Crockpot Pernil

Years ago, I used to work in an office that was much more culturally diverse.  This one is rather “pale”.  ~sigh~

At any rate, back before The Food Network was showing people how to cook things that were not your basic American Staples, before there were cooking competitions on TV every 20 minutes and before the Chef became the New Rock Star, ethnic food in my neck of the woods was Chinese Take Out.

Unless, we had an office party.

Office parties were where I first tried “Sweet potato pie” and Arroz con gandules and the fantabulous garlicky tender pork dish that had a Puerto Rican name.

I had no idea what it was.  I even dated a guy who was of Puerto Rican descent.. and his mom made us gandules and pasteles (which I did *not* like.. and I felt so bad because she worked so hard at them).

But I hadn’t had that pork dish again .. until Knitting Knoobie said that she was making Pernil for dinner.  I was all “whut?” and she told me and I was like YAY!!! that’s it!!!

I did a little digging around the web and found a recipe by The Rican Chef.   Nothing against her method, but I was not about to tie up my oven all night when I had a crock pot that would do the job.  I made this a few times an tweaked it a bit here and there.
It’s really pretty easy.. you chop up some garlic with oregano, salt and pepper

Chopped garlic and spices

Prep your pork by stabbing it full of holes

Pork shoulder

Fill those holes with the garlic, sprinkle with adobo and shove in crock pot.

In the crock pot


Pernil and Greens

ok.. it’s not the best picture…

Pernil with greens and black beans

Pernil with greens and black beans

Eh.. whatever.. it’s good.. trust me.

4 from 1 reviews
Crockpot Pernil
A Slow Cooker way to make this classic Puerto Rican Dish.
  • 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder (butt roast, picnic roast)
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp adobo (I used Penzey’s salt free)
  1. Peel the garlic.
  2. Put the garlic, black pepper, oregano and olive oil in a small food processor and chop it all up to bits. (If you don’t have a food processor that will deal with the small amount, just mince the garlic and combine everything together.)
  3. Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Remove the large layer of fat that sits on the top of the shoulder. There is plenty of fat marbled within the meat so you really don’t need this ½ inch thick layer.
  4. Take a paring knife and stab some holes throughout the pork. I usually make an X and then shove my finger in there to widen the hole.
  5. Shove the garlic mixture into these holes. Don’t worry if some ends upon the outside of the pork. It is not a big deal
  6. Sprinkle the adobo seasoning over the pork and put it into your crockpot.
  7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-5 or until pork is tender.
  8. Remove the pork from the crockpot and either cut up and serve or cut up and put it back in the crockpot to sit in the juices for a bit. (this is my preferred option
I've had some people tell me that they take the pork out and shove it in the oven to get the crispy bits that really make pernil. I haven't tried this myself but I think it's worth a shot.

About Pirate Jeni

Kitchen Witch, Eclectic Spiritualist, Psychic-Medium, Reiki Master, Conscientious Omnivore, Tarot Card Slinger, Singer of Songs, Player of Things with Four Strings.


  1. Pingback: Pernil, pumpkins and pets! « adorably alice

  2. That looks ok but you need to untweak it and make it pernil again.. you should use sofrito (home made if you can) and let it marinade for a day or two before putting it in the crockpot… pernil shouldnt look like yours does.

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