Smoky, salty, juicy, tender pork pressure cooked and shredded to perfection. This Instant Pot kalua pig is so simple, anyone can make it.
There’s a special place in my heart for Hawaiian food and kalua pig is no exception. What used to take hours of cooking in an imu, can now be made in just about 2 hours in the comfort of your own home.
What is an imu?
An imu is an underground oven used to cook foods. It is a large hole dug in the ground. Wood is placed at the bottom of the pit and lit on fire. Stones are then placed on top of the wood. Once the wood completely burns the stones drop to the bottom of the pit and are now hot enough to cook the food. The food was then placed in the imu and covered with banana leaves and buried. This allowed large amounts of food to be cooked low and slow and creates an amazing flavor.
What is kālua pig?
Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu. Pork was often placed in the imu, slow cooked, and then shredded. You bet you can find this at just about any lū’au show today.
Kalua pig is so delicious because it’s
- Smoked flavor
- Tender, shredded meat
What type of meat is used for this recipe?
Pork butt or pork shoulder are great choices.
What goes well with Instant Pot kalua pig?
- Sticky white rice, bet you’d never have guess. Starting to see a trend here? Rice goes well with just about any local dish.
- Good old poi
- Steamed cabbage
- Lomi salmon
- Macaroni salad
Kalua pig also goes well in quesadillas, nachos, tacos, or served in a sandwich.
Don’t have an imu?
Hey neither do I, however I will add that my husband has been bugging me to put one in my backyard. For my baby first lū’au, my parents created an imu in our backyard. We shall see what becomes of this. But you’re in luck because now you can make this recipe in the comfort of your own home.
How to store kalua pig?
The beauty of this dish is you can make a large batch and freeze the extras for another day. Then simply toss in the microwave or on the stove to reheat. This will keep for a few months. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.
What’s in Instant Pot kalua pig?
Literally 3 ingredients.
- Pork butt
- Hawaiian salt
- Liquid smoke. I like to use kiawe (mesquite).
How to make Instant Pot kalua pig?
Follow me on YouTube.
- Place cubed pork but in Instant Pot.
- Add Hawaiian salt and liquid smoke. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup water.
- Close lid and place vent in sealing mode. Cook on manual high pressure for 90 minutes. Allow to natural pressure release, about 20-25 minutes.
- Shred pork with fork. Serve with your favorite side dish and ENJOY!
Instant Pot Kalua Pig
- 2 pounds pork butt cubed
- 1 teaspoon Hawaiian salt
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 cup water
- Optional: cabbage
- Place pork butt in the Instant Pot.
- Add Hawaiian salt and liquid smoke. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup of water.
- Close lid and place vent to sealing mode.
- Cook on manual high pressure for 90 minutes.
- Allow to natural pressure release.
- Once the pin has dropped, open the lid. Using two forks, shred the pork.
- Optional: Roughly chop cabbage and add to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine. Allow residual heat to cook through the cabbage.
© Relle Lum for Keeping It Relle. Please do not copy and paste or screenshot recipes online or on social media. I’d love it if you share a link with a photo instead. Mahalo!
Tried this recipe? Tag me on social. I’d love to see and share it.
Love this recipe? Please give it a 5 star rating.
Pin for later.