The Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich No One Can Resist

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Imagine biting into a sandwich that transports you straight to the sunny beaches of Hawaii. That’s the magic of the Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich. This sandwich combines tender, slow-cooked pork with a sweet and tangy pineapple relish, nestled between fluffy Hawaiian rolls. It’s not just a meal; it’s a mini tropical vacation on a bun.

The Secret to Perfect Pulled Pork

The foundation of any great Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich is, undoubtedly, the pork. The ideal cut for this dish is pork butt, known for its fat marbling that renders down during cooking to create melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. The pork should be seasoned with a blend of paprika, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder before being slow-cooked until it effortlessly falls apart.

One can enhance the pork’s flavor by incorporating a homemade barbecue sauce. This sauce typically includes ingredients like ketchup, brown sugar, and a mix of spices that give it a unique kick. Cooking the pork in this sauce not only infuses it with flavor but also ensures it stays juicy and succulent.

Tip: For an authentic touch, add a splash of liquid smoke to your barbecue sauce to mimic the smoky flavor of traditional Hawaiian outdoor cooking.

The pork is then shredded and can be mixed back into the sauce, soaking up all the aromatic goodness. This process is crucial as it allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a deeply flavorful and cohesive filling for your sandwiches.

The Role of Pineapple in Hawaiian Cuisine

Pineapple is not just a fruit in Hawaii; it’s a staple that adds a sweet, tangy contrast to many local dishes, including the pulled pork sandwich. The pineapple relish, often made from chopped pineapple, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice, is what truly sets this sandwich apart. The relish should be vibrant and fresh, providing a crisp juxtaposition to the rich, savory pork.

Integrating pineapple not only adds a burst of flavor but also enzymes that can help tenderize the pork, making each bite as tender as it is flavorful.

Tip: Use fresh pineapple if available, as it provides the best flavor and texture for the relish.

Whether you layer it directly on the sandwich or serve it on the side for an added crunch, the pineapple relish is the element that will have your guests asking for seconds.

Assembling the Ultimate Sandwich

Choosing the right bread is crucial for the perfect pulled pork sandwich. Hawaiian rolls are the gold standard here; their sweetness complements the savory pork beautifully. These rolls should be lightly toasted to add a bit of crunch and to prevent them from getting soggy once the juicy pork and relish are added.

Start by layering a generous amount of pulled pork on the bottom half of the roll. Next, add a hearty spoonful of pineapple relish, ensuring every bite contains a burst of its juicy, tangy flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, a slice of grilled pineapple can also be a delightful addition, offering a caramelized sweetness that contrasts well with the tangy barbecue sauce.

Tip: If you like your sandwich with a bit more heat, a drizzle of sriracha or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes can add a nice kick.

Finally, cap it with the top bun and press down slightly to meld all the components together. The result is a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that make the Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich a true delight.

In conclusion, the Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich is more than just food; it’s a celebration of Hawaiian culture and cuisine. From the slow-cooked pork infused with a homemade barbecue sauce to the bright, tangy pineapple relish and soft, sweet Hawaiian rolls, each element plays a crucial role in creating a sandwich that’s truly irresistible. So why not bring a taste of Hawaii into your kitchen with this exquisite sandwich?

Irresistible Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich

Course: LunchCuisine: Hawaiian


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Cooking time


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Sink your teeth into the rich, tropical flavors of our Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich, topped with a zesty pineapple relish that will whisk your taste buds away to paradise.


  • 4 lb pork butt

  • 1 Tbsp paprika

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp black pepper

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple

  • Hawaiian rolls


  • Rub the pork butt with a mixture of paprika, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Ensure it’s evenly coated to infuse the pork with flavors before cooking.
  • Place the seasoned pork in a slow cooker. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and crushed pineapple to make the BBQ sauce. Pour this mixture over the pork, ensuring it is well-coated.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or until the pork is tender enough to be easily shredded with forks. Shred the pork inside the slow cooker to let it absorb all the delicious sauce.
  • Serve the pulled pork on Hawaiian rolls. You can top the pork with additional pineapple relish or coleslaw for a refreshing crunch.


  • Pulled pork can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.
  • For best results, use a high-quality ketchup as it forms the base of the BBQ sauce.
  • Consider adding a splash of liquid smoke for an enhanced smoky flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make this recipe without a slow cooker?
A: Yes, you can also cook the pork in an oven. Wrap it tightly in foil and cook at 275°F for about 6 hours or until tender.

Q: What if I can’t find Hawaiian rolls?
A: While Hawaiian rolls add a sweet flavor, you can substitute any soft, sweet bread or even brioche buns as an alternative.

Q: Can I use fresh pineapple instead of crushed?
A: Absolutely! Fresh pineapple will add a more intense flavor. Just chop it finely and measure the same amount as crushed pineapple.

Q: How do I store leftovers?
A: Leftover pulled pork should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within three days. It can also be frozen for up to three months.

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Hey there! I'm Jamie Anderson. Born and raised in the heart of New York City, I've always had this crazy love for food and the stories behind it. I like to share everything from those "Aha!" cooking moments to deeper dives into what's really happening in the food world. Whether you're here for a trip down culinary memory lane, some kitchen hacks, or just curious about your favorite eateries, I hope you find something delightful!

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