Wow. Bite for bite, I honestly don’t think I can come up with an easier recipe than Slow Cooker Kalua Pig. All you need is a big pork roast, a few slices of bacon, Hawaiian Sea Salt, and PATIENCE!

An overhead shot of a bowl of Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Slow cooker Kalua Pork for the win!

Remember—quality matters when you’re using just 3 ingredients. (If you don’t have 16 hours to spare, check out my Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Kalua Pig recipe! This faster method is my go-to recipe these days!)

A collage of the cooking steps for Slow Cooker Kalua Pig.

Ingredients

How to make slow cooker Kalua Pork

Line a slow cooker with 3 slices of bacon…

Three slices of raw bacon on the bottom of a slow cooker

…and use a knife to remove the skin from the roast. (You don’t have to do this, though. Feel free to leave the skin on if you’re in a lazy state of mind. I won’t tell.)

Next, weigh the pork to estimate how much salt to use.

Weighing a pork shoulder roast and a closeup of Hawaiian Red alaea salt on the right.

Normally, I liberally salt my roasts like it’s raining cats and dogs. But in this case, I want to be more judicious in my seasoning ’cause the long cooking time will concentrate the salt. I follow Judy Rodger’s rule of thumb: use ¾ teaspoon of medium-coarse salt for every 1 pound of meat. (Using fine salt? Use about half that amount.)

Then, cut some slits into the meat and tuck in the garlic cloves…

A closeup shot of inserting a whole garlic clove in a pork shoulder roast

…and salt the pork all over.

Sprinkling Hawaiian red alea salt on pork shoulder roast.

Then, place the roast on top of the bacon in the slow cooker, skin-side up.

On the left, a slow cooker is shown and on the right is seasoned pork shoulder roast inside the slow cooker

Plop on the lid and cook the roast on low for about 16 hours. (Note: newer slow cookers are hotter and may only require 9-12 hours on the low setting.) Don’t add any liquid!

When the pork finishes cooking, remove the meat and shred it with two forks.

Shredding Slow Cooker Kalua Pig with two forks

Check the pork for seasoning and adjust it with the cooking liquid from the bottom of the pot. Don’t just shred the meat in the cooking liquid—it’ll be too salty!

A closeup of shredded Slow Cooker Kalua Pig in a blue bowl

Pow!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

4.76 from 45 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time12 hours
Total Time12 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Bite for bite, this may be my easiest and tastiest recipe ever. All you need is a big pork roast, a few slices of bacon, Hawaiian Sea Salt, and patience!

Ingredients  

  • 3 bacon slices
  • 5 pounds Pork shoulder roast bone-in or bone-out
  • tablespoons Alaea Red Hawaiian Coarse Sea Salt or ~1 tablespoon Alaea Red Hawaiian Fine Sea Salt
  • 5 peeled garlic cloves optional

Instructions 

  • Line a slow cooker with 3 slices of bacon. If desired, use a knife to remove the skin from the roast.
  • If you aren't using a 5-pound pork roast, weigh the pork so you can estimate how much salt to use. Follow Chef Judy Rodger's rule: use ~¾ teaspoon of medium-coarse salt for every 1 pound of meat. (Using fine salt? Use about half that amount.)
  • Then, cut some slits into the meat and tucked in the garlic cloves. Salt the pork all over, and then place the roast on top of the bacon in the slow cooker, skin-side up.
  • Cover with the lid and cook the roast on low for about 16 hours. (Note: newer slow cookers are hotter and may only require 9-12 hours on the low setting.) Don’t add any liquid!
  • When the pork is finished cooking, remove the meat and shred it with two forks. Check the pork for seasoning and adjust with the cooking liquid that remains at the bottom of the pot. Don’t just shred the meat in the cooking liquid—it’ll be too salty.
  • Serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 16g | Fiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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42 Comments

  1. Wondering if I can double the recipe and put in electric roaster for a party?? Should I put bacon on bottom still? Thoughts on temp and timing if I used two 5lb roasts?

  2. 5 stars
    This is my go-to pulled pork recipe since Jan 2014, published in Costco magazine I believe. Thank you for the tip about new slow cookers cooking hotter. I recently replaced mine and have to adjust all my recipes :>(. I checked the pork at 10 hours and it is perfect.

  3. Uh oh I have this in the crockpot now so it might be too late, but can I cook it on high for less time? I got a late start this morning :-/