In Hawaii, we love our food.  A favorite food of all locals is the Hawaiian Smoked Meat.  Any meat can be used but our meat of choice today is pork butt marinated in a Hulihuli Sauce.  The hulihuli sauce is a sweet and salty shoyu based sauce which is also a favorite among locals.  Although it is primarily used for basting chicken, it can be used on any type of meat. 

The wood of choice today is Kiawe Wood Chunks.  Kiawe wood is a Hawaiian Mesquite which can be found amongst the brush on the beaches.  However, any smoking wood such as apple, hickory, mango, or guava will do well.

Check out another great smoked meat recipe – Chinese Five Spice Smoked Meat Recipe!

Hawaiian Smoked Meat Recipe

Prep Time: 4 hours minimum

Cook Time: 3-4 hours


  1. 5-lb (at least) pork butt
  2. Handful of Hawaiian Sea Salt
  3. 12oz. Hulihuli Sauce (half bottle of the 24oz.)


  1. Cutting board
  2. Sharpened knife
  3. Multifunction Shear
  4. Tongs
  5. Large Ziploc bag or aluminum catering pan
  6. Smoker


Step 1.  Cut pork butt into 1/4in. steaks.

5lb. Pork Butt

hawaiian smoked meat

Step 2.  Once cut into steaks, rub on Hawaiian Sea Salt to both sides of all steaks.

Step 3.  Place salted steaks into a Ziploc (or leave in pan), and place into refrigerator for 30 minutes.  This will allow the salt to seep into the meat and flavor it as well as tenderize it.  hawaiian smoked meat

Step 4.  Take steaks out and pour in Hulihuli Sauce.  Massage the steaks around and make sure all steaks are covered in sauce.  Place back in fridge and let marinate for at least 4 hours.  The longer it marinates the better, but I’ve found that 4 hours is a minimum. I forgot to take pictures – sorry!

Step 5.  Prepare the smoker.  Once the internal heat is around 190-200 degrees fahrenheit it is ready for the meat.  Once the heat is there, it’s time to smoke!

Hawaiian smoked meat smokehouse

Step 6.  Place meat on grates so that they are not touching.  

Tip: Place larger pieces on lower grate so they are closer to the heat source.

hawaiian smoked meat

Step 7.  If you are able to keep the temperature stable at 190-200 degrees, this will take about 3-4 hours.  Be sure to keep a supply of wood chunks of your choice to add to the fire.  

hawaiian smoked meat

Step 8.  Cut finished meat into bite sized pieces using a kitchen shear.  I find that using the kitchen shear is much easier on the hands than trying to cut it with a knife. 

Hawaiian smoked meat recipeNote:  There really is no need to flip the meat while cooking, but I usually do at least once.  You’ll also want to keep the marinate to re-baste the meat throughout the cooking cycle, be careful not to rub off the smoke layer while doing this.  Simply drizzling the sauce with a spoon over the meat will do.  

So there you have it!  A Hawaiian favorite that will definitely become staple in your smoking recipe bible!

Do you have a favorite smoking recipe?  Share it with us!

Author: Brennan Young

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