Have you ever had a pig cooked in the ground? It is tender and juicy with a taste that just can’t be beat. Now you can make it at home in your crock pot with only 3-4 ingredients, just put it in, turn it once and you will be in pork heaven. When you top it off with my homemade BBQ sauce and sandwich it between slices of the Kings Hawaiian mini sub rolls it becomes the best sandwich ever!
A big plus is that we got this pork butt at such a great price. At one of our grocery stores here in town at about 10:30 AM on Saturday mornings they put out “reduced meat” for sale cheaper because it must be cooked or frozen quickly. Last Saturday, Top Girl and I got to the store at about 12:30 PM to buy groceries and as luck would have it the meat department was late in putting out the reduced products so we made out like bandits! We got a 12 lb. pork butt for about half price along with steaks, ribs, pork chops, chicken, and a ham. We have two freezers so this was a no brainer for us – we got it!
Did you know you could look up the average cost of any cut of meat in your area (we are in South Central) on the site maintained by the USDA? Just Google “Weekly Retail Meat Prices” and the first two links will be PDF files, one for beef and one for pork. Scroll down to find your area and you will find the average price at your local grocery stores. They put out the report on Fridays – here are last weeks: Beef or
When we got home we re-wrapped most of the meats in the wonderful Reynolds Wrap Freezer Paper which is like Butcher’s Paper so it would not get any freezer burn from being wrapped in that flimsy plastic stuff they put on at the grocery. Then we unwrapped the 12 lb. pork butt and my husband cut it in half – and it was NOT easy because that meat was tough, especially the fat back. I started to get worried about how this was going to turn out but I kept going despite my misgivings.
CROCK POT KALUA PORK
These are the three items you need:
6 lb. Pork Butt or Shoulder
3 Tablespoons Hawaiian Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt and it worked great!
3 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
Using one of those big 2-pronged forks that you pick up meat with, prick the meat all over – top, bottom, sides.
Rub the salt all over getting it into the holes.
Rub the Liquid Smoke all over the meat as well – wear gloves for this. I washed my hands until I nearly scrubbed the skin off and it STILL had to wear off. I stank for about 3 hours!
Spray the crock pot with non-stick spray and put the pork in – no water, no liquid of any kind should be poured in, just put the seasoned meat in.
Now, if you want it to taste like it’s been wrapped in banana leaves, just take a whole banana with the skin still on and slice it horizontally laying it on top of the meat skin side to meat. I would have done that but Top Girl hates bananas and would have never eaten it.
Take foil and place over top, put lid on, turn to LOW and let it go for 10 hours. I put mine on at 10PM.
*****You will want to make the BBQ sauce now – recipe to follow.****
After 10 hours, take off lid and foil then scoop up the banana with slotted spoon and discard.
Turn the meat over…………..look at all that liquid! Can you believe it? I was shocked.
I discarded some of the fat back but left the bones.
Put the foil back on – then the lid and let continue cooking for 6 more hours.
At that point, take the meat out discard the bones and fat then shred the meat.
Put the meat back in for 1 or 2 more hours checking to make sure there is sufficient liquid so it won’t burn.
After 17 to 18 hours, dip the meat out with a slotted spoon then cover loosely with foil for at least 30 minutes.
Put the meat on a bread and/or roll then top with BBQ sauce, mustard, or whatever condiment you want and add cheese, veggies or whatever you desire……..enjoy!
This serves a crowd and if you do not want to put it in a crock pot or yours is not big enough for the size meat you want to use, you can always cover tightly and cook in the oven for same amount of time at 170F in a regular oven.
BBQ Sauce Recipe –
2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon dried ground Thyme
1 ½ Cups Ketchup
2 Tablespoons yellow Mustard
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Tablespoon Butter (salted or unsalted, doesn’t matter)
Put everything in a saucepan, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
Put in an air tight container and place in fridge at least over night.
Sauce will be thick and probably not as sweet as any red BBQ sauce you’ve ever had – it’s the way we like it. I like mine cold but the rest of the house likes theirs warm so it is easier to have it in the fridge and besides, the flavors marry making it much more mellow and tasty – even days or a week later so you can really make this ahead of time.
This looks so delicious. I always look for mark-downs in my store’s meat department, too.
Adam J. Holland
Do you deliver? 😉 This looks awesome.
Sorry dude – we just ate it all up! 🙂 Thank you!
Oh wow… Looks delicious Kelli, I love pork 🙂 I have a smoker so in the warm months I love to smoke pork butts. Nice pictures 🙂 Glad you are over the flu!
Yes! I love to smoke them too – lucky me I have a smoker too! But, it’s way too cold right now for that!
This looks wonderful ! And I did not know about the place to check on meat prices, thanks 🙂
Love this dish. Perfect how the sauce tops the pork, but the pork itself is not overly saucy. Betting your kitchen smelled amazing!
Karen (Back Road Journal)
You certainly did make out great at the market and you pork sounds delicious.
Choc Chip Uru
I often find BBQ sauce from stores too sweet and cloying, so I will definitely be trying your homemade version 😀
Looks great with the pork!
Choc Chip Uru
Thanks CCU and the BBQ sauce is wonderful with just a little bit over mac n cheese – and you can eat that! 🙂
I am really interested in that banana trick, Kelli. And, if sin that store with the meat sale!
The iPad is my nemesis tonight. “Finding that store…”
Oh, I love pulled pork, Kelli! What a wonderful recipe—I need to break out my slow cooker and buy a pork shoulder!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
I love pulled BBQ pork. Putting it into a crock pot is time saving and amazing! Looks yummy!
Thank you! It is time saving and makes a tough piece of meat tender and juicy!
I’ve done this…both had real kalua pork on our Hawaiian honeymoon and made it at home in the good ol’ slow cooker…major yums. A little dash of liquid smoke or using smoked salt is one of those small details that contributes big to the final taste
It is wonderful isn’t it? YUM! Just thinking about it makes me hungry!
And leftovers (if there are any) makes great pork Fried rice the next day
There are never any leftovers! 🙂
Lol…if there were more than just the three of us, we wouldn’t have leftovers either. Tasty stuff! Thanks for sharing the recipe☺
When did you add the kalua and how much.
In this instance, I am referring to the Kalua that means Hawaiian pig cooked in the ground. Only it’s in the slow cooker – non of the alcoholic mix! Thanks for asking!
OMG… this is the best ,BBQ sauce ever! Has a great bite to it and not all sweet!