How to Crisp the Skin on the Offset Smoker (P Belly)

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Fire Starter
Original poster
May 14, 2021
Hi Guys,

I done a Pork Belly 1KG last week and it was just perfect. BBQ Dry Rub, with BBQ style sauce.
I did remove the skin, because I wasn't up for the challenge of trying to make it crispy.

This weekend I will try it again, but I will attempt to do it with the skin on.

So I have a couple of questions:-
1. During the dry brining process, should I put my mixed spice BBQ rub on the skin? Or should I just use regular salt on the skin and the spices for the side and base of the pork?

2. Since I usually use a slather before I put the rub on, and I use the same slather as a kind of spritzer throughout. Should I avoid the skin?

3. After smoking and getting correct internal temp, I'll simply flip over the belly and put it on direct heat over the coals to let it crisp up. Any tips here? Last time I tried this, some went crispy, and some stayed soggy. Any tips here? Some oil on the skin maybe?

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Reactions: JLeonard
No pro on bellies here but I would say just use your dry rub on skin I would stay away from liquids. Also I think the only way to get crispy skin is with heat. Maybe somoke the bellies for a while then crank heat up to crisp skin or put under broiler for a while. I would do this before you get to you targeted internal temp .
You will need high direct heat to crisp pork belly skin into cracklings.
It's my experience that the smoker isn't going to do it properly even if you get to 400°+
You need direct heat from fire, coals or oven element.
That or deep fry it, I believe I saw Chinese chef crisp pork belly scheme in the walk with hot oil.

I also highly recommend drying and salting the skin for at least 24 hours beforehand.
A dry skin with low moisture content will crisp much easier, evenly and faster.
It also helps to score the skin where you're going to want to cut it, use an extremely sharp knife or razor blade, cut only through the skin and not down into the fat.

Again, just my experiences.
Last edited:
All-righty then....

Although I'm new to the party on pork belly, I have a whole skin on belly cut into three pieces in the freezer to try my hand at porchettas. Done right the skin pretty much shatters when the knife first hits it.

Even though Nancy and I both grew up in the Buffalo, NY area and are very much traditionalists when it comes to Buffalo style wings we have come to like oven baking them more than frying them. The secret to crispy oven baked skin that stays crispy is to use baking powder with salt on the wings. And, as always, wait around three minutes after they are cooked before saucing them to allow the last bit of moisture coming to the surface to evaporate rather than be trapped under the skin. That helps them stay crispy longer and lets the sauce dry a bit more for less messy eating........

A Google search for "porchetta baking powder" or "pork belly baking powder" finds a lot of hits that ought to work. You'll also find hits for baking soda. I'd go with a recipe a bit light with either the first time as too much baking powder can result in a bitter taste and too much baking soda can taste soapy.

Best of luck and please post back whatever your results. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.