Instant Pot Kalua Pork

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): 5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly tender, juicy pulled pork with alluring smoky-savory flavors. #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

5 Ingredients + 4 Steps to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly delicious Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast). Tender & juicy pulled pork bursting with alluring Hawaiian smoky-savory flavors. Aloha!

Jump to Step by Step Cooking Guide

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4.94 from 16 votes

Summer is here!!

I’ve been dreaming of the calming ocean breeze, heart-warming sun, stunning tropical black sand beach, and of course the once-in-a-lifetime luau feast

Luau, a traditional Hawaiian party, often features the ever so gorgeous smoked Kālua pig.

Traditionally, Kalua Pork is cooked in an imu, an underground earth oven.

But wait! Before you rush off to dig up a hole in your backyard, don’t forget we have a magic pot – Instant Pot. 😀

This is your chance to have a little taste of Hawaiian Luau! *hula dance*

You might be skeptical of the few simple ingredients. But do yourself a favor and try it!

Don’t underestimate the magical power of alaea red Hawaiian sea salt.

The super tender & succulent pork bursting with alluring smoky-savory flavors & aroma that fills your mouth. oh~ truly seductive! Love how the alaea Hawaiian sea salt + fresh banana leaves enhance the pork. 

P.S. If you want to go along with the Hawaiian Theme, try these famous Japanese-Hawaiian Rice Sandwich: Instant Pot Spam Musubi 🙂

Time for some Kalua Pork in Instant Pot!!
Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): 5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly tender, juicy pulled pork with alluring smoky-savory flavors. #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

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Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): 5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly tender, juicy pulled pork with alluring smoky-savory flavors. #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

Instant Pot Kalua Pork

5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly delicious Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast). Tender & juicy pulled pork bursting with alluring Hawaiian smoky-savory flavors.
4.94 from 16 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 14 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 273kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds (1614g) pork shoulder (pork butt meat) , cut into 2 – 2¼ inches cubes
  • 1 cup (250ml) cold water
  • 1 tablespoon (17g) coarse alaea red Hawaiian sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) liquid smoke
  • 2 pieces (90g) 12x20 inches banana leaves

Instructions

  • Cut & Marinate Pork Shoulder: Cut pork into 2 – 2¼ inches cubes, then place them in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp (17g) coarse alaea Hawaiian sea salt & 1 tbsp (15ml) liquid smoke. Mix very well, then marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Pressure Cook Kalua Pork: Pour 1 cup (250ml) cold water in Instant Pot. Layer a banana leaf at the bottom, then add in cubed pork. Try fitting the pork in a singer layer so they are partially submerged in the water. Then, layer another banana leaf on top of the pork. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for
    i) With Banana Leaves: 45 mins, then 15 mins Natural Release
    ii) Without Banana Leaves: 40 mins, then 15 mins Natural Release
    *Pro Tip: banana leaves are optional, but they’ll impart more flavor & aroma to the Kalua Pig.
  • Shred & Season Instant Pot Kalua Pork: Discard the top banana leaf and check if the pork is tenderized. If the pork is still tough, pressure cook for another 10 minutes. Shred Kalua pork with 2 forks. Taste and season with more alaea Hawaiian sea salt if necessary. Serve & enjoy~ Aloha! 🙂
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Video

Recipe Notes:

Buying Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder or Boston Butt): For best results, it's important to choose pork that has nice marbling and fat!!
Buying Ingredients: Banana leaves are often available in Asian  & Latin markets. Coarse alaea red Hawaiian sea salt is available in specialty stores or on Amazon.

Nutrition:

Calories: 273kcal | Protein: 36g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 1310mg | Potassium: 629mg | Vitamin A: 0.2% | Vitamin C: 1.8% | Calcium: 2.6% | Iron: 12.5%
Course: Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main, Meat, Party Food
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: hawaiian recipes, instant pot, instant pot pork, instant pot recipes, pork butt, pork shoulder, pulled pork, shredded pork
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

 


Instant Pot Kalua Pork Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): 5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly tender, juicy pulled pork with alluring smoky-savory flavors. #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

Prepare Ingredients for Instant Pot Kalua Pork.

Yes! The ingredients list is simple – only 5 ingredients: Pork + Hawaiian Sea Salt + Liquid Smoke + Banana Leaf + Water.

And done in 4 steps: Cut + Marinate + Pressure Cook + Shred!

BUT you won’t believe the enticing smoky-savory flavors & aroma – so complex & yummy!! 🙂

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast) Ingredients

Why Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder or Boston Butt)?

