Smoked Pork Belly Recipe in 6 Easy Stages

Smoked pork belly is deliciously moist, crispy and obviously smoky. 

It’s also a cheap cut of meat that can really shine in the barbecue smoker, and on your dinner table.

Smoked Pork Belly Recipe in 6 Easy Stages
Smoked Pork Belly Recipe on the Grills

How to Smoke Pork Belly

Smoked Pork Belly Stage 1 – Prepare Your Pork Belly

We always recommend sourcing your meat from a local butcher because that way you can see what you getting without packaging.

The life that the animal has had is so important to how the meat turns out.

An active animal will always have more muscle, and an inactive one will have more fat. Fat means flavour, juiciness and the potential to crispiness also. 

This applies to salmon, pigs, and cows to mention just a few.

It’s always helpful to be able to ask your butcher what kind of life the animal has had – the better the life, the better the meat.

Being able to see what you are buying, along with the necessary information empowers you to make better choices.

Once you are happy with the meat you have bought, take it home and pat it down with kitchen paper.

Make sure it is fat side up.

Using a knife, score the fat of the pork belly in a criss cross fashion into roughly similar diamond shapes. 

This will allow the dry rub, and later the BBQ sauce to really get into the meat and flavour it.

Now we can make our dry rub.

  • 1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Ground Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Place all of your dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 

Brush your pork belly all over with honey or Dijon mustard to give the rub something to stick to.

Smoked Pork Belly Step 2 – Smoke the Pork

Bring your smoker up to a temperature of 113°C or 225°F. Apple wood is the obvious choice for smoking pork, but if you want a more intense smoke flavour hickory will work very well too.

Place the pork directly onto the grills of your smoker away from direct heat and open flames. 

Make sure it is fat side down to crisp up the skin. Close the lid on the smoker.

You’ll need to brush the pork with apple juice or cider every hour or so to keep it moist. 

We want to cook to internal temperature and not to time but it will take around 6 hours to get to the right temperature

Smoked Pork Belly Step 3 – Wrap the Pork

Once your pork belly registers an internal temperature of 74°C or 165°F, take the belly off the smoker and wrap the meat tightly in Butcher’s paper or tinfoil. 

Add a splash of cider or apple juice to the wrapped meat to keep it moist.

Put your pork belly back on the smoker  and cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 93°C or 200°F. 

Smoked Pork Belly Stage 4 – Glaze with BBQ Sauce

Now remove your meat from the smoker and from the wrap, then glaze your pork belly with the best BBQ sauce you have.

If you need a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce try here:

Return to the smoker for about 30 minutes, and then remove from the smoker.

Smoked Pork Belly Stage 5 – Rest the Pork 

This is the final stage of cooking and very important for making sure the juices redistribute themselves across the meat evenly. 

The temperature will continue to rise by around 5°F and the meat will relax.

Wrap the pork belly in tinfoil and leave to rest for 30 minutes. 

Smoked Pork Belly Stage 6 – Serve 

Serve your crispy, smokey, salty, sweet pork belly to your guests who will be hushed with amazement. 

Serve with tacos, burritos or in a bap with coleslaw.

You can also serve it with mashed potatoes, roast potatoes and vegetables in a Sunday Roast fashion.

If you enjoyed this article you could try this one on ‘Smoked Pork Loin:’

Traeger Smoked Pork Belly

Traeger have a great and easy recipe for smoked pork belly, seasoned with their Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub and smoked for 3 hours over apple wood.

Pit Boss Smoked Pork Belly

Pit Boss have a different take on smoking pork belly. The pork is beer-braised, glazed with a sticky Asian sauce and seasoned with Pit Boss’ Sweet Rib Rub.

Related Recipe

If you would like another great article on the topic of Smoked Pork Belly try here:

Pork Belly Recipe Grill

If you want to cook pork belly hot and fast on the grills, rather than smoking it cut it into long thin strips and grill it at high heat for around 15-20 minutes. You’ll need to keep moving it around to stop it burning.

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