Only a few can deny the ultimate deliciousness of a pork belly. It can be of the juiciest and most tender cut out there when cooked right. All you need is a smoker at home, and you’re all set for a party with your friends or just a fun session smoking meat by yourself. Before you run to the grocery store and grab a pork belly, though, there are some things you should consider, and we’ve listed them down here. So let’s check out how to make the juiciest pork belly.
In the past, pork belly would only be available as cured bacon or part of the whole hog. However, these days things are easier, and you can just get a slab of uncured meat at most butcher shops. With wider availability, it makes things easier and more efficient.
Before we get into the actual smoking process, below is a list of all the essential ingredients you will need to successfully smoke some delicious pork belly:
- 4-pound slab of pork belly, make sure it’s uncured
- 2 cups of apple juice
- 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
- 1/4 cup of any rub of your choice
Before we get to the smoking bit, one last step is some useful and essential information that will help put things into perspective.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Resting time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 963 kcal
Total time: 8 hours 30 mins
How to smoke pork belly low and slow
From start to finish, the entire cooking process will take 8 hours. This time is calculated for a 4-pound pork belly. However, a slow cook can vary in time, depending on the thickness of the meat you’re smoking and any temperature fluctuations during the smoking process.
Always have an internal meat thermometer on hand to ensure you get the most accurate temperature readings at all times. It’s best to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the pork belly and read the temperature from there — this also guarantees maximum accuracy.
How to eat pork belly
Yes! There is more than one way of eating pork belly. We’ve listed down some of them, and you can go for whatever you like most. There’s no wrong answer!
Shredded: If you’re into the juiciest experience, this is the way to go.
Cubed: cubes offer you bite-sized servings of tender and moist pork.
Sliced: you can simply chill the pork belly and keep for the next day, slice it and add it to a sandwich. You can grill it for a minute or two over high heat the next day and make yourself the juiciest and most delicious sandwich!
How to smoke pork belly (step by step)
This cooking process includes details and tips and tricks. If you’re cooking pork belly for the first time or not yet very experienced with meat or a smoker, it’s best to follow the instructions to the letter. Remember, always keep an internal meat thermometer with you to get the most accurate readings possible.
- Start by preheating your smoker to 225 °F (107 °C)
- While the smoker is preheating, get a sharp knife and score the top layer of the fat on the pork belly. You can do this in 1-inch squares. Remember not to cut too deep—all you need to do is barely get to the muscle.
- Now, season generously with your favorite rub. However, we recommend a sweet rub.
- Once done, place the pork belly into the smoker. You have to wait until the internal temperature of the meat hits 165 °F (74 °C). This should take around 6 hours.
- Spritz with apple juice about every hour or so—it helps!
- Once the pork belly reaches 165 °F (74 °C), remove it from the smoker and wrap it heavily in aluminum foil. Use 1/2 cup of apple juice to cover the meat before wrapping it.
- Seal the edges of the foil and put it back into the smoker until the internal temperature reaches 200 °F (93 °C).
- Once it reaches 200 °F (93 °C), remove the pork belly from the smoker and remove the foil.
- Drizzle apple juice, return it to the grill, and brush it with BBQ sauce. Leave it in the smoker for another 10 minutes.
- Finally, remove the finished pork belly and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once rested, shred the pork belly or cut it into cubes if you prefer.
- That’s it! You’re done.
That was a simple but delicious recipe for smoking the juiciest pork belly. While we recommend a sweet rub, you can look at the thousands of recipes for different rubs and find whatever works best for you. Now, you know all there is about smoking the juiciest pork belly.
Check out a few more articles about smoked pork:
How to Make 3-2-1 Smoked Ribs, and Why You Should Do It
Can You Freeze Smoked Ribs?
Baby Back vs. Spare Ribs: What You Need To Know About Pork Ribs
For more great ideas on how to get the most out of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.