Grilled Beef Belly
Beef belly is also called beef plate or beef navel. Most often associated with being attached to beef plate ribs, there is a section of the beef belly that is not directly attached to the ribs, so it stands alone as a rare but highly sought-after cut of beef. I have had beef belly in Japanese restaurants where it is sliced thinly and then cooked over fire hot and fast and it was delicious. For this recipe, we prepare it very similar to how you would prepare a steak. We are going to slice the belly into 2“ strips and then cook them to be medium rare and then slice across the grain into bite size pieces.
Servings: 6 people
- Slicing Knife
Seasoning the Beef Belly
- Pre-heat your smoker to 500 degrees.Cut the belly into 2-3” strips and then proceed to remove all of the fat. When preparing beef belly this way, there will not be enough time for the fat to render down, so you want to cut off as much as possible and only leave behind the lean primal portion of the belly. Next you want to season the meat with the white lightning and then the Cattleman’s seasoning.
Let the seasoning mellow
- Once the belly is seasoned, let the pieces sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes, this will allow the seasonings to penetrate the meat.
Grilling the beef belly
- Throw the belly onto the grill at 500F for about 10 minutes. Using an internal meat thermometer, you want to cook the meat up to an internal temperature of about 135 degrees. This level of doneness will give you edible fat and a nice pink center.
Resting the beef belly
- It is important to rest your beef belly for about 5 minutes before slicing it, this will allow the juices in the meat to settle and not just run out of the meat when you slice it. I like to slice the beef belly prior to service because it can be tougher to cut at the table, so it is best to cut it into bite size portions before service.
Step by Step
- Preheat your grill to 500F
- Slice your beef belly into manageable 2” thick strips and trim off all the fat
- Season the beef belly with white lightning and cattlemen’s steakhouse seasoning
- Let the beef belly sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes
- Grill the beef belly until you reach an internal temp of 135 degrees (about 10 minutes)
- Rest the beef belly for 5 minutes
- Slice the belly across the grain before serving
Can you turn beef belly into beef bacon?Yes, beef belly can be turned into beef bacon if you cure it properly. I prefer to cook my beef belly like this or turn it all into burnt ends. Check out this recipe from our friend Jess Pryles on how she does Beef Bacon: https://jesspryles.com/beef-bacon/
Where does beef belly come from?Beef belly, or Beef Navel as it is more commonly called within the beef industry is the muscle at the front of the plate of the cow that attaches to the brisket. It is very fatty and can be very tough if the fat is left on when cooking. Therefore, there are 2 ways to cook beef belly, this way which involves removing the fat and grilling it or cooking it low and slow to render the fat down.
Flank, Brisket and Belly, what’s the difference?People often mistake flank, belly, and brisket because they all come from the underside of the cow. The main difference is their placement on the body. The brisket is more towards the front of the cow, then next in line is the belly and then last is the flank, slightly higher on the body. In order of tenderness, it goes the same way as well, the brisket is the toughest followed by the belly and lastly is the flank.
What if I am Gluten Free?This recipe is entirely gluten free.
What is the correct temperature to finish beef belly?
This recipe calls for an internal temperature of 135F. If you are smoking your beef belly and want it to be more tender, then you will want to take it up to around 205 degrees F.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!