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Slow-Cooker Kalua Pork & Cabbage

My slow cooker pork has four ingredients and less than 10 minutes of prep. The result tastes just like the kalua pork slow-roasted all day in an underground oven. —Rholinelle DeTorres, San Jose, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 9 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 7 bacon strips, divided
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds), well trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 medium head cabbage (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped


  • Line bottom of a 6-qt. slow cooker with 4 bacon strips. Sprinkle all sides of roast with salt; place in slow cooker. Arrange remaining bacon over top of roast.
  • Cook, covered, on low 8-10 hours or until pork is tender. Add cabbage, spreading cabbage around roast. Cook, covered, 1 to 1-1/4 hours longer or until cabbage is tender.
  • Remove pork to a serving bowl; shred pork with 2 forks. Using a slotted spoon, add cabbage to pork and toss to combine. If desired, skim fat from some of the cooking juices; stir juices into pork mixture or serve on the side.

Slow-Cooker Kalua Pork & Cabbage Tips

What is kalua pork served with?

If you’d like a side dish for kalua pork, try topping the pork with barbecue or hoisin sauce and then pair with fluffy homemade Hawaiian dinner rolls. You could even turn them into fun slider sandwiches using the rolls! You can also serve kalua pork with a side of rice, pineapple chunks, or sweet macaroni salad.

Is pork butt the same as pork shoulder?

Pork butt and pork shoulder are similar cuts that come from the front of the pig, but they differ in a few ways. Pork butt tends to have more marbling throughout and thus works perfectly in slow cookers or braises. Pork shoulder typically is sold with the skin on, and the fat isn’t as marbled.

Why is it called kalua pork?

It’s called kalua pork because of its Hawaiian roots. This type of pork is typically served at luaus and other gatherings in Hawaii, and is also called Kalua pig. Kalua refers to cooking style of using an imu, a type of underground oven.
Research contributed by Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 227 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 622mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.

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  • Paul
    Oct 28, 2020

    Really enjoyed this Kailua pig & cabbage dish... I did use more cabbage,3lbs, for a 3.5lbs pork butt...could have used more cabbage. Great dinner from aloha

  • Nonniebakes
    Mar 28, 2020

    I think it needs more flavor. I would add onions, worcestershire, pepper, and maybe some soy sauce.

  • Crystal
    Mar 27, 2020

    Years ago my boss who was from Hawaii made this for a work potluck and I loved it so much I have made it regularly since. The only difference in this recipe and hers was she left out the bacon and used a tiny bit of liquid smoke and worcestershire sauce. Looking forward to trying this variance.

  • Kathy
    Oct 6, 2019

    what liquid do you use? beer?

  • victoriadianesires
    Aug 6, 2019

    This stuff is addictive! Easy prep, simple ingredients, and FANTASTIC taste! Doesn't get much better than that.

  • bunsman
    Mar 7, 2019

    I used a 4# netted rolled shoulder roast. Made the recipe exactly as written, and my wife and I thought it was awesome! Going to use the left-overs, tomorrow night, for enchiladas or tacos. Super simple recipe.

  • annrms
    Apr 29, 2018

    I cooked this in my stove top pressure cooker, cooled the meat and juices separately so I could defat both. I then cooked the cabbage. I seasoned it with some smoked salt. Delicious!

  • Craig
    Apr 19, 2018

    Is it possible that this is "Luau Pork" instead of "Kalua Pork?"

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Aug 18, 2017

    I had a 5 1/2 lbs bone in Butt so it used the full 10 hrs. I used I tbl of coarse salt, as my sea salt was to fine grained and 1 tbl of Accent (MSG) to cover the whole roast. We try to use MSG whenever possible because of the lower sodium content. Plus it just makes everything taste so much better.The meal was great and it really needs no additional ingredients.

  • slkaspar
    Jul 28, 2017

    I make a similar recipe, but I brush liquid smoke on it prior to cooking. The first time I made it, I thought it would be too much, it's not. Try it sometime!