Kalua Pig in a Slow Cooker
This kalua pork recipe uses the slow cooker for a simple way of making traditional Hawaiian kalua pig without having to dig a hole in your backyard!
This kalua pork recipe uses the slow cooker for a simple way of making traditional Hawaiian kalua pig without having to dig a hole in your backyard!
Having relocated from Hawaii to the mainland 6 yrs. ago, this is the same recipe we all use (even when in Hawaii, because who can afford to roast a whole pig?). Pork Butt works the best (because that is what we are used to and it can be found for .99 lb. Other ingredients to add: 1 Hawaiian chile pepper and for a change of flavor: Garlic and Bay leaves. Since it is impossible to find Hawaiian chili peppers, I use finely and SPARINGLY chopped habanero (about 4 small slices). It is pretty authentic. To those that say the roast is salty: is because the slow cooker intensifies the flavor, so it is best to add less at the beginning and add more later if needed. Just a good rub around the pork with Hawaiian Salt will do it. Happy Grinds! Aloha!Read More
I had such great expectations after reading all these wonderful reviews. First I had never used a Boston Butt Roast---Even though I trimmed and trimmed the cut of meat,this dish still was fattier than what I am used to after cooking. What saved the day was the Carolina Bar-b-que Sauce recipe that I found on this site. If it had not been for that sauce this would have been a big flop. And even then it was not as outstanding as these reviews would indicate.Read More
Having relocated from Hawaii to the mainland 6 yrs. ago, this is the same recipe we all use (even when in Hawaii, because who can afford to roast a whole pig?). Pork Butt works the best (because that is what we are used to and it can be found for .99 lb. Other ingredients to add: 1 Hawaiian chile pepper and for a change of flavor: Garlic and Bay leaves. Since it is impossible to find Hawaiian chili peppers, I use finely and SPARINGLY chopped habanero (about 4 small slices). It is pretty authentic. To those that say the roast is salty: is because the slow cooker intensifies the flavor, so it is best to add less at the beginning and add more later if needed. Just a good rub around the pork with Hawaiian Salt will do it. Happy Grinds! Aloha!
THIS WAS INCREDIBLE!!! If I could give 10 stars I would!! Thanks to margarita4, I found the sea salt(Ming Tsai brand blue ginger at Target.) At first I was looking for something in a papper package like most salts are in and for something white. But it's in a tiny glass jar and the salt is a pinky salmon color(4-oz. $3.99) I had a 7 lb. bone in pork butt. It barely fit in my crock pot, but I managed! I started it at midnight, flipped it over at 8:30 in morning and let it cook until 4:30. Added 2 tsp. additional liquid smoke. It was done before that, but I kept it going like recipe said and there was hardly any fat in this. Hard to believe only 3 ingredients could taste so good! My sister in law lived in Hawaii for 3 yrs. and said it was just like what they had there. I love pork and have had it many ways, this ranks right up there with pig roasts, it is my favorite so far. I had 8 guests and they were all ewing and awing over this. It was fabulous and will make this often. Thanks Kay for sharing this, I'm so grateful!
My pork was to die for delicious. We had around 30 people over and all they talked about was how good the meat tasted. I bought an 8.5 lb roast, so it wouldn't fit in my crock pot. I set the oven on 200 and let it cook in there for 20 hours. Then when I shredded it, I put the shredded meat in the crock pot, poured some of the juices on it and put the crock pot on warm. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
This recipe was fantastic!! It was indistinguishable from the Kalua Pig my dad sends from Hawaii. I used Trader Joe's Black Hawaiian Sea Salt. I put a 3lb roast in the crock pot around 10:30PM, turned it over around 9AM, shredded the pork in the juices around 1PM, and had a delicious meal at 5PM. I put the reheated leftovers over cabbage stir fried with a little soy sauce and garlic powder...and rice. It was DELICIOUS!!!
I'm Hawaiian and have never made my own kalua pig until this year back in Oct. Since then I've made this recipe several times! I love kalua pig and my brother was always the expert and I just thought it was terribly difficult. What a "lolo" (in Hawaiian that means "dork")...this is the easiest thing I've made next to toast!!! I've used Hawaiian, red sea salt & sea salt from my trips to the south of France. Both are perfect! My mom (who is a goddess in the kitchen) says only use pork butt, so that's all I used and she was right on the money. Each time I've made it, it was for a large group of people. I would cook it for 20-28hrs. I've served it with white sticky rice and with Hawaiian sweet rolls, so people can make little sandwiches. I also put a small dish of Korean BBQ sauce next to the crockpot so people can choose to pour sauce on top. Either way its incredibly good. At new years eve potluck, my dish was the first to be gone! I plan to make it again in a couple days for a bday party. Everyone asks me if I will be making it. Like I said, its easier than toast and will wow your friends and family. I will also add that it was too salty the first time, but since I've made it several more times I've figured it out...1Tablespoon of salt per 4lbs of meat & I add about 1.5cup of water (approx 4-5lbs meat) to dilute salt and add for more juice (to pour over rice). Good luck with this "ONO" (good) recipe. Hau'oli Makahiki Hou, e malama pono!
Wow! My family thought it tasted better than the real imu cooked pig we ate at a luau last week. I followed the recipe ingredients measurements on a 3lb boneless pork butt and cooked it for 10 hours. After shredding the meat, I put the meat back into the fat oil still in the crockpot, still on at low heat and added another half tablespoon of liquid smoke. I let it sit for about 15 minutes and it was soooo "ono" (mmmmgoood)! Mahalo!
