Crispy Pork Shoulder made easy in the oven and without deep-frying. Golden and crunchy on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside, it's like making your own roast pig at home!
Guys, I apologize. I know it's Lent season and the last recipe you're probably searching for right now is a sinful slab of crispy pork shoulder. But just look at this beauty!
Temptingly golden and crisp, I just can NOT wait to share!
I have many favorites (ginataang talong, pretty please!) but if I have to choose one I am extremely proud of from the almost 500 recipes we have on Kawaling Pinoy, lechon sa hurno will be the runaway winner. With crackling-crisp skin and super juicy meat, it's hog heaven in every morsel!
I actually discovered the recipe, or should I say the method, to making lechon in the oven quite by accident. My cousin in the Philippines gave me the instructions over the phone and I goofed up on the temperatures. Fortunately, what could have easily been an unfortunate waste of a good piece of pork belly turned into the crispiest, moistest lechon on the planet!
Judging from your positive feedback in the comment thread, you all agree!
As many of you have asked if the method will work on other cuts of pork aside from belly, I decided to experiment on pork shoulder and, my friends, the answer is a resounding YES! Golden and crunchy on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside, it's like making your own roast pig at home!
I was so happy with the delicious results, I have crispy pata sa hurno up next on my list.
Bonus points for being able to substitute the leaner pork shoulder for the fattier pork belly but for the best lechon experience, I highly recommend a pork cut with a thick cap of fat and skin.
This crispy pork shoulder is very easy to make and requires almost no work. The downside is, the pork needs to cook in the oven for more or less 7 hours after sitting out in the fridge overnight to dry out.
I suggest using the largest piece of pork shoulder you can get to make it worth the time. The good thing is, the skin stays nice and crisp longer so leftovers will be very much welcomed. 🙂
You'll find on the blog three ways on how to make lechon at home and although I use them interchangeably, I can't really pick one over the other as all three come with pros and cons.
- Slow Cooker Lechon-this is an easy and convenient technique as it does not require any cooling in the fridge and the crockpot does most of the work while you're out and about or, if like me, sleeping. The meat is tenderized in the slow cooker without added liquids and then finished off in the oven to crisp the skin. However, make sure not to overcook the pork in the slow cooker or you'll end up with pretty dry meat.
- Lechon Kawali-this is the classic and most widely used way of making lechon. One thing I like about this traditional method is I can boil a huge batch at one go, store them in the freezer in resealable bags, and just thaw and fry a piece or two when craving hits. The major disadvantage, of course, is the obscene amount of oil needed for frying. And let's not forget the royal mess in the kitchen from the spluttering oil!
- Lechon sa Hurno-this is the same technique I used for this crispy pork shoulder. It's mostly hands-off cooking as the pork tenderizes and roasts in the oven with hardly any tending. What's great about doing the lechon this way is you draw out a lot of fat from the meat as you can see from the pool of grease in the roasting pan. The only hassle is, it takes like forever and day to cook in the oven which is not always practical especially during the hot summer months.
So, my favorite people, as we head to our super easy crispy pork shoulder recipe, I leave you this final image of its super crispy skin above. If it doesn't convince you to try this recipe soon, nothing else will. Enjoy and I'll see you here in a couple of days for my delicious take on burger steak.
Crispy Pork Shoulder
- 1 whole (about 8 to 10 pounds) pork shoulder with skin on
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- With a knife, pierce the skin a few times. Pour vinegar over and massage on meat. Rub salt, garlic powder, and pepper all over the meat. Refrigerate, uncovered and skin side up, overnight to chill.
- With paper towels, pat down surfaces of meat to completely dry. Arrange on a roasting pan fitted with a rack.
- Bake in a preheated 180 F oven for about 4 ½ to 5 hours. Increase temperature to 320 F and continue to cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours or until meat is cooked through and browns. Increase temperature to 430 F and continue to cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until skin is very crisp.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.