Kalua Pig in a Slow Cooker

Total Time
20hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 hrs

Adapted from a recipe by Kikuchan at allrecipes.com. I'm told this is the commonest way to make this, even in Hawaii. Do try to get the Hawaiian salt; it adds a subtle flavor that will be missing with plain sea salt. You can often find it at high-end specialty stores like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or Williams-Sonoma. Be sure to get a roast which has not been "injected with a salt solution" - it will make your dish terribly salty. If you use a smaller piece of meat, be sure to scale down the salt, the liquid smoke, and the cooking time!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Poke roast all over with carving fork. Rub thoroughly with salt and liquid smoke (wear disposable gloves or your hands will smell of smoke for days!). Place pork, bay leaf, garlic and water in slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on Low 16-20 hours, turning once. (You can also cook 3 hours on high then 7 hours on low if you need it to be done the same day.).
  3. About 3 hours before meat is done, skim off as much fat from juices as possible then remove bay leaf and garlic. Add cabbage. (If it doesn't all fit, just use as much as will fit - it will cook down.) Re-cover and continue cooking on low.
  4. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred, using two forks. Drain juices from pot into a large glass measuring cup. Put 1 1/2 cups of juices into a saucepan; return the rest of the juices to the slow cooker with the shredded meat and cabbage. Reduce slow cooker to Keep Warm.
  5. Bring juices in saucepan up to a boil. Drizzle in cornstarch slurry. Pour gravy into a sauceboat and serve alongside the meat. Serve with sticky rice, or with Hawaiian or Portuguese sweet rolls. You can offer barbecue sauce on the side, but you won't need it!
Most Helpful

4 5

This is a great and easy recipe. I did make a few modifications. I used the Pork Shoulder Country Style Bonless Ribs from Costco. I sprinkled the Hawaiian Salt on a cookie sheet and rolled the pork ribs in a single layer in the salt. Then drizzled on the liquid smoke and rolled the pork ribs around on the cookie sheet to get them coated in the liquid smoke. I did not make the gravy as this is not how my family is used to having Kalua Pig. Instead of having to pull the pork apart, just stir with a wooden spoon and the meat just starts shredding apart on it's own. I added the cabbage at the last hour. This just about tastes better than L&L's Drive-In.