ISO advice for cooking pork belly

I have a piece that’s been in the freezer for a while. I know the outcome I want but not how to accomplish. I want it in chunks with the skin crispy and rest melt in the mouth tender. It’s the size and shape of a piece of bacon and about an inch and a half thick. Any suggestions? TIA.

This is what I do.

  1. Prick the skin with a fork as many times as you can.

  2. Then combine and mix equal parts baking soda and salt, and then rub that mixture generously on the skin.

  3. Now let the pork belly rest, uncovered, overnight in the fridge (or for about 8-10 hours).

  4. Remove from fridge and rinse off the baking soda/salt mixture. Pour some white vinegar over the skin to make sure all of the baking soda is neutralized. Rinse again if necessary.

  5. Season and marinade (with the witch’s brew of your choice) the meat side, leaving the skin bare.

  6. Preheat your oven to about 350F, then lay your pork belly strip skin side up on a cast iron pan and stick it in the oven for about an hour to 1.5 hours, then switch on your broiler function (if you’ve got one) and increase the temp to 500F or as high as your oven will go until the skin starts to bubble. Remove the pan and let it rest. (At this point you can also pour some red wine into the pan to deglaze, reserving the liquid to make a nice sauce for your pork belly or for some roasted veggies as an accoutrement to the pork.)

  • If you do not have a broiler function then just jack up your oven as high as it will go and remove when the skin starts to bubble and pop.
  1. Cut up into the sized cubes of your choice and serve, esp. with some of that sauce you made by deglazing the pan.

You’re the best!!! Thank you so much for the detailed info. I’m drooling just reading :slight_smile:

If you can find the recipe online - There is a restaurant here in L.A. called Animal. They make a BBQ Pork Belly Slider, that is truly one of the best bites I’ve ever had. After I put it in my mouth I was done. I’ve never bothered to order it in another restaurant. It’s tender, juicy with the perfect ratio of fat & meat, w/slaw on a toasted brioche bun.


…Or use Ipse’s recipe :relaxed:. He’s an Animal lover like me!

I salt 3/4 teaspoon per pound of pork overnight. What’s the soda supposed to do?

First step, I roast it between two Silpat sheets with a weight on top, low and slow until it’s as rendered as I want it.

Then I cut it into chunks and finish it in the microwave in one of those plastic bacon pans, 60-90 seconds at a pop, until it’s as crisp as I want it. Put parchment over the top as it will sputter a lot. You might have to pour off fat a few times. Or you can do that last step in the oven or a pan.

This method gives me separate control over rendering and crisping. Strain and save all the lard.

Holy shit that looks incredible!!! Can’t find that recipe but look at theirs for the Boner Burger.

That looks really incredible. Yep… When you come to L.A., Animal will be on our food crawl list.

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Salt & baking soda draw out the moisture and help make the outside really crispy.

I never heard of using baking soda for that before. Interesting.

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Good reading. Thanks.

It’s a short cut for making crispy skin on Peking Duck (or just any duck recipe).

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Good tip ipse. I’ve lately been threatening to try to make duck.

It’s how a lot of restaurants state side make Peking duck, because traditional air-drying is a big no-no for the local health depts.

Ahhh… Good to know.

I like to cook it sous vide for the best results. Here is a good starting point in terms if temp and time

But that doesn’t give you a crispy skin.

Could it be seared?

Speaking of, mine wasn’t a raging success. I overcooked it mainly because it being my first one doing this way I erred on the side of not wanting to undercook. The skin almost needed pruning shears to cut. But the flavor was perfect. Onward and upward and thanks.

Pork belly is supposed to be difficult to do well. Definitely takes practice. I’ve never attempted it. But it’s why I appreciate places like Animal, that do it perfectly.

Sidebar: I’ve never seen or had it with the skin still on, just the fat cap. Isn’t pig skin almost impossible to cook to tenderness?

That’s why @catholiver wants it to be nice and crispy!

Tender pork skin would be like eating a baseball mitt.