Instant Pot Hawaiian Kalua Pork

I was introduced to Kiawe Liquid Smoke, a distinct Hawaiian Liquid Smoke that is used in Hawaii to make Kalua pork. I’ve made Kalua pork a dozen times (recipe on my blog) but never used this specific liquid smoke so I got some and took my Kalua Pork to the next level! I also used the instant pot to make shredded pork for the first time and it turned out great. After switching the knob from the sealing to venting position, all the incredible banana leaves, smoky, and porky smell started shooting out the steam release valve like Katy Perry fireworks and the intoxicating smells of the Kalua Pork transported me back to Chief’s Luau in Oahu. I mixed in some shredded cabbage and dinner was ready!

The salty, smoky, and tender pulled pork is the perfect protein for a big bowl of piping hot steamed rice and Hawaiian Mac Salad. Also pairs well with juicy, sweet, and tart pineapples.

6 pound bone-in pork butt/pork shoulder
2 tablespoons Hawaiian Sea Salt
3 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
Banana Leaves, defrosted and cleaned
1/2 Head of Cabbage, finely shredded


Prep Pork Pierce holes in the pork with a fork or knife.  Season pork with Hawaiian sea salt and liquid smoke. Wrap the pork tightly in banana leaf.  Refrigerate for a 3-4 hours, preferably over night.

Cook Kalua Pork – Put the Pork in the Instant Pot. Set the IP on Manual High Pressure for 2 hours 15 minutes, then 15 minute natural pressure release, and finally release.

Mix Kalua Pork – Cut banana leaf and shred pork a thong or fork.  Add shredded cabbage and mix well. Serve with your favorite sides.


  • For every pound of pork, I use 1 teaspoon of Hawaiian Sea Salt.
  • If you do not have Hawaiian Sea Salt, use a coarse salt, like kosher or sea salt.

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