This Smoked Pork Belly is melt in your mouth fantastic! Cooking it low and slow for a relatively long time creates the most wonderful flavors. It is likely some of the best bacon you will ever have. After all, who doesn’t like bacon? There isn’t anyone in our house who turns down a slice of bacon. There is usually a bit of a fracas over the last piece, actually, LOL.
We literally have bacon in our house at all times, you know, just in case we need to cook some up for a bacon emergency! But seriously, if you want to eat some of the best-smoked pork belly you will ever have, you need to try this recipe! As with most smoked meat recipes, this does take some time and pre-planning to make. But the results are definitely worth it!
HELPFUL ITEMS FOR THIS RECIPE
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Ingredients for this Recipe
The ingredients for this great recipe are very simple. You have the dry rub, which is made up of ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry or spice drawer, and of course, the pork belly itself.
- Pork belly
- Kosher salt
- Brown sugar
- Sweet paprika
- Chili powder
- Fresh ground pepper
PREPARING YOUR PORK BELLY
In a small bowl, mix all your dry rub ingredients together, so they are well combined. You will need to remove the skin if it is still attached to your pork belly. You can ask your butcher to remove the skin for you before you buy it.
Place your pork belly on a baking sheet with a rim. Using a sharp knife, score the fat side of your pork in a crosshatch pattern. Be sure to only cut into the fat. You don’t want to cut through into the meat of the pork belly.
Now take your dry rub and sprinkle it all over the cut of meat. Make sure to cover both the top and bottom as well as all the sides. You need to gently massage the rub into the crosshatch cuts you made in the fat also.
Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate your pork belly for at least 12 hours. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before smoking.
You can see why you want to use a rimmed baking sheet. The pork belly will seep a fair bit of water out while it is in the fridge. Think of the big mess you would need to clean up if that rimmed baking sheet wasn’t there!
Ready for the Smoker
Remove the pork belly from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour to warm-up. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. and get it ready for the meat. As you can see, I have placed an aluminum foil-lined pan with about an inch of water in it under the pork belly while it smokes.
This helps to keep the meat from drying out while it is smoking. It also will catch all the fat drippings, reducing any flare-ups as well as helps to keep your smoker box clean. You will need to replenish the water throughout the smoking process.
Place the meat in the smoker fat side up. I use applewood to smoke my pork belly; it just seems to enhance the flavors of the smoked meat. Now close the lid and only peek to replenish the water or to add more applewood chips to your smoker.
Smoke to a temp, not a time
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I use a ChefAlarm from Themoworks. You can continuously monitor the internal temperature, which is great! That’s a point that everyone needs to remember when smoking meats of any type. You always smoke to a temperature, not a time. When meats are cooked low and slow, they are done when they reach a certain internal temperature, not just because you have had them in the smoker for a certain amount of time.
You will want to continue to smoke your pork belly until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F. As I mentioned earlier, don’t look at the time, but for reference, it may take up to 6 hours or more for your pork belly to reach this internal temp.
Remove the pork belly from the smoker and allow it to rest on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes, you can let it rest for up to 30 minutes and it will be fine. Now you can start slicing!
What does smoked pork belly taste like?
Smoked pork belly taste like the best bacon you have ever had, and really, I’m not kidding! When I start to slice the warm pork belly in the kitchen everyone in the house comes by for a couple of slices. I often have to fend them off so they don’t eat it all before I’m ready to serve it for a meal.
What goes good with smoked pork belly?
We like to serve up the thinly sliced pork belly on a nice crusty bun with your favorite barbecue sauce. You can pair it with some fries or a green salad to round out the meal. You can basically serve up pork belly in the same way you would pulled pork. On a nice bun or right on a plate smothered in BBQ sauce.
This smoked pork belly is perfect for breakfast too! Sliced nice and thin and tossed into a frying pan for a minute to warm it through. Served up with some fried or scrambled eggs and a slice of toast, and you have the best breakfast in town!
Other pork belly smoking options
You can smoke your pork belly the way I have described, and I know that you will be very happy with the results. But this isn’t the only way to serve up your pork belly. You can make what they call smoked pork belly burnt ends. You basically follow this same procedure, but rather than smoking the pork belly whole you cut the meat up into pork belly cubes.
Smoke them in a foil pan, stirring them occasionally while they are smoking. They are yummy little bites of smoked pork goodness! I would recommend you give them a try some time!
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Pin it HERE!!
- 2.5 lbs pork belly
- 1 ½ Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- Mix all the rub ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- You will need to remove the skin if it is still attached. You can ask your butcher to do this for you.
- Place your pork belly on a rimmed baking sheet, and using a sharp knife, score the fat side of your pork belly in a crosshatch pattern. Be sure to only cut into the fat. You don’t want to cut into the meat of your pork belly.
- Sprinkle the dry rub mixture over your pork belly, being sure to cover the whole piece of meat. Massage the rub into the cross-hatch cuts.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- Remove the pork belly from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for about an hour before smoking.
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Place the pork belly fat side up in your smoker. Place a foil pan with an inch or so of water in under the pork belly to catch the dripping. You can replenish the water as needed throughout the smoking process.
- Smoke the pork belly using applewood until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. This may take up to 6 hours. If you do not have a constant read thermometer, you can start to check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer after about 3 hours.
- Once it reaches 165 degrees F, remove the pork belly from the smoker and allow it to rest on a wire rack for 15-30 minutes before slicing.
- You can slice it and eat it right away or pan fry it for a few minutes to crisp it up a little. It is great the next day also. I thinly sliced it, microwaved it until hot, and piled it on a crusty bun with BBQ sauce, the perfect pork belly sandwich!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 975mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 22g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.