Tender, fatty, fall apart pork shoulder is one of life’s true treasures. (Am I being dramatic?) Well, I’ve been known to be both dramatic and impatient, so this 90 Minute Kalua Pork was bound to happen.
The general rule with meat cuts is: the tougher the muscle, the more dynamic the flavor. A filet mignon is tender, sure, but is it interesting? No, not really. It’s the muscles that actually get used by the animal that have the most flavor. But the tenderness needs to be coaxed out.
Traditionally, this is done with low, slow cooking. But what about those of us who are impatient? (me!) What if we don’t plan ahead and want dinner TODAY? (also me!)
Well. There’s a solution for us impatient poor planners. It’s called pressure cooking, and I promise- you need not be afraid of it. Once you have an Instant Pot, I bet you won’t want to make bone broth any other way! It’s by far my favorite method, and I’ve gotten great feedback from others who have tried it.
90 Minute Kalua Pork
For the holidays last year, my mama got me an Instant Pot, which is the amazing little contraption I used to make this here 90 Minute Kalua Pork. The nice thing about these guys is that they’re pretty foolproof- the temperature is regulated so you don’t have to play a guessing game with the temperature of your burner in relation to the steam inside.
It took me a while to take my new kitchen toy out of the box, and after I did, I just stared at it for a few days. (not straight, I did other things, too) Kitchen appliances that require pushing buttons make me feel funny. It’s one of the reasons I’m not a slow cooker user. But I’ve slowly been conquering my fear(?) and finding fun ways to use my Instant Pot.
This thing is quite the multi-tasker; it slow cooks and pressure cooks. It makes yogurt and rice. You can even turn the heat up in it to sear your meat right in the cooking chamber before you slow cook or pressure cook it.
But for now, please enjoy this recipe for Kalua Pork. It’s super simple to make, and you can even skip the pineapple and smoky part- it’s delicious kept simple and unadulterated, too. As for me, I’ve been missing Hawaii ever since we got back from our honeymoon last month, and wanted those little reminders of it.
To me, nothing beats serving this with plantain tortillas, guacamole and slaw. Not exactly the traditional way of serving it, but incredibly delicious.Print
90 minute Kalua Pork
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Total Time: 95 minutes
- Yield: 8 - 10 servings*
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: American
Kalua Pork usually takes hours to make, but with a pressure cooker, takes half the time.
- 1 4-5 pound pork shoulder ((I prefer bone-in, but boneless works too))
- 1 teaspoon salt ((Hawaiian or sea salt))
- 1/2 cup diced pineapple, (fresh or canned)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce ((I love Red Boat!))
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup water
- Season the pork with salt and add to the insert of your Instantpot along with the pineapple, fish sauce, liquid smoke and water. Lock on the lid and turn the valve to sealing.
- Cook at high pressure for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes, allow the steam to release naturally for 10-15 minutes, then turn the valve to venting.
- Remove the pork from the Instantpot and carefully pour out the juices into a jar. Pull the meat apart with two forks, removing any excess fat.
- Once the fat rises to the top of the jar, remove it with a small ladle and discard. Add some of the juices back to the pork, as desired. (I added about half.)
* This pork freezes well, but if you would rather make less, the recipe can easily be halved.
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I will definitely use this recipe once for my catering. thank you , you have a beautiful site.
Franklin Wong says
Recipe sounds great being from HI. But there is only my wife and I at home now and 4-5# pork shoulder is a lot. How does the recipe change if one uses only 2-2.5#s. Thanks
PS: It would be helpful that for all the recipes, a comment on how downsizing the recipe change the instructions.
We are only two people as well, and I feel that when cooking something like this, it’s silly to make enough for exactly two servings. You could definitely make less though and it won’t change the recipe. All of the recipes on this site make about 4 servings, so it should be easy to halve them if you don’t want any leftovers.
Leisa Joy Landis says
Could you share the slaw recipe that you mentioned would be good with this? Your suggestions look scrumptious!! Thanks!
Thanks, Leisa! There are a few in my first cookbook, and also one in this post.