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Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork)

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Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork) is made with pork shoulder marinated overnight in garlic, citrus juices, cumin and oregano and slow cooked all day in the slow cooker.

Pork shoulder marinated overnight in garlic, citrus juices, cumin and oregano and slow cooked all day in the slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

My family loves Latin food, especially Puerto Rican cuisine! This Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork) is a staple in our home! Trust me, when you walk in the door from wherever you are all day you’re going to be happy you made this!

Pernil is a typical dish I grew up eating, it’s popular in the Latin Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and Cuba, served with rice and beans during the holidays or whenever there’s a reason to celebrate.

A typical Pernil recipe is slow roasted in the oven with a huge slab of fat on top, which gets crispy as it cooks. My lightened version, I use a boneless shoulder blade roast, trimmed of all the fat. This dish is easy enough to make as a weeknight meal.

I season the pork the night before and refrigerate it in the crock pot. Then when I wake up the next morning, I take it out and plug it in and come home to an amazing smelling dish. I usually serve it over brown rice and make a quick slaw of cabbage, red onion and bell pepper with olive oil and vinegar or lime juice.

Pictured above, I served this over brown rice with avocado and my go to Quick Cabbage Slaw. Leftovers are great for tacos, salads, Cuban sandwiches, you name it! I love making these Cuban Sandwich Quesadillas!

How To Make Slow Cooker Pernil

And since so many are asking, although I have and love my Instant Pot, I still love my slow cooker! I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!

Skinny Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

Skinny Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

Skinny Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

4.83 from 29 votes
Pork shoulder marinated overnight in garlic, citrus juices, cumin and oregano and slow cooked all day in the slow cooker.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Pork shoulder marinated overnight in garlic, citrus juices, cumin and oregano and slow cooked all day in the slow cooker.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 3 oz pork


  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 3 oranges, juice of (1/2 cup)
  • 2 limes, juice of


  • Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork.
  • Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.
  • The next day, remove the crock pot and cook on low, 8 hours.
  • After 8 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks.
  • Remove liquid from crock pot and add pork back to crock.
  • Add about 1 cup of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more).
  • Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

Last Step:

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Serving: 3 oz pork, Calories: 265 kcal, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 34 g, Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 4.5 g, Cholesterol: 114 mg, Sodium: 574 mg, Sugar: 1.5 g


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326 comments on “Slow Cooker Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork)”

  1. This is soooo amazing.  I use the carnitas pork shoulder at Aldi that comes pre-seasoned. I just add the orange juice & lime juice to the crock pot. This is in my rotation of recipes & makes plenty of green sauce. The quick slaw is also a must for me for this recipe.  I put the pork, quick slaw on rice & I even make a green Peruvian sauce to top & it’s amazing. Never get sick of this one!! 

  2. Well I certainly botched this one. After adding the shredded pork and 1 cup of liquid back to the crock pot I way over salted it. I had no choice but to rinse it all off. It tasted like it did before I added the salt. It’s a very interesting flavor that we liked even after it got a rinsing. Anxious to make Cuban sandwiches with the leftovers. 

  3. This is so amazing! The house smelled so good and I’m going to make the Cuban quesadilla this evening! Thanks again! I LOVE all of your recipes! 

  4. Very surprised this has a 5 star rating. Mine was dry and flavorless. Now to figure out what to do with this meat.

    1. If your meat was dry it sounds like you used a leaner cut of pork and not a pork shoulder which is so tender because of the fat? I leaner cut would be dry.

  5. Whenever I have eaten pork pernil it has had onions so I found this recipe a little unusual. I added a large sliced onion and kept most of the liquid after cooking and it was very good.

  6. In all the years and all the recipes I’ve made from skinnytaste, this is only the second one I did not like. I followed the directions to a tee, and the pork was so dry it was almost not edible. Granted I could see where it could have good flavor, it just was way over cooked. The only thing I can think happened is that my crockpot cooks quicker than others. So I recommend others to start at around 6 hours on low, and check it to see if it needs further cooking. I think around 6 hours would have been perfect for my particular crockpot. I did like the cuban black beans and the slaw that I paired w/it from skinnytaste.

    1. Amazing! My daughter introduced us to their family go to FAVORITE recipe. I made it the first time. Dee-lish. I have black beans, chop tomatoes, Cilantro, onions, Avocados Queso cheese and rice all in separate glass lock containers so everyone takes what they want and after dinner, literally it’s a snap to clean up. And the leftovers ate my favorite thing in the fridge. THANK YOU ❣️

  7. Love your recipes, Gina! This is the second time I’ve made this one, it’s one of my favorites. I’m wondering if you’ve ever frozen the finished product? I was curious if it freezes well. Thanks!

  8. Has anyone done this in an Instant pot. I do not have a crock pot any longer. And how long did you cook it for?
    Thank you

  9. I made this last week and I’m already planning to make it again this week! It is SO good! I accidentally bought bone in and just cooked it a little longer. The meat fell right off it was so tender!

  10. Avatar photo
    Lisa Campanella

    One word: YUMMMMMMMMMMMMY!!!!!!
    Such great flavor with just a few ingredients. I used a pork tenderloin & it was amazing! Next time I would make more juice to have it even juicier 🙂
    Would absolutely make this again!

  11. Oh my goodness this is delicious. Really, you should make it! The house smelled so good while it was cooking. The family enjoyed it. I will make this again for sure!

  12. Love this recipe! One of my absolute favorites. It is so easy and flavorful. I like to eat it with brown rice, black beans and some avocado slices on top.

  13. I have made this about 50 times and have never left a review. This is amazing. I have made this for people several times with brown rice and green beans and everyone loves it! One of my all time favs! 

  14. Just finished cooking this and haven’t tried it yet (smells amazing) but I’m super nervous about the food safety of cooking it in marinade it sat in raw overnight. I see that question was asked a few times and never answered. 

    1. What are you talking about? The marinade gets cooked. Why would you be worried about the marinade anymore than the pork itself?

    2. Jill, we tend to marinate our meat for 2-3 days in the fridge. We do not pour out the marinade, it cooks with the meat. After it is cooked, we shred our pork and add the marinade to keep it juicy.

  15. I have pork butt (I have one boneless and one bone-in). Can I use it for this recipe? If so, does anything need to change? Thanks!

    1. I know this is a late reply but since I have done this, I thought I would tell you how it turned out! It was amazing. No worries at all. Do everything the same and you should be good.