Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder)

"This is a delicious way to cook pork. I got this recipe from my boyfriend who is from Puerto Rico. This also makes excellent, moist meat for Cuban sandwiches."
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Oliver1010 photo by Oliver1010
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by smileylady0329 photo by smileylady0329
photo by Oliver1010 photo by Oliver1010
Ready In:
15hrs 30mins
1 Roast




  • Wash the pork shoulder.
  • With a sharp knife, make 1 inch deep cuts into the pork.
  • With mortar and pestle crush garlic, oregano and black pepper together. Add olive oil, vinegar and salt. Mix well.
  • Spoon some of the garlic mixture inside the small cuts around the pork, and spread remaining mixture all over the pork.
  • Place pork in an aluminum turkey pan (skin side up); cover with aluminum foil tightly. Refrigerate at least 8 hours. (I have marinated this for as long as two days.).
  • Bake in pre-heated 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 5 to 6 hours.
  • Remove aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for another hour or until skin is crisp. Closely watch this so you don't burn the skin (chicharrone).
  • Pork should be well-done and tender.

Questions & Replies

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  1. sblashford
    I’d love to make this for my Puerto Rican daughter in law. How is it served? On buns? What side dishes? Thanks.
  2. Sherri R.
    After it’s removed from the oven, does everyone just discard the juices/drippings or is there a way to use it?
  3. jammon9050
    Do you guys think this would do well in my smoker?
  4. Charles M.
    Has anyone tried a slow cooker with this recipe?
  5. behavioral c.
    I could only find an 8.6 pound pork. I put 8 teaspoons of salt and added a little extra for the .6 of a pound. Do you think it will be too salty? TIA!


  1. ShayOliver
    Call it what you want (I know...technically it's Pernil. My boyfriend is Puerto Rican too!) - but I call it the "5 hours of torture roast". It fills the house with such a tantalizing aroma that you swear you will lose your mind obsessing over the timer! Thanks for posting this. Awesome!
  2. MagsMeals
    This was incredibly delicious. I used a small, <3 lb. roast, and marinated it only 3 hours. I used 6 cloves of garlic instead of 12, but the rest of the ingredients were as written. I cooked it at 300 for 3 hours, covered and then at 350 for 45 min. uncovered. Very moist and tender.
  3. Jonathan Melendez
    Okay, so this might be the only way I'll be making pork shoulder from now on. That garlic marinade is out of this world! I let it marinate in the fridge over night and wow. It made the whole house smell great while it cooked! Leftovers will become tacos, and I can't wait!
  4. Erin R.
    Oh, INCREDIBLE pork roast. I saw this recipe over on Tasty Kitchen and just made it today, and it is the most perfect pork I have ever eaten. I used half the salt and cooked it in the crockpot on low while we were at work, and it was just swimming in juice and falling apart when we got home. My husband went nuts. He had some on noodles and I had some on a sourdough bun, and we both had to stop ourselves from taking more than we needed. An absolute keeper, and highly recommended.
  5. Metritek
    This is just the best pork recipe I have ever tasted. I followed the directions exactly as stated. I am just not sure what cut of meat I had but it said picnic on it. Even a terrible cook like me could not ruin this roast. Thank you so much for posting.


  1. tgreiter
    Great recipe! I modified it just a touch, using thyme instead of oregano. I marinated it for about 12-14 hours, then cooked it on low in my crockpot for 6 hours. For moisture, I added 1/4 of a hard cider beer. When done, I shredded it with a fork and put it back in its juices and kept it on warm until I was ready to serve. Served with mango salsa and flax seed chips. Delish!
  2. amsoto1974
    The cut of pork I used was boneless but still had a good layer of fat to crisp up..


<P>I was born in Glendale, California but I currently reside in Athens, AL. The military brought me to Alabama in 1989 and I just never left! Although quite different from California, I have come to love the more laid back lifestyle the South has to offer. My husband, who is Puerto Rican, and I were married in May 2006. He is retired from the Army (24 years) and now works for TASC Inc. while I am a stay at home mom. this is a new lifestyle for me as I worked for 23 years before having a baby on Dec 20, 2008. She was born two months premature and while she was in the hospital I decided I wanted to be with her and so I stopped working. <BR><BR>My husband and I both love cooking (probably him moreso than I) in our spare time. We purchased a home in 2006, and I think the main reason we bought the home is because of the beautiful kitchen...which is where we spend most of our time. <BR><BR>We like to try new recipes and Recipezaar has made this easy for us. When we first met he moved to Alaska, and to bridge the distance we would cook (him in Alaska and me in Alabama) the exact same recipe from zaar while on the phone or web cam together. When we had more time we tried at least one new recipe a week. We are slowly but surely getting back to that tradition. Cooking together has become challenging with a 13 month old. One of us plays with her while the other cooking. <BR><BR>I also enjoy collecting cookbooks and now I am addicted to Food Network. I love Giada and Ina the most...My husband thinks Ina is too boring, but her dishes always sound so amazing. <BR><BR><BR><IMG src= mce_src=> <BR><IMG border=0 alt=Photobucket src= mce_src=></P>
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