In Hawai’i, the process to make Kalua Pig is thus: a large pit is dug and a hardwood fire burned in it. When the fire is roaring, specially selected pohaku (stones) are added to the fire and burned until red hot. At this point, pounded banana stalks or other vegetation are thrown on top of the rocks. Next, the slaughtered whole pig (preferably a Hawaiian feral pig) which has been wrapped in banana leaves and the leaves of the Hawaiian Ti plant is put on the banana stalks. More banana stalks are put over the pig and then more coals and hot rocks are placed on top of it before the pit is filled in with dirt and left for the day (or night). Finally the pit is excavated and the pig removed and shredded.
The unique and delicious flavor of Kalua Pig comes from the smoke of the hardwood and the steam from the Ti leaves. It is an ancient Hawaiian tradition, a very delicious meal and often the centerpiece of a Hawaiian luau.