Smoked Pork Belly

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Pork belly has grown in prominence in the barbecue scene in recent years, and with good reason! It’s very excellent and adaptable, as seen by my complete smoked pork belly.

Because of its high fat content, this cut is ideal for slow cooking.While pig belly is often used for burned ends, smoking it whole gives in delectable, juicy pork that will leave you wanting more!

If you have any leftovers, see our recommendations at the end for different ways to enjoy this smoked pork belly.

What is pork belly?

Smoked Pork Belly

Pork belly is a boneless part of pork from the pig’s underbelly with a high fat content. When seen from the side, you will notice distinct layers of fat and meat.

Pork belly is well known for its application in the production of bacon. When it’s cured and smoked, you’ll have bacon for breakfast, but there are so many other ways to cook pig belly.

It is often used in Hispanic and Asian cuisines. In Chinese cuisine, roast pig belly, also known as Hong Shao Rou, comes in a variety of flavors. Another famous meal in China is Char Siu, which is generally cut into tiny pieces and served with steaming rice.

Pork belly has been more popular in the United States in recent years. It’s long been popular in fine dining establishments, but it’s finding its way to the dinner table and, of course, the BBQ pit!

Choosing your pork belly

Smoked Pork Belly

Look for a fresh, center-cut slice of pork belly. Most butcher shops and supermarket stores sell pork belly, and you may also get it online. Here’s a list of places to get pork belly.

Many butchers serve it with the skin on, but I like it with the skin removed. If you can’t get pork belly with the skin removed, you can always ask your butcher to do it for you, or you can just run a tiny, sharp knife between the skin and the first layer of fat. It should be quite easy to cut away.

Look for meat with a deep, reddish, or pink color and a slab with an abundance of flesh breaking up the layers of fat.

I suggest a small chunk of pork belly, around 4-5 pounds, for this dish. If you buy a bigger slab, break it up into smaller pieces so you may cover more surface area with your barbecue rub.

Pork belly is best cooked at a low temperature over an extended length of time. You want to allow the fat to render, so smoking it low and slow is the way to go.

How to make Smoked Pork Belly

If you can’t obtain pork belly with the skin already removed, the first step will be to peel it off. This is vital because it allows the smoke and rub tastes to infiltrate the flesh more deeply, filling the pork belly with as much flavor as possible.

1. Season the pork belly

Once you’ve removed the skin off your slab of pork belly, thoroughly season it with your preferred barbecue rub.

This is where you may express yourself. If you want a flavorful brisket-style pork belly, use a beef rub seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic.

If you want something a little sweeter and more typically pig flavored, try our ultimate pork rib rub, which is mixed with salt, pepper, and brown sugar.

I used the Notorious P.I.G. Rub in this recipe. It’s got a lot of brown sugar, which I love when I’m smoking pig, and a little pepper bite on the back end that really balances off the sweetness of the rub and the fattiness of the pork belly.

Check out these 7 Delicious Dry Rubs for Pork & Ribs if you prefer to build your own dry rub.

Don’t be afraid to season. You want to cover the pork belly in a thick coating of spice. Because pork has few natural characteristics, you want to cram as much flavor into it as possible with your rub.

2. Fire up the smoker

As previously said, pork belly is best prepared when cooked low and slow, that is, at a low temperature for an extended length of time. Allow plenty of time for the fat to render, and we all know that patience is a virtue when it comes to outstanding barbeque.

I smoked the pork belly on my Camp Chef Woodwind 24 using pecan wood pellets for this recipe.

When I smoke pork, I enjoy the taste of pecan, but you may use oak or apple if you want. Stronger woods, such as hickory or mesquite, are not recommended since their robust tastes tend to dominate pork.

Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and set your slab of pork belly straight on the grates.

A 4lb slab will take roughly 6 hours overall, at a rate of 2 hours each pound. The ultimate interior temperature should be between 200F and 205F.You should figure on 1-1.

3. To wrap or not to wrap?

Some individuals prefer to wrap their pork belly in the same manner that they would wrap brisket or hog butt. Wrapping, in my opinion, is not essential nor useful in this scenario. If you want to wrap it, I would do it when it reaches 175F internally. You may use butcher paper or foil.

I don’t wrap my pork belly because I want to let it soak up as much smokey flavor as possible. Because the high fat content keeps it from drying out, you can actually set it and forget it.

4. Let it rest

As with other smoked meats, let it to sit for a few minutes after cooking to cool down and redistribute the interior fluids. I let my rest for 30 to 45 minutes, but if you’re using an insulated cooler or a Cambro, you may leave it for up to 4 hours.

Ways to enjoy pork belly

  • Sliced and served as a main dish
  • Pork Belly Nachos
  • Pork Belly Tacos
  • Pork Belly Sandwiches
  • Pork Belly Ramen

Other great pork belly recipes

  • Porchetta-style Pork Belly
  • Pork Belly Burnt Ends
  • Hot Honey Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Smoked Pork Belly Recipe


How long does it take to smoke pork belly at 225 degrees?

Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F and start your fire.
Score the top layer of fat on the pork belly in 1 inch squares using a sharp knife.
Place the seasoned pork belly on the grill and smoke for 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

How long does it take to smoke a whole pork belly?

Smoke the pork belly for 2–3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160–170°F. Remove the pork belly from the smoker and set it in a skillet or pan. Continue smoking pork belly for another 1.5 hours, or until done and an internal temperature of 195 – 200 degrees F is reached using an internal read thermometer.

Do you smoke pork belly fat up or down?

Do you like your smoked pork belly fat side up or down? Yes, put it on the smoker with the fat side up. During the smoking process, the fat renders and self-bastes the pig, making it juicy and tasty!

How to smoke pork belly and get crispy skin?

Make careful to smoke the fat side of the pork belly.

This is what helps render the fat and achieve that crispy, golden brown exterior. Allow it to cook for at least two hours at 350°F. The skin should set up and begin at this temperature to assist render the fat, keep the pork moist, and break down the muscle.

Is it better to smoke pork at 250 or 225?

Smoking your pork shoulder at 225° produces soft, juicy meat but takes longer to cook. Smoking your pork shoulder at 250°, on the other hand, is speedier and produces somewhat tougher meat with a more smokey taste. Ultimately, both ways will provide delectable results!

Should I smoke pork at 225 or 250?

Preheat your grill to 225°F. Allow 8-10 hours to smoke. When the interior temperature is between 195 and 203 degrees, pull the lever. Allow it to rest for 30 to 60 minutes.

Why is my smoked pork belly tough?

To successfully cook pork belly, we must give it the time and temperatures required to render both the fat and the collagen. This generally translates to low and slow cooking. At temperatures exceeding 180°F (82°C), any beef will evacuate its available free water, becoming tough and dry.

Do you flip pork belly when smoking?

Allow that to relax and enjoy itself while you prepare the smoker. We can return in approximately 15 minutes to season the other side. Turn the pork belly halves over to the other side.

Can you overcook pork belly?

It is quite easy to overcook pork belly. When the muscle and fat of the pork belly turn rubbery, you know it’s overdone. This is why it is critical not to overcook or set the temperature too high. Patience is essential while creating any cuisine.

Why is my pork belly chewy?

It has a high fat content, like the belly of most animals, which is one of the reasons it might be frightening to prepare: If not handled properly, the fat and muscle seize, resulting in a chewy, rubbery mass — blech!

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