Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork

This Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is tender, smokey and melt in your mouth perfection. Get that authentic Hawaiian Luau pork flavor at home with this super simple, 3 ingredient masterpiece. Palm trees or no palm trees, you can be transported to your own little paradise with this moist delicious pork. Serve with Grilled Coconut…

Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork

This Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is tender, smokey and melt in your mouth perfection. Get that authentic Hawaiian Luau pork flavor at home with this super simple, 3 ingredient masterpiece.

Palm trees or no palm trees, you can be transported to your own little paradise with this moist delicious pork. Serve with Grilled Coconut Lime Pineapple, and either Hawaiian Fried Rice or Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, for a complete island experience.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork, tender smokey and moist, served on a bun.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork

With only 3 ingredients this is probably one of the easiest meals to make. When you taste this explosion of flavor and smokey goodness, you won’t believe it only has 3 ingredients. This is also known as Kalua pig or Luau Pork, but it’s all the same amazingly deliciousness.  This will be such a huge hit you’ll want to keep this in your rotation of family favorites.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is the easy quick version of a Hawaiian staple for Lauas. In Hawaii a large pit is dug, wood is placed in the bottom and set on fire and rocks are put on top and around to hold in the heat. A whole pig is then salted and spiced and wrapped in damp leaves and placed on top of the slow burning fire and covered with dirt and left to roast all day. This method is not really realistic for all of us, but this slow cooker version is.  Besides bringing forth the same super delicate and juicy pork, the only other thing these two methods have in common is the time. You’ll want to plan ahead because to get that divine tenderness you’ll want to cook at least 16 hours.

Kalua Pulled Pork Ingredients:

Although there are only 3 ingredients, using the right ingredients will ensure that authentic Hawaiian Pork flavor.

  • Pork Butt Roast: Also called a Pork Shoulder roast you can get one with the bone or with out. Either works.
  • Course Hawaiian Salt: Look for this in your specialty stores like Cost Plus World Market, Trader Joes, or you can order it from Amazon. You can also use the widely available Himalayan Salt if you can’t find it Hawaiian Salt.
  • Liquid Smoke: If you are in a pinch Worcestershire Sauce can be used as a substitute but you have quite that smokey flavor, but still oh so tender.

How to Make Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork:

Super simple to make, but definitely need to plan ahead as this should be started the night before you’d like to indulge.

  1. Season: Place the pork in your slow cooker. Generously rub (yes rub it in the meat, think massaging meat) in the liquid smoke and salt. Add more if you have a bigger roast, less if it’s smaller, but be sure to season well.
  2. Cook: Cook on low for 16-20 hours. Yes you read that right.
  3. Shred: Remove the pork to a cutting board or bowl and shred. Remove the liquid from the slow cooker and separate the fat from the broth. Add in both the broth and pork back to the cooker to keep warm before serving.

Making Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled pork by rubbing salt and liquid smoke into meat.

Tips for Great Kalua Pulled Pork:

This is a really hard recipe to mess up but here are some tips to make sure it stands out above the rest.

  • Pork:  Pay attention to the size of your roast. If you get a roast larger than 6 pounds (8-12 pounds) you’ll want to increase both the salt and the liquid smoke. Too little can leave your pork tasteless. The amazing flavor comes from the salt and liquid smoke. For a larger roast increase the salt and liquid smoke by 1-2 teaspoons.
  • Rinse and Trim: Rinse and pat your roast dry to ensure the flavor “sticks” to it. Trim your roast of large chunks of fat, and place fat side up in the slow cooker, the fat will baste the rest of the roast as it cooks.
  • Pierce: Poke the roast with a fork all over before rubbing in the salt and liquid smoke to increase the flavor inside and out.
  • Liquid Smoke: It is recommended by some Islanders to use Hickory Liquid Smoke for an authentic flavor, but Mesquite is just as good, it’s mostly about personal preference.
  • Time:  I know I’ve said it before, but truly the longer you can cook it the better. This will work if you start in the morning and let it cook all day, it just may not be quite as tender. But still amazing.

How to Serve and Store your Kalua Pulled Pork:

Pork Roasts usually produce a lot of meat, so there are endless possibilities. It’s also super easy to store and save for a rainy day.

  • Serve: This juicy flavorful pork is great as a stand alone or serve over rice or noodles. Use in your favorite Mexican dish such as quesadillas, tacos, burritos or even on top of nachos. Make pulled pork sandwiches topped with coleslaw.  Use on a flatbread with your favorite toppings.
  • Store: Bring leftovers to room temperature and store in an airtight container with the juices in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze leftovers in a freezer safe container or freezer ziploc bag sealed tightly for up to 3-5 months.
  • Reheat: Thaw frozen leftovers in the fridge over night. Reheat all leftovers on the stop top in it’s liquid. Do not microwave. It’ll over cook the meat making it rubbery and possibly dry.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork tender and juicy shredded on a plate.

More Tempting Slow Cooker Pork Recipes:

Nothing is better than setting and forgetting dinner in the morning and coming home from a busy day to a meal almost done.

