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Hawaiian Style Kalua Pork Recipe

This Hawaiian style kalua pork recipe is as traditional as you can get on your backyard smoker. Hawaiian style pulled pork, absolutely NO pineapples, what more can a man ask for?

You will need

  • Pork butt
  • Green Ti leaves
  • Banana leaves
  • Butcher string
  • Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt
  • Tin foil

You can probably find Ti and Banana leaves at any Asian market. Alaea salt might be tricky to find locally, but you can order it on Amazon.

Hawaiian Style Kalua Pork Recipe

This Kalua pork recipe is actually quite easy to execute when you’re not doing it in a traditional “Imu”. To begin, trim the pork butt and slice the surface (like you would with a ham). Then season with Alaea salt, making sure to get it into the cuts as well.

Next, you will be wrapping the butt in leaves. (Since the leaves will stop any smoke from reaching the meat, you might want to rub some liquid smoke into it before wrapping). Remove the stems from 5-6 Ti leaves and wrap the butt up, with the shiny side of the leaf in contact with the meat. Then roll the banana leaves around the wrapped meat. Secure with butchers twine as tight as possible without tearing the banana leaves. Finally, wrap the entire thing in tin foil- this will hold everything together and help the meat steam while cooking.

Normally, Kalua pork is cooked in an “Imu”, a traditional underground oven. But you can also use the next best thing: your smoker!

Get the temperature up to 275º-290ºF, insert your thermometer into the pork and let it cook. Target core temperature is 195º-205ºF. When you get there, pull the meat off the heat, wrap it in a towel and place it in a cooker to rest for 60-90 minutes.

Unwrap, shred and enjoy your Hawaiian style Kalua pork!

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