Slow Cooker Lechon made easy in the crockpot! Moist and juicy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside, it’s 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 an 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 butt 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 might work on lechon as well and work it did! Just look at that gorgeous crackled skin below!
Trust me, my peeps, it can’t get easier than making lechon kawali in the slow cooker. 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 belly or with ribs. Just have the butcher cut through the bones of the belly to make it easier to chop to serving pieces.
- 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.
- A major battle in lechon making is keeping the meat tender and succulent. Make sure to cook in the slow cooker until tender but not falling apart.
- Roast the tender pork 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.
Enjoy crispy lechon this Christmas season! Golden and crunchy on the outside yet moist and juicy on the inside, it’s the perfect weeknight dinner or holiday dish family and guests are sure to love. For a recipe this super easy, albeit taking a few hours, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Slow Cooker Lechon
- 3 pounds pork belly with ribs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Season pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder, massaging all over the meat.
Place meat in the slow cooker (NO LIQUIDS) and cook on low for about 7 to 8 hours or until tender but not falling apart.
Remove pork from the slow cooker and arrange on a roasting pan or rack. Bake in a 430 F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until skin is golden and blistered.
Remove from heat. Skin will crisp as it cools. Let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.