  • Sweet Carolina Pulled Pork Sliders
  • Slow Cooker Mississippi Pork Roast (To Die For!)
  • Slow Cooker Skinny Pulled Pork Barbacoa
  • Cafe Rio (Copycat) Sweet Pulled Pork
  • Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
Print

Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork

This Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork is tender, smokey and melt in your mouth perfection. Get that authentic Hawaiian Luau pork flavor at home with this super simple, 3 ingredient masterpiece.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword kalua pork, pulled pork, Pulled Pork Recipes, slow cooker kalua pulled pork
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 hours
Total Time 16 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 People
Calories 449kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 6 pound Pork Butt Roast
  • 3 Tbsp Coarse Hawaiian sea salt or regular sea salt works great
  • 3 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • Buns for Sandwiches

Instructions

  • In a slow cooker add the pork. Sprinkle salt on top of pork and pour the liquid smoke on top.
  • Cook on low for 16-20 hours. Turn the roast halfway through.
  • Once it is complete remove the roast and shred with a fork.

Notes

Updated on September 12, 2020
Originally Posted on May 22, 2013

Nutrition

Calories: 449kcal | Protein: 76g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 2795mg | Potassium: 1272mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 2mg

 

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Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering […] The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering away on the weekend as you do your chores or relax and enjoy watching the changing of the seasons. :)

What’s in Hamburger Stew?

Hamburger stew is very similar to traditional beef stew, but it’s made with ground beef instead of stew meat. Using ground beef is a little bit less expensive than using stew meat, and I like how you get a little bit of beef in every bite! 

In addition to the beef we have a medley of fresh vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes, peas), beef broth, herbs and spices, plus a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to zhuzh it up a bit. It’s incredibly simple, but creates that beautifully subtle slow stewed flavor.

Why Brown The Hamburger First?

For this Hamburger Stew I browned the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. I did this for two reasons. One, to render off some of the fat. I used 15% fat ground beef and there was quite a bit that needed to be drained away (I actually tested this recipe once without draining the fat and it just ended up far too oily). The second reason is that you get a nice browning (maillard reaction) on the beef in the dry environment of a skillet that you do not get in the wet environment of a slow cooker. So you’ll get just a little bit more flavor with this extra step!

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Yes! Stews are very flexible. If you don’t like one of the vegetables listed, go ahead and skip it. Just keep in mind that the potatoes do help thicken the stew, so if you skip the potatoes you’ll have more of a soup texture. Other great vegetables to use in beef stew include:

  • mushrooms
  • pearl onions
  • parsnips
  • turnips
  • rutabagas
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin)

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

This recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, which are a variety of canned tomatoes that are popular in the U.S. (example: Hunts stewed tomatoes). These tomatoes are cooked with seasonings and a little bit of sugar to give them the slightest sweetness. Stewed tomatoes add a little extra special unique flavor to the broth of this stew. While you can use diced tomatoes if stewed tomatoes are not available, this substitution will slightly change the flavor of the stew.

How Long Is Hamburger Stew Good?

After cooking the hamburger stew, I suggest dividing it into single portions (so that it cools faster) and refrigerating it right away. It will stay good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months). This stew is a great item to have stashed in your freezer for busy nights! It can be reheated quickly in the microwave, or slowly over medium-low heat in a pot on the stove.

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
Total Cost $9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 348.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker
  • Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Cups Spoons

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes $1.20
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 carrots) $0.45
  • 1 yellow onion 0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.69
  • 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes $1.00
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60

Instructions

  • Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper to a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger).
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then drain off the excess fat. Add the browned and drained beef to the slow cooker along with the can of stewed tomatoes (with juices). Finally, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to make sure everything is evenly combined (the broth may not fully cover the other ingredients). Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the lid and stir the stew. Use the back of a spoon to slightly mash some of the potatoes, which will help thicken the stew.
  • Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw) and stir to combine into the stew. Taste the stew and add extra salt if needed (I did not add any, this will depend on the salt content of your beef broth). Serve hot with bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 348.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.42g | Protein: 20.15g | Fat: 11.83g | Sodium: 751.72mg | Fiber: 5.07g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Stew Recipes:

  • Slow Cooker Rosemary Garlic Beef Stew
  • Vegan Winter Lentil Stew
  • Instant Pot Beef Stew
  • Vegan Peanut Stew
  • Smoky Potato Chickpea Stew

Front view of Hamburger Stew in the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew – Step by Step Photos

Vegetables herbs and spices in the slow cooker

Peel and dice 2 lbs. of potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice ½ lb. carrots (about 4 carrots). Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic to a slow cooker along with ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried tyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Browned ground beef and stewed tomatoes added to slow cooker

Brown one pound of ground beef and drain off the excess fat. Add the browned ground beef to the slow cooker along with one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes (with the juices).

Beef broth Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce added to slow cooker

Add 2 cups beef broth, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce to the slow cooker.

Slow cooker ready to be turned on

Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the meat and vegetables, but that’s okay. The vegetables will release more moisture and increase the broth as they cook. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Cooked hamburger stew in the slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, it will look like this. Give it a good stir and smash some of the potatoes against the side of the slow cooker. The smashed potatoes will help thicken the broth into a nice hearty stew.

Frozen peas being added to the slow cooker

Stir one cup of frozen peas into the slow cooker (they’ll thaw and heat within a minute or so). 

Finished slow cooker hamburger stew in the slow cooker

Give the hamburger stew a final taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I didn’t need to add any because the broth I use (Better than Bouillon) has a decent amount, but if your broth has less sodium you may find that a pinch of salt at the end helps the flavors pop!

Slow Cooker Hamburger stew in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

Serve the hamburger stew immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (but I don’t know how you’ll resist having a bowl after smelling that cooking all day!).

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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