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Sunday Pork Belly

Johnny Ray

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I have smoked several pork bellies. Some have turned out really good and others not so much. Sunday I finally cooked the belly that I have been looking for. Thought I would share with the group.
Purchased a 10.7 lb. from Costco. Cut it into 3 equal pieces. Smoked this one and vacuumed sealed the other two and threw them in the deep freeze. I'll use these later in my first attempt at homemade bacon.

Scored the fat side of the belly fairly deeply. Coated the surface with tiger sauce, followed by a layer of On Point AP Rub, a layer of On Point Sweet Rub and finally a layer of Oakridge Santa Maria Rub.
Belly - Rubbed.jpg

I placed the belly on my Rec Tec 680 at 230*. While the belly was smoking I made a glaze consisting of:
1 cup Texas Pepper Jelly Craig's BBQ sauce
1/4 cup of apple juice
1/4 cup of apricot jam
2 TBS of franks hot sauce
**Heated the glaze over med heat until blended

After 6 hours I opened the cooker for the first time. Belly was at ~210* internal and awful purdy. I glazed the belly and sprinkled a bit of cayenne pepper on the top and placed it back on the Tec.
Belly - Glazed.jpg


After 15 minutes or so I took the belly off and placed it under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
Belly - Post Broiler.jpg

I let the belly rest for 30 minutes or so and cut into it. OMG tender as a mother's love! Melt in your mouth goodness. Smoky and sweet, followed by a bit of heat.

Belly - Money Shot.jpg


My best belly yet. I always smoke pork belly whole but I think next time I will try cutting on cubes prior to smoking.

Thanks for looking,
Johnny Ray
 

jcam222

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OMG that looks literally perfect!! I’m a huge lover of pork belly and yours looks and sounds beyond amazing. If I was a betting guy I’d bet on a carousel ride. Great job!!
 

Johnny Ray

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OMG that looks literally perfect!! I’m a huge lover of pork belly and yours looks and sounds beyond amazing. If I was a betting guy I’d bet on a carousel ride. Great job!!
Thanks for the kind words. I scored it in 2 inch squares and ate 4 before I could get it put away. I was in a rendered fat coma for a good while. The cayenne pepper sprinkled on top took it to a whole new level!

Johnny Ray
 

texomakid

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Johnny Ray that looks so good. We LOVE pork belly at this house for sure. What flavor of wood did you use in that cooker?
 

Johnny Ray

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Thanks. Our Sam’s club stopped carrying pork belly. I was so happy when they opened a Costco about an hour from home. They have nice bellies.
I used Lumberjack Supreme Blend pellets. (oak, hickory, cherry). Supreme blend is pretty much my go to pellet.

Johnny Ray
 

UGAsmokin

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Never had pork belly but I've seen it being smoked on TV at competitions. My question is this. It sure looks nice when smoked but isn't it just mostly fat? I don't enjoy the very fatty meats and trim off fat whenever possible. Thanks for answers.
 

RiversideSm0ker

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I have never smoked a pork belly before but this makes me want to try it tomorrow. I love your way with words. Tender as a mother’s love was the best. Two huge thumbs up!

G
 

chef jimmyj

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Never had pork belly but I've seen it being smoked on TV at competitions. My question is this. It sure looks nice when smoked but isn't it just mostly fat? I don't enjoy the very fatty meats and trim off fat whenever possible. Thanks for answers.
If you trim Fat from Steaks, Chops or any meat you eat, you will NOT enjoy Smoked or Roasted Slab Pork Belly. There is a portion of every belly that is Leaner than the rest but even that is 20% Fat, it not more.
The closest you can get in flavor and texture, would be to get a Pork Butt. Sit it Fat Cap up and trim the fat to 1/4". Now measure 1 1/2" down the lean meat and cut a Slab off the Butt. This would be a similar procecure used for Cured Buck Board Bacon. Follow the same procedure above then cut away any of the remaining Fat Cap that didn't render...JJ
 

chef jimmyj

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That Belly is spectacular! Congrats on a job well done. I would love to make one like yours but only my Wife and I enjoy Fatty meat. Even then, she wants most of it to be brown and Crisp. I made a Red Braised Chinese Pork Belly. It was great if you like the unctuous melt in your mouth fattiness. But, when my wife saw it, she wanted to know how I was going to Crisp it. I put the belly in a 500°F oven. It got crisp on the outside but not the internal layers....Never made That again...JJ
 

tropics

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I have never tried Pork belly because it is to fatty for me. Looks good nice job
Richie
 

Johnny Ray

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Never had pork belly but I've seen it being smoked on TV at competitions. My question is this. It sure looks nice when smoked but isn't it just mostly fat? I don't enjoy the very fatty meats and trim off fat whenever possible. Thanks for answers.
To be sure if you do not enjoy fatty meat then pork belly is not for you. A lot of fat (grease) renders during the cooking process but much of it remains. It has the texture of “jelly”.
I love it smoked but it’s not something I eat very often.

Johnny Ray
 

Johnny Ray

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I have never smoked a pork belly before but this makes me want to try it tomorrow. I love your way with words. Tender as a mother’s love was the best. Two huge thumbs up!

G
Thanks for the kind words and the thumbs. Come to think about it my mother’s love was a bit tough at times. Lol

Johnny Ray
 

Johnny Ray

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That Belly is spectacular! Congrats on a job well done. I would love to make one like yours but only my Wife and I enjoy Fatty meat. Even then, she wants most of it to be brown and Crisp. I made a Red Braised Chinese Pork Belly. It was great if you like the unctuous melt in your mouth fattiness. But, when my wife saw it, she wanted to know how I was going to Crisp it. I put the belly in a 500°F oven. It got crisp on the outside but not the internal layers....Never made That again...JJ
Thank you Chef Jimmy! I understand completely when it come to the wife and fatty meats. I’m the only one in my family that will eat smoked belly. Fried crispy bacon is a whole other story.

Johnny Ray
 

tropics

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Thanks Tropics. I cut the center most lean part out of this belly and it was still pretty fatty. I try to limit how much of it I eat.

Johnny Ray
Johnny Ray I almost have surgical skills from trimming meat. LOL
Richie
 

xray

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Looks great Johnny! I’ve never had pork belly either, I want to try it but a part of me is also hesitant because I trim a lot of fat of my food when eating.

I need you as a neighbor! Lol
 

SmokinVOLfan

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Damn Johnny that looks outstanding! I need to go see the cardiologist just looking at that goodness! I have never done one cooked always cure them for bacon but this is on my list to do! Thanks for sharing!
 

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