posted February 28, 2020
BBQ Smoked Pork Belly
Smoked Pork Belly is the next big thing in low and slow barbecue. It combines everything you love in good BBQ: luscious smoky flavor of slow barbecued pork dripping with finger lickin’ juiciness.
Smoked Pork Belly
Pork belly used to only be available as cured bacon or off of the whole hog, but nowadays it is easy to get your hands on a slab of the uncured stuff at most butchers (even Costco!). With it more readily available, it’s a great option for making some delicious smoked pork belly!
I have played with pork belly before when curing my own bacon and making my famous pork belly baked beans. The meat-to-fat ratio in pork belly makes it ideal for both the quick cooking crisping (like in bacon) and the low and slow style of cooking to render the fat and tenderize all of the muscle. The direction I took with this particular BBQ smoked pork belly was to keep things as simple as possible and really maximize the natural flavor of the meat itself.
I used a pork belly with the skin/rind removed, and I definitely recommend it. Having the rind removed will allow the smoke and flavor from the rub to better penetrate the meat. I bought my belly with the skin already removed. If you would also like to start with the skin removed on your pork belly, I’m sure your butcher would do this for you. Otherwise, you can remove it yourself with a sharp fillet knife.
How to Smoke Pork Belly
Here’s the breakdown on how to smoke a pork belly. The ingredients are few, and the process is a cinch. You can also scroll down to the recipe card to view the video for additional help in this process.
To begin, liberally season the pork belly with my Sweet Rub and then stick in in the the smoker (I used my SmokePro pellet grill) at 225 degrees F. I used apple wood for this recipe, but go with whatever is your favorite for pork. Spritz with apple juice every hour to help deepen the color of the bark and keep things moist.
Once the belly hits an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, wrap the belly in foil with a little extra apple juice and cook until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F. After that, remove the glorious belly from the foil cocoon and glaze it lightly with your favorite BBQ sauce before returning it to the smoker for a few more minutes to tighten the sauce. Voila! You’ve now cooked the perfect smoked pork belly.
How Long to Smoke Pork Belly
The whole process from start to finish took about 8 hours for a 4 pound belly, but as with any low and slow cook that can vary based on the thickness of your meat and temp swings in your grill.
Always shoot to cook for internal temperature instead of time. I use my ThermoWorks thermometer to track the correct temperature while smoking, and I love it! This thermometer is the industry standard for accuracy.
How to Eat Smoked Pork Belly
Once you have your pork belly beautifully smoked and rested, the options at this point are really endless.
- Shred for the juiciest pulled pork of your life.
- Cube and eat as much as you want, like tender and moist ribs without the bone.
- Chill completely and then slice into large pieces the next day for sandwiches. All you need to do is simply grill the pork belly for a minute or two over High heat and get after it!
Basically, you have entered the realm of meat heaven. The possibilities with smoked pork belly are many, so go ahead and experiment to find what you like best.
More Pork Recipes
If you liked this recipe, you’ve gotta try my other pork recipes available on this website. Definitely give my pork belly baked beans a go! You can also search all my Pork Recipes here.
Smoked Pork Belly Recipe
BBQ Smoked Pork Belly
- Get your fire going in your smoker and preheat to 225 degrees F.
- Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of fat on the pork belly in 1 inch squares. Don't cut too deep, just barely into the muscle. Season liberally with the Sweet Rub on all sides.
- Place the seasoned pork belly on the grill and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (about 6 hours). Spritz with the apple juice every hour while it is cooking.
- Once the belly reaches 165, remove from the grill and wrap in heavy duty tinfoil with 1/2 cup of the apple juice. Seal the edges of the foil completely and return to the grill until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.
- Carefully remove the belly from the foil and drizzle with the apple juices from the foil. Return the pork belly to the grill and brush with BBQ sauce. Cook on the grill for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the finished pork belly to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 more minutes before serving, You can shred like pulled pork or slice into cubes to serve.
**This post was originally published October 2016. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
BBQ Must Haves
Join the Grill Squad
The Grill Squad is our exclusive membership program that will transform bland cookouts into booming barbecues that you'll remember for a lifetime. The technique and skills you learn will bring your backyard cookouts to a new level. For the cost of a full brisket, you'll get annual access to an exclusive BBQ community, Pitmaster Classes, discounts, and much much more!