Kalua-Style Pork

>> Thursday, October 08, 2020

Here's a recipe I did about a month ago and it turned out really well. Our son-in-law Tyrone recently suffered from a stroke and I'm making this dish especially for him as a welcome home treat. It was a scary situation but his rehab is going amazing and he's about to be discharged from the hospital, so I'm hoping this will taste better than the hospital food he's been eating.

This recipe is based on one posted on the Green Egg Blog. Don't skip the banana leaves; they add complexity.

  • 1 Pork Butt - 10-12 pounds with the bone in, or smaller if you can only find boneless
  • 2-4T Alaea Sea Salt (aka Hawaiian Red Sea Salt) - This is critical as a lot of the flavor is derived from the salt
  • 1T Liquid Smoke
  • Banana leaves
  • Butcher's Twine
  1. Use a sharp knife to score the pork in a criss-cross pattern, cutting about 3/4" into the pork shoulder.
  2. Coat with liquid smoke*, then coat with Alaea sea salt. Don't be afraid to use more than 2T of salt.
  3. Wrap in banana leaves and secure with butcher’s twine. Note: To prepare the banana leaves, you'll want to remove the central stem/vein, then pass the leaves over a burner until they've become shiny and pliable.
  4. Smoke over charcoal and mesquite at 250F. After 2 hours, wrap tightly in foil then return to the smoker for the duration of the cook.
  5. Plan on a minimum of 1 hour per pound cooking time, then check temp and continue at 250F until you reach an internal temp of 190-200F.
  6. Pull the meat off the smoker and allow it to rest in the foil for at least an hour, but you can also wrap it in a towel and put it in a cooler for several hours.
  7. Pull pork for serving and reserve the juices…you’ll want to pour the juices back over your pulled pork.
*Normally I’d say it’s sacrilege to use liquid smoke on true BBQ. This is one case where I'd say it's ok. Basically it's just adding a little complexity, plus the banana leaves will reduce the smoke character.

The first time we made this, we served it as sliders on Hawaiian rolls, but it's also great over rice.