This was my third try making this, the first two times it was just okay, and too salty for my taste. However, the first time I only cooked it on high for 6 hours or so, then shredded and served. The second time, I cooked it overnight, then shredded and served. Both times I used white Hawaiian sea salt, but the second time I added apple sider hoping it would give it a little extra something. I'm determined to get a good kalua recipe for a party I hope to have next month and all my searches kept coming back to this recipe so I had to give it another shot. This time, I followed some of the other reviewers tips and it was great! Here is what I did differently: I used a smaller (3 pound) bonless pork shoulder, 1.5 teasp MESQUITE liquid smoke, 1.5 teasp. RED hawaiian sea salt, and placed an unpeeled (but cracked open) banana on top of the roast in the crockpot. Cooked on low for 10 hours, then put the drippings in the freezer for an hour and then skimmed the fat off. Shredded the pork and placed it back in the crockpot with the defatted juices for about another 3 hours (remember I have a smaller roast) and it was so much better this time around! I think the shredding and putting it back to simmer makes a huge difference. This is now my party recipe! Thanks to all for sharing your tips, it's much appreciated! note: my husband has a sweet tooth and wanted me to try adding a little brown sugar at the end, so we'll try that as well, for a non authentic but sweeter variation. ;)
Can't believe the complaints this had no flavor, it's pork, salt & smoke, not supposed to have a bunch of different flavors. Does bacon have a lot of flavors? No & it's yummy! (Though this isn't supposed to be as salty as bacon). Also many saying it's way too salty, I suspect they didn't use the right kind of salt. I assume this was written for the big chunky Hawaiian sea salts, which where I shop is sold in a bag right next to canisters of super-fine Hawaiian sea salt (finer than table salt). If you use the latter it would certainly be way too salty. If I don't have the chunky salt I use half the amount of kosher salt & it's not too salty, you still get the yummy flavor of pork. This makes quite a lot of meat, & for us it's 3 whole meals...(day 1) Kalua pork, served with sticky rice & mac salad; (day 2) Pulled pork - add BBQ sauce & nuke, serve on buns; (day 3) Carnitas - crisp up the pork in a skillet with a squirt of juice from a plastic lime, sprinkle of cumin, & fresh cilantro if I have it, served with guacamole & salsa. Love it when leftovers can be made into meals that are so different they don't seem like leftovers, & all 3 of these meals are inexpensive, easy, & don't require hardly any hands-on time in the kitchen!
THIS WAS DELICIOUS. I MADE THIS THE FIRST TIME WITH SEA SALT AS I DID NOT HAVE THE HAWAIIAN SEA SALT. IT WAS SUPERB. I WANTED TO MAKE IT AGAIN SO I LOOKED FOR THE HAWAIIAN VERSION IN THE STORE AND WAS SHOCKED TO SEE THE PRICE OF $14.00! I WAS SO CURIOUS TO SEE IF THERE WAS SUCH A DIFFERENCE THAT I BOUGHT IT. SAVE YOUR MONEY, I COULD TELL NO DIFFERENCE! SERVED IT WITH YELLOW RICE WITH BLACK BEANS...SOOOO GOOD!
Rewrite of review..again :) - I've been making this recipe since 2002 and its always a winner! Its gone to work potlucks, quite a few luaus, and for a different change of pace for Christmas (2008), I made some kalua pig instead of ham or turkey for the family. 8lbs of meat (2 - approx 4lb bonesless porkbutts w/out skin...the asian markets have great butchers!) in 2 crockpots. My family was a little peeved cause we werent having turkey or ham, but once I started shredding the meat...the buzzards (my family) started hovering around the kitchen sneaking tastes of this delicious shredded pork when I wasnt looking. My tips for this recipe - If you have an asian market in your city, go there for your meat. Get a bonesless cut (I paid a little more than $11 for 8lbs of meat!). Pierce meat and rub with sea salt and smoke. I eyeball the amount and never measure. But I will tell you, do the smoke first and then the sea salt. Go easy on the sea salt as the liquid smoke already has a high sodium content. Cook low for 10 hours. Drain/shread meat and put back in crockpot to keep warm. Try to keep your family from eating all the meat before mealtime. For my grandad, I heated up some homemade bbq sauce (he has problems swallowing and needs everything coated to do gown easier), but everyone (including him) said that the meat was fantastic just on its own. Great recipe!!!
SIMPLY INCREDIBLE! If it all possible FIND Hawaiian Sea Salt, it makes a difference. A nice pork butt, bone in with some fat, a couple of bananas with a small slice down the side placed on top. Put it in and leave it alone for 20 hours except for a halfway turn. Drain off the fat by either placing in the freezer and skimming or using a fat separator. Pour back in the juices and throw in a little crushed pineapple with some juice and some hot peppers and it's WOW TIME. I'm embarassed to tell people how easy this is!! Thanks so much!!!
This is the real deal! I am from Hawaii and living in the mainland, so no imu roasts in the yard like we had growing up. Slow cooker is the next best thing. This is basically the same recipe I have been using to introduce the mainlanders to our way of eating. Sea salt is a must! If you use regular salt it will be way too salty. I have just 2 small recommendations. 1) Place the pork butt with the fat side up to start. 2) Mix the liquid smoke with 2 cups water and pour over the top before coating with the sea salt. With the water added, no need to turn the pork. Just let it cook on high for 8-10 hours and shred. Add the pork back to the liquid because it's loaded with flavor. ... To really go island style, chop up a head of cabbage and add to the shredded pork then cook until it softens. May need a little pepper and soy sauce as the cabbage sucks up the salt. Broke da mouth! (delicious)
Made this for my family and everyone loved it. I did use red hawaiian salt (Williams Sanoma) I used a baggie over my hand to rub the salt and liquid smoke over the pork so my hand didn't smell like liq. smoke. I cooked it on high for about 6 hours, removed the pork and the fat and shredded the meat. I drained the liquid then placed in the freezer to strain the fat. Added the shredded pork to the crock pot with some of the strained liquid. Cooked for 2 more hours...perfect!
I had such great expectations after reading all these wonderful reviews. First I had never used a Boston Butt Roast---Even though I trimmed and trimmed the cut of meat,this dish still was fattier than what I am used to after cooking. What saved the day was the Carolina Bar-b-que Sauce recipe that I found on this site. If it had not been for that sauce this would have been a big flop. And even then it was not as outstanding as these reviews would indicate.
I'm from Hawaii, and this IS a great starter recipe! Once the pork is done cooking, I remove it from the slow cooker (save the drippings), shred it, and add a small cabbage (quartered), and 1 large sweet Maui onion (sliced). I toss it with the pork and juices, and 1 tbl. shouyu and, add it back into the slow cooker. I cover it, put it on medium, and cook for an additional 45 minutes to soften the cabbage and onions. If I'm pressed for time, I've also sauteed the cabbage and onions to decrease the cooking time. This also goes great with a nice coleslaw and pineapple salad on the side. (P.S. Choosing a good Hawaiian Sea Salt is important...look for the words "Alae" in the title. Amazon carries a few).
