The rich, smoky flavor of smoked pork belly has made it one of the most popular dishes for barbecue lovers everywhere. This delicious and versatile dish is perfect for any occasion, from a backyard BBQ to a family dinner. Get the exciting recipe here!
Pork belly has a high-fat content that gives it an unbeatable flavor and texture when it’s slowly cooked over low heat. When it comes to smoking pork belly, a pellet smoker is a great choice. Pellet smokers offer a range of flavors and aromas, allowing you to infuse your dish with your favorite smoky tastes.
In this recipe, a blend of brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder is used to make a dry rub that’s rubbed all over the pork belly. The dry rub is then allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes, so the flavors can blend together. The result is a perfectly seasoned piece of pork belly that’s ready to cook.
The slow and low cooking process, combined with the high-fat content of the pork belly, creates a dish that’s fall-apart tender and packed with flavor. So if you’re looking for a dish that’s sure to impress, look no further than this smoky pork belly recipe!
How To Make Smoked Pork Belly
Prepare Pork Belly
For this recipe, you will need a 3-4 pound piece of pork belly. Before you start, trim off any excess fat to ensure a perfect finished product.
Prepare the Dry Rub
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of onion powder. This mixture will form the dry rub for your smoked pork belly. Generously apply the dry rub all over the pork belly, ensuring that it is well coated. Let the pork belly sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Preheat Pellet Smoker
Fill the hopper of your pellet smoker with your favorite flavor of pellets. Set the temperature on the smoker to 225°F. This temperature is ideal for a delicious smoked pork belly.
Smoke the Pork Belly
Place the seasoned pork belly on the smoker’s grate and smoke for about 6 hours. Keep an eye on the internal temperature of the pork belly. When it reaches 165°F, you are ready for the next step.
Wrap the Pork Belly in Foil
Remove the pork belly from the smoker and spritz it with apple juice. Wrap the pork belly in foil and continue to smoke until the internal temperature reaches 200°F.
Brush with BBQ Sauce and Finish Smoking
Once the internal temperature of the pork belly reaches 200°F, remove it from the smoker. Brush the pork belly with your favorite BBQ sauce and return it to the smoker for an additional 10 minutes. This will allow the sauce to caramelize and add extra flavor to the pork belly.
Rest and Serve
Once the pork belly has finished cooking, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 15 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make for a juicier finished product. After resting, slice the pork belly and serve. Serve as sliced pork belly bites or pork belly cubes. You can use this smoked pork belly recipe for pork belly sandwiches, smoked pork belly tacos, or simple juicy bites.
Enjoy your delicious smoked pork belly!
Tips For Making The Best Smoked Pork Belly
So far you came to know how to cook pork belly step by step but again whether you’re a seasoned grill master or just starting out, these tips will help you achieve mouthwatering results every time. So fire up the pellet smoker and let’s get started!
Temperature is Key
Ensure that you maintain a consistent temperature of 225°F in the smoker for the entire cooking process. This will help the pork belly cook evenly and achieve the desired tenderness and flavor.
Wood Pellets Matter
Experiment with different types of wood pellets to find your preferred flavor. Popular options include hickory, mesquite, apple, and cherry. Each type of wood will impart its own unique flavor to the meat.
Patience is a Virtue
Smoking pork belly takes time, so be patient and don’t rush the cooking process. Allow the meat to smoke for 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, before wrapping it in foil and continuing to smoke until it reaches 200°F. The entire process from start to finish could take up to 8 hours.
Try Different BBQ’s
I’m a big fan of making smoked pork belly on my Traeger pellet grill but from time to time, it’s fun to switch it up. Give this recipe a try on a Kamado Joe charcoal smoker or the Ninja Woodfire Grill. Both have even amazing flavor to this recipe and are easy to use.
Best Beer Pairings For Smoky Pork Belly
When it comes to pairing food and drink, few things beat the combination of a perfectly smoky pork belly and a delicious beer. Whether you prefer a rich, malty porter or a nutty, caramel-forward brown ale, there’s a beer out there that will elevate your taste to new heights.
A robust porter’s bold, roasted flavor profile pairs perfectly with the smoky, savory flavors of a well-smoky pork belly. The beer’s rich, malty sweetness complements the pork’s natural sweetness and balances the salty, smoky flavors.
A nutty, caramel-forward brown ale is a natural match for the rich, decadent flavors of a smoky pork belly. The ale’s toasty malt flavors play off the smoky flavors of the pork, creating a harmonious balance between sweet and savory.
A Belgian Dubbel, with its complex, dark fruit flavors and subtle hints of caramel, is the perfect pairing for a smoky pork belly. The beer’s rich, malty sweetness helps cut through the richness of the pork, making each bite a true taste sensation.
Looking for more great smoker recipes? Check out our post on What To Smoke This Weekend for easy and delicious smoker recipes the whole family will love!
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Smoked Pork Belly
- 3-4 lb pork belly
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½-1 tsp salt
- Chilli Powder (Optional)
- Start by getting a 3-4 pound piece of pork belly and trimming off any excess fat.
- Mix together 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp paprika, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder to make a dry rub.
- Rub the dry mixture all over the pork belly and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Fill the pellet smoker hopper with your favorite flavor of pellets and set the temperature to 225°F.
- Place the pork belly on the grate and smoke for about 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F
- Remove pork belly from the smoker, spritz with apple juice, and wrap it in foil.
- Return it to the smoker and continue to smoke until the internal temperature of the pork belly reaches 200°F.
- Once the pork belly reaches 200°F, remove it from the smoker, brush it with BBQ sauce, and return it to the grill for 10 more minutes
- Remove and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Smoked Pork Belly FAQs
What temperature should I smoke my pork belly at?
The recommended temperature to smoke pork belly is 225°F. This will allow the meat to smoke slowly, allowing the flavors to develop and the internal temperature to reach 200°F.
How long should I smoke pork belly?
Typically, a 3-4 pound piece of pork belly should be smoked for about 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Can I use any type of wood pellets for smoking pork belly?
Yes, you can use any type of wood pellets you prefer for smoking pork belly. However, hardwoods like hickory, mesquite, and cherry are some of the most popular choices for their distinct smoke flavors.
What should I spritz my pork belly with before wrapping it in foil?
For this smoked pork belly recipe, you will spritz the pork belly with apple juice before wrapping it in foil. This helps to keep the meat moist and flavorful as it continues to smoke. You can also use apple cider vinegar if you do not have apple juice, though the taste will be a bit different.
Is it necessary to wrap my pork belly in foil?
Wrapping the pork belly in foil is not necessary but it helps to lock in moisture, keeping it the juicy bites even moister.
How long will my smoked pork belly last in the refrigerator?
If stored properly, a smoked pork belly will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator even leftover pork belly also. To keep it fresh, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.