Hawaiian Kalua Turkey

Lynda Hayes Recipe

By Lynda Hayes LyndawithaY

20 Min
6 Hr

Aloha! My husband got this recipe when he lived in Hawaii. It started with Kalua Pig and later was used on Turkey. It's cooked long and slow in a pit in the ground. Ed wanted to take and dig a hole in the lawn, but I wouldn't let him (LOL) so we cooked it in our oven. Moist and tender, unbeleivably succulent! Mahalo!

pinch tips: Non-Stick Rice Every Time


16-20 lb turkey, cleaned
1 bottle
liquid smoke, mesquite
hawaiian salt, handfuls (or sea salt)
3 Tbsp
black pepper
8 medium
ti leaves (or banana leafs)
1 stick
butter, melted

Directions Step-By-Step

Remove neck and organs from turkey cavity. Rinse well and pat with paper towel. Melt 1 stick of butter and add liquid smoke. Pour some inside turkey cavities and the rest all over outside of turkey. Use 2 handfuls of Hawaiian Salt(or sea salt) and 3 T of black pepper and mix together. Season inside and outside of turkey well with mix.
In a large roasting pan, take a 3-4 ft section of aluminum foil and lay in pan lengthwise. Take another 3-4 section and lay in opposite direction (see pic). Take 4-5 of Ti Leafs that have been washed and lay in bottom of roasting pan. Insert turkey into pan. Lay remaining Ti Leafs on top of turkey.
Take lengthwise ends of tinfoil to meet together and roll downwards toward the turkey. Now take other two ends of tinfoil and do same (see pic).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When heated, place turkey in oven. Cook for 2 hours at 350 degrees, then turn oven down to 250 degrees for the remaining 4 hours. Remove Turkey. Remove aluminum foil and allow steam to release. Remove Ti leafs.
Take 2 large bowls and start to shred meat from Turkey with Forks. Use one bowl for bones and other for shredded meat. Pour pan juices in a gravy bowl. Serve with white rice just as they do in Hawaii. Mahalo!

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Turkey, Other Main Dishes
Other Tag: Healthy

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Phyllis Lively PhyllisBaker
Jan 14, 2012
Aloha Lynda.......... Mahalo for the turkey version of Kalua Pig. I'll have to try it. I too lived in Hawaii and did the whole "pig in the ground" authentic Kalua Pig Recipe - used ti leaves and banana leaves to wrap the pig, wrapped in burlap, hot lava rocks etc etc etc. We had a neighborhood celebration in our yard. Someone even called the fire department when we got the fire roaring hot prior to burying the pig. That was the most tender, succulent pork I've ever eaten! ANYWAY.... I'm going to post a recipe for Crocked Kalua Pork which is much easier - but not as much fun - but us mainlanders have to improvise... right? Digging a hole in my Texas Hill Country yard would be next to impossible without a backhoe. Thanks for bringing back some cherished memories of Island living.
Lynda Hayes LyndawithaY
Jan 14, 2012
Mahalo Sisda! Yes, when we were in Hawaii this summer we did the whole camp out at the beach thing with some very good friends of ours and of course we cooked down there. It was awesome! Can't wait to go back this year and do it again, I love the warm family lifestyle there, it's tons of fun!
L D windella
Jan 26, 2012
Sounds delicious! I'm not big on pork,so great to see this turkey recipe.
Lynda Hayes LyndawithaY
Jan 26, 2012
LaWanda, I agree with you on the pork. We bought a
small size bottle of Liquid Smoke, so if you like it
real smoky buy a bigger bottle. If you don't want to
use leafs you don't have to. Its their custom doing
it with Ti leafs, they would bury it in the ground
and the leafs gave it moisture, if it was suppose to
give it flavor, I didnt taste the difference. Hope you enjoy making the recipe! Thanks for the comment!
Eve Anderson(AKA-POETGRL) mumm6
Jan 29, 2012
Lynda Hayes LyndawithaY
Jan 29, 2012
Your welcome Eve!