Instant Pot Pernil

Yes. You heard me right. Instant Pernil. Long gone are the days where you needed to wait to get a whole boston cut in the oven and wait for 4 hours to get it down to deliciousness. Now, while I miss my whole house smelling like Christmas Morning or just Christmas in Puerto Rico (or Easter… or any big holiday, honestly), It is SO much easier to do it in the instant pot.

A local supermarket here had a butcher’s sale and I got a 7.5 lb boston cut for 10 bucks. I almost screamed “SOLD” but that would have been embarrassing. I almost flossed… but that would have been worse. So I just did a happy dance (on the inside) and went on my merry way. Now, if you check online for Puerto Rican Pernil, y there will be MILLIONS (I am being dramatic…) a ton. A Ton of recipes. So I asked my trusty iPhone and researched to the person who OBVIOUSLY knows. My mom. (Like any adult, I still call mom for these things, because… mom knows best). This was her text message recapping a 30 minute conversation about pernil. Yes. 30 minutes. People in Iowa think that they take their pork seriously… We are worse. Also, I don’t like ranch (unpopular opinion). But I’m being distracted. (Squirrel!!)

Ok. I’m back. Mom’s texts!

So this is if you want to do it in the oven. For the instant pot, I will do the same thing.

The ingredients are:

  • Salt 2 tablespoons
  • Black pepper 2 tablespoons
  • Oregano (Mexican or whichever you have) 3 tablespoons
  • 2-3 Sazón with achiote
  • Olive oil
  • Adobo (I used the Goya brand) 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic powder or minced garlic. I used both (I added this because she said it in the phone conversation, but not in the text) 2 tablespoons of garlic powder/ 3 of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water.

Instant pot magic: how to make it.

  • I had to cut the pernil into three parts because of its size. If you need to do that, it is completely fine. And make holes into the pork throughout.
  • In a bowl put all of the ingredients. You need to essentially COAT the whole thing in all of the ingredients. That way the pork gets super super flavorful.
  • Plug in your instant pot, and hit the sauté button. Once hot, sear the pork on all sides (this will take about 3 mins per side) In the picture, I completely forgot to add the sazón, so I added that later.
  • Once it is completely seared, you can add 1/2 cup of water to deglaze the pan (if you think you need more, add a little more. I did not). Place all 3 chucks of pork in. I had some oregano/seasoning paste still in my bowl, so I added that into the instant pot.
  • Once you have all of that in. CANCEL the sauté. If you are paranoid like I am, unplug. Plug back in and hit pressure cook (it should be on high) and pressure cook for 90 minutes.
  • Once the pressure cooking is done, I waited 10 mins for a natural release, then a quick release. The pork was SUPER tender and falling apart.
  • On a baking tray, shred the pork (you will not have to try hard). After it’s all shredded, place in the oven and turn on the broiler to HI and broil for MAX 5 mins. I did this is 2 minute increments. You are more than welcome to use some of those juices from the instant pot.
Fall of the bone tender
Here’show it looks all done!
Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up!
Crunchy. Yummy. Goodness.

This is exactly what it looks like when you eat everything, its the end of the day and you have to bag all the left overs. I just jumped to this step because its way more versatile and just easy to have! My Tio “Efra” Efrain and Titi Tita, always did this when they had family over at their house (which could easily reach 30 with all family and friends) and we would play the “really good” salsa music on his records. He would do this with some of the rice dishes that I’ve shared before (and some that are coming up), some sort of salad and call it a day. If it was Christmas time, he would add some pasteles into it. (Pasteles not being cake or anything. Puerto Rican pasteles are a variation on Tamales using plantains).

I served this up with some Arroz con habichuelas (rice mixed with beans) and a squeeze of lime for the pork (because I had some lime left over)

This is a truly a versatile entree. It is truly delicious!! With leftovers you can make an easy breakfast hash (recipe coming soon), nachos, tacos, or just eat it as is!

Breakfast Hash

Pernil Tacos

Let me know what you think in the comments! If you want more recipes be sure to subscribe with your email, hit the follow and like button and/or share and like my Facebook page “Boricua in the Midwest”

13 responses to “Instant Pot Pernil”

  1. New to instant pot and still very cautious when I use it…I noticed that you didn’t say you added any oil to the pot to sauté, did you use oil? I didn’t and wanted to saute sofrito first but it ended up burning so I just put it right to pressure cook and added the pork. Also I had a 9 lb shoulder that I cut into pieces of about 3-5 inches so I only cooked about half the shoulder. Is 90 min too long?

  2. Update: since I was already cooking when I posted my question and wasn’t sure if you’d respond I just let it cook the 90 min and it actually came out really good. I used my own way of marinating and seasoning but I used your recipe for the cooking process since it was my first time making pernil ever. Thank you for your response and I will continue to use your recipe.

  3. I just purchased an Instant Pot and couldn’t wait to make a pernil in it! I found your recipe to be quite easy. I added some apple cider vinegar to the dry ingredients which gave it really good flavor. Did you save the liquid it cooked in to make your rice afterwards? Thank you so much for making this simple to make. Can’t wait to make arroz con gandules next.

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