Kalua Pig in a Slow Cooker

"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!"
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
20hrs 20mins




  • 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.
  • 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.).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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  1. 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.


I'm a 48 y/o gay Jewish man in the suburbs immediately north of New York City. I'm a general internist, practicing and teaching at a medical college north of NYC. I also earned a Masters in Public Health degree in 2013. After a Walt Disney World trip in Dec 2006 where I had to rent an electric scooter because I couldn't manage the walking, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery, which was done Feb 28, 2007. I lost 160 lbs (though I've gained back about 60 of that since). I can't eat as much as I used to, so I want every bite to be extra good!
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