Smoked Pork Belly

Smoked Pork Belly is delicious and great for a special meal. A simple dry rub gives it incredible flavor and makes it crispy on the outside. Enjoy smoked pork belly bites for an appetizer and slices for sandwiches or tacos.

close up of smoked pork belly on a cutting board.

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Why a smoked pork belly is a must-try for every pellet grill owner 

Pork belly smoked on a pellet stove may seem intimidating, but it isn’t. In fact, it is one of the most straightforward recipes you can make on a pellet smoker and is excellent for those who are just starting to smoke meat.

As long as you follow the instructions, fabulous results are almost guaranteed, and since even moderately successful results are still delicious, you are sure to impress your friends and family.

Pork belly burnt ends are especially tasty and have lots of deep smoky flavor.

Why this is the best recipe for smoked pork belly 

This recipe lets the meat and smoke be the heavy hitters when it comes to flavor. Instead of using a dry rub that competes with the taste, the minimalist rub in this smoked pork belly recipe only heightens the existing natural flavors.

The pork belly is tender and juicy. One bite and you’ll enjoy the wonderful smoke flavor.

Ingredients you will need 

To make this smoked pork belly recipe, you’ll need:

  • Pork belly
  • Brown sugar
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground black pepper

Ask the butcher to remove the skin of the pork belly for you; otherwise, you will have to do it yourself at home. Unlike when you roast pork belly, smoking doesn’t give you deliciously crispy skin but a soggy mess that can prevent adequate smoke penetration. 

smoked pork belly ingredients.

How to smoke pork belly in an electric smoker 

Working with an electric smoker is more foolproof than using one that is wood or charcoal-fired. Although the results are similar, the procedure is slightly different. Here is how you can smoke pork belly in your electric smoker for the best flavor. 

  1. Preheat your electric smoker to 225 degrees F.
  2. While the electric smoker is heating up, mix up the dry mix. 
raw pork belly and dry rub mix.
  1. Carefully score the fat cap with a sharp knife. You don’t want to cut into the meat, but taking the extra step of scoring the fat will allow the dry rub to penetrate into the meat.
  2. Use your hand to pat on an even coat of dry rub over the entire pork belly, including the sides. 
pork belly coated in a dry rub.
  1. Determine where the most heat is coming from in your pellet smoker. Position the pork belly in your smoker with its fat cap pointing towards the heat source. 
dry rubbed pork belly on a smoker grate.
  1. If you have a probe thermometer, insert it into the center of the meat, and set the alarm for 165°F. If you are not using a probe thermometer, start checking the pork belly at about two and a half hours using an instant-read thermometer or meat thermometer.
  2. Take the pork belly from the smoker when the internal temp reaches 165°F.  
smoked pork belly on a smoker grate.
  1. Let the slab of meat rest on a pan or baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before slicing. 
smoked pork belly resting on a baking sheet after smoking.
whole smoked pork belly on a wood board.

Why it’s crucial to use a pork belly dry rub to get the best flavor 

Remember, this is not a smoked pork belly for bacon recipe, so you are not curing the meat in salt and other spices. A dry rub is essential to build additional layers of flavor into the meat without overpowering the natural taste of the pork belly or interfering with the cooking time.

Why you smoke to a temperature and not for time 

When cooking, you should always consider any time mentioned in a recipe as just a guideline and not an absolute. This approach is particularly helpful when smoking pork belly since many factors can alter the speed at which the meat cooks, such as the meat’s starting internal temperature and the thickness of the fat cap. 

If you have a probe thermometer, use it to feel confident you are cooking the pork belly long enough. Otherwise, use an instant-read thermometer, and never depend on times to determine when the food is ready. 

Where can you buy a pork belly?

Pork belly isn’t the most common cut, and it is usually unavailable at most national supermarkets. Most butcher shops don’t even carry it all the time, although they will probably be able to special order it for you.

If you don’t want to go that route, you can always visit an Asian or Latin grocery store where you are likely to find fresh or frozen pork belly daily. 

Best wood chip flavors for your pork belly 

You should use a mild wood for smoking pork belly. Many pit bosses love using applewood to smoke pork belly because it adds just the right amount of smokiness with a bit of lingering sweetness.

Cherrywood is an excellent alternative if you prefer your smoked meat a little more on the sweet side.

Hickory or pecan wood chips are some nice options too.

What To serve with smoked pork belly 

Something with some tartness is a wonderful counter to the richness of pellet grill smoked pork belly. Brookville Hotel Coleslaw, roasted Brussel sprouts with a balsamic glaze, and a simple salad of bitter greens with a light dressing are all good options.

For a more traditional side dish, try baked beans or hush puppies.

You can also serve it with your favorite tomato-based barbecue sauce or a mustard BBQ sauce.

Pork belly slices are great for pork belly sandwiches. Pork belly cubes are fantastic for pork belly tacos. Serve it either way with the appropriate bread, tortillas, toppings, and condiments.

How to store leftovers

You can refrigerate cooked pork belly in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours in a plastic bag. Let it get to room temperature before placing it in the fridge.

If you plan on keeping it longer, cut the pork belly into serving sizes and freeze each portion in separate plastic bags for up to two months. 

How to reheat

To reheat thawed pork belly:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  2. Gently wrap the pork belly in aluminum foil and seal well. 
  3. Place the wrapped pork belly on the middle oven rack with a rimmed baking tray on a lower rack directly underneath the pork belly to catch any juices.  
  4. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until hot. 
smoked pork belly sliced on a cutting board.

Favorite pork recipes

Check out more of my easy pork recipes and the best summer recipes here on CopyKat!

close up of smoked pork belly on a cutting board.

Smoked Pork Belly

Smoked pork belly is a delicious meal and can be sliced into strips of bacon.
4.50 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Pork Belly
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 403kcal


  • 4 pounds pork belly
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper


  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, and ground black pepper.
  • Coat the entire pork belly with the dry rub, making sure to get all the sides evenly.
  • Place the pork belly onto the smoker grate and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Remove it from the smoker and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • Slice and serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to use.


Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Dennis Bickers

    4 stars
    About the smoked pork belly–do you place the belly with the fat side up or down on the grill grates?

4.50 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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