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Pressure Cooker Kalua-Style Pork


If you've ever had genuine Hawaiian barbecued pork, this traditionally involves roasting a suckling pig in a pit with hot rocks, banana leaves and kiawe wood (the Hawaiian version of mesquite). Since this is a lot of work, America's Test Kitchen figured out a way to replicate the tender texture with the smokiness-- and making this is a pressure cooker. (Don't have a pressure cooker? I would think you could adapt this to a slow cooker by cooking it on low for 8 hours, as opposed to 90 minutes.) Either way, the pork butt turned out tender and delicious, as promised. I served this with sticky rice and a fresh mango-pineapple salsa for an indoor BBQ on a rainy day. It might not be exactly like in Hawaii, but it sure came close enough. Recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen "Pressure Cooker Perfection". To see how I made this, click on the recipe source to my food blog, "A Feast for the Eyes". Mano-Pineapple salsa is my own recipe.

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  • SALSA:
  • 1 tablespoon green tea leaves (about 2 bags)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (4-pound) boneless butt roast
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 4 pineapple slice rings (preferably fresh pineapple)
  • 1 mango, seeded and peeled
  • 1 jalapeno, minced with membrane and seeds removed
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely mined
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


Servings 6
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 120mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Combine tea leaves, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then rub mixture evenly over pork.

Combine water and liquid smoke in pressure cooker pot and add spice-rubbed pork.

Lock pressure cooker lid in place a bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as the pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 hours, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.

Note: I use a digital/electric pressure cooker. I simply locked the lid and set my pressure cooker to "high" and cooked for 60 minutes-- and my pork was tender and cooked perfectly.)

Remove pot from heat and allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.

To serve, transfer pork to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest 15 minutes; discard braising liquid.


Finely chop all the fruit; add jalapeno, fresh cilantro, onion and lime juice. The cilantro tastes best if allowed to macerate, refrigerated, for a few hours or overnight.


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