Wow! Seemed too simple to be flavorful. I cooked a 9lb shoulder butt, so I increased the salt and liquid smoke by a smidge. On low it only took 9hrs, not 20. I went to turn it at 9h and it fell apart. I made this the night before a party, shredded it and put the juices from the crockpot in a container in the fridge. Cooled, I skimmed the congealled fat from the sauce leaving the gelatin-like juices, reheated the juice, added another splash of liquid smoke (easy to over-do so go slow) the reheated the whole pot of yumminess. People at this party wanted to know if they should put BBQ sauce on it. I told them to try it first. Needless to say, the BBQ sauce stayed on the table and NOT on the pork. I served it on King's Hawaiian honey wheat buns, and topped with fresh LIGHTLY vinegared slaw. The sweetness of the buns, the salty smokey pork and crispy cole slaw..Perfect Combo
Absolutely the best. I did mine with clean banana skins (3) and it was just enough to sweeten slightly. Reminded me of home in Hawaii. The banana skin adds that special something other slow cooker recipes lacks.
This is an outstanding recipe, and one I have been making for sometime now. In order to mimic the bannana leaves, I always put a layer of fresh greens (Spinach, kale, etc.) in the bottom of the slow cooker before I place the roast. The greens also make a great accompaniment to the pork. Forget the mesurement of the salt and liquid smoke. Just rub the roast first with sprinkles of liquid smoke and use enough salt to coat. Place upon a hefty bed of greens and cook on low overnight and into the next day. YUM!!!
I've been making this recipe for a long time now but I never had the pink salt so I had been using regular sea salt. It's still really good. However, I finally came across some pink sea salt and made a 4lb roast. I've never measured the salt. Always just rub the meat down well and sprinkle a a little on top. As for the liquid smoke, I've always used Stubb's but sure any brand should do the job. I never measure that either. Just a couple splashes depending on the size of the meat. Doesn't really take much and still does taste very good if you put too much. A pork roast with bone-in to me taste better but still cheaper and very good without the bone. Don't over cook! Can get dry. We like to leave juices in. Get a pack of Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and that's all you need. If not moist enough, try adding Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce on the roll. My husband bugs for me to make this often. Really is a perfect recipe for pot lucks and large gatherings with little work very few dishes. **To the people who are not giving this a 5 star rating, I seen some used pork loin or regular salt. SEA SALT/HAWAIIAN SEA SALT (the pink Hawaiian sea salt is best), liquid smoke, pork butt or shoulder, a crock pot and a utensil to turn the meat one time while cooking is ALL you need. One of the best tasting and easiest recipes you will ever make.
Extremely tasty! Try this... Add a cup of pineapple juice as well as a splash of soy sauce to help with the flavor, (please try this instead of using bbq sauce which defeats the purpose of making Kalua pork). Also add sauteed some cabbage sauteed in soy sauce to shredded pork. I served with a cold macaroni salad (a simple hawaiian version) Cook 1/2 lb macaroni the rince with cold water. Add 1 cup best foods mayo, 1 finely shredded carrot and 1 cup finely shredded chicken breast Paired on the side of the pork and cabbage over white rice, its delicious and seems to cut the saltiness of the dish. Yum yum!
This recipe is fabulous!! We love Kalua pork, but I made one change: I used a 4.5 lb turkey breast instead of pork since we don't eat much pork. I followed the recipe exactly, except it only took about 9 hrs to cook the turkey. It was so good! It was not dry and we used all of the dripping that it produced as it was shredded. It was not oily at all. The only thing I think it needed a little more salt and maybe a little more liquid smoke (I think pork is cured w/ salt, so maybe that's why the turkey needs more salt). But overall, the flavor was authentic. We live in Hawaii/are Hawaiian. Mahalo for this recipe. I plan to try it with pork in the future and continue making kalua turkey! :)
This is a great alternative to cooking a pig in an imu (in the ground). The best way to make kalua pig and cabbage is to remove the meat once it is finished cooking. Add shredded cabbage to the broth in the slow cooker and cook on high until done. Put pork back into the slow cooker and mix everything. Serve on top of rice. Chili water as a condiment (or even just hot pepper sauce) is the true way to enjoy this "broke da mout" meal. P.S. Pork butt can be found in Asian grocery markets. Do not use shoulder!
Very good as per recipe. You have to try. A lot of people 'change' recipes and rate. Not me. Want to have some fun with a similar Kalua Pork as well? Cut the salt to 1 Tablespoon and, yes this sounds weird but it works perfectly, place 2 UNPEELED bananas with the tips cut off on top of the roast when you start the slow cooker. By the time the roast is done the bananas will have melted away and you simply remove the leftover banana skins for the trash. Yes it sounds weird and NO it does not impart a nasty banana taste. It works. Been serving it to rave reviews for over 30 years.
It's goooood! First time I messed up, because I tried to cut the recipe down to just a couple pounds of meat. Well it overcooked in my pot because I was out of the house and not able to check the slow cooker. My fault. So today I picked up a new hunk of just about 6 pounds. If there's anything that needs adjusting it's the cooking time. Even on slow, it took less than 10 hours and one flip of the shoulder to cook completely. My slow cooker is (6 quarts?) and the extra weight in the shoulder paid off. When I used two pounds there wasn't enough juice in the cooker to tenderize the meat. 6.3lbs barely fit my crock pot, but the juices nearly covered the meat, moistened it with Alea salty goodness, and fell apart. I used to pay $20 for a serving of Kalua pig half this size. We'll be having this often!
wow, this was as great as everyone said it is. The first time I cooked it on high for 10 hours and the 2nd time on low for 20. Couldn't tell the difference. Next time I'll do the 10 hours so I don't have to be kept awake by the wonderful smell that it gives off. Found Hawaiin sea salt at a local asian food market. FYI it's orange in color.
I have made this numerous times now but always forget to leave a review. I am still completely dumbfounded over this recipe. It is ridiculously easy and I still have no idea how it is possible to get such great flavorful and tender meat out of something with so few ingredients and insanely simple. 5 stars all the way!
Can you say delicious? Absolutely delicious! The meat was so tender and tasted so good! Everyone kept coming up with reasons to go into the kitchen and sneak bites before dinner was officially served! I poured the drippings/juice, etc. from my slower cooker into a pan and then added a couple handfuls of ice and placed it in the freezer so that the fat would separate out of the liquid. I skimmed the fat off the top and then used the remaining juice to create a gravy (used equal parts (1 tbsp each) of butter and flour then added the juice brought to a boil and let it thicken). I poured/mixed the gravy into the shredded pork. It was so-oo-oo good! I will definitely make this again...so tasty and so simple! Thank you for a great recipe!
