Instant Pot Kalua Pork and Pineapple Salsa
Take your tastebuds to the tropical islands of Hawaii with this tender and tasty Kalua Pork served with flavorful and refreshing pineapple salsa. This Instant Pot Kalua Pork and Pineapple Salsa recipe will be one that you will want to make again and again. This dish is so much quicker than getting out the slow cooker to make this meal. And it tastes so good!
Serve with Pina Colada Fruit Salad and finish the dish with White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies for a great meal.
Instant Pot Kalua Pork and Pineapple Salsa is a yummy, festive dish that is different than your typical run of the mill dinner.
I love pork, it is so versatile, hard to ruin, economic, and delicious. So while I frequently make meals like Grilled Pork Power Bowls, sometimes I want a dish that transports me to another place. And this is it.
We love to go to Kauai and Maui, and I can never visit the islands without making a stop for kalua pork. It is sweet, tender, fantastically delicious, and so hard to duplicate.
I have been trying to make mine taste like the Hawaiian version for years, and have not had a lot of luck…until now!
You guys, I have tested and tweaked, and played with this recipe to make it both easy, user friendly, and delicious, while tasting like the magic you get in Hawaii. And I nailed it!
What You Need to Make Instant Pot Kalua Pork Pineapple Salsa
You are going to love this dish, and it is far simpler than you would think. Don’t skip any of the ingredients.
- Green Tea Leaves (a must to get the flavor right)
- Boneless Pork Butt Roast
- Pineapple Juice
- Liquid Smoke
- Lime Juice
How to Make Instant Pot Kalau Pork Pineapple Salsa
Making this kalua pork is not hard, the pressure cooker does most of the work, but you do need to use the right ingredients. Fresh pineapple is best, and tea leaves are necessary.
In Hawaii, this pork is cooked in banana leaves, often underground with live coals, which means you get an earthy, smoky, and sweet flavor. To replicate that in the instant pot pressure cooker we are using liquid smoke, tea leaves, and pineapple juice. YUM!!!!!
Rub pork with spices and transfer into the Instant Pot with juice, water, and liquid smoke. Once the pork is done cooking in the pressure cooker, let the pork sit out in a foil tent, while you prepare the delicious pineapple salsa. Slice meat and serve with salsa on top alongside a serving of rice. Delicious!
- Combine Tea Leaves with Salt and Pepper.
In a small bowl mix tea leaves, salt, and pepper.
- Rub Spice Mixture on Pork.
Rub this spice mixture over the outside of the pork butt. Set aside.
- Add a Liquid Mixture to Pressure Cooker and Add Pork.
In a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker, add water, pineapple juice, and liquid smoke.
Place pork butt into pressure cooker liquid.
- Set to Seal Position and Cook.
Place lid on pot, and lock into place, set toggle to “sealing” position.
Then, set the cooking time for 80 minutes on high pressure.
- Naturally Release Pressure.
When cook time has ended, allow for 15 minutes of Natural Pressure Release Time.
Then allow time to release excess pressure manually by flipping the toggle to “venting”.
- Remove Pork and Tent with Foil.
Remove the lid, and use forks or tongs to remove the pork butt roast from the cooking liquid to a carving board.
Tent with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Make sure to discard the cooking liquid, it is not yummy as a sauce.
- Chop and Mix Ingredients for Salsa.
During rest time, make salsa. In a large bowl, combine chopped pineapple, scallions, minced jalapeno, and lime juice. Stir well.
- Mash Ingredients.
Use a potato masher to mash down some of the pineapple to get a juicier salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice and Serve.
Slice pork into ½ inch thick pieces, and serve with the fresh pineapple salsa, over rice.
Tips and Tricks for Making Kalua Pork
Making this recipe is Eazy Peazy but here are some helpful tips and tricks so you get perfect results every time…
- The Type of Pork Matters: While pork butt and shoulder both come from the foreleg, both are relatively different, making pork butt a better choice for this dish.
- Lose Green Tea is Best: For this recipe you want to use green tea leaves. If you can’t find green tea lose near you, buy a box of tea bags, and just cut the bags open. It works perfectly.
- Fresh Ingredients for this Salsa is Best: For some salsas it is nice to have the right combination of canned and fresh ingredients. However, for this recipe, you want everything to be fresh.
- Discard Cooking Liquid: With a lot of instant pot cooking, you may use the liquid in the pot for a sauce, or pan gravy type thing after. You do NOT want to do that with this cooking liquid. It will be kind of bitter. So just drain it off and discard it. Do not soak your meat in it. Trust me.
- Pink Meat Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Underdone: Don’t worry if meat is pink. Pink doesn’t necessarily mean it is not cooked. The meat just needs to hit 160 F to be done.
- Cooked Cabbage is a Great Side: Cooked cabbage makes for a great side to this dish.
- Leftovers = Fancy Sandwiches: Use leftovers for fancy sandwiches for lunch or a casual dinner.
Make Ahead and Storage
How to make this recipe ahead of time:
- Make Kalua Pork ahead of time and put in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.
- Reheat in the microwave in a microwave safe dish or in the slow cooker.
Freezer Meal Option:
- Cook like normal.
- Cool completely and transfer into gallon sized freezer bags.
- Defrost in the fridge.
- Take out of the bag and reheat in the slow cooker or microwave. Use a microwave safe dish.
Note: Kalua Pork should stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Other Great Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos
- Island Style Pork Tenderloin
- Sticky BBQ Pork Kabobs
- BBQ Pork Sliders
- Slow Cooker Sweet Spiced Pork
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Instant Pot Kalua Pork and Pineapple Salsa
- 1 tablespoon green tea leaves about 2 bags
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 pounds boneless pork butt roast approx 1 roast
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 cups pineapple cut into ¼ inch chunks
- 3 scallions sliced thin
- ½ jalapeno stemmed, seeded, and minced fine
- 4 teaspoons lime juice
- In a small bowl, combine tea leaves, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
- Rub this spice mixture over the outside of the pork butt. Set aside.
- In a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker, add water, pineapple juice, and liquid smoke.
- Place spice rubbed pork butt into pressure cooker liquid.
- Place lid on pot, and lock into place, set toggle to “sealing” position
- Set cook time for 80 minutes on high pressure. Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
- When cook time has ended allow for 15 minutes of Natural Pressure Release Time, then release excess pressure manually by flipping the toggle to “venting”, being careful not to be burned by any steam that may escape the vent.
- Remove lid, and use forks or tongs to remove the pork butt roast from the cooking liquid to a carving board.
- Tent with foil, and allow to rest 15 minutes. Discard the cooking liquid.
- During the 15 minute rest time, assemble the pineapple salsa.
- In a large bowl, combine chopped pineapple, scallions, minced jalapeno, and lime juice. Stir well.
- Take a potato masher, and gently mash down some of the pineapple to get a juicier salsa.
- Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed, adding salt and pepper to your preference.
- Slice pork into ½ inch thick pieces, and serve with the fresh pineapple salsa, over rice.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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