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Pinchos de Cerdo

Pinchos de cerdo – grilled Puerto Rican pork shish kebabs. These barbecued pork skewers will be the hit of summer!

Grilled pork kabobs with potato salad

Marinated with a flavorful blend of spices, grilled over charcoal to juicy perfection and brushed with a finishing glaze of BBQ sauce.

I think nearly every culture has their version of grilled meat on a stick, but these ones are my favorite!

Marinated pork shish kabobs

What are pinchos?

Pincho means “spike” in Spanish.

Pinchos can be any variety of meat grilled on a skewer – chicken, beef, shrimp, or even shark!

In Puerto Rico you’ll find little kiosks near the beach or roadside selling pinchos as a snack along with fried appetizers like bacalaitos and sorullitos.

Pinchos de cerdo on the grill


Pork – you can use any cut you like, but I prefer pork butt (shoulder) or loin. You can even buy pre-cubed meat.

I do not trim the fat from my pork, but you can if you want. I like it to get crispy like cuerito!

Spices – there are endless ways to season your meat, but I prefer sazón (no salt), adobo, granulated garlic and oregano.

Vinegar – this will tenderize the meat.

Olive oil – helps to keep the meat juicy and for the flavor of the spices to infuse all the way to the center of the meat.

BBQ sauce – any kind you prefer, Sweet Baby Ray’s is one of my favorites.

You can use a little or a lot. I like a thin glaze, but others like a nice thick coating.

Brushing BBQ sauce on grilled pork pinchos

Additional ingredients:

Bread – French bread (or pan de agua or pan de sabao, if you have access to them)

Sofrito – you can add ¼ cup of sofrito to your marinade for that specific taste.

Personally, I like these better without the cilantro/recao flavors, but it’s up to the chef!

Vegetables – you can also add onion, bell pepper or summer squash to your kabobs.

Skewers – you can use wooden or metal skewers and they can be any size.

I used 12 10-inch wooden skewers and they must be soaked in water right before the meat goes on so they don’t burn up.

Grill – if you have a charcoal grill that is definitely the superior taste, but of course they will be delicious on a gas grill too!

My husband likes to add oak or mesquite wood to his charcoal grill for even better flavor.

Grilled pork skewers (pinchos Puerto Rico)

What to serve with pinchos

They’re usually served with a slice of soft white bread to soak up the juices.

To make it extra special, brush both sides of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with adobo and/or garlic.

Grill the bread for a minute or two while the pinchos cook.

For the perfect summer cookout, serve with arroz con gandules, potato salad, yuca en escabeche, and end with coconut flan or an icy cup of limber de Nutella.

Grilled pork skewers (pinchos Puerto Rico)

Pinchos de Cerdo

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Pork kabobs marinated with a flavorful blend of sazón, adobo, garlic, grilled to juicy perfection and brushed with a finishing glaze of BBQ sauce!


  • 3 lbs pork (shoulder/butt or loin)
  • 2 packets Sazón
  • 3 teaspoons adobo
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup bbq sauce
  • Skewers
  • Bread, for serving (optional)


Marinate pork:

  1. Cut the pork into cubes between 1-2 inches.
  2. Place in a ziplock bag and add sazón, adobo, garlic, pepper, oregano, vinegar and olive oil. Seal the bag and toss everything together to combine.
  3. Marinate in refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.


  1. When ready to cook, preheat grill to high heat (charcoal preferred).
  2. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes to prevent burning. You can also use metal skewers. You’ll need about 12 (10-inch) skewers.
  3. Thread pork onto skewers. Do not pack the meat on tightly.


  1. Cook pinchos on preheated grill, turning occasionally until pork is almost cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  2. For the last few minutes of cooking, brush with BBQ sauce and cook each side until sticky and slightly charred.
  3. Pinchos are done when pork internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  4. Serve with bread, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 638Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 200mgSodium: 403mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 61g

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

Did you make this recipe?

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Pinchos in Puerto Rico
Pinchos at Crash Boat Beach – Aguadilla, PR

Bill Powell

Thursday 3rd of August 2023

Made these last night and while the flavor was wonderful, the pork was a little dry and tough. I think I know why. I used super-lean pork loin instead of the more marbled shoulder/picnic meat, and I cooked it on a gas grill at 375-400, when it probably really wanted to be cooked hotter and faster. I ordered the sazon in bulk, so instead of knowing how much was in "two packets" I guessed 1.4 ounces, but when I measured it out on a scale, one ounce seemed like a lot, so that's what I used -- and marinated the pork overnight. As I said, excellent flavor!

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