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Kalua Pork - Two Ways

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I was invited over for New Years and the host suggested a Hawaiian theme for dinner. So, I said I would cook a Kalua pork butt.  Below are my initial efforts. This is my first overnight cook.


I started two days ago with a Costco pack about 14.5# with two boneless shoulders in the bag. I salted them with Himalayan Pink Salt (didn't have any Hawaiian pink salt) and set them in the fridge overnight to marinade and rest.




Yesterday I stopped by the Koreanna market and bought (too much) fresh banana leaves ($3 for 3#)




I then set the roast in and started wrapping




I used butchers twine to bundle it.




This was the interesting part, I saw on another site to wrap this bundle in plastic wrap to seal in the juices. Since I have seen plastic being used in the oven in Food TV, I thought I would try this. I know the goal with Kalua is to steam the pork and this is to replicate the in ground process (imu) of rocks/leaves/pork/leaves/burlap/dirt.




When it was wrapped, it looked like this




I them wrapped this is a couple layers of foil to make this




As I had two roasts and an opportunity to prepare this dish two ways, I decided to dry cook the other butt. So I trussed it back together with some twine.




So, I then fired up the Vision and let the fire settle in near 225F. After the fire was nearly stable, I decided to add the meat and finalize the fire before going to bed. It was a cool night with temps near 36F  and the wind picking up. For the fire, I use Lazzari manzanita and one 12 inch branch from a pepper tree I trimmed earlier this year.




I set my Maverick to a meat alarm of 200F and fire alarm of 275F and went to bed at about 12:30, with my Maverick on the night stand.  At 2:00 am, the fire alarm went off and I closed the lower vent to about 8 small holes in my perforated vent and a 1 on my cast iron top vent. I adjusted the alarm to 300F and went back to bed. The naked (smaller) butt was 143F at this time. I woke up at 4:00 and glanced at the Maverick, fire 271F, meat 190F. I went back to sleep. same process when my wife's alarm went off, 261 and 195, back to sleep until 6:45.


When I got up, the fire was down to 251F and the meat was showing 199F. Sounds done but I wanted to probe it. So, I put on my slippers and coat, grabbed my Thermopop (probe), and went outside (33F air temp). 


This is what I found




GBD, Golden Brown and Delicious roast where the probe slipped thru the butt like butter. I didn't probe the wrapped roast.  I will reveal it later.


As I need to work today and feel roasts are better after they sit for a bit, I foiled the little roast and placed them both into my Trader Joe's insulated bag.




They are currently sitting at home, awaiting a good pull, good beverages and good company. 


I will come back with a review and more photos.




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Short answer...the banana leaf wrapped butt was much more tender and juicy. You get a very slight hint of the leaf flavor or smell when pulling. The dry rub butt that was unwrapped was dryer and has smoke flavor. Photos tomorrow after the party.

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So just the pink salt for seasoning and the banana leaves on the kalua pork?  Nothing else after it was pulled?  Sounds like pure pork goodness.  I wonder how it would come out if you wrapped pineapple like that and cooked it low and slow (I imagine not so long though).

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