A new grocery store opened up close to my house last month and I noticed they were selling small portions of pork bellies. A bought a couple bellies, stuck them on the kettle and man…they turned out GREAT!
Let me walk you through the two ways I cooked these things.
I was working with two pork bellies that weighed about a pound and a half each.
These still had the skin attached so I went ahead and cut it off. I wanted to expose the fat and the skin would have just gotten tough as leather.
Here is a Professional Parenting Tip for you folks with teenagers. Lovingly stroking the nipple on a pork belly can drive a teenager daughter insane.
Alright…go ahead and cut that skin off.
The general approach I used for both pieces of belly was to smoke them fast while applying layers of marinade every 15-20 minutes.
By “smoking them fast” I mean I was using a single charcoal basket of fully lit charcoal with both the top and bottom vents completely open. I threw on a little piece of hickory for good luck.
I kept one of the bellies intact while the other was cut into one inch cubes and skewered.
The intact belly had been seasoned with a tablespoon of kosher salt and two teaspoons of Chinese Five Spice seasoning.
The skewered belly pieces were coated in a marinade made from:
- Chipotles in adobo sauce (7 ounce can)
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
(Hit this mix with a hand blender for a few minutes to bust up the chipotles and bring everything together.)
I let the bellies smoke for about 30 minutes before basting.
The intact belly got brushed with a 50:50 mix of teriyaki and honey. The skewered belly kept getting basted with the chipotle marinade.
Keep turning and basting the meat every 15-20 for at least two hours.
I wanted to get a little crust on these so I moved them over direct heat for about a minute per side.
Do this part with the lid OFF so you can watch what is happening. The fat from the belly will quickly cause flare ups.
I took the bellies off the kettle once they hit about 195F internal. The great part about this technique is that since the belly is so fatty it will NEVER dry out. You can keep these guys on the grill for as long as you like and keep applying layers and layers or marinade.
The whole belly was incredibly delicious. My son and I ate this one in about 10 minutes.
The skewered belly was equally fantastic. My wife and I finished these off in about 20 minutes.
May your arteries have mercy on you.