Slow cooker pernil | Pernil is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that is slow roasted in the oven. This twist takes slowly cooks a boneless pork shoulder in a crockpot until tender. The end result is the most flavorful and tender pork you’ve ever had.
There are rankings when it comes to proteins in Puerto Rico and in Puerto Rico pork is king, followed by chicken, beef, and seafood. But, there is no doubt that pork is the most loved.
In fact, there is a whole area in the mountains of Cayey called Guavate where the street is lined with pork vendors. Small restaurants with whole roast pigs in the windows line Carr. 184 in Cayey. It’s a roast pork oasis.
Guavate – Puerto Rico’s Pork Highway
There is an entire road in Puerto Rico that is dedicated to the roasting whole pigs. And, nothing more clearly defines authentic Puerto Rican food and our love for pork then Guavate, a small stretch of road along Rt.184 in Cayey Puerto Rico.
The road lined with lechoneras, open-air restaurants that specialize in the slow-roasted whole pig. But, not everyone can roast a whole pig so the next best thing is pernil.
Pernil is the Star of a Traditional Puerto Rican Christmas
If there is ever a time of year when pernil is most popular it’s Christmas! Every Puerto Rican Christmas Eve dinner requires three things arroz con gandules, pasteles and, of course, pernil! It’s not Christmas without this trinity. In the states you have glazed ham, we do tender pork. But, this doesn’t mean that pernil can’t be enjoyed year round.
Traditionally pernil or Puerto Rican pork shoulder 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 perfectly succulent and if you get a shoulder with the skin on you get the bonus of crispy pork skin.
The oven roasting method is my favorite. Mainly because of the crispy skin, but oven roasting isn’t always the most convenient.
Slow Cooker Pernil Recipe Ingredients
4 lb pork shoulder or pork butt
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 teaspoons salt
I love pernil during the holidays and any time of the year. But, sometimes I do not have 3+ hrs to keep an eye on a pork shoulder. This is when I pulled out my slow cooker. All you have to do with slow cooker pernil is drop in the marinated pork shoulder, set it and forget about it.
Tips for Slow Cooker Pernil
- This recipe does require some planning ahead to give the pork time to marinade. It is best if it marinades overnight but a minimum of 4 hours is okay.
- There is no need to add any liquid to the slow cooker. The pork shoulder will release plenty of juices.
- If you are pressed for time you can dice the pork and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Make a large batch and freeze in portioned resealable plastic bags for quick weeknight meals.
- If you are looking for a more traditional preparation see my roasted pernil recipe.
When you open the slow cooker the pork is floating in its own juices and easily falls apart. You can pull it apart with a spoon it is so tender. Your friends and family will love it and if there are any leftovers you can make some awesome Cuban sandwiches.
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- 4 lb pork shoulder or pork butt
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 4 teaspoons salt
- Combine garlic, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Rub pork with garlic mixture and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
- When ready drop into the crockpot on low for 8 hrs.
- 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.
Recipe for oven roasted pernil: https://thenoshery.com/roasted-pernil-puerto-rican-roast-pork/
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340 Carbohydrates: 1g Protein: 25g