Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

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Slow Cooker Kalua Pork takes just three ingredients (no liquid smoke!) to make the most tender, delicious Hawaiian pork outside the islands!

Serve this delicious Kalua Pork with Easy Macaroni Salad, Steamed Rice and Kalbi Ribs for the perfect Hawaiian BBQ plate!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

SLOW COOKER KALUA PORK

Three ingredients, 24 hands-off hours and you have a deliciously crispy, soft, tender Hawaiian Luau Pork that will make you wonder why you every made pork shoulder any other way before! You may have noticed that I have an affinity for cooking meat in my slow cooker.

This Kalua Pork is the grand daddy to them all. This recipe was the first in my “no liquids added” journey and even though we make the Slow Cooker Crisp and Juicy Chicken (the most popular crispy slow cooker meat recipe on the site) the most often, this one is our hands down favorite!

I’m going to go ahead and input this into a recipe for you guys, but I almost feel ridiculous for calling it that since it is so few ingredients and just one actual step of cooking. One important note though, make sure your pork is at least 5-6 pounds. If it is smaller, cook for half the time.

Is pork not your thing? Prefer Turkey? Try my Slow Cooker Turkey Thighs or Slow Cooker Turkey Breast. You can also make a whole Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Meal using turkey thighs or legs. If you are open to all three and you are wondering which one to try first? THIS IS THE ONE!

How to Make Kalua Pork:

First find a good large pork shoulder (this cut is sometimes also referred to as a pork butt). I prefer the bone in variety, cooking bone in always adds significantly more flavor.
Make sure you put it in the slow cooker fattier side up. Cover with a liberal amount of Hawaiian/Himalayan Salt. I used a tablespoon on the bottom side and a tablespoon on top. Don’t worry about the salt, a lot of it will stay behind in our liquid, probably about 75% of it.

Add about a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the top of the roast. Cover, cook on low for 24 hours. Now stand back and admire your amazing meal you are in store for.  Wondering what the inside looks like? Looking for a crispy crust? Note, I do scrape off the entire fat cap, but there is still about 30-40% of the exterior that is deliciously crisp. Worried 24 hours in the slow cooker would mean dry meat?

Raw Kalua Pork

Serving Kalua Pork Later?

If you aren’t going to be eating it right away, try and remove it in one piece after it cools and store in a pot with the cooking liquid. Heat gently in a 300 degree oven. Discard fatty liquid before serving.

More delicious Hawaiian Recipes:

Kalua Pork Collage

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Worcestershire Sauce vs. Liquid Smoke:

If you’re curious why I am using Worcestershire here instead of liquid smoke (article about it in Wikipedia) it is because I’m not a fan of liquid smoke as an ingredient in food. While there is debate about it’s safety (which I won’t wade into because hey we all eat processed foods from time to time!) I find that the substitute does a great job and means one less item you have to buy.

If you prefer an authentically smoky flavor you can also drape bacon over the pork since it’s a smoked product.

Kalua Pig in Slow Cooker

How to make easy BBQ Pulled Pork instead:

We also make pork for Pulled Pork sandwiches this way minus the Worcestershire sauce. Toss with Tony Roma’s Original BBQ Sauce.

Slow Cooker Chimichurri Pork:

Even more addicting, instead of bbq sauce try adding 1/4 cup of chopped garlic to the pork instead of the Worcestershire sauce. When cooked, toss it in some Chimichurri Sauce and serve it in a Potato bun.

Tools Used in the making of this Slow Cooker Kalua Pork:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. For larger roasts I also brown the meat in the insert and not lose a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.

Shredded Hawaiian Kalua Pork

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Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

4.91 from 11 votes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 day
  • Total Time: 1 day 5 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork takes just three ingredients (no liquid smoke!) to make the most tender, delicious Hawaiian pork outside the islands!

Ingredients

  • 6 pound pork shoulder , bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons pink salt , Hawaiian or Himalayan (kosher salt is ok too)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Put pork in the slow cooker, fattier side up.
  2. Season with salt all over then add the Worcestershire sauce.

