How to barbecue pork belly

Barbecue pork belly

How to barbecue pork belly

by Great British Chefs16 June 2016

How to barbecue pork belly

A whole pork belly benefits from being cooked low and slow, which makes it a prime candidate for indirect cooking on the barbecue, resulting in a delicious smoky flavour and soft, tender meat that literally falls apart.

When buying pork belly, think about how many you wish to feed. A whole, large pork belly will feed around ten people, but the pieces available in the supermarkets are generally smaller – a 500g belly piece will feed up to four people. Pork belly strips and slices are also widely available in supermarkets and are better for quick cooking.

The pork will benefit from being marinated before cooking, preferably overnight to give the flavours a chance to really seep into the meat. A dry rub made from a mixture of herbs, spices and salt will help.

Begin by scoring the skin and rubbing the pork belly with your marinade or salt mix. It is ideal to do this the day before but can be done up to an hour before cooking
Heat your barbecue before beginning. If you are using a gas barbecue, turn it on around thirty minutes before you intend to use it and keep a section turned to low or off as it will come in useful later. For coal barbecues, once you have lit your charcoal wait for the flames to die down until you are left with a nice amber glow and push the coals to one side to create hot and cool zones
Start by placing the pork belly with the skin down on the coolest part of the barbecue, covering with the lid and leaving to crisp for 20–30 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it throughout in case the skin begins to burn
Once the skin is golden and crisp, turn the pork over and replace the lid. Continue to cook for a further two hours until the meat is tender and can be easily pulled apart with a fork
Remove from the barbecue and cover with foil. Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving


Luke Holder takes the stress out of barbecuing pork belly by cooking it sous vide at a controlled low temperature, before finishing on the barbecue for a crisp, smoky exterior.

Adam Gray marinates his pork belly in beer before cooking in the oven and finishing on the barbecue.

Serving suggestions

Try serving your perfectly barbecued pork belly with a fresh, vibrant summer salad. Experiment with unusual combinations such as James Ramsden’s Roasted radishes, whipped feta, brown butter leeks and poppy seeds or why not have a go at Dominic Chapman’ s Warm Jersey Royals salad with spring onions and aioli.

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