This cut of pork is one of our favorite cuts! It’s marbled with enough fat to keep the meat moist while cooking. Plus, it’s a relatively budget cut. 😛

*Pro Tip: For best results, it’s critical to pick a piece of pork with lots of nice marbling and fat!

What is Red Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt?

Alaea Salt is a traditional native Hawaiian salt blend, created by infusing sea salt with Red Alaea Hawaiian Volcanic Clay.

It’s most commonly used for traditional Native Hawaiian dishes like Kalua Pig (!!), Poke, and Hawaiian Jerky. And it works great for brines, spice rubs, and seasonings.

So here we go!! 😀

1

Cut & Marinate Pork Shoulder


Cut 3.5 – 4 lbs pork shoulder into 2 – 2¼ inches cubes as shown in below photo.

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): cube pork shoulder (pork butt) before marinating and pressure cooking

Place cubed pork shoulder in a large mixing bowl.

Add 1 tbsp (17g) coarse Red alaea Hawaiian sea salt and 1 tbsp (15ml) liquid smoke.

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): marinate pork shoulder in coarse Red alaea Hawaiian sea salt #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

Mix very well and marinate for 30 minutes.

2

Pressure Cook Kalua Pork


Pour 1 cup (250ml) cold water in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Layer a piece of 12×20 inches banana leaf at the bottom of the pot, then place the cubed pork shoulder on top.

*Pro Tip 1: Try fitting the pork shoulder in a singer layer so they are partially submerged in the water.

Then, layer another piece of 12×20 inches banana leaf on top of the pork shoulder in Instant Pot.

*Pro Tip 2: The banana leaves are optional, but try your best to find them for this recipe! It’ll give this dish an extra flavor & aromatic boost. 🙂

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): pressure cook marinated cubed pork shoulder with fresh banana leaves #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

Close the lid and turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

Pressure Cook at High Pressure for

  • With Banana Leaves: 45 mins, then 15 mins Natural Release
  • Without Banana Leaves: 40 mins, then 15 mins Natural Release

If the Floating Valve doesn’t drop after 15 minutes, turn the Venting Knob to Venting Position to release the remaining pressure.

Set Instant Pot Pressure Cooker to Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 45 minutes #instantpot #pressurecooker

3

Shred & Season Instant Pot Kalua Pork


Open the lid carefully, discard the banana leaf on top and check if the pork butt is tenderized.

*Pro Tip: If the pork shoulder is still tough, close the lid and pressure cook for another 10 minutes.

Instant Pot Kalua Pig (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast) #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

Place Kalua pork in a serving bowl and shred the tenderized meat with 2 forks.

Taste and season with more Hawaiian alaea sea salt if necessary.

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): shred hawaiian pig roast into Instant Pot Pulled Pork #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

Serve Instant Pot Kalua Pork with your favorite side dishes such as rice + veggie dish.

The Kalua pork will be excellent served in taco and sliders as well.

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): 5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly tender, juicy pulled pork with alluring smoky-savory flavors. #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian

Enjoy your Instant Pot Kalua Pork!~ 🙂

What to do with the leftover liquid?

Don’t throw away this delicious Hawaiian flavors! The leftover smoky-savory liquid is great for cooking veggies, potatoes, and even rice (dilute the liquid first).

Tools for Instant Pot Kalua Pork


Other Instant Pot Pork Recipes

Here are some recipes that use Pork Butt Meat or Pork Shoulder in Instant Pot! 🙂

Instant Pot Carnitas

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe (Pressure Cooker Carnitas): Cut short cooking time and make this crispy and Juicy Mexican Pulled Pork! Perfect with tacos, burritos, or tamales.

Instant Pot Pork Roast

Comforting Pressure Cooker Pork Roast Recipe: Tender & flavorful Instant Pot Pork Roast - quick & easy, budget-friendly weeknight meal.

Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): 5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly tender, juicy pulled pork with alluring smoky-savory flavors. #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian
Instant Pot Kalua Pork Recipe (Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast): 5 Ingredients to make this unbelievably simple yet incredibly tender, juicy pulled pork with alluring smoky-savory flavors. #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #pork #hawaiian
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Very flavorful and so easy to make! I love kalua pork with cabbage and with this recipe, I can make it without going to a Hawaiian restaurant to buy some. I think the main thing to note is that I checked several grocery stores (Island Pacific, Marina, Lucky, and Sprouts) for the Red alaea Hawaiian sea salt, but ended up having to buy it on Amazon. So something to keep in mind when you’re looking to make this recipe.

