Kalua Pig




Introduction: Kalua Pig

This is a delicious and easy Hawaiian classic.

It is an old family recipe that has feed thousands of people. This pork is versatile and easy to store and reheat. Great for meal prep, and quick delicious eating.

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Step 1: Step 1: Get What You Need

For this recipe you need:

  • A large oven safe pan and a knife
  • An oven for cooking
  • 8 hours (total cooking time)
  • 12-15 lbs of Pork Shoulder, boneless or bone-in (should be 2 pieces of meat ~6-7 pounds each)
  • 3 tablespoons of coarse sea salt
  • Liquid smoke (about 10-15 drops)
  • Cabbage or Hawaiian Ti leaf (Ti leaf will make for a more authentic flavoring, but can be difficult to find in the mainland)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • zip-lock bags or other resealable containers to store leftovers (it is not Hawaiian food if there isn't leftovers!)

Step 2: Step 2: Unwrap and Wash

  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Make sure you have a clean pan large ready to hold the pork
  • Remove the pork from its wrapping, and rinse in warm water. Brush your hand around the pork removing any slime
  • Place the (two) rinsed pieces of pork in the pan (do not worry about drying it)
  • Space evenly from each other and the walls

Step 3: Step 3: Cut the Pork

  • Take a sharp kitchen knife, and make three evenly spaced cuts.
  • You should aim for 3/4th the depth of the meat.
  • Insert your fingers and spread the meat open
  • If your pork has bone try to cut around. If that doesn't work, just cut to the depth of the bone

Step 4: Step 4: Add Salt

  • Insert the salt evenly into the cut meat
  • try to keep the salt inside the opened cuts and not on the outside of the meat (I was sloppy here)

Step 5: Step 5: Fill With Water

  • Now that the meat is cut and salted, fill the pan with 1-1.5 inches of water.
  • The water will keep the meat moist, and is used to add back flavor when the cooking is finished

Step 6: Step 6: Add Liquid Smoke

  • Once the water is in, add the 10-15 drops of your favorite liquid smoke.
  • Place droplets evenly into the water. (I like it less smoky and prefer 10 drops)

Step 7: Step 7: Cover the Pork (optional)

You can now cook the pork and it will be delicious.

That said, I love to add cabbage for extra flavor.

  • Take the outer leaves of a cabbage and wash well
  • Place the leaves all over the prepared pork
    • For richly flavored meat and cabbage, use 2-3 layers of cabbage leaves
    • If you aren't a fan of cabbage, just 1 or 2 layers will add sufficient flavor

Step 8: Step 8: Foil the Pan

  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil
  • Make 3 thin slices in the foil allowing small amounts of steam to escape

Step 9: Step 9: Heat in Oven

  • Place the pork into the middle of the oven (heated to 350F)
  • close the door, set the timer for 7 hours and 30 minutes
    • if you like the meat a bit more firm, 7 hours is recommended

* careful, the oven is hot and the pan is heavy

Step 10: Step 10: 'Shredding' the Pork

  • When meat is finished cooking, remove the pan from the oven and take off foil
    • Keep the pan level to avoid spilling the hot juices
  • Remove the extra cabbage (and eat if desired)
  • Lift meat out of juices and place onto a cookie sheet
  • Gently press down on the meat to shred

Step 11: Step 11: Finishing Touches

  • Once meat is shredded, taste it
  • Using a ladle, scoop juices onto the meat until it just salty enough to enjoy (the meat gets more salty as it cools)
  • You are now done and the meat is ready to eat! Or...
  • Allow the meat to cool to store for later! (This is a great meal for weekly *food prep or large gatherings/ events)

* Be creative with this pork and try adding spices or sauces!


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    That looks delicious. I might have to try this for a cookout this summer.