How to Cook the Best Kalua Pork at Home

Today’s Carlienne Cooks recipe is an easy one! It’s one of the simplest ways you can bring a taste of Hawaii to your home. One of the biggest things we can recommend our readers is that if they ever get to travel to the islands to try and find a place that serves traditional kalua pork because it is amazing and is quite different from the recipes you find online including this one. We’re not saying the recipe we are about to share is bad its just different but this is definitely the home cooks (professionals use these methods as well!) adaptation to a traditional Hawaiian dish that is cooked underground.

Kalua pork is very versatile and even though it’s great on its own, it can be a star protein in any dish from a Hawaiian – Mexican fusion of tacos, burritos or ‘dillas to American classics like burgers/sliders. The sky is the limit to what you can do with kalua pork! Let’s get into this recipe!

Kalau Pork in the Oven


  • Roasting pan
  • 2 Forks
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Knife
  • Medium sized heat proof container for juices


  • 5-5.5lb Boneless Pork Butt
  • 1/8 cup Hawaiian Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. First score your pork butt on both sides, this will let the salt and smoke get into the meat much easier.
    • Optional: You want a really fatty butt, but if you are more health conscious and don’t want to go too overboard with your cheat meal then you can trim some out.
  3. Pour half the Hawaiian salt and liquid smoke on one side and massage the roast, flip it over and pour the rest of the salt and smoke and continue to massage the butt through and through.
  4. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 5 hours.
  5. When done, take it out and pour all the juices from the pan into your medium-sized container.
    • Pro Tip: The juices hold a lot of the sodium in this dish and we separate them so can have more control of how much salt we are adding to the final product.
  6. Use 2 forks to shred and pull the pork apart.
  7. Taste the pork and add back a little of the juice at a time, mixing well. Sometimes the pork comes out perfectly seasoned and moist without any excess juices, so taste and add juice as seasoning when needed.
kalua pork
kalau pork

Try it with:

  • Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, gorditas, nachos… Basically in any dish on the menu of your favorite Mexican spot
  • Sliders, Burgers, or any Sandwiches
  • Mac n Cheese or some sort of stew

Tools Used To Make This Dish*

You can support our creations at no additional cost to you by using our affiliate links below. Much love!

Camera Gear List*

*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to to and affiliated sites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.