  2. Definitely 5 stars! I just made this tonight and got rave reviews from my guests and family. The banana leaves and salt make this dish. Will make again!

    1. Hi Ang,

      Happy to hear your guests and family enjoyed it as well!
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  3. Made this once already and it was great. I plan to use more liquid smoke next time which is tomorrow. My question is, can you marinate longer? When I used to smoke pork I would rub and let rest overnight. Has anyone tried that?

    1. Hi Blake,

      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      You can marinate it longer in the fridge!

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  4. Made Kalua pork tacos with Viet pickled carrot and daikon (do chua) and cilantro topping. Lastly, a drizzle of Sriracha aioli for a kick.
    Fantastic!

    One note though. I didn’t notice until part way through the countdown, but the top banana leaf actually prevented the pot from pressurizing! I stopped the Pot, and opened it to see what was going on. The top leaf had trapped most of the air underneath! So there was no pressure at all on top. I poked a hope in the leaf, put the cover back on, and immediately it was at pressure!

    1. Hi Don,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback on the recipe 🙂

      If the leaf is too big, it can stop the Instant Pot from pressurizing. I will tell Amy to add a note on that.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  5. Fabulous recipe. Made it with banana leaves and followed the recipe as is. Wie’ll definitely make it again. Delicious! We used the meat to make Kalua pork nachos, and they were amazing.

  6. I have found where to buy banana leaves! Is there a right side to them, i.e. does the top/dark green part face up at bottom and top, the other way, or does it matter? Thanks so much!

  7. Yup, born and raised on Oahu. Kalua pork and Huli-huli chicken was a popular fundraising item. You could smell it a mile away roasting over open pits of “KIAWE” wood. Always Kiawe wood! I found a source of a great Kiawe liquid smoke from Amazon. Try instead of usual hickory liquid smoke. Or try mesquite.

  8. This was the first time I have cooked this in a pressure cooker. Previously I have prepared a very similar recipe in a regular slow cooker, oven, and slow grill. I followed the directions with two changes. I marinated the pork in. soy sauce, liquid smoke and Shaohsing Huatiao cooking wine (a big splash).My shoulder was 8.8 pounds, bone-in but I removed the bone when chunking the meat. Three-four inch chunks.No banana leaves. 45 minutes on high pressure worked great. After shredding I always rinse my pork with hot brine. This gets rid of some of the fat and adds a nice saltiness. Served with fresh pineapple and jasmine rice. Made Vietnamese Spring rolls as an appetizer. An easy dinner

  9. Hi, I wanted to ask you if you can cover the Kalua pork recipe with maybe unpeeled organic bananas instead of leaves? I used to use Sunset recipe that you roast in the oven.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your question. I recommend just omitting the banana leaves if you cannot find them.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  10. I made this tonight and the family really enjoyed it. Although I wasn’t able to find any banana leaf, it was still very tasty. I followed the advice of some reviewers by cooking some cabbage in the liquid afterwards, but it came out way too oily. I would not suggest it personally.

  11. I do not have an instant pot cooker, I have however an ordinary pressure cooker.. can the pork be cooked in a little water,on a trivet ,in that, for about 20-25 mins .thanks

    1. Hi Mary,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. You can just follow the instructions in the ordinary pressure cooker as well.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  12. This was amazing! I did not have the banana leaves, but it still came out perfect. What a lovely site you have here…

  13. I made this last month and it was very tasty! I didn’t have banana leaves though. I cooked the cabbage after the pork was done. We made soft tacos with the leftover and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  14. I made this yesterday, and as my previous post said, I was afraid 4 pounds wouldn’t fit in my 6 quart pot, but it did. It was absolutely delicious! My husband asked, “this was an Amy and Jacky recipe wasn’t it?” I have made several of your recipes and every one was a hit!

  15. I am making this tonight. Have cut up 4 pounds of pork shoulder. This seems like a lot of meat for my 6 quart pot. I am curious how this amount of meat would fit in a single layer in any of the IP’s? Will post my results later!

  16. Hi Amy and Jacky,
    How would you suggest cooking the rice with the leftover liquid? Do I need to skim the fat or just dilute the liquid to accommodate the amount of the rice?

