This paper considers the finite deformation theory of poroelasticity for the case in which a deformable solid constituent and an interpenetrating liquid constituent are each regarded as incompressible, and the mixing itself is regarded as taking place without the creation of voids. The resulting kinematical constraint gives rise to a Lagrange multiplier pressure in the resulting constitutive description. This pressure therefore enters into the separate momentum balance statements for each individual constituent. The formulation of boundary value problems in this context is well known in continuum mechanics. This paper examines how a systematic elimination of the Lagrange multiplier pressure from the mathematical formulation leads to a stress-like tensor that generalizes a stress tensor concept introduced by Rajagopal and Wineman in the late 1980s, which they called the saturation stress. Here, by providing a rather complete development, it is discussed how boundary value problems are naturally formulated in terms of a single such stress tensor, how the constitutive theory is framed in terms of this stress tensor, and how certain questions concerning the formulation of boundary conditions are naturally addressed. Connections to the small deformation linear poroelastic (biphasic) theory are also provided. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.