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Foodie Friday: Kalua Pork

If you’ve visited Hawaii or attended a luau, you may have tried the island version of pulled pork called “Kalua Pig.” Since the traditional Hawaiian way of making Kalua pig involves an entire boar, banana leaves, a deep hole, and a fire pit… it’s unlikely you will attempt to make it this way. However, there IS a very easy way to make your own delicious Kalua Pork.

After eating it several times at different gatherings when we lived in Hawaii (the food there is soooo delicious!) I finally combined advice from several local women about how they made it and now make it this way.


This ALWAYS turns out perfectly moist and seasoned..If you want to Americanize it a bit like my husband does, add some BBQ sauce and serve it on a bun. However, I recommend just eating it as is! It’s delicious!

Here you go! The perfect…

Kalua Pork

Here’s what you need: 

  • Large pork roast, 6-12 lbs. (may be labeled as shoulder, butt, Boston butt, picnic)–bone in or boneless. Look for lots of fat and marbling and leave it all on there.
  • Hawaiian sea salt, 1-2 Tablespoons (can substitute kosher salt if needed)
  • Liquid smoke, 1-2 Tablespoons

And that’s it! Seriously. Adjust the salt and liquid smoke according to the pork roast size.

Poke your roast all over with a large fork and then rub all sides with the sea salt. Place the roast either in a roasting pan or large crockpot. Pour liquid smoke over the roast.

Cover and cook either in a 300˚F oven OR on the low setting in your slow cooker, for about 8 hours with either method.

After about 8 hours, take out the roast and discard any large pieces of fat (the rest will melt into the meat). Shred and return the meat to its juices and let it simmer for about another 45 min. to an hour.

Kalua Pork is a great crowd-pleaser and makes a ton! Serve it with sticky white rice, Hawaiian mac salad, and a side of grilled fresh pineapple.

And it’s even better as leftovers. I hope you’ll try this delicious, easy dish!


It’s even better with real sea salt!


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Hi, I'm Jen!

As a military spouse of three decades and now the mom of an active duty son, my hope is to support you in your own military life. You’ll find help for your military marriage, deployments, PCS moves, and more!