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Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com
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4.95 from 38 votes

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Kalua Pig

Grab your Instant Pot or pressure cooker to make smoky, fork-tender, Whole30 Hawaiian-inspired Kalua Pig in a fraction of the usual cooking time!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 50 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: freezer-friendly, gluten-free, Instant Pot, keto, low carb, paleo, pork, Pressure Cooker, Primal, Whole30
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Michelle Tam


  • 3 bacon slices
  • 5 pounds bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • tablespoons Red Alaea Hawaiian Coarse Sea Salt or ~1 tablespoon Red Alaea Hawaiian fine sea salt
  • 5 peeled garlic cloves optional
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cabbage cored, and cut into 6 wedges


  • Drape three pieces of bacon on the bottom of your Instant Pot. Press the “Sauté" button and in about a minute, your bacon will start sizzling. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker instead, line it with three pieces of bacon, crank the burner to medium, and start frying your bacon.)
  • Slice the pork roast into three equal pieces. If you’ve got some garlic on hand, use it! With a sharp paring knife, stab a few slits in each piece of pork, and tuck in the garlic cloves.
  • Carefully measure out the amount of salt you use. For this recipe, 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.)
  • Sprinkle the salt evenly over the pork. As you’re seasoning the pork, you’ll hear the bacon sputtering in the pressure cooker. Don’t forget to flip the slices, and turn off the heat when the bacon is browned on both sides.
  • Place the salted pork on top of the bacon, keeping the meat in a single layer.
  • Pour in the water. Check your pressure cooker manual to see what the minimum amount of liquid is for your particular model, and adjust accordingly. (After some digging and experimenting, I discovered that 1 cup of water is perfect for this recipe in my Instant Pot.)
  • Cover and lock the lid.
  • If you’re using an Instant Pot, select the “Manual” button and press the “+” button until you hit 90 minutes under high pressure. Once the pot is programmed, walk away.
  • If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then, reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure for about 75 minutes.
  • When the stew is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to its “Keep Warm” mode. If you’re at home, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the cooker and let the pressure come down naturally quicker.
  • If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, remove the pot from the heat. In either case, let the pressure release naturally (which will take about 15 minutes).
  • Once the cooker is depressurized, check that the pork is fork-tender. If the meat’s not yet fall-apart tender, you can always cook the pork under pressure for another 5-10 minutes to get the right texture.
  • Transfer the cooked pork to a large bowl, and taste the cooking liquid remaining in the pot. Adjust the seasoning with water or salt if needed.
  • Chop the cabbage head into six wedges and add them to the cooking liquid. Replace the lid and cook the cabbage under high pressure for 1-5 minutes (depending on the size of the wedges and how tender you like the cabbage). When the cabbage is done cooking, activate the quick release valve to release the pressure.
  • While the cabbage is cooking, shred the pork. Once the cabbage is cooked, pile it on the pork and serve.



The leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 4 days or frozen up to several months. Pro-tip: Crisp up the leftover pork in a skillet for a crunchy, porky delight!  
Tried this recipe?Mention @nomnompaleo or tag #nomnompaleo!


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 10g | Fiber: 3g