Kalua Pig in a Crockpot? You betcha!


Ok, so if you’ve been to a Lu‘au, you have most likely tried Kalua pork. In a traditional setting it takes days to prepare and requires a fire, lava rocks, banana stalks, chicken wire and a lot of other stuff you might not find in your local Whole Foods.

Normally done in an Imu (underground oven,) this main staple of Hawaii is a great tasting meal. But digging a hole in the back yard can often be difficult (and alarming to the neighbors) with 3 feet of snow on the ground.  However, don’t let that stop you from making this classic Hawaiian dish.  All you need is a crockpot, liquid smoke, 8 to 10 hours of time and some salt (rock if you can get it).

Here is one of our favorite recipes.  Serve it with some sticky rice and a Mai tai,  put some Brother Iz on Pandora (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) and you’ll be enjoying your own luau while the snow plow cleans your street. Let us know how it turns out (pictures please) and any suggestions you might have.  Enjoy!


  • 1 5 lb Pork Butt or Shoulder
  • 1 tbs liquid smoke
  • 2-3 tbs rock salt, regular salt can be used in a pinch (this is the hard part because it’s easy to over salt. We use it lightly and then add to taste after its done).



  1. Take the pork puncture it all over using a fork. Do it on all sides several times. This helps the flavor seep into the pork while it’s cooking
  2. Put it in the crock pot and rub the liquid smoke all over it.
  3. Rub the salt on the sides of the roast that are exposed.
  4. Add about a half an inch of water to the crock pot and set to the low setting, cooking for about 8 hours. You will know it’s done because you should be able to shred it easily.
  5. If you like cabbage (we do), add some (shredded) about a half an hour before serving and cook it in the juices.
  6. Serve with Sticky rice, Lomi lomi salmon and anything else that might remind you of Hawaii.
  7. Enjoy
Comments are closed.

What Readers Have to Say

“We just returned from Maui and Kauai last week. We spent a week at each island. We had a great time, thanks in a large part to your books. They were my bible. I was so amazed at the accuracy. eg… if you see surfers on the right at honoloa bay, you may as well go back. That is exactly what we did. On Kauai at one of the beaches, if you go during the week you likely have it to your self. We walked in and that is exactly what we had.. I especially love the aerial views of the accommodations… Thanks for helping us have a great first trip to Hawaii, and I look forward to more great trips by using your guides.”

- D. Larwood, Canada