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Smoked pork belly in foil.

Smoked Pork Belly Recipe

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  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner/Entree
  • Method: Smoker
  • Cuisine: American


Smoked Pork Belly – this delicious smoked pork belly recipe is melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Perfect for ramen, tacos, etc.!


  • 1/21 pound pork belly
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper


  1. Remove skin from pork belly (if still attached).
  2. Score the fat side of the pork belly with a sharp knife, be sure not to cut too deep (you really just want to score the fat, not the meat).
  3. Pat pork belly dry and season generously with kosher salt and pepper (see notes for seasoning alternatives). 
  4. OPTIONAL: wrap if plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight – not required, but can lead to a more flavorful pork belly.
  5. Remove pork belly from refrigerator about 30 minutes to an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature and if you wrapped it in plastic wrap overnight, remove and discard.
  6. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F. and ensure there is a drip tray/pan ready. 
  7. Place pork belly on the smoker rack, fat side up. 
  8. Smoked for approximately 3-4 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165* degrees F. 
  9. Increase smoker temperature to 400-450 degrees F and place a piece of heavy duty foil underneath the pork belly (folding the edges up so it acts like a little boat or pan). 
  10. Let smoke another 30 minutes or so to help crisp up the top layer of fat. 
  11. OPTIONAL: once you remove the pork belly from the smoker you can either place it under the broiler for a few minutes or even sear it quickly on the grill (fat side down) to really get that crispy top. Not necessary and up to personal preference .
  12. Let rest 5-10 minutes before cutting into. We love serving this in tacos or pork belly ramen!


  • *Internal Temp: you can definitely go higher than 165! I wouldn’t go much higher than about 205 or so (at which point it might be more like pulled pork). But that is totally up to you! Use an internal meat thermometer to keep track of the temp.
  • Seasoning option: I also love combining – 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon coriander and a little bit of fennel seed (crushed if you want) in a small bowl and then season the pork belly. 
  • Overnight Rub: you can definitely skip this step, but it will just be more flavorful if you do it. 
  • Foil: I add in the foil at the end when we turn up the temp to help keep those lovely juices in for the last little bit. By this time, the pork belly should already have soaked up that smokey flavor and this helps make it so it isn’t too soft. 
  • Sear: there is the option to sear the fat side of the pork belly after you are done cooking. This can be done in a cast iron skillet, under the broiler or even on a grill.
  • Serve the next day: pork belly can be even more amazing the next day. Simply let cool and then wrap isn foil, tightly, for the next day. Then slice into strips or bite sized pieces (about 1 inch cubes) and sear in a cast iron skillet before serving.
  • Pellets: you can use hickory, pecan or apple wood (which leaves a subtly sweet flavor).
  • How to Serve: you can serve it in a simple rice bowl with soy sauce or you can do pork belly tacos, pork belly sandwiches or pork belly ramen!
  • Freeze: you can freeze cooked pork belly, although I am sure it is better freshly cooked. Just place in a bag, but really get out all the air so it doesn’t get freezer burnt. I would only store it for a 1-3 months.  Let thaw overnight in the fridge and then cut and sear in a cast iron skillet before serving.