Go Back
Kalua pork close up

Oven (or crockpot) kalua pork

A simple but excellent version of the classic Hawaiian kalua pork served at luaus.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Pork shoulder Boston butt or boneless shoulder
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Mesquite flavor liquid smoke Hickory is ok


  • Put pork shoulder in a crock pot and set to low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours. Or, put in a dutch oven or similar covered pot and put into a 275 degree oven for 4 hours.
  • When finished, save the cooking liquid. Skim off the fat (and save for cooking!). Reserve the juices.
  • Remove bones and cartilage from the shoulder and pull with forks until shredded.
  • Add the liquid smoke, 1/2 the salt and a cup of the reserved juices to the pork. Continue adding the cooking liquid until the meat will not absorb any more. If it absorbs all of it, add hot water until it cannot absorb any more. Continue adding salt until it tastes on the edge of too salty.


This recipe seems too simple to taste authentic, but it gets surprisingly close to the kalua pork served at Hawaiian luaus. The authentic version is actually quite simple and based primarily on smoke and salt flavors.