One of the BEST Instant Pot recipes I’ve ever eaten is Instant Pot Kalua Pork (some call it Kalua Pig). It’s a simple recipe with a big payoff, both in the flavor, and the quantity! If you have ever eaten pork at a luau, you know what I’m talking about. With just a few ingredients, you can make this pressure cooker Kalua Pork and get that luau flavor at home!
Instant Pot Kalua Pork / Kalua Pig
The second recipe I made in my Instant Pot® was Kalua Pork (the first was Country Style Ribs). I’d had it on vacation, and really wanted to capture that taste of the Hawaiian Islands! Instant Pot Kalua Pork is special, and it tastes just like I remember. Maybe even better!
What makes Instant Pot Kalua Pork taste so special is the Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt, which has a subtle earthy flavor. According to Wikipedia: “Alaea salt, sometimes referred to as Hawaiian salt, is an unrefined sea salt that has been mixed with a red alae volcanic clay. It get its pink and brownish color from the particles of volcanic red clay. It is part of Native Hawaiian cuisine.”
You don’t have to be on vacation, or wait for a special occasion to enjoy Instant Pot Kalua Pork. It is a delicious and easy meal to make any time!
Serve this fall apart tender Kalua Pig (another name for this recipe) in tortillas, over rice or mashed potatoes, or on a roll as a pulled pork sandwich. I love to eat it all by itself as well!
Instant Pot Kalua Pork tastes like you are eating at a luau! The pork is seasoned with red Hawaiian sea salt, garlic, and smoky bacon or liquid smoke. This pressure cooker Kalua Pork is fall apart tender, and has the unique flavor of the Islands! Aloha!
- 5-7 lbs Pork Shoulder (Pork Butt)
- 7 Garlic Cloves, peeled and cut in thick slivers
- 1-2 Tablespoons Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt (or coarse sea salt) As much as needed to coat meat
- 2-3 slices Smoky Bacon, thick cut (or 2 tsp liquid smoke)
- ¾ cup Water
- 1 med Head Green Cabbage, cut in 4-6 wedges
- 1 lb Baby Carrots, (optional) cut in half
Cut the pork shoulder into 3 equal pieces.
Cut slits in the pork meat and stuff with the garlic slivers.
Sprinkle the red sea salt all over each piece of the pork.
Wrap the bacon around each piece of pork (if using liquid smoke instead, add it with the water).
Add the water to the inner liner of the pressure cooker (and liquid smoke, if using).
Place the pork pieces in the pot.
Place the lid on the pot and set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and then the + or - button or dial to select 90 minutes.
When the cook cycle is finished, let the pot naturally release the pressure (this could take 20 minutes or so. If you don't want to wait that long, let it naturally release for at least 10 minutes. Then manually release the remaining pressure.
After the pin in the lid drops down, open it and remove the pork with tongs to a large bowl.
Defat the liquid/drippings (if desired) and add the cabbage wedges (and carrots, if using) to the liquid in the pot. Close the lid and set to Sealing. Use the + or - button or dial to choose 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, use two forks to shred the pork. Then cover and wait for the cabbage to finish.
When the veggies are done cooking, do a Quick Release of the pressure/steam. Then open the lid once the pin has dropped down.
Remove the veggies to a serving bowl, and place the shredded pork on top of it. Taste the liquid in the pot and adjust salt if needed. Then ladle some over the meat and cabbage to flavor it and keep it moist.
Serve and enjoy! This makes a lot, so it is great for parties, meal planning, etc.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Resources to Make Instant Pot Kalua Pig Recipe and More
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