Kalua Pork and cabbage and questions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by caradoc, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Aloha.  Trying to transfer one of my favorites from the crock pot to the smoker.  (Normally for Kalua pork and cabbage we'll just rub a pork roast with pink Hawaiian salt and throw it in a crock pot with some liquid smoke, then when It's done, pull it and cook the cabbage in the juices in the pot)

    I have a 3.74 lb shoulder roast, bone in.  My plan here is to do it at 250, I'm guessing about 6 hours. Just salting and throwing in with pecan pellets.  (MES 40 and AMNTS).   No plans on foiling this, ahould I be OK, or should I foil?  Maybe run to Supermarket Times and see if they have banana leaves?  If I foil, when/how long?  I was hoping to use this as a base learning experience so I want to keep it as simple as possible, and slowly add in complicating factors on later smokes.

    Not sure how I'm gonna cook the cabbage, I was thinking of steaming it and mixing with the juices?  any better ideas?

    I'll update with QViews later :)
  2. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Put in at 1:05 pm Hawaii time (7pm eastern)

    I'm going with keeping it in the pan, hope this is the right call.  These roasts always seem to have a "split" in them, I'm not sure how that will affect the cook time.


    In the MES

    AMNTS smoking, you can see how much I filled it, should be enough I think

    Closer "before"

  3. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I'd throw some ti leaves on the bottom of the pan as well. You don't need banana leaves.

    You're prob ginna have to add more alae salt when you pull it. Kalua pig and cabbage I'm in

    I see char sui, Hawaiian style smoke meat, huli huli chicken, in your future! Lol

    It might be tough to get a rotisserie in that MES...
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  4. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Sadly I don't have any ti plants here.  I went to supermarket times and got "Luau Leaves", which I think are just taro leaves, I'm gonna wrap with that and foil for about an hour later on, just to see. 

    Any ideas on the cabbage?  I'm thinking of just steaming it and then mixing with the pan juices.

    I've been hooked on Kalua pork and cabbage ever since I first moved to big island (Hilo) and ordered it at Kens House of Pancakes.  :)
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  5. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Just clicked with the mention of Char Siu too.  I usually by that at the store for fried rice, never thought of making it myself.  How do you do it?
  6. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    Luau leaves are the leaves of taro. If you wrap with that you are making lau laus! You have to cook them a long time to break them down; if they aren't cooked enough you will get an inchy sensation when you eat them. I wouldn't smoke them! Steam or boil until they are palatable.

    Just cut the cabbage up and put into a pot with the drippings and then when it's soft stir in the Kalua and it's done.

    I love Kens house of pancakes! Been going there since I was a kid. Good luck getting a parking spot.

    I live in Kona. How'd you weather the storm?

    I also love Kalua pig with poi! Some say that's an aquired taste! Lol
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  7. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Poi? Ono ono.

    LOL. Not really... But like any starch is just a side to great meats. I loved it with kalua pork.
    chucho likes this.
  8. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    Noh brand premix. Cut the pork into strips, put in ziplocs, add the mix and marinate for a couple of days. Then smoke for two or three hours.
  9. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Storm wasn't bad at all, I'm on Oahu now, Mililani.  Wife's job made us an offer we couldn't refuse.  Especially since they were eliminating her job in Hilo.  Still want to go back though, loved it there.

    What pork cut are you using for the char siu?
  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That sounds good . Idea , place Cabbage in a bowl with some Water and catch the drippings from the Pork . About half way through , move the bowl from under the Meat and finish cooking. Season and enjoy.

    Happy cooking and . . .
  11. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I usually use pork butt. Last time i made some i bought the two pack from Costco and cut all of it up into strips and placed in three gallon size ziplocs. One of them I made into char sui and the other two I made smoked meat.

    I've also done ribs and duck this way also.

    Smoked meat is made by adding aloha brand shoyu, brown sugar. Ginger, garlic and chili pepper flakes. Marinate two days and smoke the same way as the char sui.

