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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Pork Belly for Any Occasion

preparing and cutting pork belly on cutting board into smaller pieces.

Table of Contents

Hello, what’s up guys? Do you love crispy, tender, and juicy pork belly? If so, you’re not alone. I know for sure I am not alone too. Pork belly is an extremely versatile and delicious cut of meat that can be prepared and cooked in various ways. You can roast it, braise it, fry it, grill it, and more. It’s like bacon on steroids.


But how do you prepare pork belly to make it so delicious? What are the secrets to choosing, seasoning, and cooking this amazing cut of meat? Right now, I am going to show you how to prepare pork belly in three easy steps: choosing the proper cut, seasoning, and cooking. You will also learn techniques and hacks to render your pork belly crispy and mouthwatering. 


Believe me, you will be amazed at how incredible it tastes. Ready to get started? Let’s go!


Choosing the right pork cut 

The first step in preparing pork belly is to choose the proper cut. You want to select a piece of pork belly with a good balance of fat and meat. The fat should be white and firm, not yellow or soft. The meat should be reddish pink and moist, not gray or dry. These can make your pork belly tough or chewy. 


Remember, the general rules, if it looks good to you in your eye, it probably is good and fresh.


pork belly put on a table


Pork bellies can come in whole slabs, strips, or cubes. The shape and size of your pork belly will depend on how you want to cook it and how many people you want to serve. You can use a whole slab or a large strip for roasting or braising. For frying or grilling, you can use smaller strips or cubes.


How to store or freeze pork belly

According to the USDA standard. You can store fresh pork belly in the refrigerator at 40 °F (4.4 °C) for up to three to five days or in the freezer for up to four months. To freeze pork belly, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or in a freezer bag. Label it with the date and use it within four months for best quality.


If you are still unclear how to wrap the pork belly or any meat for that matter, check this video I found for you. Notes: The chef in that video is not me : )


Seasoning the Meat

The next step in preparing pork belly is to season it according to your preference and cooking method. You can season pork belly with salt, pepper, and favorite herbs and spices. You can also marinate it in a sauce or rub for more flavor. Some common seasonings for pork belly are garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, sugar, vinegar, mustard, paprika, cumin, and rosemary.


You can score the fat layer with a sharp knife before seasoning it to make your pork belly more tender and juicy. This will help the fat render and crisp up during cooking. You can also prick the meat layer with a fork to let the seasonings penetrate deeper.


Cooking the Pork Belly

The final step to preparing pork belly is to cook it according to your desired outcome and equipment. You can cook pork belly in various ways depending on how crispy or tender you desire it to be and what kind of oven or stove you have. 


Some standard methods are roasting, braising, frying, and grilling. If you wanna learn more, check out the most awesome ways to cook pork belly


Generally, to roast pork belly in the oven, preheat it to 180°C (350°F) and place the seasoned pork belly on a baking tray. Roast for about couple hours or until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy. However, I have better way to make roasted pork belly with super crispy skin. Also, in less time.


To braise pork belly on the stove, pour some cooking oil in a large pot over high heat and sear the seasoned pork belly on all sides until golden browned. Then add some liquid such as wine, broth, or water, and heat until it reaches a boiling point. Finally, you reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender. 


To fry pork belly in a skillet, heat some oil over medium-high heat and fry the seasoned pork belly strips or cubes for about 15 minutes or until golden and crisp on all sides.


To grill pork belly on a barbecue, preheat it to high heat and grill the seasoned pork belly strips or cubes for about 10 minutes or until charred and cooked through.


Crispy pork belly after cooking in oven.

Key takings about How to prepare pork belly

Preparing pork belly is easy if you follow these three steps: choosing the proper cut, seasoning, and cooking. You can enjoy this delicious cut of meat in many different ways and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Here are some key takings from this post:


  • Choose a piece of pork belly with a good fat and meat balance. 

  • Season pork belly with salt, pepper, and favorite herbs and spices. You can also marinate it in a sauce or rub for more flavor. Score the fat layer and prick the meat layer to enhance the taste and texture.

  • Cook pork belly according to your desired outcome and equipment. You can roast, braise, fry, or grill it. Make sure to cook it until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy.


Well, hope you enjoy and learn something new today. If you want to learn more about cooking pork belly. Check out my other pork belly recipes and pork belly how-to. You will find some amazing recipes and tips there. Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!




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