Make this juicy, tender Instant Pot Kalua Pork with just 4 ingredients in the pressure cooker! Every mouthwatering bite of this delicious Hawaiian classic is filled smokey, salty flavor.
Instant Pot Kalua Pork
The only thing better than this juicy, tender Instant Pot Kalua Pork is how ridiculously easy it is to make! With just 4 ingredients, you can get this delicious Hawaiian classic on the table for an easy weeknight dinner.
This Instant Pot Kalua Pork recipe captures the smokey, salty flavors of the Hawaiian classic without the use of their traditional underground cooking pit.
While it is a great family weeknight recipe, it is also a great option for parties and potlucks for its simplicity, the ability to cook a lot at once, and also because it tastes like it takes a lot more effort to make than it actually does!
Make this delicious Hawaiian delicacy in your own home and watch it become a new family favorite!
What is Kalua Pork?
Kalua pork or Kalua pig is a traditional delicacy in classic Hawaiian food. It is often the centerpiece of a traditional Hawaiian luau, where a whole pig is smoked in an underground pit called an "imu."
How Did Kalua Pork Get its Name?
Kalua means "to cook underground." Kalua pork was traditionally cooked in an earth oven, underground.
What Cut of Pork Should I Use?
Pork butt (also known as pork shoulder or Boston butt) is the best cut of meat for shredding pork in my personal opinion. It has the right fat ratio to make it ridiculously tender and juicy, despite being cooked to the point of shredding.
Bone-in meat is fine, however I cut my meat down to make it fit in the pressure cooker better and absorb more of the smokey-salty flavor. So make sure your bone is small enough to fit in your cooker, or you can cut the bone out (and save it for a stew or this split pea soup).
What is Hawaiian Salt?
Hawaiian salt, also referred to as alaea salt, is an unrefined sea salt that's mixed with iron-oxide rich volcanic clay, called alaea. This gives it both its pinkish-red color and its name.
If you can't find Hawaiian salt at your local grocer, you can grab it here on Amazon.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Kalua Pork
I like to serve our pork with white rice and sauteed cabbage and onions with some fresh pineapple on the side. This is pretty close to the classic serving style.
It would also go well with noodles or quinoa, and you can try serving it with a cool, creamy coleslaw instead of the sauteed cabbage.
Or if your particularly creative or adventurous, you can serve Kalua pork on a slider, in quesadillas, over salad, in pasta or mac and cheese, or on tacos or nachos. The flavors are mild so it's easy to personalize it to make it your own.
More Easy Pork Recipes You'll Love
- Slow Cooker Carnitas - a Chipotle copycat recipe for their shredded pork carnitas made easily in the slow cooker.
- Bacon Swiss Pork Chops - using just a few ingredients, make the juiciest pork chops of your life.
- Crock Pot Ham - a super simple way to cook ham that frees up your oven for the side dishes.
- Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops - pork chops slow simmered and served with a creamy gravy that will have you licking your plate clean.
- Slow Cooker Southern Pulled Pork - moist and tender slow cooked pork with lots of vinegar for flavor and tenderness.
Instant Pot Kalua Pork Video
Instant Pot Kalua Pork
- 1 cup water
- 3 pounds boneless pork butt cut into 3 equal pieces
- 1 tablespoon Hawaiian salt
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- Add water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Set aside.
- Pierce pork pieces on all sides with a fork.
- Season all sides with liquid smoke then with the salt. Rub pork with clean hands to incorporate well.
- Transfer pork to the pressure cooker.
- Cover and make sure vent is sealed. Turn on the Instant Pot to manual high pressure. Set time for 90 minutes.
- When time is up, let the pressure naturally release until release button pops up.
- Shred pork with a fork while in Instant Pot as it soaks up juices.
- Cabbage: I prefer to saute my cabbage to serve with the pork. However, you can also cook it in the pressure cooker. After removing the pork to shred, add the cabbage to the juices in the instant pot and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with a quick release. Alternately, for slightly crisper cabbage, turn your instant pot on warm and drop the cabbage into the juices for a few minutes, just until wilted before serving.
- Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a large skillet on the stove or in individual servings in the microwave.
- Freezer: Store this pork in a freezer container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a large skillet on the stove.
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