Rotisserie Porchetta Pork Belly

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Porchetta (pronounced POR-ketta) is an Italian dish made from a whole suckling pig that has been deboned, filled, and rolled before being roasted over wood or charcoal.

More contemporary porchetta uses a whole loin wrapped in a full belly, which is definitely too much unless you’re preparing for an Italian-sized family.

My version is a bit more modest, but it can comfortably serve 4-6 people. Any leftovers are also delicious in a soft bread bun!

This packed pork belly cooked on a rotisserie over traditional charcoal provides beautiful, soft silky pig belly with a great crackling on the exterior. I serve it with buttery mashed potatoes and homemade gravy for the ultimate in warm comfort cuisine.

What you’ll need to make Rotisserie Porchetta

Rotisserie Porchetta Pork Belly

  • A rotisserie-equipped grill For that wood-smoked taste, use charcoal.
  • To begin, use charcoal, followed by little bits of hardwood as the cook progresses. (If you like, you may use entire charcoal.)
  • A digital thermometer (I used a MEATER wireless thermometer, but a Thermapen or any quick read thermometer would also work well).
  • A mortar and pestle
  • Butchers string or twine
  • A VERY sharp knife

Preparing your pork belly

Fat to meat ratio is 50/50.I used a 4.5 pound chunk of pork belly in this recipe. Look for a chunk with a high percentage of creamy white fat, such as 50 percent.

If you can’t locate decent quality pork belly locally, we suggest Snake River Farms.

Start prepping your pork belly the night before to achieve the greatest crackling on the skin.

Score the skin in a 1 crosshatch pattern with an extremely sharp knife (you can use a craft knife for excellent results), taking sure to just cut through the skin and not the flesh (you can hire your butcher to do this for you if you prefer), then repeat on the meaty belly side.

Don’t score the flesh too deeply; you only want some surface area for the aromatics to seep through.

Once the fat has been scored, lay the belly (fat side up) on a clean cooling rack or something similar, set it in a clean sink, and slowly pour 4 cups of boiling water all over the top of the skin.

It is typical for the skin to contract somewhat. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel or a clean tea towel before placing it skin side down on a clean chopping board to begin stuffing the belly.

Making the herb stuffing

For the stuffing, youll need the following:

  • 1 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped sage
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt

Lightly shatter the fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle (or the end of a rolling pin in a big sturdy bowl if you don’t have one), then combine with the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

As a binder, sprinkle olive oil over the scored meat, then massage the herby stuffing all over the flesh and into the cracks and score lines.

Roll and tie your belly

Now comes the hard part. If you’ve never used butcher’s string or twine to tie up meat before, this may be a little intimidating, as well as a little fussy, but once you get the hang of it, it’s very simple.

Practice makes perfect.

You should wrap the pig belly up and knot it reasonably firmly; if the twine is too slack, the rolled belly will shrink somewhat while cooking and come apart.

I’m not going to attempt to explain how to tie the twine, but I’ve given a link to a video on how to make a butcher’s knot below:

After carefully rolling and tying your pork belly, place it in the fridge uncovered for as long as possible, ideally overnight. This will assist to dry up the skin entirely, resulting in a better crackling.

Before igniting your charcoal for the cook, remove your porchetta from the fridge, sprinkle with olive oil, and press a couple of teaspoons of flakes sea salt into the skin, being sure to get into all the scoring marks.

Lighting your rotisserie

Cooking the pork belly rotisserie style yields the greatest results, so you’ll need some charcoal or charcoal briquettes, as well as a couple of bits of a light smoking wood, like as apple, to really enhance the flavors in the stuffing.

If you don’t have any smoking wood on hand, you may use simply charcoal.

Light a full chimney of charcoal for this, and make sure you have enough to last your cook for at least 4 hours.

Whatever you’re cooking with rotisserie charcoal, you don’t want the coals exactly beneath the meat, but rather out to each side.

Pour your charcoal chimney into two long horizontal piles parallel to the rotisserie, then top with some more to fire, about a half chimney on each side. If desired, place a foil pan between your heaps, immediately beneath the meat.

Secure your tied Porchetta to your rotisserie rod using the attachments that came with it, and after all of the charcoal has ashed over, you’re ready to begin. Set up your adjustable height rotisserie approximately 10-12 inches above your coals to begin.

