Roasted pork leg is delicious, we smoked this one and seasoned it up Cuban style. The pickled onions make a fantastic and bright accompaniment.

Total Time: 4 hours + brining time
Servings: A lot! 


  • Hickory Smoking Blocks
  • 1 7-9 lb. Pork Leg

For the brine:

  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Salt
  • 1 Orange, halved
  • 1 Lemon, halved
  • 1 Lime, halved

For the spice rub:

  • 2 Tbsp. Oil
  • ½ cup Coarse Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 4 Tbsp. Minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

For the pickled onions:

  • 1 Red Onion, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Coarse Salt
  • ¾ cups White Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Water

Chef's Tip

Brining helps the meat retain its juices during the long exposure to the dry heat of a smoker. We used a barrel smoker but an electric smoker or pellet grill would also work great here.


  1. To make the pickled onions: combine the water, salt, sugar, and vinegar and bring to a simmer.
  2. Pour the hot liquid over the onions, cover and refrigerate after they’ve cooled. These can be made in advance.
  3. Trim off any large pieces of fat from the pork leg.
  4. To prepare the brine, dissolve the salt and sugar in a little warm water in a large container (a bucket and lid works best). 
  5. Add the pork leg and top with cold water to cover, refrigerate overnight.
  6. The next day: remove the leg from the brine and pat dry. Evenly coat with the oil.
  7. Combine all the seasonings and rub all over the pork. Cover and allow to sit until your smoker is ready
  8. If using a pit barrel smoker, get a fire lit and allow the coals to develop. You will need enough coals to sustain heat for 4-5 hours.
  9. When the coals are ready, add the blocks and let them burn for about 5 minutes. Add the pork and seal the smoker with its lid.
  10. Cook the pork for 4-5 hours, or until you reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
  11. Allow to rest before slicing and serve with the pickled onions.

*Keep a spray bottle of water handy in case of flare-ups.

Used in this recipe:

Hickory Smoking Blocks