Pork belly is a meal that has been a staple in my family ever since I can remember. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing the crunch of a perfectly cooked pork crackling.
This is one of my favourite smoked pork belly recipes, it's my favourite for two main reasons; although there are two cooking methods this recipe is amazingly simple. I like to make this one a couple days in advance and grill the pork belly on a Sunday afternoon. There is no better way to finish off the weekend than with a nice thick, crispy and juicy piece of pork.
The second reason why I love this recipe so much is the taste. This pork belly is seriously good. After you try this method of cooking pork belly there is no turning back. It has everything you need in a meal. Its sweet, spicy, smoky and most importantly crispy.
I like to serve this pork belly with a side of jalapeño creamed corn and classic crispy baked potatoes.
Twice Cooked Smoked Pork Belly
- 1 3 to 3-1/2- pound section of pork belly
- Freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon mustard powder
- 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 Tablespoon chilli powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons sweet paprika
Preheat your smoker to 225°F as per your manufacturer's instructions. I like to use a mix of cherry and hickory wood.
With a sharp knife remove the rind (skin) from the pork belly. Once the skin is removed score the top side with a sharp knife. You want to create a 1 inch crosshatch pattern. You don’t want to cut all the way through the pork belly, only go around a ¼ inch deep.
In a medium sized bowl mix together cayenne, chilli powder, cumin, garlic, mustard powder, paprika, sugar and salt & pepper.
Dab any excess moisture off the pork belly with a paper towel and rub the dry rub over the top, bottom and sides of the pork belly. Don’t be scared to get in there with your hands and make sure everything is covered.
Once the smoker is up to temperature smoke the pork belly fat side up until bronzed with smoke. You are looking for an internal temperature of 165°F. This should be around 2 - 3 hours, however, I would advise checking after 2.5 and adjust accordingly.
Once the pork has come to temperature you can serve it hot straight out of the smoker. Although I recommend serving the pork belly after it has been chilled and reheated. You get a much better flavour and texture with this method.
If you are going with the reheat method transfer the pork to a wire rack, cover and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold.
When you are ready to reheat the pork belly, cut the pork belly into ½ inch thick slices (always remember to cut against the grain). Then lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add in a little bit more cayenne at this point.
Set your grill up for direct grilling and preheat to a medium - high heat. For the best result cook over wood or at the very least add in wood chunks to your charcoal.
Once you have a nice hot grill, arrange your pork belly strips along your grill and grill until both sides are sizzling and well browned. This should take around 2 minutes per side.
There you have it. My simple, delicious and surprisingly easy smoked pork belly. If you can resist the delicious smell I highly recommend using the twice cooked method for this recipe. It's well worth waiting that extra little bit of time for. The pork belly becomes tender, juicy and bursting with flavour.
Do you have a similar smoked pork belly recipe? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Happy smoking everybody,