    Yeah, I was thinking there wasn't any times markets in Hilo and ti leaves are everywhere!
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  12. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Running into some problems here, or I just got my expectations wrong.  After 3 hrs I opened and probed assuming I'd be out of the danger zone, especially since the MES kept running hot, showing 290 at one point, and 260-70 a few times.  Temp turned out to be about 118 to 120 in different spots.  I foiled the whole thing in the pan and added about 1/3 cup of water to the pan.  In a few minutes temp went up to about 131 based on the MES meat probe.  No I think I'm maybe in the stall?  Temp is 135 at 4 hours in.  If this is a stall, I've not seen it before, so how long should I expect it to last?  This was a small chunk of meat, 3.7 lbs but temp is the same place Bear's 9lb boston butt was in his step-by-step after 4 hours, and his took 12 hours.  I can't wake the family for a 1 a.m. dinner.  ANy thought on how this is going to go over the next few hours?  I was expecting a late 7 or 8 p.m. dinner, maybe 9 at the worst.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  13. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Ok, so temp is now 158 just under 5 hours in.  I took the foil off.  AMNTS is dying out after this short a time, I'm guessing the high temps took their tool, but I'm disappointed (especially as the torch I bought isn't working properly so I can't use it again without feeling like I'm holding a live hand grenade with no pin).  Realized I'm using peach, not pecan, guess I clicked the wrong button when I ordered.  Not a lot of juices in the pan even now, I think all I really see is the water I added.  Odd, because in the crock pot the damn think is like half full of juices.  Worried the heat burned them off instead of allowing them to settle.  But if I tried running this at 220, I'd probably be eating it on Tuesday at this rate.  Put some apple chips in the MES loader, heat should kick on in a bit.  Hoping I get a smoke ring, just to say I did :)
  14. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Closing in on the final stretch here.  Temp is 167.  Not much juice in the pan, although the steam has cleaned the MES window.  Gonna throw some images along with questions out here. 

    First, this is the smoker right at the start, all the smoke is from the AMNTS.  Seems like a lot to me, but I would like feedback.  It doesn't get less dense than this while the AMNTS is burning.

    Closer view, pic taken from about 12-16 inches away from door:

    A-Maze-N pellets!

    Cabbage -- I melted some butter in the pan with some salt and just a touch of pepper, turned the heat off and mixed it into the cabbage.  I'll heat this up when the pork is close to done and then add the little bit of juices and hope for the best.  There still isn't any real amount of juice in the pan :(

    Rice is gonna be done soon!  BTW, you should buy one of these if rice isn't your staple starch at meals.  And spend the money for the Zojirushi, I had a cheap brand $20 version for 3 years, and then sucked it up and spent the $140 on this and wish I had done it sooner.  But even a cheap one will change your dinner plans for life!

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  15. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter


    Pulled it out at 174.  According to MES meat probe.   Put juices in with cabbage.  Started to pull with forks.  It didn't pull.  Tested with Weber instant digital.  Multiple 148 readings.  No choice but to cook the cabbage in juices, but will overcook, no choice.  Rest is back in smoker.  Cook till safe I guess.  Stunned at the time involved for such a small cut.  I did see evidence of a smoke ring forming, so at least that was a plus.

    Kids are having Tyson chicken nuggets and rice tonite :(
  16. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    You didn't fail! You are going to be eating good tomorrow.

    Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO!!! Keep that smoker going...

    Todd needs to offer kiawe pellets! Lol
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  17. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  18. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    John Belushi in Animal House.
  19. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Forget it, he's rolling
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  20. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    Here's some Qview of char sui and Hawaiian style smoke meat:

    Smoke meat with kiawe wood. Finishing over charcoal basket to carmelize edges (reverse sear?).

    Char sui going in.

    Again, finishing over charcoal basket. Using coffee wood this time took about 2 1/2 hours.


    So, How'd it turn out? Sorry I couldn't be of more help! I don't have an MES and I've never done pulled pork in a smoker. I get all the kalua I want from my job which has three lu'aus a week. There's gonna be one tonight and I'm having kalua ribs for dinner!!!

    I think in hindsight, I know it's always 20/20, The aluminum pan acted as a heat shield. Again, I don't have your type of smoker so it's only a guess. Hopefully someone that uses a MES will be along with some tips on usage.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014

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