WARNING: You may not get any time to yourself if you let your family taste this before you serve it. My meat-challenged toddler (usually still chewing an hour after dinner) said it was "yummy in his tummy" and he and his little brother wouldn't stop climbing my legs until I gave them a bowl full (placed far enough away from me to catch my breath). Then I didn't get to sit down because by the first bite my husband knew he was going to want another tortilla which I had to cook. This versatile dish is fantastic plain, as burrito filling, with BBQ sauce, Trader Joe's Cuban Mojito sauce -- use your imagination. The cut of meat I used was a pork sirloin that comes from Costco in a 3-pack and weighed less than two pounds (and they don't have a speck of fat on them). I used 1 t. each of regular sea salt (didn't pick up any Hawaiian yet) and hickory liquid smoke and 8 hours on low gave me a moist, amazingly tender, easy to shred roast.
I made this to take with us on a camping trip this weekend. It is delicious! I had never used Hawaiian sea salt before and I believe that is what makes this so good. I only used a 4 lb. roast as there are only 3 people eating it. I still used a tablespoon of the liquid smoke and I used almost 1-1/2 tablespoons of sea salt and it has wonderful flavor! My husband had me make our usual garlic hot sauce we have at our pig roasts, but I don't think I'll be putting any on mine!
My Husband is from Hawaii and this recipe is one of our families favorite, After the pork is done we shred cabbage and add this to the pork and cook cabbage until done then serve over white sticky rice yummm
SUPER easy, SUPER tasty and this will be a staple in our house from now on. Ended up using Himalayan red sea salt since that's all our grocery stores had (tried 3 different locations!) We ended up serving ours plain on some King's Hawaiian rolls. Excellent! Next time, I'll add a little more smoke flavoring, some whole garlic cloves and maybe a hot pepper or two for some kick since we really like that and I might try the banana peel. I did order some red Hawaiian sea salt online since we loved the first try. Seriously, you HAVE to try this recipe. Couldn't be easier and who would have thought only 3 ingredients would have so much flavor! We did the overnight on one side, flipped and let it go for another 5 hours or so then shredded and let it rip for another 4 hours. SO tender and flavorful!
I thought this was great. Tender and moist - and so EASY! I followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out wonderfully. Had it "as is" for dinner one night, then added BBQ sauce and made BBQ pork sandwiches with the leftovers the next day. Delicious. I plan on making this again for the next party/BBQ - an easy and economical way to feed a crowd. UPDATE 8-1-07 I have made this using regular sea salt with equally good results. Also, I now double the salt & liquid smoke to 3 Tbsp sea salt and 2 Tbsp liq smoke for 6 lbs of pork. I've used pork shoulder/butt, even tenderloin with great success. Such a great recipe!
Wonderful and super easy! Used the pig to make "Kalua Pig Burritos" like we had on North Shore and they was very tasty! Found the salt online @ The Spice Lab; it's called Hawaiian Red Alaea No. 12. I purchased the fine grain, but you do have the option to choose coarse. My pig was done after 9 hours on low - and yes I used the 6# - my crock is pretty new and definately gets hotter (even on low) than my old one. I was able to shred the pork right in the crock and let it soak up all the delicious juices for an additonal 2 hours. Just like butta! To assemble the burritos, place some pig on your large warmed tortilla, add some cooked white rice, carmelized onions, a little cheese and a drizzle of warmed bbq sauce. Roll up burrito style and enjoy!
Perfect just the way it is. Don't change a thing. I get so many requests for this I went to amazon and ordered a multipack of the hawaiian salt! Thanks for the recipe.
As someone who has grown up eating kalua pig in Hawaii, this is absolutely what you can expect to taste if you were to order it at a Hawaiian eatery. I've made this exact recipe at least 5 times since adding it, always receives rave reviews at family gatherings, potlucks, office parties, in a word, it's ONO!!
Even after reading the other reviews, I couldn't believe something so easy could be so tasty, and yet it's INCREDIBLE! I found the Hawaiian salt on the net, no tax, no shipping charges, and followed the simple instructions. Served with Hawaiian sweet bread rolls from the market, rice and fresh pineapple, and it was a mainland luau. Will do this 'pig out' again! Thanks for a great recipe.
I was born and bred in Hawaii and I have to say that this recipe is DELICIOUS - just like they make back home. A few minutes before serving, I added in some shredded cabbage and it was very yummy. I also served with steamed white rice.
EXCELLENT! I read many reviews and I agree--extremely simple & tasty! I used a 3.6lb Pork butt, 2t plain sea salt(that was all I could find, even tried TJ's), and 1+1/4t liquid smoke (hickory flavor). I cooked it on high for 4 hours, turned over and added 1/2 of a med. sweet onion that I had in the frig. Cooked it 1 more hour on high then switched it to low for the duration. After 7 hours total, the pork looked cooked--I checked it with a thermometer and it was done indeed. I took out the pork (which was falling apart) and shredded (an easy task!) then placed it back in the crock pot and added 2/3 head of chopped green cabbage and a chopped sweet onion, which I steamed for 5 minutes on the stove (probably would've skipped, but thought we were going to eat sooner). Back on low for about another 1-2 hours to simmer in its own juices. Somewhere during this time I ladled out the juices into a liquid measuring cup, placed in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, and skimmed off the fat, and added a bit of water so that I returned the same amount of liquid back to the crock pot that I'd removed. The pork was so tender succulent and we LOVED this recipe! Served with rice and a Sesame Cabbage Salad found elsewhere on the internet. We like spicy so added a dab of Sriracha hot chili sauce. EXCELLENT! Also pairs well with Fire Rock Pale Ale from the Kona Brewing Co. What a spectacular feast! :) Thanks for the recipe!!!
I love kalua pork. I am from Hawaii, and this is the common kalua pork recipe floating around the island. The only thing I do different is add 1/3 cup of water to the pot, so it doesn't turn out so salty. I also like to shred an entire head of cabbage about an hour or so before the pork is ready to be eaten. It's always a hit and everyone always requests it. This is a fool proof recipe.
