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.

50 thoughts on “BBQ’d Pork Belly

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  4. 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.

      • 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!

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

  6. 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 😋

    • 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

    • 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.

  9. 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!

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

      • 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.

  10. 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

    • 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.

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