Slow Cooker Lechon made easy in the crockpot! Moist and juicy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside, it’s an easy and convenient weeknight dinner or party dish everyone will love!
Lechon kawali is my favorite comfort food ever. Just the sight of these crunchy morsels is enough to make my Filipina heart go pitter-patter!
But as much as I love this Pinoy delicacy with all my foodie heart, I don’t make it at home as often as I’d like. The simmering, the cooling, the deep-frying, who has time for that? And don’t get me started about all that hot oil splattering all over the kitchen!
Now, I have found lechon sa hurno as a better alternative but even that comes with inconvenience. Who wants to tie up the oven for five long hours? The last thing I want especially in the horrendous heat of hot summer months is to have my oven humming all day long to roast one lonely slab of meat.
So how to satisfy cravings for crispy pork without a whole lot of work? Slow cooker Lechon is your newfound answer!
What inspired this recipe technique? One of G’s favorite foods is Mexican Carnitas, a deep-fried slab of pork shoulder much like our lechon kawali. Instead of deep-frying the meat in a vat of sizzling lard, I like to cook it in the crockpot until tender and then finish it off in the oven on high heat until beautifully golden and crisp.
I was prepping one the other day when it got me thinking this method might work on lechon as well and work it did! Just look at that gorgeous crackled skin in the photos!
Trust me, my peeps, it can’t get easier than making lechon kawali in the slow cooker. For a recipe this super easy, albeit taking a few hours, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the crispy yet juicy pork morsels you get!
All you do is generously season the meat, place it in the crockpot with NO liquids added, and allow it to cook while you go about your daily chores. When tender, arrange the pork on a roasting pan (in my case, a cookie rack set over a foil-lined pan) to finish off on high heat in the oven until golden and crunchy.
Tips on How to Make Slow Cooker Lechon:
You can use boneless pork belly or with ribs. To make the chopping easier, you can have the butcher cut the bones.
DO NOT add liquids! Don’t panic, have faith. The pork is not going to burn or dry out, it will release its own juices as it slow cooks in the crockpot.
To keep the lechon tender and succulent, cook in the slow cooker until tender but not falling apart.
Roast on a wire rack so it’s elevated by a few inches to allow the heat to circulate around the pork and crisp it all over.
Let the roast pork stand for about 10 minutes before cutting to pieces so the juices will redistribute and keep the meat moist and flavorful.
How to serve
Serve as a main dish or appetizer with lechon sauce or spicy vinegar for dipping. It’s easy to make for everyday family dinners yet impressive enough for special gatherings.
Lechon is best enjoyed hot and fresh from the oven as the skin tends to lose its crispness over time. If you want to prep ahead, cook the pork in the crockpot until tender, store in the refrigerator or freezer, and roast in the oven when ready to serve.
Use leftovers in pinakbet or sisig!