Why you’ll love this crispy roasted pork belly
- This is one of our favorite dishes to serve when we have guests, it feeds a lot and is always a hit. You can serve it with a variety of sides and it seems to work any time of the year. I like to serve this with creamy polenta, but my kids don’t love that so sometimes we swap that for mashed potatoes.
- Even though it takes a while to cook, there isn’t much hands on time, and you can prep everything in less than 30 minutes. Plus, it’s really hard to overcook so even inexperienced cooks will succeed at this show-stopping main dish.
- Save the leftovers to make pork belly sandwiches, or even tacos. The leftover meat also makes a spectacular pork belly ramen, too.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients & substitutions
- Pork belly – Look for a pork belly with a pale pink color with white and firm fat that is evenly spread across the meat for best results. Having an evenly distributed fat surface will help the meat cook consistently throughout.
How to make this crispy roasted pork belly
Preheat the oven. Start with your oven at 500˚F. This seems high, but once you put the pork in, you’ll turn it down after 15-20 minutes. This just helps the skin to get crispy.
Make the rub. Combine olive oil, salt, pepper, citrus zest, garlic and herbs in a bowl. Stir until well combined to create a wet rub.
Score the fat. This step is optional, but I find that it helps the fat to render more evenly and creates a beautiful presentation. It also allows the seasoning to penetrate beneath the fat and further flavor the meat.
To do this, simply slice evenly into the fat about every 1/2-inch, being careful not to cut into the meat below. Repeat in the opposite direction to create a cross hatch pattern.
Season the pork belly. Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel and spread the rub over all surfaces, concentrating the most rub on the top cross hatched area.
Slow roast. Fit a metal cooling rack into a baking sheet to create airflow around the pork belly. Place the pork on it, fat side up, and pop it into the oven at 500˚F for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the pork fat begins to crackle and brown.
Once that happens, reduce the heat to 250˚F and continue to roast the pork belly for about 4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 200˚F and the fat has rendered considerably.
Crisp the edges. If you find that the skin still isn’t crispy enough, increase the heat to 400˚F for the last 30 minutes, or until the exterior has turned a golden crispy brown.
Remove from oven and allow meat to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing. Resting allows the liquids released during cooking to redistribute throughout the meat for the juiciest results.
Everything you need to know about crispy pork belly
When roasting pork belly you will face the fat side up. As the pork belly cooks, the fat will begin to render and release juices that will be draw downward into the meat thanks gravity. Essentially this is basting the meat as it cooks and will also help the pork belly become a beautiful golden brown.
For this recipe and to make the pork belly extra crispy, we will use two different temperatures. Start with a slow roast at 250˚F for about 4 hours then cranking that heat up to 400˚F for the final 30 minutes to crisp up the outer edges.
Pork belly will only get crispy when it is subjected to a high heat, this is due to the fat content of the meat. Though it is best to slow cook a pork belly, one of the most important steps to a crispy skin is the final blast of high heat.
More oven roasted recipes you will love
More dairy free pork recipes to try
- Italian porchetta roast
- Baked stuffed pork chops
- Crispy pork milanese
- Smothered pork chops with gravy
- 5 – 6 pound pork belly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons each: orange zest, lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 500˚F and line a baking sheet with an oven safe cooling rack.
- Combine olive oil, salt, pepper, citrus zest, garlic and herbs in a small bowl. Stir to create a rub.
- Pat dry all surfaces dry with a paper towel before coating the pork belly with rub.
- Place seasoned pork belly on prepared baking sheet and roast it in the 500˚F oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until skin begins to crackle and turn brown.
- Then, reduce heat to 250˚F and continue to roast pork belly for 4 hours.
- If needed, increase heat to 400˚F for the remaining 30 minutes, to finish crisping the skin.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing.
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Roasting
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 1003
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 60.9 mg
- Fat: 102.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 36.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.4 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Protein: 17.8 g
- Cholesterol: 136.3 mg
Keywords: roasted pork belly, crispy pork belly, crispy pork belly recipe, cooking pork belly, best way to cook pork belly, roast pork belly recipe, baked pork belly, how to cook pork belly, roasted pork belly, pork belly recipes oven
Published: May 8, 2023. Updated: May 8, 2023.
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust.