BBQ’d Pork Belly

Pork Belly is one of my top ten favorite foods. I would call it a guilty pleasure but there’s absolutely no guilt involved. It’s pure pleasure.

If you’ve never experienced pork belly, it’s really not scary – especially compared to other delicacies like snails or brains. It’s just a fatty chunk of a pig’s belly. If you eat bacon, it’s not too different except that bacon is cured.

Up to now I’ve only had pork belly in restaurants, so I’m excited to make my own. I didn’t realize my local butcher shop sold it until I was purchasing pig skin for my slow-roasted pork experiment, and he was wrapping pork belly around a pork loin to sell. (Yum!)

Pork belly can be grilled over coals, slow roasted in the oven, and even braised. It’s a matter of cooking the meat of the belly, sometimes by poaching first, but then crisping the fatty side by roasting or pan frying.

I’m not terribly adept at the grill, plus I dislike being hot while cooking, so I decided to cook the pork belly inside. With the weather disgustingly hot warm, and the appeal of ice cold beer, I though a barbequed version sounded perfect.

Barbecued Pork Belly

2 pound slab of skinless pork belly
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground Ancho chile pepper
1/2 tablespoon ground Chipotle chile pepper

Bring the pork belly to room temperature, and make sure it’s dry.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Mix together the seasonings, then season both sides of the pork belly. Rub in well.

Wrap the belly tightly with heavy-duty foil. Place into a roasting pan, with the fat side up. Cook in the oven for 5 hours. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the pork belly from the refrigerator.

Unwrap the foil, discard, then re-wrap the pork belly with foil, covering the bottom and sides, leaving only the fat side exposed.

Brush with barbecue sauce; my favorite is Head Country brand – both original and hickory. Trust me, I prefer to make my own barbeque sauces, but this brand is of exceptional quality.

Roast the pork belly in the oven until it’s nice and browned, brushing more sauce if desired. This will take about 10 minutes.

You can see and hear the sizzling! Remove from the oven and either let cool and slice, or let cool and refrigerate.

I served the pork belly with a simple potato salad in a vinaigrette.

Summer on a plate? I don’t know, but it was an exceptional meal.

Just a note – my fatty side was not crispy cracklin’ like pork belly can be, because I brushed it with sauce. But that was okay. When I made the slow-roasted pork shoulder with pig skin, I discovered I wasn’t really fond of cracklings.

If you want the serious cracklin’, omit the barbecue sauce, roast the fatty side, and just serve the sauce on the side.

By Published On: August 3rd, 201850 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

50 Comments

  1. thecompletebook August 3, 2018 at 6:57 AM - Reply

    We love pork belly and I do it fairly regularly. Although we leave the cracking on which is Pete’s favourite.
    Have a beautiful weekend Mimi.
    :-) Mandy xo

    • chef mimi August 3, 2018 at 7:11 AM - Reply

      I understand. It was there, it’s just that it softened with the barbecue sauce, which didn’t bother me. Thanks, Mandy!

  2. Philip August 3, 2018 at 7:04 AM - Reply

    I adore pork belly too. Such a wonderful cut of meat. I love the spices and flavours here

    • chef mimi August 3, 2018 at 7:09 AM - Reply

      Thank you! I enjoyed turning into a barbecue!

  3. jenniferguerrero1 August 3, 2018 at 8:25 AM - Reply

    This sounds terrific! We love pork belly. I remember the first time I roasted it to for a ramen garnish, and the kids were delightedly poking it with their chopsticks for the squish factor.

  4. Our Growing Paynes August 3, 2018 at 8:49 AM - Reply

    I keep forgetting I have pork belly in the freezer! I love meals like this.

  5. Linda Duffin August 3, 2018 at 8:50 AM - Reply

    This looks fabulous, Mimi. A big favourite in our house, too. Lx

    • chef mimi August 3, 2018 at 2:48 PM - Reply

      I don’t understand how anyone can not like pork belly!

  6. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso August 3, 2018 at 8:57 AM - Reply

    Mouthwatering dish! Love the flavors.

    • chef mimi August 3, 2018 at 2:48 PM - Reply

      Thank you Ronit!

  7. Ron August 3, 2018 at 9:40 AM - Reply

    Pork belly is a wonderfully rich protein. Yours looks very tasty. Over here we eat pork belly with the skin on and without. My favorite is to make a BBQ chopped pork belly sandwich with sliced cucumbers and arugula.

    • chef mimi August 3, 2018 at 2:49 PM - Reply

      That sounds so good. My husband just won’t eat it, or even try it, because of the fat.

  8. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons August 3, 2018 at 10:26 AM - Reply

    I have just started seeing pork belly in the store, now I really need to buy and cook it. Definitely not as scary as brains (I’ll pass as I have tried them) and snails (it’s all about that garlic butter). I like Ron’s idea of a pork belly sandwich with cucumbers and arugula.

    • chef mimi August 3, 2018 at 2:50 PM - Reply

      I had no idea how many ways it could be cooked until i was looking for inspiration. And definitely not scary!

  9. grumpytyke August 3, 2018 at 1:46 PM - Reply

    Definitely my favourite cut of pork, and among my favourite cuts of all meats. It has never been a problem to obtain it in the UK. And it’s just about the cheapest cut. I often cut it into slices before slow cooking. I dislike barbecue sauce of all kinds so that never features. I like it with the skin on which with slow cooking becomes very tender. I too use paprika as a main seasoning but so far I’ve not found Ancho or Chipotle pepper but I’d really like to try that.

    • chef mimi August 3, 2018 at 2:51 PM - Reply

      You slice the belly first so that all sides brown? That’s a good idea!

