This Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is tender, smokey and melt in your mouth perfection. Get that authentic Hawaiian Luau pork flavor at home with this super simple, 3 ingredient masterpiece.
Palm trees or no palm trees, you can be transported to your own little paradise with this moist delicious pork. Serve with Grilled Coconut Lime Pineapple, and either Hawaiian Fried Rice or Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, for a complete island experience.
Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork
With only 3 ingredients this is probably one of the easiest meals to make. When you taste this explosion of flavor and smokey goodness, you won’t believe it only has 3 ingredients. This is also known as Kalua pig or Luau Pork, but it’s all the same amazingly deliciousness. This will be such a huge hit you’ll want to keep this in your rotation of family favorites.
Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is the easy quick version of a Hawaiian staple for Lauas. In Hawaii a large pit is dug, wood is placed in the bottom and set on fire and rocks are put on top and around to hold in the heat. A whole pig is then salted and spiced and wrapped in damp leaves and placed on top of the slow burning fire and covered with dirt and left to roast all day. This method is not really realistic for all of us, but this slow cooker version is. Besides bringing forth the same super delicate and juicy pork, the only other thing these two methods have in common is the time. You’ll want to plan ahead because to get that divine tenderness you’ll want to cook at least 16 hours.
Kalua Pulled Pork Ingredients:
Although there are only 3 ingredients, using the right ingredients will ensure that authentic Hawaiian Pork flavor.
- Pork Butt Roast: Also called a Pork Shoulder roast you can get one with the bone or with out. Either works.
- Course Hawaiian Salt: Look for this in your specialty stores like Cost Plus World Market, Trader Joes, or you can order it from Amazon. You can also use the widely available Himalayan Salt if you can’t find it Hawaiian Salt.
- Liquid Smoke: If you are in a pinch Worcestershire Sauce can be used as a substitute but you have quite that smokey flavor, but still oh so tender.
How to Make Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork:
Super simple to make, but definitely need to plan ahead as this should be started the night before you’d like to indulge.
- Season: Place the pork in your slow cooker. Generously rub (yes rub it in the meat, think massaging meat) in the liquid smoke and salt. Add more if you have a bigger roast, less if it’s smaller, but be sure to season well.
- Cook: Cook on low for 16-20 hours. Yes you read that right.
- Shred: Remove the pork to a cutting board or bowl and shred. Remove the liquid from the slow cooker and separate the fat from the broth. Add in both the broth and pork back to the cooker to keep warm before serving.
Tips for Great Kalua Pulled Pork:
This is a really hard recipe to mess up but here are some tips to make sure it stands out above the rest.
- Pork: Pay attention to the size of your roast. If you get a roast larger than 6 pounds (8-12 pounds) you’ll want to increase both the salt and the liquid smoke. Too little can leave your pork tasteless. The amazing flavor comes from the salt and liquid smoke. For a larger roast increase the salt and liquid smoke by 1-2 teaspoons.
- Rinse and Trim: Rinse and pat your roast dry to ensure the flavor “sticks” to it. Trim your roast of large chunks of fat, and place fat side up in the slow cooker, the fat will baste the rest of the roast as it cooks.
- Pierce: Poke the roast with a fork all over before rubbing in the salt and liquid smoke to increase the flavor inside and out.
- Liquid Smoke: It is recommended by some Islanders to use Hickory Liquid Smoke for an authentic flavor, but Mesquite is just as good, it’s mostly about personal preference.
- Time: I know I’ve said it before, but truly the longer you can cook it the better. This will work if you start in the morning and let it cook all day, it just may not be quite as tender. But still amazing.
How to Serve and Store your Kalua Pulled Pork:
Pork Roasts usually produce a lot of meat, so there are endless possibilities. It’s also super easy to store and save for a rainy day.
- Serve: This juicy flavorful pork is great as a stand alone or serve over rice or noodles. Use in your favorite Mexican dish such as quesadillas, tacos, burritos or even on top of nachos. Make pulled pork sandwiches topped with coleslaw. Use on a flatbread with your favorite toppings.
- Store: Bring leftovers to room temperature and store in an airtight container with the juices in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Freeze leftovers in a freezer safe container or freezer ziploc bag sealed tightly for up to 3-5 months.
- Reheat: Thaw frozen leftovers in the fridge over night. Reheat all leftovers on the stop top in it’s liquid. Do not microwave. It’ll over cook the meat making it rubbery and possibly dry.
More Tempting Slow Cooker Pork Recipes:
Nothing is better than setting and forgetting dinner in the morning and coming home from a busy day to a meal almost done.
- Sweet Carolina Pulled Pork Sliders
- Slow Cooker Mississippi Pork Roast (To Die For!)
- Slow Cooker Skinny Pulled Pork Barbacoa
- Cafe Rio (Copycat) Sweet Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork
- 6 pound Pork Butt Roast
- 3 Tbsp Coarse Hawaiian sea salt or regular sea salt works great
- 3 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
- Buns for Sandwiches
In a slow cooker add the pork. Sprinkle salt on top of pork and pour the liquid smoke on top.
Cook on low for 16-20 hours. Turn the roast halfway through.
Once it is complete remove the roast and shred with a fork.
Originally Posted on May 22, 2013