My mom is from Hawaii & we only get to eat Kalua pig when we go visit family there, which isn't very often. So when I saw this recipe & how easy it was I had to try it. This recipe is absolutely delicious!!! I made a few adjustments...9 lbs Pig Butt Roast, 1 1/2 tbls Hawaiian Salt, & 3 tbls Liquid Smoke. Cook for 20 hours, flip once. The Hawaiian Salt was easy to find at Wholefoods...it's a pink color. The roast fills my whole crock pot & makes the best juices to put over rice or to cook cabbage in. (I take all the juice from the roast & put it in the frige. Once the fat is on top I scoop it out to cut down on fat.) Thanks for this awesome recipe!
Note to self: Remake recipe. Intriguing recipe because of how simple it was! Do not use table salt or kosher salt, large crystal salt is very important so recipe doesn't come out over salted, I used some grey salt that I buy from the bulk bins at the healthfood store, (very inexpensive way to buy spices!) Do not be tempted to use even one crystal more salt than the recipe calls for!!! I know it's hard to believe this recipe will work with only three ingredients but it does! I trimmed excess fat off the pork before putting in on High for 8 hours. Great advice from others about putting the juices (there will be a lot of juice!) in the freezer while you shred the meat and removing the excess fat that way once it starts to solidify. Add the defatted juices back to the meat and mix well.
This was so amazing. Unbelieveably simple! I never really liked pork much until I ate this. WOW! The pork roast was still mostly frozen when I started this. I used sea salt, next time I'd like to try the Hawaiian salt.
So easy! So good! Leftovers were usable as pork tacos (just add spanish rice and cheese) and pulled pork sandwiches (just add bbq sauce and a bun). I did make a 7 1/2 lb roast though so I had plenty of leftovers. Also, I have a 2010 Hamilton Beach slow cooker that tends to cook faster on low. It only took me 9 hours max on low setting for it to be done. We put it on the warm setting until we were ready to eat since we thought we had MANY more hours left until it would be done. Made me regret getting up before the sun to put this in the crock pot. I am thinking that the person who made it and posted it originally has a very OLD crock pot that cooks very slowly. Just keep that in mind when making this. Hate for anyone else to lose valuable sleep needlessly too. Other than that... VERY GOOD! VERY!!!!!
We fly my mom (who is Hawaiian) out here and always beg her to make her amazing kalua pig. She slow roasts it in the oven with ti leaves from Hawaii. Ti leaves are hard to come by here in the Midwest, so I tried this recipe hoping for a little taste of home. I was not disappointed by the wonderful flavors! A great recipe and takes almost no effort to cook in the crockpot. Be sure to use Hawaiian salt - there is no substitute for the flavor. I have tried it with both black and red(known as Alaea)salt and prefer the taste and color of the red. Mesquite liquid smoke has a milder flavor than hickory, if you have a preference - I use hickory. Kalua pig should have a lot of liquid so add a 1/4 cup water at the beginning of the cooking process to keep it moist. If your pork does dry out, add hot salted water to the pot. For goodness sake, don't ruin this delicious dish with barbecue sauce! Be sure to stir fry some with Napa cabbage and shoyu or throw some spinach in the crockpot in the last 30 minutes. Must serve over rice!
Made this as a trial run recipe for my sister's upcoming luau themed birthday party. If you're going to make this, make sure you have LOTS of time to cook it. I put it on at 5pm and it was done the next day at 8am. I had my husband taste it and he said while it was good, it was a wee bland. Plus it doesn't have that flavor an authentic Kalua pork has, from Hawaii. If you've actually had Hawaiian Kalua pork, cooked in the ground, this recipe isn't even close in flavor. Either way, it was good but for the looong cooking time I don't know if it's really worth it. It makes a ton, which is good. We put Pepper Plant pepper sauce on some of it and made tacos. The other 1/2 I topped with a homemade pineapple based BBQ sauce and making pulled pork sandwiches.
Islander or mainlander, you're gonna LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe... honestly, I add a touch more "smoke" to mine for my family tastes. It is perfect! Don't hesitate on this one! (Also, if you don't have sea salt, regular works.. so don't panic - just use less - salting to taste after cooking is always healthier) Aloha!
Amazing! So easy to make & delicious! I cooked 6.89 lbs of pork shoulder butt for 18 hours on low and used Alaea (fine) Hawaiian Sea Salt from Saltworks ($8.95 for 16 ounces and free ship special). I was hesitant to spend xtra $ but after reading other reviews I decided to use the Hawaiian salt and Im very glad I did - it tastes like authentic kalua pig and was not too salty. I used the recommended amt of liquid smoke and 1 1/2 tbsp. salt but realized my measurement of fine, not coarse salt may make too salty and ended up dabbing some salt off w/ a wet paper towel. I also placed an open banana in peel on top and 1/2 cup water. Pork was easily shread and skimmed fat off after placing juices in freezer briefly per others suggestions. Put juices and addl tsp of liquid smoke back in shreaded pork & cooked addl 20 on low. Perfection and extra water gave extra juices needed! Thx for this wonderful recipe! NOTE: Recent reviewer gave low stars bc expected "Kahlua", for this "Kalua" recipe. Shame for reviewing based on your ignorance & not even making recipe! Look up definitions which took all of 10 seconds "Kalua" literally means cooking in underground oven and is Hawaiian cooking method, NOT "Kahlua" the liqueur.
Unreal and so easy. I'm not usually a big liquid smoke fan but this is outrageous. I needed it to cook while at work and the 20 hr time didn't pencil out for my schedule. So I cooked my 4.5 lb roast for 5 hr on high first. Came home at lunch to check on it and turn it down to low. It was pretty much done already. But I turned it to low for the next 5 hr. It was just past the point of perfection and beginning to dry out. Another half-hour and it would have been ruined. I am thinking that 10 hr on low would be fine. I'll give it a try next time and update my notes with the results. Update.... in my crock pot (Rival 6 qt) cook time is about 3 hr per pound on Low setting.
I've used this recipe for a long time. Found it originally in a cookbook by Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet about 15 years ago. Coarse grained kosher salt can be substituted if you can't find the Hawaiian sea salt.
This recipe is worth finding black Hawaiian sea salt for. (I found mine at Trader Joe's, by the way.)