  3. Cover and cook on low for 24 hours (don't add any water).

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 servings, Amount per serving: 205 calories, Calories: 205g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 1281mg, Potassium: 483mg, Vitamin A: 10g, Vitamin C: 1.3g, Calcium: 21g, Iron: 1.8g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: Kalua Pork, Slow Cooker Kalua Pork
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Kalua Pork in a slow cooker

Three ingredients, 24 hands-off hours and you have a deliciously crispy, soft, tender Hawaiian Luau Pork that will make you wonder why you every made pork shoulder any other way before!

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

Categories:

Main Course Pork Recipes Slow Cooker Recipes

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Comments

  1. I was thinking of adding Bragg’s liquid amino to the recipe. I find it has a clean and smokey flavor. Would you use a 1/2 tbsp of both the Worcestershire and Liquid Amino, or 1 tbsp of each?

    Also, to clarify, the Himalayan salt is fine? And someone mentioned using garlic?

    1. I would start with going 1/2 and 1/2 instead introducing another assertive flavor in full. And yes, Himalayan salt is fine. It cook with Kosher but it will work in a pinch.

  2. HELP!!! At Costco today I saw a really special sale (and NOT “old” meat) for a 12.68 pound Boneless Pork Shoulder (vacuum sealed) which I grabbed because I remembered I wanted to make this recipe but DIDN’T remember it said “bone in” 🙁

    I’d planned to cut it in half and freeze one half and stick it in my slow cooker immediately.

    Now what do I do?? (I’ve never been a great cook and always wished I was…and your recipe looked like it would be so easy.)

    I hope you can answer before I have to go to the store tomorrow.

  3. Sounds delicious and will definitely try! Just a clarification on the cuts of meat. The pork butt actually sit on top of the pork shoulder. If your cut is rectangular it is most likely a pork butt and if it is triangular, it is most likely a pork shoulder. However, both cuts would work perfectly in this recipe. 🙂

  4. As a senior native Hawaiian with years of cooking pua’a kalua, I would like to make a few comments and suggestions. Pua’a kalua is not a “crispy” dish except for where contact is with the hot rocks placed inside! Basically it is a “steamed roast”. Before the advent of the slow-cooker we used the regular oven or better, an electric roaster. My recipe uses the roaster, seasoning the port butt/shoulder with “cheaper” kosher salt (coarse), and drizzling a mix of 1/2 tsp. (hickory only) liquid smoke in 2 cups of water over the whole roast in the pan. THEN, drape several layers of green banana leaves (available at Mexican grocers and even others) and finally a cap of foil to help keep a steaming effect. Roast at 350-400 degrees F for 3-3.5 hours. I have done as much as 100+ lbs. of butts at a time this way. The banana leaves will char and leave tiny bits (reminder of the in-ground way). Lift meat out of pan, cut and shred. Skim oil off the pan drippings and add as much of the drippings back into the shredded pork for a moist meal. I let the pork cool down to lukewarm then bag in quart Ziploc bags for the freezer.

  5. This is a must for anybody who loves tender juicy pork.

    I was cautious just like everybody when seeing how simple this is and how long the pork cooks. I timed my crock-pot on Sunday to finish about when I got home from work yesterday. The smallest pork shoulder(Boston Butt, not sure why a shoulder is called a butt) was 6.5 lbs, but it was amazing. It was sooo tender it fell apart in the crock-pot. I shredded mine after removing what fat didn’t melt in the 24 hours of cooking.

  6. Can this be cooked in a slow cooker, I don’t have the time to sit an watch it because I have a part time job, and the slow cooker is a miracle!!!

  7. Made this recipe and OH MY how fantastic. My hubby said he believed it was the best pulled pork he has ever had! And we went to a luau in Maui in September! 5 stars definitely. Note that I used coarser pink salt , I could not tell if it needed to be ground or coarse from the printed recipe. But I see here as I have this cooking for the second time, that your picture says fine pink salt. So I will cut back and try fine salt next time, I will be making this recipe forever! Want to try adding the garlic too sometime.
    Thank you

  8. This in in the slow cooker now…16 hours into the cook. I had to sneak a taste….OMG this is so dedelicious. I made homemade Hawaiian rolls to go with it and am making the macaroni salad recipe from this site. Yummmmm.

