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Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork)

Crispy, juicy Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is slow roasted until fall-apart tender. Seasoned with garlic and adobo for maximum flavor, your house will smell as incredible as it tastes! VIDEO included.

Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is crispy, juicy and so full of flavor! The best roast pork I ever had! | Kitchen Gidget

Puerto Rican Pernil Recipe

For everyone looking for that special Christmas dinner – here it is!

Forget the ham and turkey, this roasted Puerto Rican pork served on special occasions is where it is!

My husband pronounced this the best pork he ever ate and I have to agree!

Crispy on the outside while juicy and tender inside, it’s slow roasted until it falls apart with the touch of a fork.

Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is crispy, juicy and so full of flavor! The best roast pork I ever had! | Kitchen Gidget

Keep scrolling for a how-to video at the end!

Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is crispy, juicy and so full of flavor! The best roast pork I ever had! | Kitchen Gidget

Oh and the flavor! With a whole head of garlic, it’s full of bold flavor, a hallmark of Puerto Rican-style cooking.

Traditionally the garlic is mashed with a pilón (mortar and pestle), but I quickly puréed it in a small food processor.

Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is crispy, juicy and so full of flavor! The best roast pork I ever had! | Kitchen Gidget

It looks impressive upon the table, but no need to be intimidated since it’s really easy to make.

The hardest part is enduring the tantalizing scent that fills your house while it bakes, but I promise it’s worth the wait!

To get the full Puerto Rican flavor in every bite, you’ll need to season it the night before, so plan ahead for that.

Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is crispy, juicy and so full of flavor! The best roast pork I ever had! | Kitchen Gidget

Puerto Rican Pernil is typically made from a picnic cut pork shoulder, but I used a Boston butt (which is still the shoulder) since that’s what was available.

Just make sure to get a shoulder with the fat cap still on it – it keeps the meat tender and flavorful.

Plus, the crispy “cuero” skin is the best part!

I recommend serving this with my Puerto Rican BeansPuerto Rican Rice, a green salad and fresh bread for a complete meal.

This would make a great alternative Christmas dinner or New Year’s menu! Buen provecho!

Pin this to your Dinner board!

Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is crispy, juicy and so full of flavor! The best roast pork I ever had! | Kitchen Gidget

Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork) is crispy, juicy and so full of flavor! The best roast pork I ever had! | Kitchen Gidget

Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork)

Yield: 12-20 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Marinate Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes

Crispy, juicy Puerto Rican Pernil (Roast Pork) is slow roasted until fall-apart tender. Seasoned with garlic and adobo for maximum flavor, your house will smell as incredible as it tastes!

Ingredients

  • 8-10 lbs bone-in pork shoulder (picnic cut or boston butt)
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons adobo
  • 2 packets of sazón (optional)

Instructions

  1. Rinse pork in cold water and pat dry. With a paring knife, stab 1-inch slits all over the pork, top and bottom.
  2. In a food processor (or by hand if you have a pilón!), blend all the garlic, olive oil, black pepper and oregano until smooth. Fill each slit in the pork with about a teaspoon of the garlic paste. Sprinkle all sides of the roast with the adobo and sazón (if using) and rub pork with the spices. Place in a roasting pan that has sides at least 2 inches deep, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350°F. Leave the roast covered with foil and bake for 4-5 hours, approximately 30-45 minutes per pound. Pork should read 180°F on an internal thermometer and shred easily with a fork.
  4. Uncover roast and bake for 15-20 minutes to crisp up the fat, or broil at 500°F for 10 minutes, watching carefully not to burn.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below! Or tag @kitchengidget on Instagram with the hashtag #kitchengidget

You’ll find more information about Puerto Rican ingredients here. Or, check out all of my recommendations in my Amazon store!

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Genevieve

Monday 5th of October 2020

I like to marinate it the night before. Seal in a clear plastic food bag and refrigerate. It seals in the ingredients. So worth it!!

Robert Falero

Thursday 27th of August 2020

I did not get the video on how to roast Pernil. Could you please e-mail it to me at rfalero54@hotmail.com Respectfully, Robert Falero

Carrie

Monday 1st of June 2020

Is this dish better made in the oven or would a nice big crockpot be ok too? I was thinking of making this to take for a Fourth of July get together....

Rebekah

Monday 1st of June 2020

It's better in the oven since you can't get the skin crispy in a crock-pot. But if you don't mind sacrificing that, you can use a crock-pot and it will still taste delicious!

Ashley

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Made this yesterday - it was my first time making pernil and I will never use another recipe! The whole family loved it! Thanks a bunch :)

Amanda

Sunday 26th of April 2020

I made pernil last night and it came out amazing. Pretty close to my grandmothers. Well worth the effort