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Thursday, October 7, 2010

You Don't Have To Dig Up Your Yard!

Cook kalua pig in your oven!

Kalua Pig (Oven Style)

If you have a Traeger Grill, you can also use it. That's what I did. I followed the recipe but didn't add liquid smoke and didn't put the banana-leaf-wrapped pork into a turkey roasting bag. I did place it in a disposable baking pan. I cooked it for 10 hours, the last hour on smoke. I'm thinking next time about smoking it the last 2 hours and possibly opening up the banana leaves. I also wrapped more banana leaves around the pork to help keep it moister. The pork turned out great! My family and a guest loved it. Served it with King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread and a homemade coleslaw. Fabulous!


-1 5-6 LB. Pork Butt, bone in
-5-6 Tbsp. Hawaiian Rock Salt (I usually go by the 1 Tbsp. salt to every pound of pork method)
-Banana Leaves (I have found them in the frozen isle at Fubonn Market. Make sure the leaves are defrosted and are wiped down with a wet towel before use.)
-Kitchen Twine
-2 Tsp. Liquid Smoke
-Turkey Oven Bags


-Preheat oven to 250 degrees Farenheit
-Lay two clean banana leaves in the shape of a plus sign
-Place pork butt in the cross section of the banana leaves and rub the Hawaiian Rock Salt generously all over the pork. Even if you think it’s too much, trust me, it’s not.
-Add the liquid smoke over the pork butt
-Wrap the pork with the banana leaves and tie the kitchen twine around the entire package just to make sure that the leaves will stay in place.
-Place the package of pork into the turkey oven bag and close with the tie that comes with the bag
-Bake overnight for at least 8-10 hours
-Take pork out and let cool before shredding. Make sure to keep all of the juices from the pork so that the pork stays moist and juicy!


  1. Wow. I'll write it backwards: wow. I can't imagine cooking this, it's so exotic! :-) I don't think they sell banana leaves anywhere in Indiana! I'm going to look for them. Lovely post, Cheryl! Write on!

  2. NOTHING more delicious than smoked, slow-cooked pork! Yeah for food!

  3. Great, Karla! Do try it. Do you have an Asian market in Indiana? You can find them frozen. Let me know if you have success.

  4. I agree, Linda! We've done pulled pork in the Traeger, but this is different with the Hawaiian Rock Salt. Love it! I also used the left-overs in a couple different recipes.

  5. We are going to try this and were wondering what kind of pellets you used?

  6. Hey, Darryn! We've only used the regular Traeger pellets in ours. I'm sure you could try some of their various smoked flavored ones--especially if you have a favorite. If not, the basic ones worked just fine. And it was really good!

  7. Thanks for the reply. Do you know what setting or temp you kept your traeger at during the cooking part? Was it 250 like the oven temp?

  8. Hey, Darryn! My brother is the Traeger expert, and even he says it's all an experiment to get it just how you'd like it. We cooked it at 250, then turned it down to smoke for the last half hour. It turned out great, but next time we do it we plan to smoke it for the final hour of the cook time.

    Enjoy, and let me know how it turned out!

  9. Oops! Darryn, I goofed on the smoke time! Been a few months since we did our Kalua Pig!

    I smoked it for ONE HOUR, but next time will try to smoke it for the final TWO HOURS.


  10. If you don't have banana leaves, try green cabbage leaves, green corn husk soaked in water or, green Ti leaves soaked in water. we used these approaches when we lived in Japan, Okinawa, and Kansas.

  11. Great suggestion, Anonymous! Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog. Blessings to you and yours in 2012!

  12. Sounds good...will try this...will the smoke flavor get into the prk though with the leaves wrapping it?

    1. Yes, it does! And it's sooooo good. We have a pork shoulder in our freezer and plan to make Kalua Pork again sometime this next week--can't wait!

      Thanks for your visit and for commenting! Hope your Kalua Pork turns out fantastic!

      Aloha! --Cheryl

    2. Thx! And do u grind the rock salts and then rub on? Or do u just keep them whole and kind of push them into the pork?

    3. I just rub them into the pork. Some stick, some fall off, but the banana leaves keep them against the pork. No need to grind up the salt. It melts and penetrates the pork.

      We never did get to the Kalua Pork, because of too many of us not being around for dinner--it's one of those you want to have when everyone's home to enjoy. Oh, and then the weather turned yucky . . . sigh . . .

      Maybe this coming weekend! Aloha! --Cheryl

  13. I've made this for years using "corn plant" (Dracaena Massangeana) leaves, readily available just about anywhere there's an office. I've recently switched to banana leaves...I always get them in the latin foods section of the frozen foods dept or in latin grocery stores...there HAS to be one in your town!

    I'm surprised at all the recipes calling for ginger and shoyu. Never saw a pig go into an imu with that in, or on it!

    I know Hawaiians like cabbage in the crock pot verson, but the cabbage gives many, gas. Never cared for the flavor of the slow-cooker method.

    I cook lower, about 200F, and leave the leaves wet.

    I never thought of using twine...and I have a whole spool of kitchen twine...and I use a Butchers Truss (only two ties) to secure my packages.

    I do about 16# at-a-time and vacuum seal the shredded meat with some au jus for later meals.

    I use it for Hawaiian Burgers. Grill your burger, top with 2-3oz of kalua pork and a grilled pineapple and Maui onion. So ono, no ka oi!

    1. I love your idea for Hawaiian Burgers! I'll have to try it sometime.

      Mahalo Nui Loa for visiting and commenting, c.c.! Hope you'll continue to check out my blog posts. Aloha! --Cheryl


I love hearing from my readers! Mahalo for visiting and commenting. Aloha! --Cheryl