Pernil-Style Pulled Pork
Recipe adapted from Pit Barrel Cooker Recipes
We cooked this on our Pit Barrel Cooker. We would not recommend cooking this on a standard charcoal or gas grill, although it could be done easily on another type of smoker, rotisserie, or even in the oven with modified cook times and monitoring.
While this is not true Pernil, we were aiming for something close. Not having a nice wood fired rotisserie, we used a pork shoulder with no skin, as there’s no real good way to get that crispy, tasty skin otherwise. However, we used a garlic rub, added some spices of our own choice and then mixed it in a 4:1 ratio with sazón, which really got it close. But in our experience, nothing beats that street-side slow-cooked flavor of traditional Pernil.
Light your PBC, rotisserie cooker, smoker, or set your oven.
Combine your rub (we used a fantastic local garlic rub) with the sazón, and mix any additional spices in with a small fork until the rub is uniform.
Wash the pork shoulder under cold water, coat the entire the whole shoulder with olive oil, and liberally coat with the mixed rub, massaging into meat lightly if you choose.
Insert a hook into each side of the pork shoulder and hang in your PBC, or suspend inside another type of cooker using whatever method you normally would.
Cook for 3-4 hours, or until internal temperature comes to 170°
Remove pork shoulder from cooker and wrap tightly in aluminum foil, adding the cup of beer to the wrap, and then close tightly. Install the grill grate in your PBC or other cooker and place shoulder back into your cooker.
Cook another 1-2 hours or until inte3rnal temperature reaches 195°
Remove pork shoulder and let rest for about fifteen minutes and then shred pork. It should be tender enough to pull apart with two serving forks.
Serve on a roll with cheese or slice instead of shredding and serve with roasted or steamed veggies.
We ended up really loving this and in fact, there is a large portion we mixed with barbecue sauce and stashed in our freezer so we can reheat it and throw it on some rolls for an easy dinner one night. Although it was not traditional Pernil, the flavor came very close and it melted in our mouths,. Our daughters loved it as well and wolfed it down like they had not eaten in weeks, even Ivy, our picky four-year-old. This is best made when you will have friends or family coming over as it makes way too much for just a family of four, so we recommend it for a good weekend cookout or holiday, especially due to the long cook times; but oh is the length worth it. If you have a PBC at home or have access to a smoker or rotisserie, we cannot recommend this one more!