Slow Cooked Puerto Rican Pork (Pernil)

Pork…’s what’s for dinner.  Traditionally in Puerto Rico this pork is slow cooked in the oven.  When I make it in the oven I cook it at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes for every pound.  It comes out just as succulent and if you get a shoulder with the skin still on it you get the bonus of crispy pork skin.

However I did not have 2 hrs to roast it and have it for dinner on a weeknight. Instead I pulled out my crockpot, which basically collects dust, and dropped it in, set it and forgot it.  When I got home from work all I had to do was make some rice and beans to go with it.  How sweet is that?  Hubby is always excited to get what we consider down home cooking.

When you open the crockpot the pork is floating in it’s own juices and falls apart when you put your fork in it.  You can pull it apart with a spoon it is so tender.  The leftovers also make great sandwiches.

Slow Cooked Puerto Rican Pork (Pernil)
  • 4 lb Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic, pressed
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1½ Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1½ Tbs White Vinegar
  • 4 tsp Salt
  1. Combine garlic, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar and salt. Rub pork with garlic mixture and refrigerate overnight.
  2. When ready drop into the crockpot on low for 8 hrs.
  3. Done! Consume with vigor.
No liquid needs to be added to the crockpot with the pork. The pork has enough fat to produce needed juices.



  1. Sarah says

    Just finished rubbing the pork and popped in the fridge to marinate! We are so excited to try this recipe tomorrow! Should I remove the twine around the meat prior to cooking it in the crock pot? Thank you ????

  2. Sarah says

    Hi! I came across this site on Pinterest and very glad I did. I don’t know if I’ve ever had Puerto Rican food before, but now I want to have it more often!! This turned out great.. thank you! 😀

  3. Victoria Griggs says

    AMAZING – no seriously AMAZING!!!! I got three small pork sirloins on sale today (the most expensive one was $4!) and came home and found this recipe, having never made it before. This recipe was beyond a hit – it is already a new favorite. I used 1.5x the marinade mixture and put all three in a cast iron skillet and into the oven. The tops got crispy and delicious and the juices were perfect while the meat was moist. The meat easily shredded but wasn’t soggy. My husband is already talking about doing this same thing on our Big Green Egg. Amazing recipe – thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  4. says

    This was fantastic! I’m not a vinegar fan, so I was nervous but it was great!! So tender and I love the minimal ingredients. I used coconut vinegar and about 1 tsp of garlic powder because that’s what I had. Winner!

  5. bané says

    I use the same seasonings to marinate but I also put a bit of home made sofrito directly on the carne n let it marinate with the ajo mix.. yummmy

  6. Danielleannmarie says

    So I don’t need to add any type of liquids at all to the crock pot? No water? Just let it marinate overnight?

  7. Mary says

    Made this for hubby’s birthday dinner tonight and have to say hands down this is the best pork shoulder i have ever made (i HATE pork!) and he commented that the flavor was perfect nothing took over the taste of the pork but was there and tasty. Thank you so much!

  8. atlantaspike says

    In the three years since I posted, I have made this many times, always perfect. When I go home for Christmas, my family insists I make it for Christmas Eve. Trying it on the grill instead of the crock pot just to see what happens.

  9. Limary says

    This year I decided to make a puertorrican dinner for Christmas Eve BUT I have to work late and now I will not have enough time to cook and keep an eye on the oven. This recipe is PERFECT absolutely perfect. I tried weeks ago to taste it and have an awesome flavor and the meat falls from the bone yeap I may not have chicharron but I got the meat flavor that we love. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. says

    when I make pernil, I add about 1/3 c. of sour orange juice…MAMA MI!
    I agree about the garlic, btw, 6 large cloves for a 4lb. pernil is good…I like more, but most people don’t … that amount seems to make most people happy. Love the blog, love that you are keeping up with it. thanks again

  11. Nan C says

    Do you leave the skin on the shoulder when putting in the crock-pot? Doesn’t it make it greasy? There’s all that fat under the skin.

  12. amber caridad says

    i can ramble forever about this recipe…but to keep it simple, it was better than in the oven!!!! finger licking, lip smacking, bellies overfull, delicious!!!!

  13. Jackie says

    I currently don’t have pork meat, can I use a different type of meat? Chicken breasts?


  14. Leslie says

    Hello, from a fellow Puerto Rican! I found your blog and have never liked a food blog as much as I like yours. Probably, because I found some really great recipes and twists on old PR favorites. I’m going to borrow a friend’s slow cooker just to try out this pernil recipe. Gracias mil!

  15. Laura says

    I work nights so the thought of making dinner when I get up is never fun. This was not only easy but super good! My husband loved it! I served rice and his favorite black bean salsa with it.

  16. Lisette says

    THIS SOUND GENIUS ….did you leave the skin as well? I know on oven it gets crunchy but was wondering on crockpot if its still good or if you took it out?

    • says

      I just saw the pictures you posted. The dinner looks great however why is it that you were able to cut the meat into actual slices ? Whenever I make or eat a friends Permil it is so tender it literally falls apart into shredded juicy pieces. Honestly I never had pork shoulder that you can cut like a roast. Can you tells what you did to achieve this? Is it a different cut of meat? Was it just as tender? I am embarrassed to say that I am a wife and mom of three who has only learned to
      Cook maybe 7 years ago and I have lots to learn . Any help is appreciated

  17. ChrisA says

    I’m thinking of making this for Thanksgiving. I’ve made several pernil’s in my time but never in a slow cooker. What size cooker would you need for lets say 8 lb pork shoulder? Also, a huge favorite in my family is the “cuerito” which is the top fat layer that gets crispy in the oven. How can I get a nice brown, crunchy cuerito using the slow cooker?