I've made this twice. The first time, I followed the recipe as written. It was really good, but the juice was very salty, so I added it a little at a time to the shredded pork. The juice is very flavorful so you really don't need a lot to get that smoky flavor worked into the meat. I read a review about adding additional items like garlic and bay leaves, and that's what I did the second time I made it. I rubbed garlic powder on the roast and added 1/2 of a large bay leaf to the cooker after the juice rendered from the pork. I don't cook with or eat a lot of salt so I had to cut back on the amount of salt in the recipe. I used less than a tablespoon to rub on a 6.5lb roast. The meat wasn't salty. The juice was still salty, but very flavorful so I added it a little at a time to the shredded pork, tasting after each addition, until it was just right. I'll use even less salt next time. Also the newer slow cookers don't cook as slow as the older ones. I have a Breville slow cooker that I've had for 6 years, and it will cook the roast in about 8 hours on low. I served the shredded roast with braised cabbage and rice.
Oven roasted: Using Kalua Pig recipe for years in an oven - had no crock pot - season Pork as in recipe - wrap pork in one heavy duty foil, seal - re-wrap/seal two more times - total of 3 foil wrappings each time - roast in oven - for 3 hrs. very tender -
This is super simple to make, and is just as good as any of the local take-out places in Hawaii. A few hours before I want to serve it, I put the juices in tall cups and put in the freezer when shredding the meat to help remove some of the fat. Then as I'm shredding the meat, I remove any large chunks - not so much because I am concerned about fat content but because I don't like the slimy feeling it leaves in my mouth. Then, once the meat is shredded and fat removed, I put it back in the crockpot. Take the juices out of the freezer, remove the fat that has floated to the top, and add all the juice back to the crockpot too. MMM.
SUPER YUMMY!!! I've made this dish several times now and everyone loves it!!! I recommend making it with the Island-Style Fried Rice. They go well together. Just don't add the Spam to the rice and you're good to go.
I made this about 3 weeks ago. I ordered red Alaea sea salt from Amazon. I also went to the butcher shop to get the cut of pork butt...I didn't want anything that had been treated with saline or solutions. I didn't have banana leaves so I put two whole bananas in the crock pot. Once the pork was cooked I drained the juice and put it in the freezer for about half an hour...you'd be amazed at how much fat settled at the top. I scraped that off and used the rest of the juice to moisten the meat. This was easy to make and delicious. It tasted just like the Kalua pig I ate at the Luaus in Hawaii. My family enjoyed it so much I made it two weekends in a row. As they say on the Islands, it was Ono!
Super , simple recipe. Some cooks ended up with dried out Pork, which is terrible. Since different models of cookers can provide different low/high temps the best way to judge doneness is with an internal temp. Pork is ready to shred at @200 deg, going to 210 will not dry it out, and a little easier to shred!!!!
Its very good but unfortunatly we left the lid off and ants got to it. The ones of us that ate it liked it!
Really a great recipe. You can use any sea salt, but the pink salt has a little something special to it. I have let it cook the 20 hours and also cooked it 8 hours and both were fabulous. Serve with macaroni salad for authentic Hawaiian fare. Yum!
I can't believe I haven't rated & reviewed this recipe before now! I have been using it for at least three years! It's my go to pulled pork recipe! We have it plain the first night, BBQ sandwiches the 2nd night, and BBQ Stuffed Baked Potatoes the 3rd night! We love it!
Reminds me of being in Hawaii again! It was so easy to make and the only problem with it was having to wait to eat it! I did only have to cook it for about 10-12 hours before it was ready, as opposed to the 16-20 hours that it suggests.
Simple & delicious! I used a 3lb. pork shoulder. It turned out very tasty and moist. I cooked some egg noodles and added a little turkey gravy and then the meat. Unbelieveably good for just using 2 ingredients! Will make again. I found my Hawaiian Sea Salt (Ming Tsai label) at Target (food aisle), of all places, in case anyone is interested so you don't have to order online.
My husband and I brought back Hawaiian Sea Salt after visiting Maui. I eyeballed this for a long time, but was reluctant to try it, as I don't like liquid smoke. I'm so glad I decided to go for it! I didn't change a thing- and it was perfectly wonderful. I can't stop eating it, and know I will make it anytime I wish to impress someone :) I served it on sandwiches with BBQ sauce for one meal and over white rice with some of the pan drippings for another meal. Perfect recipe!
This was so good and simple! I started with 8.5 lbs of pork butt/shoulder and gave it a good wash and pat dry. I rubbed about 1.25 tablespoon white Himalayan salt all over the pork and 1 tablespoon Wrights liquid smoke. I cooked for 11 hours on low and then took the meat out. I poured the remaining pork liquid into a glass bowl (there was so much!) and threw away huge chunks of fat. Then I cut half a head of shredded cabbage into the slow cooker with the Kalua pork. I poured about 1 cup of pork liquid back in. Cooked on low for another hour so that the cabbage breaks down. The salt and smoke flavor was perfect. Add more liquid if needed! It was so good and easy!!
Due to the fact that I had to cook 2 huge roasts simultaneously, to the tune of about 15 #'s total, these wouldn't fit into my crockpot. I ended up cooking them together in my dome covered turkey roaster. This was such a simple, carefree, easy thing to cook, I almost felt like I was somehow cheating. I started them at 11:30 pm in a 200 degree oven and by 7, when my daughter woke up for school, she thought that I had bacon cooking. The smell was so tempting and mouthwatering I could hardly stand it. I took it out of the oven about 2 pm and let it rest. I needed it for an event that evening and didn't bother to shred it until almost dinner time. Quickly re-heated it and got rave reviews from all party goers. I served it with fenadeni sauce from this site and steamed rice. Just delicious!
EXCELLENT!! I've made this twice now using Himalayan sea salt (it was the only salmon-colored one at Trader Joe's) - the only change I made was to add the banana cut in half length-wise (skin on, removed it first thing in the morning.) Served on small King's Hawaiian savory butter rolls, with Sweet Restaurant Coleslaw from AR. Wish there were leftovers so I could have some for lunch today! ;)
By following the instructions to the letter, I ended up with the most delicious, succulent pulled pork that I have ever had the privilege of tasting!! This dish will be a summer staple. Thank you SO much for posting this recipe!! Update: This is one of the most requested meals that I make, especially in the summer. I've made it dozens of times since the initial review. If you want good results, do NOT substitute! I order my Alaea Hawaiian (red) Sea Salt from Amazon. It is not as salty as kosher salt, and gives a beautiful pink color to the meat. Also, don't substitute a less fatty cut of pork, or you'll end up with something dry and inedible. Use pork shoulder roast exclusively for this, and don't trim the fat -- it's necessary to keep your pig moist during cooking. You can always de-fat the drippings after it's cooked. RUB that sea salt into the meat, then rub it again as you apply the liquid smoke. I start this around midnight on low, fat-side up, then flip it early the next morning. Using the 6lb roast called for in the directions, I usually shred it at 12 hours, de-fat the broth, add the pork back in with a little more liquid smoke, and leave it on low for another hour or so. Stellar results, each and every time.