Then it’s time to start spinning your meat, and that’s no metaphor! Now is the time to add a couple of pieces of smoking wood if you choose to use it, but it is not required. If desired, add another slice or two during the cooking process.

Once the meat has begun to color, you will need to stop the rotisserie periodically to check the internal temperature of your pork belly (unless you have a wireless thermometer like the MEATER, which I recently reviewed), but you should aim for a 3.5-4 hour cook time for a 4.5 lb piece of belly.

When monitoring the temperature, use a thicker piece of flesh towards the middle of the coiled piece. You want an interior temperature of roughly 180F.

You’ll probably need to add additional charcoal during the cook, so keep an eye on it and add extra lump charcoal on a regular basis. Every half hour or so, I add a couple excellent (half fist) size portions.

When you reach internal temperature, you might begin to crackle the skin.

Remove the foil pan and place the charcoal evenly beneath the pork belly, keeping any dripping juices and fat for a gravy.

Stop your rotisserie skin side down and lower closer to the coals if necessary, but keep a watch on it to ensure it doesn’t burn. I became impatient and it somewhat burned in spots on this cook! Doh!

The skin will blister and explode in front of your eyes, almost like popcorn! To achieve a uniform crackling over the belly, pause and transfer the rotisserie to a different region of the skin.

Resting and slicing

Remove the rotisserie rod using heat-resistant gloves, then remove the porchetta roast and lay it in a pan to rest for about 30 minutes.

Use the resting liquids plus the remaining fluids from the foil tray from the cook to make some fantastic buttery mashed potatoes and your favorite gravy recipe.

After resting, cut into thick slices with a sharp knife and serve with the buttery mash and gravy, accompanied by a fine Chardonnay. Thank you, buddy.

Check out our page on Greek style chicken and lamb gyros for more amazing rotisserie dishes.

Other great pork belly recipes

  • Smoked Pork Belly
  • Pork Belly Burnt Ends
  • Hot Honey Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Rotisserie Porchetta Style Pork Belly Recipe


Can you cook pork belly on rotisserie?

Cook the pork belly: Place the spit on the rotisserie and shut the cover. Cook on high (500°F or higher) for 30 minutes to 45 minutes, or until the pork belly begins to brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low (325°F).

How long does porchetta take on rotisserie?

Cover and cook over medium heat for 3 hours, or until the skin has browned and crisped and the pork registers 155oF when an instant read thermometer is placed into the thickest portion of the meat, replacing coals as required. Remove off the grill and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.

What is the best cut of pork for a rotisserie?

Because of its cylindrical cut and even form, pig shoulder is the most preferred cut of pork for rotisserie. This permits the pig to roast uniformly on a rotisserie, producing juicy, tasty meat. The excess fat also bastes the meat as it rotates on the spit, adding flavor.

How do restaurants cook pork belly?

We soak the pork for around 20 to 25 minutes in water to remove extra fat. Then we steam it for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s 70% done. Then we pull it out of the water, puncture holes in it with a needle, and massage it all over with salt and spices. Then we air dry it for 12 hours with a fan.

What is the best way to cook pork on a rotisserie?

Season the skin liberally with salt and pepper. Place the trussed pork on a rotisserie skewer over the fire. Cook for 1 to 1.5 hours on the rotisserie, or until the pork is warm in the center. Rest before serving.

What is the best temperature to cook porchetta?

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. In a roasting pan, place the fat side up on a wire rack. Cook for 1 hour, or until the fat is crisp. Reduce the heat to 325o F (160°C) and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 168o F (75°C), approximately 60 to 80 minutes longer; test in multiple places to ensure accuracy.

How do you make a rotisserie pig skin crispy?

How to Make Perfect Crispy Pork Skin
Hang for a full 24 hours. After receiving your pig, blot the skin dry with a paper towel and place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours, uncovered.
Mark the skin. It is critical to score into the fat under the skin but not as deeply as the flesh.
Season the skin with salt.
Cook on a low heat.

Can you put pork belly on a spit?

One of my all-time favorite foods is spit-roasted pork belly. If you do it correctly, you’ll get a fantastic crunch when you bite into the crackling while the rest melts in your mouth.

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