This Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is probably one of the simplest recipes we’ve shared here on A Family Feast! (And just to clarify…Kalua is a Hawaiian cooking method. Please don’t mistakenly think we’re talking about the coffee liquor called Kahlua!)
Our Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is a home version of the kalua pork typically cooked in fire pits in Hawaii. There, pork (and even sometimes an entire pig!) are wrapped in banana leaves with Hawaiian sea salt and cooked over hot rocks all day long. Once the meat it done cooking, it is shredded and then served in a variety of ways. The pork comes out tender with a delicious salty and smoky flavor.
For our version, we placed a pork butt roast in a slow cooker with black or red Hawaiian sea salt (more on that ingredient below in the recipe notes) and liquid smoke – a seasoning liquid you can typically find in the spice aisle at your local supermarket. If you can find banana leaves (sometimes found at specialty or Asian markets and online) you could also wrap those around the pork before placing it in the slow cooker – see our note about this in the recipe as well.
In the slow cooker, this Kalua Pulled Pork takes about 14 hours on a low slow-cooker setting. But the low and slow cooking process is worth it – more or less set it and forget it – just turning once midway through while it cooks! The pork comes out super tender and moist, with a ton of flavor!
You can use this Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork in lots of different recipes – mixed with barbecue sauce and eaten as a sandwich, in tacos, on pizza, served over rice with vegetables, or mixed with some sautéed cabbage and eaten right out of the bowl. The flavor is salty, smoky and delicious!Print
Note: Black and red Hawaiian sea salts are harvested on a remote Hawaiian island and contains 84% sodium and 16% other naturally-occurring minerals. Both are available in specialty markets or on line and both have a very unique taste. One other note: Banana leaves are traditionally used to wrap the pork before it is cooked in a pit, and you certainly can buy them online or in specialty markets. Some say that they enhance the flavor; however, we’ve tried this recipe both ways and we couldn’t taste the difference. We feel the banana leaves are not needed when cooking this recipe in a slow cooker. (If you are, however, cooking this in a fire pit, the banana leaves likely help keep the pork moist.)
- Fourteen hours before serving, pierce pork roast all over with a knife or fork. Rub liquid smoke over the roast. Next, evenly sprinkle the sea salt over the roast. Cover and set the slow cooker timer to low. Cook for seven hours, flip and cook for seven more.
- Once done, shred meat with two forks.
- Separate fat from liquid and pour a little liquid over meat to moisten. (Use sparingly – the liquid is salty!)
- Serve in your favorite recipes.
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