Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig : A Taste of Hawaii at Home

Transport your taste buds to the Hawaiian islands with this simple and flavorful Kalua Pig recipe, shared by our Hawaiian friend. Despite being miles away from the tropical paradise, your slow cooker brings the soulful flavors of an imu, the traditional underground oven, right to your kitchen. With just three ingredients, this dish is not only easy to make but also versatile enough to be a star on its own or a delightful addition to various meals.


  • 5 pounds pork shoulder, boneless
  • 1 tablespoon Hawaiian Red Salt (or kosher salt as an alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig


  1. Prepare the Pork:
    • Use a fork or a sharp knife to make holes all over the pork, allowing the flavors to penetrate deeply.
  2. Season the Pork:
    • Rub the pork shoulder evenly with the Hawaiian Red Salt (or kosher salt). Ensure that it is well-covered with the salt.
  3. Infuse the Smoky Flavor:
    • Drizzle liquid smoke over the salted pork in the slow cooker, distributing it evenly.
  4. Slow Cook to Perfection:
    • Place the lid on the slow cooker and set it to low heat for a patience-testing 16 hours. The slow cooking process is crucial for achieving the desired tenderness and flavor.
  5. Shred the Pork:
    • Once the cooking time is up, the pork should be exceptionally soft. Use two forks to shred the meat. If desired, remove any excess fat.
  6. Optional Crispy Finish:
    • For a crispier texture, you can place the shredded pork on a baking sheet and broil it for a short time before serving.

Changes and Tips:

  • Salt Alternative: If Hawaiian Red Salt is unavailable, kosher salt can be used as a suitable replacement. Adjust the quantity according to your taste preferences.
  • Banana Leaf Addition: Some recipes suggest placing a banana leaf over the pork before cooking for a mild, earthy taste. While optional, it can be explored for added authenticity.
  • Savor the Simplicity: While the shredded pork pairs well with various sauces, consider trying it in its natural state first to appreciate the delicate balance of smoke and salt.
  • Patience is Key: Avoid the temptation to speed up the process by setting the cooker to high heat. Slow cooking is essential for the authentic flavors of Kalua Pig.
  • Freezing Option: This pork freezes well, making it an excellent make-ahead dish. Store in airtight containers and thaw in the fridge for a quick and satisfying meal.

Indulge in the rich and smoky flavors of Slow Cooker Kalua Pig—a dish that captures the essence of Hawaiian cuisine with minimal effort. Mahalo!

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