Kalua pork is so tender, juicy and flavorful, and it is made with just 4 ingredients in the slow cooker. Oh my deliciousness!!
We had neighbors in Vancouver, where I grew up, that were Hawaiian, or Samoan, actually I can’t remember, but either way, they would have the whole neighborhood over and cook a giant pig in the ground.
It. Was. Delicious.
I’ve never had so much good food before, but the Hawaiian pulled pork was for sure my favorite. It was so tender, juicy and flavorful and they really didn’t season it much at all. At least not the way we think of seasoning things, which as Americans tends to be loads of seasoning, sauce, ingredients etc. Theirs was so simple and oh so delicious. So I created my own, in a slow cooker.
This pork really is wonderful and it happens to be one of the many recipes that I’ve made/tried with no intention of photographing it or using it on the site, and then it turned out so wonderful that I knew I had no choice but to make a whole new pork roast. Needless to say, we ate a lot of pork for two weeks. It was fantasterific.
Or at least our little C. thought so. She’s obsessed with pork. It’s her ultimate favorite food next to pancakes with the absolute best homemade syrup ever and strawberries, oh and garden fresh peas. I love that she loves the peas. Phew!
What Ingredients are in Kalua Pork?
As promised…only 4 ingredients needed:
- Pork butt/shoulder
- Liquid Smoke
- Olive Oil
- Pink Hawaiian Salt
That’s it! So simple. All the measurements can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.
What is Pink Hawaiian Salt?
Hawaiian pink salt is sea salt from Hawaii. It gets its pink color from Hawaiian red clay. The red clay gives a subtle flavor to the sea salt.
So, this pork really just has four ingredients, but the star or key ingredient is the pink Hawaiian salt. It’s actually not as hard as you would think to find. Multiple stores around here carry it, and we usually buy ours at Harmons.
How to Make Kalua Pork
Slow Cooker Method
Basically you stab the pork (I know, gettin’ a lil’ crazy), rub both sides with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Let the whole thing slow cook on low for 8 hours. I’m serious, don’t try to rush this. Shred after 7 hours and then place back in the slow cooker and cook for the remaining hour. That’s it. It’s amazing.
Prepare the pork butt the same way by stabbing it and rubbing with olive oil and then salt. Place in a baking dish and then cooking in a preheated oven fat side up for 12-15 hours. You want an internal temperature of 195-205 degrees. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 1 hour and then shred it.
Same prep as the other two methods and then place in a smoker set to 225 degrees. You’ll want to place it fat side up. Add a pan of water to the side of the pork or underneath the rack to help the pork keep its moisture.
How Long Will Pulled Pork Keep?
Leftover home-made pulled pork will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
It should be covered or placed in an airtight storage bag.
Can You Freeze Kalua Pork?
You can freeze pulled pork to be used at a later time.
Wrap well in plastic and foil, or place in a heavy duty freezer bag and freeze.
Pulled pork will keep for 6-8 months in the freezer.
What to Eat with Kalua Pork
I’m going to link you to exactly what you see in these photos because it is really the perfect spread!
And our macaroni salad is not in the photos, but it is perfect with this pork as well!
Sometimes it is best to just let the ingredients speak for themselves. That’s why this kalua pork recipe only has 4 ingredients. We let that pork sing on its own! You’re going to love the flavor and how easy it is to make!
More Pork Recipes to Die for:
- Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs
- Pork Carnitas
- Smoked Pulled Pork
- Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
- Smoked Ribs
- Pineapple Habanero Pork
Kalua Pulled Pork
- 3 lbs Boneless Pork butt/shoulder, bone in will require additional cooking time, up to 1 hour
- 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Pink Himalayan Salt
Slow Cooker Method
- Stab the pork on all sides a few times, 3-4 is good, and massage in the olive oil.
- Sprinkle each side with salt and place in a slow cooker with the liquid smoke for 8-10 hours, remove from the slow cooker and shred using two forks, place back in the slow cooker for 1 additional hour and enjoy.
Oven Method or Smoker method
- Place the oven on 225 and prepare as normal.
- Place the pork in a roasting pan and bake, fat side up for 12-15 hours. If in the smoker add a pan of water off to the side or under the rack to help retain moisture.
- Remove from oven to rest for 1 hour and then shred.
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