Hawaiian Pulled Pork

Hawaiian pulled pork is sweet and tangy, and delicious over riced cauliflower, and sticky rice, in tacos, sandwiches, lettuce cups, salads, and sliders. The list goes on and on! Pulled pork is one dish that stretches, so it’s great to serve for a hungry crowd.

A blue plate with pulled pork ready to enjoy

Hawaiian Pulled Pork With Pineapple

Hawaiian pork, or kalua pork, has a history deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture and traditions. The traditional method of cooking a whole pig in an underground oven surrounded by rocks and banana leaves and ti leaves has evolved over time.

Slow-Cooker Method

This Slow-cooked kalua pork is the traditional Hawaiian pork dish you will find on the islands, however, It’s a simple dish with liquid smoke and Hawaiian sea salt that is easy for the home cook to make.

The slow-cooked cooking method takes most of the day to get nice and tender just like it would if the pork was cooked underground. It is worth the wait no doubt!

Instant Pot Method

However, this Hawaiian pulled pork recipe with pineapple is a mix of sweet and tangy flavors, which turns into a flavorful sauce, and it only takes 30 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot.

Add just a little sauce to the prepared pork or coat the shredded pork with all the sauce. Personally, I give the shredded pork a nice coating, then serve the remaining sauce on the side.

That way everyone can add more if they choose to, and they always seem to do just that!

Hawaiian shredded pork made in a pressure cooker.

How To Make Pulled Pork Cooked In An Instant Pot

Just like the kalua pork, this recipe is simple as well, just need additional ingredients to bump up the flavor profile a bit.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • Pork Butt or Shoulder. I prefer pork butt, which is actually part of the lower forearm of the pig, not the behind! Learn the difference between pork butt and pork shoulder over at Cook’s Illustrated. Boneless is easiest to cut, but if all you can find is bone in, then cut around the bone. Place the bone in the Instant Pot with the rest of the ingredients to get all the meat. Just be sure to remove the bone when shredding the pork.
  • Pineapple juice: Unsweetened real juice, not concentrate. Dole brand is my go to juice. It’s always available in the juice aisle in grocery stores.
  • Chicken broth
  • Spices: garlic, ginger (fresh if available), paprika
  • Brown sugar or brown sugar-free alternative to lower the carbs.
  • Tomato paste
  • Ketchup or tomato sauce. I use sugar-free brands.
  • Soy sauce. It’s fine to use reduced sodium or liquid aminos.
  • Fresh sliced pineapple. Be sure to check out this post on how cut pineapple.
  • Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce if you would like. Alternatively, you can reduce the sauce by simmering until it reduces and thickens naturally.
Ingredients to make Hawaiian pulled pork

You will need the following supplies:

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Baking/serving dish
  • Forks for shredding pork
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

Steps to make Hawaiian pulled pork in an Instant Pot:

This recipe comes together quickly. Like most pressure cooker recipes you will add the ingredients and let the Instant Pot do its magic!

First, cut the pineapple into large chunks and set aside.

Cutting pineapple rings into chunks
Pineapple Chunks

Next, prepare the pork by cutting it into large chunks (add a tablespoon of oil). Lightly salt and sear each piece on the saute mode. You will need to do this in batches.

Saute pork

Place all pork in the Instant Pot and add all the remaining ingredients.

Cover the lid and close the vent. Cook on manual for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own.

Instant pot on manual mode for 30 minutes

When it is safe to remove the lid use tongs to take out the pork and place on a baking dish. Shred with two forks.

Shredded pork in a white baking dish

Turn the Instant pot on saute mode and cook the sauce until the liquid has evaporated to about half. Add the fresh pineapple.

Alternatively, to thicken the sauce add the cornstarch slurry with water before adding in the Instant Pot.

Cook until it reaches your desired consistency. You’ll have plenty to pour over the Hawaiian pulled pork.

At this point remove the pineapple and serve on the side or top the pork with the pineapple.

Sauce for Hawaiian pulled pork in an Instant Pot

What to serve with Hawaiian pulled pork

Once you have this ready you are going to pick at the pork with your fingers.

Don’t eat it all though, because you will want to try these other options.

  • Serve as sliders with pineapple coleslaw
  • Top on rice
  • Keep the meal low-carb by wrapping lettuce
  • Serve in a tortilla
  • Make into nachos
overhead shot of pulled pork with a side of rice and pineapple

Can I Freeze Already Cooked Pulled Pork?

Yes! After the pork reaches room temperature place in freezable containers. I remove the pineapple chunks before freezing.

Keep frozen for up to three months.

To use right away, place frozen in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. When ready to heat add about 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth to a saucepan with the pork. Heat until it is nice and warm.

Hawaiian pulled pork in a blue plate without pineapple

Can This Be Made In A Slow Cooker?

Yes! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, then break out your slow cooker. You will need to adjust the recipe by adding an additional 1/2 cup of stock.

In addition, I recommend searing the meat (on the stovetop). Slow cook on low for 8 hours.

A blue plate with pulled pork ready to enjoy

Hawaiian Pulled Pork

Delicious pulled pork in a tangy with a slightly sweet sauce topped with pineapple cooked in a pressure cooker. Enjoy over rice cauliflower, sticky rice or make a sandwich. This is a crowd pleasing meal for any gathering.
4.71 from 51 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hawaiian, instant pot, pineapple, pork, Pressure cooker
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Sandra Sandra


  • 3 Pounds boneless pork shoulder sliced
  • ¾ Cup chicken stock
  • 1 ¼ Cup pineapple juice
  • Cup soy sauce
  • Cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Ginger knob minced
  • 1 Tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ Cups pineapple sliced
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water


  • Set the Instant Pot in the sauté setting and add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. Add the pork. sauté for 4 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. This may be done in batches.
  • Add the chicken stock, the pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and paprika.
  • Close the lid and the vent and set on high pressure. Cook for 30 minutes. Let steam naturally release and open the lid.
  • Remove the pork and place in a baking dish. With the help of 2 forks shred the pork.
  • Set the Instant Pot on sauté and cook, stirring until the sauce has reduced and thickened. For thicker sauce dissolve the cornstarch in water to form a slurry. Add to the sauce and continue to stir.
  • Add the pineapple chunks into the remaining sauce.
  • Add sauce to the shredded pork 1/4 cup at a time until you get the consistency desired. Top with pineapple or serve on the side.
  • Serve with the remaining sauce.


Slow Cooker Method

To slow cooker add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Sear pork in a skillet on the stove before adding to the slow cooker with all the above ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 658mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.


Easy Hawaiian pulled pork recipe made with a sweet and tangy sauce topped with fresh pineapple. Enjoy over rice, in a lettuce wrap or in sliders. Makes a great meal for a crowd. #instantpot #porkrecipe

Hugs Sandra Signature

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