    • says

      You won’t be able to get the cuerito using a slow cooker. If you wanted you could remove the skin and roast it in the oven separately. You are going to need a pretty big cooker for an 8 pounder. You need to have about 1 inch of space around the pork. If I were you, I would probably just go ahead and roast it. I do 45 mins per pound at 325 degrees. It would be about 6 hours for an 8lb shoulder.

          • TANYA says

            Thanks Meseidy,.. This will be my first time even buying a crock pot. How big, how many quartd should it be for your 4 pound pork?? ANyone you would recommend.

          • TANYA says

            I saw a recipe where they keep the skin on in the crock pot, but then bake the pernil in the oven for 25 to 30 min at 500 degreeas for crunchy skin. Wondering if your recipe would get really greasy with the skin on.

          • says

            From my understanding, you should probably remove the fat because the contents of a crock pot won’t come to a boil.

  18. Jacqueline says

    I found this recipe last week when searching for slow cooked Pernil. I knew immediately that I was going to make it because it’s the exact same ingredients that I use when putting my Pernil in the oven.

    I prepared the pork to marinate on Saturday night and put it in the slow cooker at 6:30am on Sunday morning – right before feeding my boys. My only mistake was leaving the wire rack in the slow cooker. However, I was able to remedy that at hour 6.5 by pulling the rack out fairly quickly. The end result was phenomenal. My family and I enjoyed a delicious dinner on Sunday!

    I am so glad I found your site and can’t wait to make more goodies!

  19. Michelle says

    Mesidy-This recipe is wonderful! I made it yesterday for dinner and all of us loved it and ate way more than we should have! I’m really looking forward to tonight’s leftovers.

  20. pixie says

    We made this last weekend and were amazed at how easy it is and super yummy. We did make a couple of modifications. I can’t do garlic, so we dropped it (substituted a little garlic salt) and we added some fresh-squeezed lime juice and cilantro. It was a struggle to smell it in the kitchen all day! Thanks for the start!

    • says

      It has never lasted long enough around my house to have to freeze, but I wouldn’t see why not. Then again I am not an expert at freezing. :)

  21. says

    I made this tonight – I wasn’t sure how it would come out, as I substitute a pork loin for the pork shoulder/butt. However, it was great! Sliced avocado, rice and black beans and there is very little left over.

    Now all I can think of is a Cubano sandwich…

  22. atlantaspike says

    This came out great. I will be making it again soon. I like the nice crust I found when I ordered this in some very humble (but awesome) places in NYC, so I think I will try browning it first next time in a cast iron skillet. Still, a great flavor that got me many compliments. My wife and daughter are both vegetarians, so my neighbors get lots of tasty treats.

  23. slammie says

    Saw this as one of the recipes when you were featured today at the Tasty Kitchen. Was wondering if you could double the garlic mixture or would it be too much of a kick? Thanks!

  24. Penny Wolf says

    Last night I made the Cubano with this pork….I and my husband stuffed ourselves! I mean I haven’t felt that full in a very long time. Just one more bite because it tasted so good. Thanks again.

  25. Penny Wolf says

    I tried this because I was going to try the Cuban sandwich. I adore this pork!
    It will be lucky to make it into the Cubano. So simple and highly satisfying,Thank You.

  26. Kelly E says

    OH MY GOSH! I ran across this recipe I’m thinking through Tasty Kitchen months ago. Well I made this today, the house smelled amazingly, for hours my fiance moaning about when will it be done? A-MAZING!!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I will definately be making again! The possibilites of what to do with it too are endless I’m thinking. Yum 8)

    • Kelly E says

      I forgot to mention, I actually cooked it in the oven based on the times you mentioned. Uncovered it for the last 30 mins, but thinking I will uncover for an hour next time.

  27. Ammie says

    I made this today and it came out great! My husband is Puerto Rican so he was VERY happen! Whenever I’ve made this in the oven it doesn’t seem to come out that well, so thank you for helping me make this better!

    Just one question, how did you get your browned (in the picture)? Did you put it in the oven at all after cooking it in the crockpot?

  28. says

    Am going to try at home, never thought about trying to make it in a crockpot.

    Una recomendacion para tu site: la ventanita que pusiste que sale cuando hago “right-click” no me deja abrir tus enlaces en un tab o ventana nueva. Es un poco inconveniente pq cuando leo un blog miro todos los titulos y abro los que me interesan en otra ventana, pero ya no puedo hacer eso con tu site. Se que es posible evitar que la gente guarde tus imagenes sin eliminar la funcionalidad de right-click en todo el site…

  29. says

    I’m in love with my slow cooker. There are days that we wouldn’t get to eat at all if it wasn’t for being able to throw the food in a crockpot. I’ll have to try this recipe. How did you make the beans and rice to go with it? I know there are lots of ways to make them, but I’d like to know yours.


  1. […] was in another state for us, we have no turkey leftovers.  But I did have some leftovers of my Slow-Cooked Puerto Rican Pork (Pernil)  from an office pot luck on Tuesday.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving leftovers I figured I would […]

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