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Leonardo’s Lechon Makes Perfect Pork

Leonardo’s Lechon Makes Perfect Pork

The way pork is traditionally made in the Philippines is something the people there can brag about. Lechon is golden, crispy, juicy, and tender, all because it’s slowly roasted over an open fire for hours.
By Gerry San Miguel

Leonardo's Lechon

Fiery hot charcoal are evenly spread on the pit, and the bamboo skewered pigs are gently laid to be slowly roasted for hours. It’s just another day at Leonardo’s Lechon…

Leonardo's Lechon2

At Leonardo’s Lechon, the day starts early. And every day, their signature lechon is prepared exactly the same way since 1947.

Leonardo's Lechon 4

Blazing red charcoal have fired up the pits at Leonardo’s Lechon for nearly seventy years, preserving a tradition maintained by the family’s third generation. The carefully selected native pigs are slaughtered once the orders are received, prepared and freshly dressed, pit-roasted for several hours on hot charcoal (for more on Leonardo’s Lechon, see my previous post on their new Carnivore Lechon here and a second round with the Carnivore Lechon here).

Each pig is rotated by hand on the pit by the experienced litsoneros of Leonardo’s Lechon, and the temperature is maintained with the constant addition of charcoal. You won’t find any mechanical rotisserie or temperature gauges, only the experienced eye of the litsonero decide if the lechon is ready. With each slow twist, the litsonero adjusts the speed of the rotation to ensure the pig is evenly roasted, the way it always has been since 1947.

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After several hours on the pit, the first batch of lechon is ready for delivery. The native pigs used by Leonardo’s Lechon deliver richer, mildly sweeter notes, with just a thin layer of fat under the crispy crackling. The next batch is then prepared, dressed and slow-roasted on the pit. And with Christmas fast approaching, the pits at Leonardo’s Lechon will remain fired up. And hours before the sun rises the next day, a new batch is prepared, and the cycle continues. It’s just another day…at Leonardo’s Lechon.

Leonardo’s Lechon is located at 89 J. Basa Street, San Juan, Metro Manila or call 724-3068, 726-9828, 744-5172, 725-6071, 725-8618 qnd 0917-883-3391 for inquiries and orders. You can also visit their Facebook Page at for more information.

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