  9. I have never been a fan of Worcestershire sauce, because in Hawaii where I’m from, we use Aloha Shoyu. Can I use aloha “soyu” (as we call it), or just cook it plain without any sauce? Because, we mix Hawaiian salt with Wrights Liquid smoke, to make our pork taste like it was cooked in the pit (Imu). Let me know, thanks. Kona

    1. I’m sure Worcestershire is fine, but Kona is on point. True Hawaiian kine Kalua pork is liquid smoke and Hawaiian salt. I use coarse Hawaiian Salt blackened with small kine kiave wood charcoal. So ono broke da mouf!

  10. I frequent this post at least every time I cook a pork butt in the slow cooker. I was worried I didn’t have worceshtershire sauce but read its preferred when making bbq pulled pork sandwiches. Score!

  11. I love kalua pork and am excited to try this recipe! What size slow-cooker do you use to roast the pork? I’m worried the pork shoulder may not fit my 4-6 quart slow-cooker. Thanks!

    1. I have a 6 qt slow cooker, the standard oval size. You’d be surprised how well it can fit. Hope you love it!

    1. Yes! I’ve used pink, grey, kosher and they are all great. Sea Salt is great too, the only one I would caution against is regular table salt. Hope you love it!

  12. I was searching something easy but something super tasty… I ran into your blog site through pinterest!!
    To be honest, only 3 ingredients and walk away was WAY TO EASY and since I didn’t know Luau Pork, I was little suspicious… HOWEVER, I’m just sooooo glad to try!!!! I made coconut rice to go with, too!!!! Every single bite was screaming YUMMY!!!! My husband and all of my 3 kids had a happy Sunday dinner!!!! AND it doesn’t end YET!!!! There was left over of meat and I made your Toni Roma’s inspired BBQ sauce (in a pot)!!! YES!!! Tonight dinner was another hit for my family!!!! I really love your method of using crockpot to create both crispiness and moistured & tendered final meat!!!!! Thank you so much for my first try to be such great 2 dinners!! I’m very looking forward your recipes!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    1. You made my day! Thank you so much for coming back and telling me you enjoyed the recipes! And oh my goodness you chose three of our favorites. That bbq sauce is just too good for words! Thank YOU!

    1. Thanks Crystal. I actually made the recipe again with a pork shoulder arm with skin on and figured out how to get crispy skin. That recipe update will be coming soon 🙂

  13. Haha, we actually made Hawaiian pulled pork for a luau last night! We put it on a Hawaiian bun with a pineapple ring =) Yours looks so delicious! We didn’t leave ours in for nearly that long.

    1. Thanks Dee! I love both, probably love sea salt a bit more but it is fun to play with new flavors and ingredients 🙂

  14. My son and husband recently visited hawaii for the first time and are obsessed with all things from the islands. I am going to make this for them for Sunday dinner and make them SO Happy!! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Awesome!! I hope it takes him back! If you want the authentic feel serve it up with sticky white rice and macaroni salad!

  15. This looks delicious! I love pork and I’m always looking for different recipes. I’ll have to try these one out soon. Hopefully my daughters will eat it too.

      1. Help! I’m cooking this now, followed the recipe exactly by not adding any liquid. The meat has produced so much liquid it looks like it’s swimming in the crock pot. I’m 12 hours in. Should I discard any of the liquid for the second half of the cooking time? I fear no crispy pork here. Thank you.

        1. I would leave the liquid in, your pork probably had more saline but that’s okay. If it isn’t as crispy as you like by the end, before serving, put it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp it up without drying it out.

  16. Each time I come to your blog I get hungry! I love roast pork, and I have so many great memories of roasting the entire pig on our farm in Puerto Rico. I have never heard of Pink Salt or thought of cooking the pork in the slow cooker. I will have to try that the next time we make it, which is often! Thanks again for a great recipe!