Crispy Cracklin’ Pork Shoulder (Slow Cooker & Oven)

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A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin’ skin layer. This recipe came about as a result of a friend asking a question about the Hawaiian Luau Slow Cooker Pork when she saw my Instagram post. She asked whether or not the skin got crispy at the end of the cooking process. I let her know you actually end up scraping the fat off and discarding it and that got me thinking about making a version with a crispy skin. One of our favorite (never made it at home but I have dreams of making it) pork dishes is porchetta. To make a crispy skinned pork at home seemed elusive. Not anymore! Take a quick look at this shatteringly crisp pork skin!

So I sat there thinking about the best and easiest way to make this dish. In a delicious moment of serendipity I saw this ad. A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.

Uhm, yes please! AND NOW! I hopped in the car, and drove straight to the store at 9 o’clock at night just to buy it.

Then the worst thing happened. The photos I took of most of the cooking process were corrupted. I almost cried when it happened, and then I promptly ordered a new SD card on Amazon to make myself feel better. I have instructions for you, which are pretty easy to follow, and some final photos.

The instructions are really pretty simple. Start like you do in the Hawaiian Luau Slow Cooker Pork. Season the pork liberally with salt and put in a slow cooker skin side up. Put on low for 18 hours. Using a measuring cup or ladle,  scoop out the excess liquid and reserve. Now if you aren’t too hungry, I would let the pork cool for 10-15 minutes just to help it stay together more. Using a couple of large spatulas, gently lift the pork into a foil pan. Do your best to not break it apart while moving it.

This is the part I wish I could show you in photos. Don’t worry I will be making this again in the next few months and when I do I will update this post! We just have a LOT of pork in the fridge right now, I can’t make a third one in less than a week!

Once the pork is in the pan, you are going to peel the skin back and scoop out the unrendered fat. Using a small spoon just scrape from the underside of the skin until a thin layer of skin is left. Season the meat under the skin with more kosher salt. Fold the skin back over the pork and discard all the fat. Spoon off the fat off the reserved liquid and pour it into the foil pan.

Turn on your broiler on high. Put the pork in on the top shelf and watch it like a hawk. Mine went in literally five seconds longer than I wanted which is why I have a few dark spots. It was a split second decision between pull the pork out or grab my infant away from chewing on a power cord that was dangerously close by. Sorry pork, but not sorry.

You’ll see the skin start puffing up and browning. Take it out when you get to a nice golden brown color, you can even wait until you see the first hint of a dark spot. A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer. Want to see what the pork looks like under the skin? Ok! A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer. Want to see how thin the skin actually is? Ok! A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.It is basically thin enough to be almost see through and lifts up as a sheet it is so crisp!A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer. Now take a portion of pork and a section of the skin and serve with some delicious Easy Light Coconut Rice and some simple green veggies and enjoy! Even better, serve it with your favorite sauce, like a delicious Argentinian Chimichurri and it will be a porchetta-esque meal! Oh man, now I need to make porchetta. A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.

Tools Used in the making of these Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Thighs:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: For larger roasts I also brown the meat in the insert and not lose a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.

Recipe

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Crispy Cracklin' Pork Picnic Shoulder (Slow Cooker & Oven)

5 from 6 votes
  • Yield: 20 servings
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 18 hours
  • Total Time: 18 hours 1 minute
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Dinner, then Dessert
A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.

Ingredients

  • 10 pound Pork Picnic Shoulder (You are looking for skin and bone here, it will look like an arm joint)
  • 2 tablespoons , Kosher Salt

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Season the pork liberally with salt.
  2. Put in a slow cooker skin side up.
  3. Put on low for 18 hours.

  4. Scoop out the excess liquid and reserve.
  5. Put the pork into a foil pan.
  6. Do your best to not break it apart while moving it.
  7. Once the pork is in the pan, you are going to peel the skin back and scoop out the unrendered fat.
  8. Using a small spoon just scrape from the underside of the skin until a thin layer of skin is left.
  9. Season the meat with more kosher salt.
  10. Fold the skin back over the pork and discard all the fat.
  11. Spoon off the fat off the reserved liquid and pour it into the foil pan.
  12. Turn on your broiler on high.
  13. Put the pork in on the top shelf and watch it like a hawk.
  14. Mine went in literally five seconds longer than I wanted which is why I have a few dark spots.
  15. You'll see the skin start puffing up and browning.
  16. Take it out when you get to a nice golden brown color, you can even wait until you see the first hint of a dark spot.
  17. Serve with your favorite sauce, but I recommend Chimichurri

Nutrition Information

Yield: 20 servings, Amount per serving: 204 calories, Calories: 204g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 802mg, Potassium: 471mg, Vitamin A: 0.2g, Vitamin C: 1.3g, Calcium: 1.9g, Iron: 9.4g

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Keyword: Crispy Cracklin' Pork Shoulder (Slow Cooker & Oven)
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A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.

A foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

Categories:

Main Course Main Dishes Meat & Seafood Pork Recipes Recipe Slow Cooker

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Comments

  1. My comment is long over due; I need to say I’ve made his several times and it is fantastic. I’ve also made slits in the meat and stuffed it with cloves of garlic and chopped rosemary infused in oil. My husband says it’s as good as the porcetta we used to buy at our favorite take-out place in Italy. When picking out a pork shoulder I look for one with a lot of skin because everyone is looking for he cracklin. I find that if some of the skin doesn’t cook enough even after you broil it, you can remove the skin and stick it under the broiler another minute or so, in one of those low tin cake pans and it crunches up nicely. After finding this recipe I will never waste time cooking it in the oven for hours.

  2. Got it cooking away and the house smells divine!! Only thing I did different is I placed a large onion cut into thick rings and about 20 cloves of garlic to act as a bed for the pork shoulder and for the aromatics. I plan on using the drippings with the onions and garlic as a gravy.

  3. I was wondering if that 18 hours of cooking time on low is correct?? I use my slow cooker a lot and I have never cooked anything for that long…if it’s right, then it’s on!! This looks amazing and I’m making tomorrow or tonight depending on the 18 hours lol

  4. I really want to try this recipe, but cooking it in a slow cooker for 18 hours baffles me! We like to eat dinner around 6:30 pm. How would you arrange the cooking time to coincide with our dinnertime without reheating the meat the next day? We like to eat freshly cooked food! Anyone have experiences they’d like to share?? Thanks! 

    1. You can start it the day before in the late morning and it’ll be ready for dinner the next day. 🙂

  5. This recipe looks awesome. Found it as I was looking at your corn beef which also looks great. I have a 5lb. 1/2 shoulder roast with skin. Can I cook it on high and if so how many hours. Thank you.

    1. You really need this cooked on low, that’s where the magic comes in. 🙂 I haven’t tested making one that size but I would recommend cooking it on low for 12-14 hours.

    1. I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking but my suggestion is to get a disposable sheet pan to finish broiling it in the oven. Your slow cooker insert isn’t able to take that high of a temperature.

  6. I have a 5.5 pound pork shoulder blade in the crock pot. I wanted to try your Crispy Cracklin Pork Picnic Shoulder recipe, but couldn’t find the picnic cut. Will this recipe work with the shoulder blade cut? How long should I let it cook in the crock pot?

    1. Does it have the skin on? Or just fat? To get the top to turn out the same it has to have the skin on and I would cook it as described in the recipe 🙂

  7. Help! The narrative says 18 hours but then the review at the bottom of the page, in the square, it says total cook time is 10 hours… I don’t want to mess this beauty up, help!

  8. Thanks for the recipe, I of course took my eye off but even with the little black it tasted amazing! Wish I new how to share a pic cause it was just gorgeous!! Deff going in the save pile! Thanks again!

  9. Here on Puerto Rico we cook the pork shoulder in the over. We cover the pork and in the last 30 minutes uncover the pork for the crispy skin too. We use a seasoning mix called Adobo and give a nice taste to the pork.

    1. Yum! I love adobo seasoning too! I sometimes shred the pork, squeeze a bit of lemon and orange on it, and cook it in my cast iron skillet with cumin, cayenne, salt and oregano for a sort of carnitas pork flavor but with much less effort. 🙂

  10. Wow that is the perfect amount of crispiness! I’d love to try making it like this! These pictures are making me hungry.

  11. Ok we love you haha. I have done crispy but not like this and I cannot wait to try it. I live using my pressure cooker and slow cooker and this sounds so good. In fact my better half walked behind me while I was reading this and went ohhhh that looks awesome do they live close LOL silly man 🙂 will let you know how it comes out 🙂 Great job 🙂

    1. Hahaha thanks for the love! You have to tell me how you like it. I wish the photos of the scraping didn’t get corrupted. Just be sure to scrape as much fat out as you can. It should be REALLY easy to scrape off. Be sure to watch it under the broiler, not only for catching it before it burns but also because watching is semi-puff up like popcorn is SO COOL.

  12. This looks like a delicious recipe. I love using my slow cooker. I am going to try this on the weekend.

  13. Love me some pernil (pork shoulder)! I’m Puerto Rican so we usually make these for special occasions – holidays, birthdays. I look forward to it every year. I did make one recently in the crockpot and it was amazingly tender and juicy. Deliciousness!

    1. HAHAHA you just reminded me of a Friends episode (I can recite them all) where Joey is walking around with a bucket of fried chicken after being accused of leering at Monica and says “I think we’ve all learned a lesson about who’s disgusting and who is not. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to my bucket. I’m only eating the skins, so the chicken’s up for grabs.” If I could’ve I would’ve eaten the entire crispy topping but my husband was watching it like a hawk while I served it up.

  14. Oh my goodness, this looks delicious. So it is made in the slow cooker than crisped up in the oven? Love this idea 🙂

  15. Oooh, how very crackly! I see what you mean! A chimichurri sauce sounds delicious with this.

    1. Isn’t that crazy!? when I cracked it the first time plating it I thought, “ok this needs video accompaniment!” so I set up a youtube channel just for this video, haha.