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  • David Skarin

Hawaiian Kalua Pulled Pork

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

One of my goals in cooking is to bring memories to food or help recreate memories by cooking food whose taste or smell brings you back to a place in time. One of my favorites cooks takes me back to a family vacation to Hawaii when I was a kid. I remember going to a luau and watching a cook of an entire pig, the smells, the fire, the pig in the pit, and of course, the hula dancers. I don’t remember much else of that trip, but that is very much engrained in my mind.

Every time I smell Hawaiian Kalua Pork, I’m transferred back to that trip, on that island, on that night, surrounded by my family. That is what I am trying to recreate with this cook and what I hope my recipes due to you as well. It’s magical when it happens.


Fast Facts

Category: Pork

Cut: Pork Shoulder

Weight: 10 pounds

Grill: Traeger

Heat Source: Wood pellets

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Estimated Cook Time: 12 Hours

Actual Cook Time: 12 ½ Hours

Total Time: 14 Hours

Estimated Cooking Temperature: 225 degrees

Actual Cooking Temperature: 225 degrees for 10 hours, 275 degrees for 2 hours

Cook Date: September 12, 2020


Ingredient List

Supply List



Step 1: Bring your pork shoulder to room temperature, about 1-2 hours prior to cook time, up to overnight. Make crosshatch slices in the fat cap.

Step 2: Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees.

Step 3: In a spray bottle, combine the pineapple juice and apple cider vinegar, shake to mix.

Step 4: Place the pork shoulder, fat side up, in the baking pan and give it a couple spritzes of the pineapple/apple cider mix and season generously with the rub.

Step 5: Cut the pineapple in thick slices and pin the slices suing toothpicks to the top of the pork shoulder.

Step 6: Insert your thermometer in the thickest portion of the pork shoulder and cook until internal temperature is 200-205 degrees.

Step 7: Once temperature is reached, remove the pork butt and wrap tightly in foil. You can also use butcher paper if that is preferred. Allow it to rest 1 hour.

Step 8: After it has rested, using your meat claws, pull apart and shred. Serve immediately.

Enjoy the memories!

Lessons Learned (Note: I will update this section to include your lessons learned from the comment section)


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