Instant Pot Kalua Pork

Kalua Pork is a dish that originates from Hawaii. It is traditionally made in an imu, which is a underground oven. The pork is cooked slowly for several hours until it is fall-apart tender.

In recent years, the Instant Pot has become a popular kitchen tool because it can do the same things as many other tools, including a slow cooker. This makes it the perfect appliance for making Kalua pork.

In this blog post, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to make Instant Pot Kalua Pork. We will also share some tips on how to make this dish even more flavorful. So if you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-make Instant Pot recipe, then this is the perfect blog post for you!

Instant pot Kalua Pig that is incredibly juicy and tender and has the greatest smokey Hawaiian taste. With only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of preparation, it’s really simple to create!

Pork is the ideal meat for either slow or pressure cooking. It has a tonne of flavor and becomes quite tender. If I’m not preparing this Hawaiian variation, I’m usually preparing my slow-cooked carnitas, BBQ pulled pork, or tacos with sweet pork. They’re all very tasty!

What is Kalua Pork?

A popular Hawaiian meal called kalua pork, also known as a kalua pig or luau pork is eaten at luaus and other large feasts. In an “imu,” or underground oven, a whole pig is smoked with sea salt, banana leaves, and koa wood. It smokes for at least eight hours, producing incredibly juicy, delicate meat with a mouthwatering smoky, salty flavor.

This recipe for Kalua Pork is a quick way to imitate the genuine Hawaiian dish. Learning how to cook the meat in the Instant Pot (or cooking it slowly in the crockpot) will ensure that it turns out perfectly juicy and is so tender that it will melt in your mouth. The same smokey flavor is also present and may be readily achieved by stirring in a teaspoon of liquid smoke. There’s no need to wood smoke the grill or oven! The ideal technique to give a great smoky flavor without the hassle is by using liquid smoke.

Type of pork

Buy pork shoulder butt roast, please. The butt roast is a little fattier and ideal for slow or pressure cooking. When shredding, it becomes incredibly sensitive and practically falls apart. When I make this recipe, I normally use a roast that weighs between 4 and 5 pounds.

Cooking tips

  • Instant pot or slow cooker. The fact that this recipe can be prepared using either a slow cooker or an instant pot is its best feature. It depends on preference because both options taste fantastic. The instant pot approach is much quicker if you’re in a rush. Or just throw everything into the crockpot in the morning for a simple, hassle-free dinner.
  • Hawaiian sea salt. This is the typical salt that is used with a kalua pig. It is slightly saltier than ordinary salt and has a reddish hue. It ought to be available at the majority of supermarkets.
  • Pierce with a fork. Make sure to stab the meat with a fork a few times before cooking it. The fork’s holes aid in distributing the salt and smoke’s taste throughout the meat.
  • Shredding. Use two forks to shred the cooked pork when it has finished cooking. It should be incredibly simple to shred due to how juicy and soft it is. The meat needs to simmer longer if it still looks a little difficult to shred.
  • Let sit. Place the meat back in the saucepan with the juices after shredding it, and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. It gains more flavor as a result of this extra process.

Ways to serve kalua pork

The versatility of the meat in this recipe is one of my favorites. We generally have enough for 2 dinners because it yields a lot. Enjoy it the first night with classic sides like cabbage and rice, and the next day, use the leftovers to make tacos, barbecue nachos, pork quesadillas, or sliders. There are countless options for serving it!

  • Classic: with coconut rice and steamed cabbage
  • Sliders: Along with creamy coleslaw on Hawaiian buns
  • Tacos: With pickled onions and pineapple salsa within a flour tortilla.
  • Quesadilla: Two crisp tortillas, melted cheese, and BBQ sauce within.
  • Nachos: With melty cheese and your preferred toppings over tortilla chips
  • Salad: Grilled corn, sliced avocado, and pineapple over lettuce

Freezing + reheating

This dish is excellent as a freezer dinner! It has come to my rescue on numerous hectic times when I needed food quickly. Simply place the meat in a zip-top freezer bag and make sure all of the air is squeezed out before freezing. For up to three months, keep it in the freezer. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. When reheating, I like to warm it on a skillet. It tastes wonderful and gets a touch crunchy.

More easy recipes:

  • Haystacks in Hawaii
  • Crockpot barbecued chicken
  • Pork tenderloin roasted 
  • Slow cooker Island meatballs
  • Grilled pork sandwich
Instant Pot Kalua Pork

Instant Pot Kalua Pork

Instant pot kalua pig that is incredibly juicy and tender and has the greatest smokey Hawaiian taste. With only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of preparation, it’s really simple to create!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 10
Calories 164 kcal


  • Ingredients
  • 4-5 pound pork shoulder butt roast
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons Hawaiian sea salt


  • After washing, pat the pork dry. Pierce with a fork, then divide into 4 pieces and add to the instant pot.
  • In the instant pot, add 1 cup of water. Salt should be sprinkled on top once liquid smoke has been poured over it. Set the pressure to high and place the cover on top. Cook for 60 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of natural gradual release.
  • With two forks, remove and shred the pork. Eliminate any extra fat. When ready to serve, place back in the pot and allow it sit in the juices for 15 minutes. Serve with rice, tortillas, sliders, salad, or over tortillas.


Slow cooker version: Place inside the crock pot. Several times pierce the meat. Add a half cup of water. Salt should be sprinkled on top once liquid smoke has been poured over it. Cook for 12 to 14 hours on low, or until it shreds easily. Don’t open the lid before the 12-hour mark. To make it delicate, you must use steam.
Freezer instructions: Pork should be added to a zip-top freezer bag before storing in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
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