Delicious,  Game Day,  Pork,  Sandwiches,  Smoker,  Tacos

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.


  • CapireKate

    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!

  • Georgie Girl

    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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