrees, I spritz it every 30 minutes. 

spritzing pork shoulder with soy sauce and vinegar

After about 2 hours, you will see a beautiful bark form on the outside of the pork. The internal temperature will be about 170F degrees. 

At this point, it’s time to make the pot of adobo. 

pork shoulder with bark

How to finish the adobo

Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the juices to settle down within the meat – instead of all over your cutting board.

Then, chop it into one- to two-inch pieces.

The next cooking stage is done in a large pot. You could put the pot on the smoker; however, since the adobo will be covered, I just finish it on a stovetop. 

pork shoulder chopped into cubes

While the meat has a beautiful bark, we want to add a bit more of a sear to the pieces, so brown them in the pot with a bit of hot oil. 

pot of smoked pork adobo

I like to do this in two batches, so I don’t overcrowd the pot. If you add too much at once, you’ll just be steaming the meat.

onions in pot

Once the meat is browned, remove it from the pot and add the onions and garlic. Then, pour in the ingredients from the spray bottle to deglaze the pot and dissolve those flavorful bits on the bottom. These will really make your broth taste fantastic. 

Then, add the meat back to the pot along with the remaining seasoning, bay leaves and a bit more water. Cover it and let it simmer for at least an hour. 

You’ll notice the recipe calls for coarse-ground pepper and whole peppercorns. As the peppercorns cook, they will begin to break down and become soft. I really enjoy eating the softened whole peppercorns. They just add to the complex flavors of this dish. 

pot of smoked pork adobo

When is pork adobo done

You’ll know the adobo is ready when the pork is fork tender. It will literally melt in your mouth. 

It will generally be ready in about an hour, but you can keep it on low and let it ride even longer for a deeper, more robust flavor. 

Some people prefer a lot of broth, while others like their adobo on the drier side. If you keep the pot covered, you will preserve the broth throughout the cook. If you crack the lid, some of the liquid will evaporate. Play around with both options to see which you prefer.

bowl of smoked pork adobo

Adobo is traditionally served over a bowl of white sticky rice. Spoon out some meat and a few peppercorns. Then, pour on some of the braising liquid. The rice will absorb the broth, which is heavenly. 

I hope you give this smoked pork adobo recipe a try. It’s a little combo of my husband’s culture and mine. And if you love this, be sure to make my Filipino inspired grilled chicken lumpia, Grilled Chicken Lumpia Tacos and Filipino Smoked Pork Tocino recipes.

5 from 1 vote

Smoked Pork Adobo

There are so many dishes you can create with pork shoulder beyond smoked pulled pork, like this smoked pork adobo, a Filipino favorite.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 Swift Meats Petite Pork Shoulder Roast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp coarse-ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 3 bay leaves


  • Heat your smoker to 300F degrees.
  • Season the Swift Meats Petite Pork Shoulder Roast on all sides with salt and pepper.
  • In a spray bottle, combine the soy sauce, vinegar and 1/2 cup water.
  • Place the pork on the smoker over indirect heat. Spritz with the soy-vinegar spray. Smoke for 2 hours, spraying every 30 minutes.
  • Once the pork reaches an internal temperature around 170F degrees, remove it from the smoker.
  • Let it rest on the counter for about 15 minutes. Slice it into cubes.
  • Place a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil.
  • Add half of the diced pork and brown for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot. Add 2 more teaspoons of oil and the remaining pork. Brown for 5 minutes and remove from the pot.
  • Add 2 more teaspoons of oil, along with the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the contents of the spray bottle into the pot. Stir, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the pork back to the pot with the 2 teaspoons of coarse-ground black pepper, whole peppercorns, adobo seasoning, ginger and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine. Add the bay leaves, tucking them into the broth.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.
  • Serve over rice.



You can finish the dish on the smoker, too, if you’d like, but you won’t absorb anymore smoke flavor, because the pot is covered.


Calories: 274kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 34gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 1445mgPotassium: 660mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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Hey BBQ Family

I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

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