Smoked Bone in Pork Belly
Pork Belly and Pork Side Ribs are probably my 2 favorite cuts from a pig, and the best part is that they are connected! I called my friend Mike from https://popowichmeatcompany.ca/ and asked him to cut me a pork belly but leave the ribs attached! I had a dream about cooking them together and basically having giant monster ribs with 2-3 inches of meat on top of the bone. This recipe did not disappoint! It took some care in preparation and there were not a lot of recipes on the internet on how to do this right, so follow along, play with it and let me know if you manage to improve on this.
Servings: 10 people
- Preheat the Smoker to 350 degrees.If your pork belly has skin on it, now is when you want to remove the skin. I have tried to perfect pork skin on a belly, but have never been successful, so save yourself the effort and just remove it. Later I will give some tips on what makes the best pork skin, but on this recipe, it is much easier and better to remove it.
Season the Belly
- Rub the belly all over with the mustard sauce and then come back with an even coating of the Big Poppa Smokers Money Rub, followed by an even layer of the Heath Riles Pecan Seasoning. Let the Belly sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before transferring it to the smoker.
Putting the belly on the smoker
- Transfer the belly to the smoker, bone side down. If there is a thicker end, point the thicker end towards the heat on your BBQ. I know on my Louisiana Grill, the heat comes from the right-hand side, so that is the direction I pointed the thicker end of the belly. This will create a more even cook.
Checking for Color
- When the bone in pork belly reaches a nice rich mahogany color, it is time to wrap it in butcher paper. For me this happened when the thicker part of the belly reached about 170 degrees internal temperature.
Wrapping in butcher paper
- Butcher paper is a great way to help tenderize your meat without stopping smoke from penetrating into the bone in belly. I pulled about 4 feet of butcher paper off the roll and had to use 2 sheets side by side, overlapped by about 50% so that I could fully wrap the bone in pork belly 3 times or so.
Getting the belly back on the smoker
- Place the butcher paper wrapped bone in pork belly back onto the smoker, meat side down this time. You want to put meat side down because now that the paper is insulating the meat from the heat, you want the meat to be stewing its own juices for the rest of the cook. I let my belly cook for 2 more hours after it was wrapped. When I took it off the smoker to check for tenderness, I had good bone pull back and good tenderness, so it was time to sauce.
Saucing the Bone in Belly
- For saucing the belly, pour about 1 cup of Blues Hog Smokey Mountain BBQ sauce into a bowl and then brush it on to the surface of the bone in pork belly. Place the belly back onto the smoker for about 15 more minutes to let the sauce set. Then remove it from the smoker, let it rest for 20 minutes, slice between the bones, and serve hot with additional sauce on the side.
Step By Step
- Preheat Smoker to 350 Degrees
- Remove the skin from the pork belly
- Season the Bone in Pork Belly all over with Grannies Gold Mustard, Money Rub and Pecan Seasoning
- Place the Bone in Belly Bone side down on the smoker
- Smoke until the belly Is a rich mahogany color
- Wrap the belly in butcher paper and place it back on the smoker meat side down
- Continue cooking until the meat is tender throughout (about 2 more hours)
- Unwrap the bone in belly and add sauce, cook for 15 more minutes
- Let the bone in belly rest for 20 minutes
- Cut between the bones and serve immediately
Is it better to remove the ribs or cook them together?For me BBQ is all about experimentation. I love trying new flavors, new techniques, and things I have never done before. I prefer ribs or belly by themselves, but there is something so amazing and primal about tearing into a ‘Bacon Rib’ like I did with this recipe. So, while it might be “better” to cook the 2 cuts separately, this was a super fun cook and I would do it again.
Where can you buy bone in pork belly?I called Mike at Popowich Meat Company about 1 week before I wanted to pickup the belly and he had it ready for me. Most local butchers in and around Sherwood Park, Edmonton, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Leduc, or Nisku should be able to bring in this special cut for you, because you are not likely to find it in the grocery store.
What if I am Gluten Free?This recipe is entirely gluten free. Every ingredient as well as the bone in pork belly are all gluten free, so you can eat this dish if you are celiac or gluten intolerant.
I want to leave the skin on!Here are the steps critical for leaving the skin on, but even then, they do not guarantee success in creating crispy skin bone in pork belly.
- Do not score the meat, but instead prick little holes all over the surface of the skin.
- Leave the belly in the fridge uncovered for 48 hours to dry out the skin as much as possible.
- Cook the belly at 225 degrees for 2 hours.
- Place the belly, bone side down into a braising liquid, being sure not to submerge the skin or get it wet. The skin needs to remain dry! Braise the belly for around 2 hours at 275 degrees.
- Crank the smoker to 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Brush the skin with white vinegar transfer to a 500-degree oven, make sure to pay close attention here because the reaction can happen fast! Once the crackling begins to form insulate any parts cooking too fast with tinfoil. Once the crackling has all formed, let rest for 15 minutes.
- Good luck!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!