Hawaiian Style Kalua Pig

Back in the late 1990’s I was invited to attend a wedding on the island of Maui. I had no hesitation when I was invited, and to be honest, I had no expectations other than ‘having fun in the sun’.  I learned many things while being on the island, one of which there are a lot of tourists on that island, and the second is that the luau is a must thing to attend while on the island.  Yes, you will be surrounded by happy tourists, but you will also taste some of the best pork you might ever taste.

Hawaiian Style Kalua Pig

It is often referred to as kalua pig. A pig which is cooked in an underground oven known as an imu, and often covered with hot rocks, and covered in burlap and leaves, along with very hot rocks, and cooked underground. It is something rather amazing.

But lets be honest, we cannot achieve this at home, but what we can do, is achieve a nice smoked flavored pork shoulder that will always bring back memories of your favorite Hawaiian island.  Typically this dish is cooked with ti leaves, however, I preferred not to go this route and simply slow cook the pork, which was rubbed with salt and some liquid smoke.


  • Roughly 4 lbs of pork shoulder, fat trimmed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 cup of water

Begin by either forking your pork shoulder, making marks throughout the entire pork shoulder, or use a knife and score the shoulder. Rub the entire pork with the kosher salt and liquid smoke.

Place in your slow cooker, add the water, and either on low for eight hours, or on a higher setting for nearly four to five hours. Use two forks, and begin to flake away the pork, as it should be very tender and simply fall apart, or be really easy to shred.

Eat alone, place in a burrito, taco, or serve with your favorite sides.

Simple, easy, and delicious, this is sure to please. Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

2 thoughts to “Hawaiian Style Kalua Pig”

  1. what!?! no kalua alcohol? I saw this post and actually though, “Yum! Chocolate Pig!!” LOL. Oh, well – a girl can dream. I actually had kaluah infused chicken a few years ago and it was hands down one of the best things I’ve ever eaten and I’ve never been able to find that recipe since.

    This recipe looks pretty good though, so I’ll have to try it! Thanks!

  2. I’ve had this recipe for years–our grand daughter married a boy who’s grandmother is Hawaiian. I got it from a friend here in Hawaii and my husband would NOT let me try it. Said it can’t possibly taste right.

    Last week our neighbor did a pig in an imu and share some. Then I asked my husband when my niece in TX tried the same recipe and fell in love with it…so I fixed this yesterday, and my husband is convinced!! HE LOVED IT…

    Thanks for posting this, I urge other naysayers to try it!

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