Instant Pot Kalua Pork

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I did not have this on my menu this week. I went grocery shopping and saw Costco had pork shoulder/butt roasts at a great price and I immediately thought.. Kalua Pork!!! One of my favorite meals. But the only reason I don't make it that often is that it takes 16 hours in a crockpot. That is a lot of pre-planning. However with the Instant Pot (Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W ) it was only 90 minutes of cook time. Much better. And it turned out fantastic.

To make Kalua Pork you will need Red Hawaiian Sea Salt. This salt has a naturally light smoky flavor that makes this meal authentic. I'm sure another salt would work but you would want to add some liquid smoke. I've never made it with any other type of salt so I'm not sure of the measurements.

The recipe to make this meal is pretty simple. Besides the salt you will need a pork shoulder/butt roast. Don't use any other type. This recipe needs the fattier type of roast to make it melt in your mouth, falling apart, amazing goodness.. :) You will need a few cloves of garlic, and a few slices of bacon.

To begin with cut your roast into 3 pieces. Mine was a 3# roast. Cut slits in the roast and put pieces of garlic into them. I had 3 large cloves and I cut them into smaller pieces and put them in the roast..

Next, turn your Instant Pot to Sautee and put the bacon pieces in the pot.

When the bacon starts to sizzle put your roast pieces in the pot. Sprinkle the red salt all over them...

Add 1 cup water (because you have to have water when you pressure cook). Put the lid on, set to Sealing, and hit Manual. Set the timer for 90 minutes.

When the cooking time is done turn the IP off. Let the pressure release on its own, also known as Natural Pressure Release (NPR). When the pressure is released, the little silver button will have dropped down. Open the lid. Take the meat out and put in a serving bowl.

I made macaroni salad to go with this meal which I had made in the IP before I cooked the meat (next IP blog post! :) …

The recipe..

Instant Pot Kalua Pork

3# pork shoulder/butt roast
3 large cloves garlic
3 T Red Hawiian Sea Salt, course grind
3 slices bacon
1 cup water

Cut your roast into 3 pieces. Make slits in the roast and insert garlic cloves.

Turn your IP to Sautee and put bacon in. When the bacon starts to sizzle put your pork roast pieces in. Sprinkle salt on meat.

Pour in 1 cup water. Put lid on. Hit the Manual button and set the timer for 90 minutes.

When the time is up turn the IP off. Let the pressure release on its own (Natural Pressure Release NPR).

Remove lid when the pressure button has dropped. Remove meat. Serve and enjoy!! 



  1. Local Hawaiian here. If you'd like to make it authentically (as much as you can in a crockpot), definitely leave out the bacon. Add liquid smoke and don't cut up your roast (unless it was a space issue?). You may also be able to find banana leaves in an asian market. Wrap your roast in the banana leaves first then roast it or crockpot it.

    Also, try make butter mochi sometime for dessert. You'll love it!

    Serve with more Hawaiian salt, cabbage and short grain white rice (sushi rice).


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