EPIC Smoked Pork Belly [Pitmaster’s Secret Recipe]

Crispy smoked pork belly is a staple in my family.

There is nothing more satisfying than hearing the crunch of perfectly cooked pork crackling.

I’ve tried many smoked pork belly recipes, but this is my favorite for two reasons;

Firstly, this recipe is super simple.

I like to give the meat rub during the week then smoke the pork belly on a Sunday morning.

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. It’s sweet, spicy, smoky and most importantly it’s crispy.

Wanna Cook it Now? Jump straight my crispy smoked pork belly recipe

Step 1: Score Your Pork Belly

If you want crispy pork you need to score and rub with sea salt. See how I did it below

scored my pork belly skin so its extra crispy

Step 2: Apply Rub to Pork Belly

First, we applied the binder, which was mustard then applied the pork rub. Sometimes we also use a texas style rub I have included the recipe for it below. I haven’t in this recipe but some people like to inject their pork for each moisture and flavor.

mustard binder on pork bellly

Step 3: Place in The Pork Belly in the Smoker

Preheat the smoker 250°F. Place the pork belly in the smoker and insert the temperature probe. We used pecan chip wood for this cook.

Step 4: Wrap The Pork Belly

Once you reach an internal temperature of 165°F wrap your pork belly in foil with apple juice. Once it reaches 200°F remove the foil and let the skin crisp for 10 minutes before removing it from the smoker

Step 5: Rest and Slice

Allow the pork belly to rest for at least 10 minutes time. Then slice and enjoy with your favorite BBQ sauce! Got some leftovers? try making some smoked bacon!

My Favorite Sides for Pork Belly

I like to serve this pork belly with a side of jalapeño creamed corn and classic crispy baked potatoes. See some of my other favorite sides for pork belly!

Another awesome thing to do is create some smoked pork belly burnt ends with the leftovers!

Not having pork belly? There are dozens of other recipes for smoked sides here.

Can’t Find Pork Belly? Try Pork Butt

Need a alternative for pork belly? You can also get a delicious crackling on pork butt.

Just don’t trim the fat cap as much and ensure you score and salt the meat.

If you pork butt stalls, you can either try wrapping it (that might affect the crackling) or you can up the temperature.

Getting That Perfect CRACKLING

Pork belly needs high temperatures to get that tasty crispy crackling! 

You also need to hold this high temp for a prolonged period. The last thing you want is a chewy pork belly!

Want to know where the best pork belly I have ever eaten at a restaurant is?
On a trip down under to see my brother, we went to Red Spice Road. We had the Pork Belly with caramel chili and apple slaw, it was the best pork belly I had ever tried!

Pork Belly Cooking Temperature Chart

Cuts of PorkTemperature (F)Rest TimeRest Time
CutletsCook until tender (at least 145 degrees)3 minutes10 minutes
Ground Pork160Serve right away10 minutes
Ham (precooked)140Serve right away10 minutes
Pork Chop145 (rare) – 160 (well done)3 minutes10 minutes
Pork Loin145 (rare) – 160 (well done)3 minutes10 minutes
Pork ShoulderCook until tender (at least 145 F)3 minutes10 minutes

How To Smoke Pork Belly

my smoked pork belly with temperature probe in it
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Crispy Smoked Pork Belly Recipe

This recipe is a for crispy smoked pork belly. Pork belly is a favourite around my house, the kids love when I do it!
It will give you an amazing smokey flavour and the crispy skin that we all love.
Its essentially the perfect pork belly recipe in my eyes. If you don't like crispy skin feel free to only use the first half of this recipe for an amazingly flavorsome pork belly. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 20 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Barbecue
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 518kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 15


  • Smoker


  • 1 3 to 3-1/2- pound section of pork belly
  • 3 tbsp mustard
  • 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 250°F as per your manufacturer's instructions. I like to use a mix of cherry and hickory wood.
  • With a sharp knife remove the top layer of fat on the pork belly. Score the fat  in 1 inch squares. 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. Then apply the mustard binder. Then 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.
  • At 165°F wrap your pork in foil with apple juice
  • Once the internal temperature gets too 200°F remove foil and allow the skin to crisp up.
  • Once skin is crispy (10-15 minutes) remove the piece of pork from the smoker and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes

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Looking for a Healthier Alternative? (Try Pork Loin)

If you are catering to a health-conscious crowd, you might want to try a different cut of pork as well.

I find that smoking pork loin will yield much less fat and is one of healthy smoker recipes. Now some people are borderline addicted to the crackling (aka, the fat) and some want to enjoy pork without it. So much sure you cater to everyone! 

Got Some Leftover Pork Belly?

We all love leftovers! Sometimes I turn this pork belly into pulled pork if we have leftovers.

That way it stays juicy. You just need to be mindful when reheating pulled pork as it can become dry and stringy. Try to using juice or beer to keep it moist

There you have it my simple, delicious, and surprisingly easy smoked pork belly. I love when we have leftovers, you just have to make sure you reheat it properly.

What is your favorite smoked pork belly recipe?

Happy smoking everybody,


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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5 thoughts on “EPIC Smoked Pork Belly [Pitmaster’s Secret Recipe]”

  1. Hi Charlie, thanks for this recipe, it looks delicious, I’ll definitely try it out on my gateway drum smoker. Just one question, it mentions crispy skin in the introduction but in the recipe it says to remove the skin. Is there something missing in the recipe? Do you discard the skin?

    Thanks! Marcio

    1. Thanks for letting me know Marcio, I have definitely left out one of the most important steps (and most delicious!!!!!) Let me know how you go with it

      1. 5 stars
        Dear Charlie,
        can you tell me what exactly step is missing?. I want to try this weekend but without skin is gonna be difficult to hava a crispy pork belly.

  2. Hola! I’ve been following your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

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