• Cooking Time: 360-720
  • Servings: 6-8
  • Preparation Time: 15


Traditional imu kâlua puaʻa involves a big pit filled with burning kiawe wood, red-hot rocks, wet banana stumps, layers of ti leaves and a whole pig. Yes, the result is indescribably delicious, but it's not the kind of meal people turn to at the end of a long workday.

Crock pot kâlua pig approximates the imu kâlua flavors but with a fraction of the effort. Start this early in the day and just leave it until dinnertime.


  • 4-5 lb. pork butt, preferably bone-in
  • 1 Tablespoon Hawaiian salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 3-4 ti leaves
  • 1 c. water


  • The ideal pork butt for this recipe is well-marbled and bone-in for maximum flavor and moisture.
  • Rub the butt with salt, dribble with liquid smoke then wrap it in several layers of ti leaves. Besides helping to steam the meat, ti leaves provide a subtle flavor that shouldn't be skipped. If ti is not available, substitute banana leaves.
  • Place the wrapped butt in a crock pot and pour the cup of water around it. The water is there primarily to prevent scorching until the meat cooks down enough to render its own juices.
  • Cook on low for at least 5-6 hours but up to all day.
  • When cooking is complete, remove the butt, reserve juices and discard the leaves. Let the meat rest for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, shred with two forks.
  • Pour reserved liquid over the shredded meat and serve. Assuming you have any leftover at the end of the night, kâlua pig freezes well.

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