Kalua Pork Smoker: An Authentic Hawaiian BBQ Recipe

Nothing says “authentic Hawaiian cuisine” like Kalua pork smoker. A delicious, smoky dish made with pork, this BBQ specialty has been enjoyed by generations of islanders from Honolulu to Hana, and you can share in the experience when you make it yourself. With just a few simple ingredients and a bit of patience, you can create a dish that perfectly captures the flavors, aromas, and textures of traditional Hawaiian cooking.


The star of the show is, of course, pork! A 4-pound Boston butt will give you enough meat to feed around 8 people. Along with the pork, you will need 8 tablespoons of Hawaiian sea salt (alaea), 4 tablespoons liquid smoke, and 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar.

The Marinade

Combine the dry ingredients and mix until they become one homogenous mix. Now add the liquid smoke to the mixture and whisk until everything is well blended. Rub this mixture into the pork shoulder and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The marination will ensure the pork is full of flavor and will salt and smoke it at the same time.


When it’s time to cook, preheat your smoker to 210℉. Place the pork in the smoker and close the lid. Now all that’s left is to let the smoker do its job for 10-12 hours. The pork should absorb all the smokey, savory flavors and reach an internal temperature of at least 145℉.


When your Kalua pork smoker is finished, take it out of the smoker, wrap it in foil, and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. Then you can dig in! Kalua pork smoker goes great with other classic Hawaiian sides like lomi salmon, laulau, poi, and haupia. For a complete meal, top a piece of the pork with a few scoops of each side and a drizzle of more liquid smoke if desired.

Kalua pork smoker is a unique dish that is sure to make any meal special. Using a combination of Hawaiian sea salt and liquid smoke, you can infuse your pork shoulder with smoky flavors and aromas that will transport you right to the islands. With a few simple ingredients and a lot of patience, you can create a dish that captures the spirit of the islands.