I have made this recipe many times and have gotten raves every time. Since I always make way too much, we use this to make other pork dishes too. Adding home-made bar-b-que sauce makes fantastic pulled pork for sandwiches. Tortilla chips and shredded cheese with some of the pork (put under the broiler to melt cheese) makes yummy "carnita" nachos. I also add diced red onions and cilantro to the nachos....fantastic. Plus this freezes like a dream!
So good! I didn't even use Hawaiian salt. I just rubbed the roast with kosher salt added one TBSP of liquid smoke and kept it on low for the full 20 hours. I think cooking it that long makes all the difference. Not sure if my crockpot is a bit too hot, but I didn't have any drippings and it started to get a bit toatsy on the bottom, so I just added some water every now and then to make sure nothing burned. I freeze the leftovers and thaw/reheat in the microwave (2-3 mins) in a bowl with a TBSP of water and cover with plastic wrap. You can't go wrong with this recipe!
My wife and I make this frequently. The only difference is that we put about a cup of water in the slow cooker. Also, with a bit of water it only takes around 8-10 hours, depending on size of butt and altitude. I'll try it without the water next time. We have done both boneless and bone-in and find the bone-in has more flavor. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Of course, the perfect complement to this recipe (and mandatory in my house) is poi??.
This recipe is good, but it didn't really taste like the kalua pig / pork that I had in Hawaii. It's missing a couple dimensions of flavor, although I am not 100% sure what that is...I know a lot recipes call for banana leaves, so I wonder if that's it? Anyway, the liquid smoked helped a little, but it wasn't a cureall. Don't get me wrong, the pork tasted good, but it needed "something." Also, I did not cook it for 16 to 20 hours...that would be waaaaaay overcooked and probably dry out the meat. I cooked it on high for 2 hours to get the juices going and then on low for 4 more hours and the meat was falling off the bone tender. (Yes, meat will dry out regardless of whether it's swimming in juices or not when it's overcooked...the meat will lose its ability to hold moisture and you'll have jerky!)
This recipe is how I make Kalua pig, too, and always to rave reviews. A couple hours before it's done, I add as much chopped cabbage as will fit in the slow cooker on top of the pork, and then serve it Hawaiian style with cabbage and pork over white sticky rice, and with Hawaiian macaroni salad on the side. Mmmmm!
Delicious and so very easy to put together! I've made it countless times. If you can get a hold of it, it's great made with pulehu seasoning from Hawaii. I've served the pork a number of ways, including as a filling for tacos (inspired by a place in Kona that serves kalua pork tacos). I usually put it in the slow cooker in the morning, and it's ready by dinner (by my estimate, about 8-10 hours on low, depending on when I remember to assemble it in the morning!)
This is awesome! Unfortunately I didn't have Hawaiian sea salt & had to substitute fleur de sel, a French sea salt. I've since ordered the Hawaiian salt & will be making massive quantities of this for our family reunion next year. This recipe is going to make me look like a star & I thank you for posting it:o)
This was very flavorful, moreso than I expected with only 3 ingredients! So easy to make. My only recommendation is to cut back on the salt by about half a tbsp (to start, may need more) only because the meat did come out a little too salty for me.
I don't care for pork, but I've used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and it turns out great. Kosher salt works just fine, also. Wonderful to eat with rice or use leftovers in burritos or tacos.
I've made Kalua pork in a slow oven before (wrapped in banana leaves), and it's always turned out spectacular. I was hoping this recipe would be at least as good. Not so. I lined the crockpot with banana leaves, wrapping the entire roast in leaves. Instead of the salt, I used soy sauce. I think the problem was the cooking time. The recipe calls for 16-20 hours. I turned if off at 15 hours, and it was WAY overdone and totally dried out with no flavor. If I try this again, I will check it at 10 to 12 hours.
This was AWESOME!! It is hard to believe that so few ingredients created such a flavorful meal. The only "mistake" I made was to pour the juice back over the meat when I stored it. While it kept the meat from drying out, the salt was reabsorbed and it became very salty the next day. Other than that, it was wonderful!
Really good and couldn't be easier. I used Hawaiian Red Sea Salt and skimmed the fat off the cooled "juice" like other reviewers - had plenty of liquid, BTW. After shredding & returning liquid to cooker and letting it go a couple of more hours, we thought it needed just a little "something". I added garlic, adobo seasoning and a dash of browning sauce. Definitely a keeper recipe.
This is by far the easiest and tastiest Kalua Pig recipe I have ever tried! It is a wonderful dish to share at potlucks and sports parties! I found the Red Hawaiian sea salt by Hawaii Kai to be one of the best! It is moist and flavorful. I purchased a bag of their Palm Island brand of sea salt at Whole Foods...try the black too it is wonderful. Their salt is better then whatever Trader Joes is selling now as it is not as moist and flavorful. Anyway, not sure how much difference it makes in the end result of the recipe, but I love good salt so I thought I would share! Loui
Hawaiian Salt has the best PR team ever-- because I can assure you there's not a bit of difference in this roast than when I use my regular salt. The Hawaiian Salt was $11.60 & took 3 trips to find it!!! Definitely NOT worth it, however, slow cooked pork roast is as wonderful as ever.
I am on Kauai and love kalua pork. This recipe tasted just like all the kalua pig I have enjoyed here. The simplicity of this reciped works. I used Wrights Hickory Smoke and that gave it the flavor I like the best. I have a Hawaiian liquid smoke but the taste is not the same. I also used a black Hawaiian Salt called Black Lava made here. Now I have had some REALLY salty kalua pig - almost inedilble. I did use less salt to cook it because you can always add more. Mine turned out perfectly served over unseasoned white rice. I also cooked it on high for 4 hours, turning it once after 2 hours, and then pulled it apart and returned it to the juice for the next hour on low. Thanks for a great, easy recipe!