  17. Oh My Gawwwwd! (Read that really slow for effect)

    Every recipe you guys offer is a home run. I bought two pork shoulders at Costco. One became your Pressure Cooker Pork Roast (which I’ve done many times and is amazing – this time I had wild Shaggy Parasol mushrooms freshly picked nearby), and the other became this recipe. I used Banana leaves, and Himalayan salt. After 45 minutes the meat was still tough. I had no real reference because I’ve never made pulled pork, but my daughter was quick to point out it was ready (she is a YouTube cooking show fanatic). I put it back in for 20 minutes. It came out beautifully. Tasted dreamy. Then I tried another users comment, and broiled it for about 5 minutes. It brought out even more flavour. This is amazing. Thank you Amy & Jack!

    1. Hi Ryan!

      So happy to hear from you again. Hope you and your family have been doing well 🙂

      Thank you once again for being so supportive and kind. We truly appreciate it!

      Please take care & have fun cooking!!
      Jacky

  18. Hey Amy & Jacky!

    I made this recipe for an end-of-summer Luau BBQ at our house this past weekend. I’ll admit, I was skeptical. How could so few ingredients create flavorful meat in such a short amount of time? Well….it absolutely did! And it was an absolute hit with everyone! Not a shred of pork was left.

    I did not add or omit anything as far as ingredients. After the pork was shredded, I did put it into a baking dish on the top oven rack and broiled it for about 7 minutes just to give it a little crispiness on the edges. That really enhanced the smoke flavor for me.

    Overall, I highly recommend this recipe to anyone with an Instant Pot!

    ~Cheers~
    -Savannah

    1. Hi Savanaah!

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and recommendation 🙂

      Great idea! Broiling is a great way to enhance the flavor nicely.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  19. This was great, and easy reciepe! Love the use of banana leaves.

    The person that commented about the it being a lot of liquid smoke, I would almost border on its not enough. Living in Hawaii that smoke flavor is really strong when you eat it here.

    The only thing I found missing was the cabbage, so I added it at the end.I could see if you were wanting to use the pork for different things you wound’t want the cabbage but we love kalua pork with just rice so the cabbage is a must.

  20. Thanks for the recipe, as always. I’ve made this in the past via Slow Cooker then later via Sous Vide, but feel the Instant Pot version is the best thus far in pretty much all regards: shortest time to cook, loses the least flavor while cooking, and is easiest to shred.

    Used your recipe last night (minus the leaves, which I’ll find and do next time). I’ll definitely be making it this way going forward. I was born and raised in Hawaii, so I’ve always loved me some good Kalua pig. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Kevin 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your cooking experience with us as well!

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  21. I see. Another question, can I use Pink Himalayan salt instead and if i do would they taste similiar?

    1. Hi Philip!

      Hope you are enjoying the summer weather 🙂

      Ti leaves will work as well. If you can’t find both, you can omit them.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  22. I tried this last night on a brand new Ultra Instant Pot and it was a success! This was my first time using a pressure cooker and I followed this recipe exactly except I didn’t have any Hawaii salt. I did use the banana leaves and glad I did. I also added just a pinch of cumin & fennel seeds just because I have them.
    The pork was juicy & succulent! The seasoning was perfect. Amazing this recipe works so well with just 45 min of cooker time, while other Instant Pot Kalua Pork recipes need 90 min.
    Thank you for this great recipe! Everyone should try this. It goes great with rice, and tacos!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Annie 🙂
      Congrats on the new Instant Pot and welcome to our site!

      Do let us know if you run into any questions/problems.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  23. You might try adding a half a cup of Apple Cider to the water in the Instant Pot, it gives a little sweetness to the Kalua Pork, Just like it was done in an IMU.

  24. The pork butt is but a part of a pork shoulder. A shoulder contains the arm and the butt. I’m assuming for this recipe you are using a pork butt.

    1. Hi Bkhuna

      So happy to hear from you again. Hope you are doing well.

      Yes! We are using the upper part of a pork shoulder (pork butt meat) for this recipe as it is more marbling 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  25. Hi Amy and Jacky, I haven’t tried this yet, but I will. I am wondering how this would be with chicken thighs! I am looking for a different Hawaiian Chicken dish, without so much sugar that is used in Sweet Soyu Chicken. Let me know if you have something like that.

  26. Hi Amy and Jacky! This sounds like a perfect 4th of July recipe, but I am nervous about the amount of liquid smoke in the recipe. Does the meat have an overpowering liquid smoke flavor? All of your recipes have worked perfectly for me, so I should have a little faith, right?…but a whole tablespoon?!

    1. Hi Kim,

      Hope you are enjoying the summer weather! Thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      1 tbsp liquid smoke does sound like a lot, but there is a lot of meat as well.

      If you are familiar with smoke salmon, I would say the smokiness for this recipe is very similar to that.

      Take care & have fun cooking!!
      Jacky

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