Last Updated on 20th July 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
Smoked pork belly is the kind of food that you want to serve at a big get-together or feast. I found that even people who aren’t fans of pork really like it, and it’s a great food to serve as part of a large spread. No matter what you serve it with, though, smoke pork belly will be the highlight of the meal.
When picking out the right meat for this, make sure that you choose a high-quality cut of pork.
You’ll need to allow it to brine for several hours, and overnight brining is preferable. Then, allow it to smoke for a while, making sure the temperature doesn’t deviate much at all. If you can manage all those things, you will have a wonderful smoked pork belly to serve up.
How to Smoke Pork Belly
Let me walk you through the process for how to make smoked pork belly. You’re going to need to give yourself plenty of time to work on it ahead of your meal. Plan for slow cooking as well, with a minimum of three hours and a recommended cooking time of six hours to get that tenderest pork belly texture.
The more time the pork belly spends smoking, the more tender it becomes and the easier it will fall apart as you’re cutting into it. Depending on your preferences, you may want it a little firm, or you may prefer to be the kind of pork belly that just falls apart under your fork.
Start by taking the skin off the pork belly and then score it across with one-inch cuts. Create a crisscross pattern with your cuts and then sprinkle dry rub all over the pork belly. Make sure you get it into all the little cubbyholes and crannies.
Once it’s well seasoned, you can cover the pork belly completely using plastic wrap and then place it in the refrigerator. It should rest there for 24 hours at minimum.
Next, you need to prepare the smoker when smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, and as it’s warming, you can allow the pork belly to rest at room temperature. Put on your wood chips, and then as the smoker begins producing smoke, you could put the pork belly in there. Place it on indirect heat and let it cook for a minimum of three to four hours.
How Long to Smoke Pork Belly?
It will take at least three hours for your pork belly to smoke all the way and become tender enough to eat. With larger pork bellies, and may take as much as four hours, but it’s a good idea to let it smoke for up to six hours for really tender meat. How long to smoke pork belly will depend on how tender you want it and also how large it is.
You also want to check the internal temperature to make sure that it’s cooked all the way through and that it is safe to eat. Use an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the pork belly.
The pork is done cooking when the monitor reads at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you take the pork belly off the heat, you should allow it to rest for a good while- at least 20 minutes. What this does is allow the juices to permeate the meat and keep them from seeping all over the place when you cut into the meat.
How Long to Smoke Pork Belly Burnt Ends?
Pork belly burnt ends are small pieces of tender, succulent pork you can smoke pretty much the same way you would a whole pork belly. How long does it take to smoke them? You should give them about four hours and 20 minutes in a smoker, and you’ll want to check them with instant read thermometer to make sure that they cooked all the way through and achieved that 165-degree Fahrenheit reading.
My secret to cooking smoked pork belly burnt ends is that after I am done smoking them, I stick them in a frying pan or grill for just a few seconds on high heat to char them on at least one side and give them a nice dark coloring.
How to Smoke Pork Belly for Bacon
You can make bacon from pork belly, and homemade is better than what you buy in the store. I like it better simply because I can decide how thick I want the cuts, and really thick cut bacon is a beautiful thing, not to mention tasty.
Before you cut the bacon, though, you want to cure it and smoke it. Slicing it to the right thickness is the last step in the process. You can follow the smoker directions I gave you above for smoking pork belly, but just make sure that you cure it first by covering it with salt and wrapping it tightly with plastic and then placing it in the fridge on a sheet or plate to cure for at least five days.
How Long to Smoke a 4lb Pork Belly?
It’s important to keep in mind that smoking a pork belly is not a quick process. A four-pound pork belly is a pretty big piece of meat. You want to make sure that the pork belly is cooked all the way through, so you shouldn’t rush the process.
For a pork belly that’s around 4 pounds, you’ll need to cook it for around 8 hours. Keep in mind that your smoker may have temperature variations from time to time during the cooking process, and that can affect how long it takes to cook the pork belly.
Try to check the internal temperature before you think the pork belly is done cooking. That will give you a better indicator of whether it’s ready than just by keeping an eye on the clock.
It’s a very rewarding thing to cook your own pork belly in a smoker at home but you do need to set enough time aside to brine the pork for a while and allow it to smoke at a low heat for several hours.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here
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