- Cooking Time: 360-720
- Servings: 6-8
- Preparation Time: 15
BackstoryTraditional 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.