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Kālua Turkey

courtesy of

Here is a recipe for kālua turkey, usually a big winner at our family get togethers. I don’t have really accurate measures, but I go by the old-fashioned method of ‘a pinch of this or a handful of that!’


18-20 lbs turkey

2 handfuls of Hawaiian salt

½ bottle liquid smoke

2-3 tī leaves

Heavy-duty aluminum foil


Remove neck, giblets and heart from turkey cavities.

Wash turkey well with cold water. Drain turkey and pat dry.

Line baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place turkey in foil.

Rub inside cavities and outside of turkey well with Hawaiian salt.

Pour liquid smoke inside cavities and outside of turkey.

Cover with washed tī leaves.

Wrap turkey well with heavy-duty aluminum foil, sealing all edges so that no steam can escape.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 350°F for 2 hours.

Lower oven temperature to 225°F and bake an additional 5 hours.

Open top foil.

Separate the turkey meat from the bones and shred.

Add more Hawaiian salt or sea salt and liquid smoke to pan juices if needed.

Place shredded turkey in another pan and pour juices over turkey. Enjoy!