4 ingredients – that’s all you need to make this delicious Hawaiian entrée.
Kalua means “to bake in a ground oven.” Since most of us don’t plan on digging up our backyards and bountiful gardens this summer, the Test Kitchen improvised using the trusty slow cooker. Low and slow is the name of the game when cooking kalua pork (or kalua pig, as it’s also called), and the slow cooker allows you to do just that.
Coat your pork shoulder with salt. We used red Hawaiian sea salt, but you could use Himalayan sea salt or regular sea salt as a substitute. Add pork to a large Dutch oven and brown it on all sides before adding it to the slow cooker crock along with liquid smoke.
Cook on LOW about 8 hours or until pork is cooked through and shreds easily – like we said, low and slow.
When the pork is finished cooking (slowly but surely), shred it and discard the bone. The liquid smoke, generous coating of salt, and time help transform a simple pork shoulder into a briney, melt-in-your mouth dish.
Serve slow cooker Kalua pork with grilled pineapple slices, as a building block for Hawaiian tacos, or with classic island sides like macaroni salad and rice for a take on a Hawaiian-style plate lunch (a Hawaiian meal similar to the meat-and-threes of the South). Another simple, slow cooker recipe to add to your summer luau menu.
The Stay or Go® 6 Quart Slow Cooker‘s clip-tight sealed lid locks onto slow cooker to help prevent messy spills