Kalua pork

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Original poster
During recent travels in Hawaii (yeah, I know, sucks to be me), I tried kalua pork -- pork (in theory) slow-cooked in a pit. I had it at several different establishments, and it ranged from "yeah, not bad" to "this is some of the most tasteless, nasty stuff I've ever eaten." While I know it's unrealistic to expect quick-and-dirty-chain-restaurant kalua pork to be actually cooked in a pit or possessed of any real flavor, I also tried it at a few more upscale places, and it was still quite bland. There was no smoke flavor to it that I could detect, and certainly no smoke ring, so I'm assuming it was more slow-steamed than anything else. It was tender enough, and pulled rather than chopped (both of which are Good Things in my opinion), but it was bland bland bland no matter where I ate it.

My question is: is it SUPPOSED to be, or should I someday return to Hawaii and continue my quest for a more flavorful kalua?

-- Laura
Oh, I know all about Googling stuff I need to know all right, but all the recipes I found (including the one you posted the link to) called for Liquid Smoke, something I avoid on principle (and also by necessity, as they don't sell it in Australia).

-- Laura

I have tried to help and in addition to a Google Search i also conducted a Forum Search and find nothing related to kaluah pork other than your thread on the subject.

So to answer your original question; were i you i would try to continue my quest in Hawaii on this particular subject.

However; we are always willing to help on any subject that we know about.

Nice to see you posting again Laura. I asked my Island friend about Kalua Pork and this is what he told me- "Kalua" pork is bland and (in his opinion) should be outlawed. Take a piece of pork and cook it in a crock pot with water-nothing else. When the pork falls off the bone it's done. While eating this tasteless pork, DRINK an adult beverage made with plenty of Kahlua liqueur. Hopefully you'll get a good buzz going and you won't care how bad the pork tastes!

There-now you have Kahlua pork Jimmy's way!!
Gee, Laura and Dutch......I wonder if that would work with a fine scotch? I'll keep you posted! Thanks!
I think there was a post by "Ol Poi Dog"... (not 100% sure though), about doing Kahlua pork in his smoker. I believe he rubbed it with hawaiian salt (sea salt works), let it sit for a few hours, wash of salt, wrapped in banana leaves, placed into his crockpot liner, and smoked for about 6 hrs.

In theory I think that would give you a very nice Kahlua pork. I am not sure what flavor wood I would choose... maby apple, or pear?

Like I said, I'm dreadging all this up from memory, so don't quote me on it... heh-heh.
I would try this...
Inject a butt with some kahlua and maybe a little island seasoning, let it rest overnight, smoke whole or cut into 2" cubes until 160 and then wrap in banana leaves with a sauce (maybe a banana kahlua?) something that would work well with the kahlua flavor, then bring it to 205, shred up and see what that gets you, should be pretty darn tasty.
I have made Kahlua pork for at least 6 events we have catered. I would even be willing to send you a bottle of liquid smoke if needed. We get folks begging us for the recipie. I am up at my dads house for a couple of days but when I get back home I will send you our recipe if you want.
It is really pretty simple - pork - liquid smoke- salt-wrap in bananna leaves then in foil to hold in the juices and cook the heck out of it at 300 for several hours. Send me a PM if you want the exact recipe

Thank you but credit for the post you are thinking of goes to either Pomai or MauiSmokedMeat.

AS for Kalua pig, the ones they serve in Waikiki are usually cooked in an oven with the Liquid Smoke and they probably are using pork butt.

The Ono stuff are the ones made with whole pigs, with the hot rocks stuffed in the body cavities. The pigs are then wrapped in chicken wire and then placed in the ground, on a bed of hot rocks with the crushed banana stumps on the rocks to emit steam that will eventually cook the pig. The whole pig is then covered with more ti leaf. On top of that you can put a wet burlap bags a tarp and then cover the whole thing with dirt. Let it cook in there for about 10-12 hours. Uncover then carry the wire basket that contains the pig to the prep table. Some of the best pickings are the meat and goodies stuck on the chicken wire.

Pomai and MauiSmokedMeat will probably come along and give you a more accurate discription of Kalua Pig. Along with the Kalua pig are the side dishes like lomi-salmon, poki, opihi, black crab, squid luau, etc.....oh and sour poi. Sometimes the delicacy side dishes are more sought after than the Kalua Pig. If you ever get invited to a backyard Baby Luau in Hawaii...don't pass it up.
I've made a FATTY that was basted with Kahlua and the flavoe was not what I had hoped for. I got a smokey taste, but the kahlua.,, just wasn't there.
Alas-another thread raised from the dead!
Sorry my bad. I was looking for any pre-existing threads on Kahlua pork in a smoker. That was the only one that came up... lol.
Having worked at more than a few luaua's with hawaiian neighbors, for both turkey and pork, the recipe is simple: take a pork butt or a turkey and flavor it with Hawaiian salt (we uses kauai red salt) and liquid smoke. Double wrap in foil and cook it at 350 for 3 hours. When we dig an IMU it cooks for 14 hours in da pit. In thr pit, everything is covered with banana leaves no wrapping and no smoke, Hope that helps brudda.
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