Incredible juicy and tender Hawaiian-style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork recipe with the most amazing flavor! Only requires 3 ingredients and can be served alone or in salads, tacos, and more!
Why This Recipe Works
So. very. Easy. — This slow cooker kalua pork is basically the easiest dish you will ever prepare in your entire life. Truly. Only 3 ingredients and about 57 seconds of preparation. Then all you have to do is let your slow cooker do its magic for a good 8-10 hours. Come back and BAM: The most alaka-zam-azing pork you’ve ever smelled/seen/tasted in your whole existence.
Delicious — Not only is this recipe so so simple, it’s also crazy tasty. Honest to goodness the flavor of this pork is out-of-this-world delicious. Smokey and salty and just everything good. Hard to believe only three ingredients can deliver this kind of happiness, but here we are!
Versatile — I use this pork dish for all sorts of dishes. I dare you to resist eating it straight out of your slow cooker with a fork, but if you can control yourself long enough to prepare yourself a taco or a salad (or a quesadilla or a sandwich wrap, or…) it’ll blow your mind.
Party ready — Throwing a party (or larger get-together) soon? Don’t feel like spending lots of time in the kitchen? Then this slow cooker kalua pork is for you. Use an extra large roast, double the liquid smoke and salt and voila — you’ve got enough pork to fill the bellies of many, many guests. That is, of course, if you feel like sharing.
- 4-pound pork shoulder roast — I’ve found this size of pork roast to be perfect for this recipe but don’t sweat it if you find one slightly smaller or larger, it will be great and so delicious.
- Liquid smoke — I admit, I was skeptical about this ingredient. What is it? How does it work? Would it taste too “fake”? The answer to all of those questions is I don’t know but it tastes so good and smoky and not fake at all. It gives delicious flavor that tastes just like you’ve been smoking this pork roast all day on a smoker, rather than sneakily in your slow cooker.
- Himalayan pink salt — Available in larger crystals than normal table salt, I love how Himalayan pink salt imparts a slightly saltier taste (and just the tiniest bit sweet too) to pork than regular salt. But if you don’t have it, just use regular salt, that’s fine.
Here’s How You Make It
It almost seems silly to even call this a recipe, what with so few ingredients but here’s how you’d put it all together for the most perfect kalua pork ever.
- First, lightly grease a slow cooker crock with nonstick spray, then pierce the pork roast all over with a fork, and put it in the slow cooker.
- Pour the tablespoon of liquid smoke evenly over the roast, then sprinkle with the salt. (You might be tempted to add more smoke — don’t do this! Trust me, a little goes a long way.)
- Add the lid to the slow cooker and set to cook on low for 8-12 hours. A smaller roast will be done in around 8 hours, while a larger one can take up to 12. If you’re not sure if the pork is cooked all the way, insert a meat thermometer. If it reads 145 degrees, you’re good to go.
- Take the lid off the pork, and shred it with two forks.
- Dive in!
Expert Tips & Tricks
- If you want to use a really big roast you can double the liquid smoke and salt and keep the extra meat stored in an airtight container in the fridge all week long for incredible leftovers and quick-fix meals!
- This slow cooker kalua pork keeps well in the freezer too. Just put in an airtight container and store for up to 6 months.
- I love to eat this slow cooker kalua pork on tacos with slaw, but you can also add it atop salads, in wraps, on a sandwich, on top of baked potatoes, over rice — you name it!
Himalayan salt is less processed than regular table salt because it’s mined in the (you guessed it) Himalayan mountains. People believe that because pink Himalayan salt is harvested from a mine that’s millions of years old, it is free of additives and pollution thought to be a part of regular table salt. Pink Himalayan salt also possesses other minerals and trace elements you can’t find in other salts.
All salts contain mostly sodium chloride, but table salt has MORE sodium chloride and that can lead to high blood pressure and a number of other health ailments. Long story short, while pink Himalayan salt may be slightly healthier for you, I just love it for its taste and slight (ever so slight) sweetness that balances out the pork and liquid smoke flavors.
The name for this dish comes from the original method of cooking the pork, which is the Hawaiian word kālua, meaning, “to be cooked in an underground oven.” Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t have an underground oven. So, we cheat this process by using a slow cooker and liquid smoke. It might not be exactly as amazing as the pork you’d get on the island, but it’s darn close and I’ll take it!
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Hawaiian Mac Salad
- Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
- Kalua Pork Tacos
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
- Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Copycat
Did you make this recipe? FANTASTIC. Please rate the recipe below and be sure to tag me on social when you share a photo on social – I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!
Slow Cooker Kalua Pork
- 1 4-pound pork shoulder roast - (or similar roast, size can vary a bit too)
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke - (you can find this in almost any grocery store)
- 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt - (sold in most grocery stores)
- Lightly grease your slow cooker with nonstick spray. Pierce the roast all over with a fork. Place in slow cooker.
- Pour liquid smoke evenly over the roast, then sprinkle with the salt.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours. (For a larger roast you’ll need closer to the 12 hours)
- Uncover, pull pork apart with 2 forks. Serve alone or you can serve it over rice, in tacos, salads, and more!