      • grumpytyke August 3, 2018 at 11:12 PM

        Sometimes, but sometimes I cover the dish with foil then take that off for a final period so that only one side is browned, or turn them over so both are. Seems to me whatever you do with belly pork it’s delicious!

  10. Angela@eatlivehappy August 3, 2018 at 5:04 PM - Reply

    Beautiful! I love the flavors. I have never made it at home either. Will have to give it a go.

    • chef mimi August 4, 2018 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      The hardest part was deciding how to cook it!

  11. Gaz August 4, 2018 at 4:39 AM - Reply

    I agree, pork belly is all pleasure and your pork belly looks great.

    • chef mimi August 4, 2018 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  12. Kurian August 4, 2018 at 4:57 AM - Reply

    Thank You for the recipe and details mimi

    • chef mimi August 4, 2018 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome !

  13. 2pots2cook August 4, 2018 at 5:01 AM - Reply

    Here you have another pork belly fan too; some crispy potatoes and dressing aside: Heaven !

    • chef mimi August 4, 2018 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      So good. Some people are really missing out!

  14. Jack & Barbra Donachy August 4, 2018 at 4:46 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious! Love, love, love pork belly!

    • chef mimi August 4, 2018 at 5:15 PM - Reply

      It’s so delightful!

  15. Jeff the Chef August 5, 2018 at 5:35 AM - Reply

    I love pork belly so much, I had it served at my wedding. I’ve never made it at home, though – thanks for the interesting recipe!

    • chef mimi August 5, 2018 at 6:36 AM - Reply

      I get that. The hardest thing for me was deciding how to make it – so many options!

  16. kathryninthekitchen August 5, 2018 at 5:09 PM - Reply

    Love, love, love Pork Belly Chef Mimi, it is a regular on our table and a very popular dish in restaurants here. I like your twice cooked version – the BBQ will give it a whole other dimension 😋

    • chef mimi August 6, 2018 at 7:42 AM - Reply

      It turned out really well! I never knew how many different ways it could be prepared. I’m sure you know all of the options. I order it whenever we travel, along with bone marrow and foie gras. Some of my favorites!

  17. FrugalHausfrau August 6, 2018 at 8:23 AM - Reply

    I have never made or had pork belly. I spent all that time the last few years in SD wth my folks and they just didn’t have the caliber of restaurants there in Sioux Falls and haven’t really though about pork belly since i came back home. I’m going to have to remedy that! Although you made it look a lot more approachable than the recipes I’ve seen done on tv.

    • chef mimi August 6, 2018 at 11:55 AM - Reply

      I understand that. No pork belly restaurants where I live! It’s very easy to cook, and there are so many ways to do it. Oh, and it’s cheap!

      • FrugalHausfrau August 7, 2018 at 2:11 AM

        I just assumed because it was popular now it would be really expensive!

  18. sippitysup August 6, 2018 at 2:08 PM - Reply

    I certainly love it as well, but I do not make it very often. Thanks for the encouragement. GREG

    • chef mimi August 6, 2018 at 2:46 PM - Reply

      It was fun!

  19. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen August 6, 2018 at 2:56 PM - Reply

    I’ve never tried making it myself either but I love the idea! Thanks so much for the delicious recipe. Now I hope I can find some :)

    • chef mimi August 6, 2018 at 3:12 PM - Reply

      I had no idea my local butcher shop sold it. And it’s cheap!

  20. David August 7, 2018 at 12:38 AM - Reply

    That looks so amazingly good, and it seems so easy… even though it takes a bit of time. I got my first pork belly at the farmers market a couple of weeks ago and used it to make homemade pancetta. That was a huge success, so now we should try cooking! I will follow your recipe Word for Word!

    • chef mimi August 7, 2018 at 7:19 AM - Reply

      Oh fun. I can cure anything because of the humidity here, but those sound like fun projects! If you like the cracky part of pork belly, don’t use the sauce. But my rub came out well.

  21. Debbie Spivey August 7, 2018 at 6:57 AM - Reply

    I’ve never had pork belly. This is coming from a farmer’s daughter who’s father used to raise his on hogs and butcher them for meat… I’d love to give this a try. I can practically smell it!

    • chef mimi August 7, 2018 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      Wow! I’m surprised. Probably it just wasn’t a big deal to your family, like pigs feet. Like it wasn’t special?

      • Debbie Spivey August 7, 2018 at 12:36 PM

        Very true. We were more excited about the my daddy’s sausage and pork chops. Funny, when it was hog killing time, you never what you would open the refrigerator and find…lol! Thanks for bringing back memories.

  22. neil@neilshealthymeals.com August 7, 2018 at 1:39 PM - Reply

    Pork belly is one of my go-to choices if it’s on the menu and I’m eating out. That’s because Lynne doesn’t like it at all. Whereas I love it! Your BBQ version looks amazing. I’m actually OK with the fatty side not being crispy. I’m not fond of crackling either. I don’t understand the craving some people have for that part. Like my father. LOL

    • chef mimi August 7, 2018 at 4:59 PM - Reply

      Ah, finally a fellow non crackling lover!!! Then you will love this recipe. My husband won’t eat it, but there are some foods I must make because I love them so much. Then, I end up finishing them myself.

  23. heather (delicious not gorgeous) August 7, 2018 at 10:54 PM - Reply

    i love pork belly!!! it’s so tender and flavorful and tasty (:

    • chef mimi August 8, 2018 at 7:51 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Heather. It is a lovely food!

  24. Adrianne - Sweet Caramel Sunday August 10, 2018 at 10:22 PM - Reply

    OMG Mimi!! This looks amazing YUM. I love crispy pork belly. Your nails look fabulous by the way, love the colour. Keep up the good work!

    • chef mimi August 11, 2018 at 7:03 AM - Reply

      Thanks. It was so easy to make!

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