Love this recipe. Will be making again soon. I used 1 T. of Kosher salt, didn't have Hawaiian salt.
This has become a favorite in my home. I much prefer it to the typical shredded pork smothered in barbecue sauce. The flavor of the meat is the star. For those in my family who do crave the sauce, I serve it on the side.
My husband's Grandmother is Hawaiian and his brother lives there. He swears this tastes like the traditional pig. I used Applewood liguid smoke and Hawaiian sea salt. It is a larger grain of salt and so you do not need as much. I cooked mine for 20 hours on low and it was fabulous. You can buy Hawaiian sea salts via Amazon, if you do not have a local resource market.
Amazing, Wonderful, Any adjective I could use wouldn't describe how wonderful this was. I cooked it overnight in my brand new crock pot and my guest raved about it. He took most of the leftovers home with him. I'll definitely make this again. BTW - I also put barbecue sauce on the table for use but it's more than delicious without it.
After reading all the positive results, I just knew I would be in the minority and this dish would fail for me. Boy, was I wrong! I used a 6lb bone-in roast, which looked very fatty to me, dropped it in, put in the smoke and salt, and viola! It was perfect, and almost all the fat had melted away. I made this dish once with Kosher salt and once with the Hawaiian Salt. Both times I salted the meat moderately at the beginning, after in the morning, I pulled a piece from the bottom for a taste test and salted it to taste. I skimmed some of the fat off the top of the crock pot, and pulled some of the solid fat out. I was even able to pull out the bone with no effort. When I got home that afternoon, it was perfectly seasoned. For those who don't know whether it's worth it to go and look for the Hawaiian salt, I can only say it tastes like sea salt- pure, mellow, and natural. It's a fine grain and very good on more than just your roast!
So good, I keep salivating whenever I see a large pork roast at the store... I want to make it again, and I still have some leftovers in the freezer from the last time! The pork is incredibly flavorful, considering how simple it is. No need for any sauce, IMO, although the kids added BBQ sauce. I was a little scared about the strong liquid smoke smell when I first rubbed it on, but turns into a mellow smokiness after the pork is cooked. BTW, if the roast doesn't fit in your crockpot, you can make it in the oven, with an oven bag or tightly covered/wrapped with foil. Bake at 325-ish (275 to 350 works) for a long time, 4 to 8 or more hours (the longer time with a lower temp and vice versa), until the internal temp is 195 and the meat falls off the bone. Shred and mix with juices. Fabulous!
WOW! Even without the Hawaiian sea salt (could not find it, so I used Mediterranean) it was fabulous! I've made it twice, and it's been a huge hit with even the most finicky eaters in the house.
The recipe as written yields an overcooked pork that is light on smoked flavor. I have a new crockpot that cooks the meat in less time and I now add a bit more liquid smoke.
Very easy to prep this pig! I didn't have the Hawaiian salt so I subbed French gray salt. Put this on around 9pm the night before and cooked it until 6 the next evening. Excellent with or without bbq sauce. I made Pao Doce bread to go with this. Will make again!! Thanks for a great recipe!
Made this as described - just added a sliced banana on top like some reviews mentioned because I had one handy. This was EXCELLENT - probably the best pork I've had. I used to fire up the smoker and make pulled pork a few times a year. This was better, easier, and completely foolproof. I'll be making this all the time now.
Excellent. I had a 3# pork shoulder blade roast that I had to halve to make it fit into my 4 qt slow cooker. The roast does break down and the liquid smoke does its job. It is truly a delicious recipe that requires little effort. It took 7-8 hrs for my smaller roast and I will be making it again.
This really doesn't need another review but I simply must put my two cents in. This is fabulous! I was skeptical about pork coming from a slow cooker tasting this good but it really does. I followed the recipe and cooked it for 14 hours. I will cut down on the salt a little next time. My husband raved over this and I will definitely be doing this one again and it will feed a crowd!
I'm from Hawaii and was craving kalua pig and cabbage. Found this dish and it it tastes like it came straight from Hawaii. I used a 4 lb pork shoulder. I couldn't find hawaiian sea salt at the grocery store and remembered that I had a hawaiian seasoning that my mom had brought up for me. It had sea salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, and alea salt. Rubbed that in as well as the liquid smoke flavoring. Threw it in the crockpot and cooked it on low for about 17 hrs. I did what another reviewer had said and put the sauce in the freezer and scraped the fat off the top. I shredded the pork, then put the sauce over it. Also cut up some cabbage and threw it in there too. I added a few more drizzles of the liquid smoke flavoring and and about 1/2 cup of water to keep it most. I put it on low for another hour and it came out sooo good!! I will make this again when I have another craving for kalua pig and cabbage. I serve it over rice.
So simple..and sooooo good. Everyone just kept making yummy noises. It was quiet that night.
I did this today. Last night, I pierced a bone-in pork shoulder roast, rubbed it with liquid smoke, then crusted it with the pink Hawaiian sea salt (coarse grind). I wrapped it in banana leaves (they were fresh and didn't need blanching), then tied the roast with twine. This morning I put it in the crock-pot, and cooked it on low for 12 hours. This was unbelievable!! It had an earthy flavor & slight saltiness that I have never before experienced. It was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth tender. We made mini-sandwiches with King's Hawaiian bread rolls & a little World Harbors Maui Mountain Teriyaki sauce. I also made some sushi rice, seasoned with rice wine vinegar & sugar. I've never been to Hawaii, but I've been cooking pork shoulder (butts) for 30 years. This was amazing!!! Thanks so much for this recipe. I was able to get the salt on Amazon--the local grocery carries banana leaves.
YUK. I grew up on Kalua Pig and we did not like this at all. WAY TOO MUCH SALT. I will try again just because I love Kalua Pig and cannot get the real stuff where I live but I will put a lot less salt and will rate recipe again. SORRY
There really isnt anything special to this recipe. I was actually quite disappointed on the flavor, the only thing that comes out at you is just the pork flavor. I guess once you have tried other pork recipes such as cuban roast pork, nothing else really compares. This was really dull. I will not be making this one again.
Yummy!! May cut down on liquid smoke next time..just a little salty, but so tender and succulent. Found hawaiian sea salt at World Market.