Pork belly is a cut of meat that has gained immense popularity in recent years, thanks to its succulent and flavorful meat, as well as its crispy and delicious skin. In this article, I will guide you through the steps to cook pork belly perfectly at home, resulting in tender and juicy meat with a crispy skin that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
1. How To Cook Pork Belly Slab
1.1. How To Cook Pork Belly Slab in Oven
- 2 pounds pork belly slab with skin on
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper powder
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place your pork belly slab on a rack over a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper (this will help with cleanup later).
Use a sharp knife to make several parallel cuts across the skin of the pork belly then rub the surface with your chosen seasonings. In this recipe, I like to use a combination of salt, black pepper powder, garlic powder, and paprika powder.
Next, slow-roast the pork belly in the preheated oven for approximately 3-4 hours. The low temperature will help render the fat and tenderize the meat.
After the initial roasting time, increase the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C) for another 30-40 minutes, or until the skin turns golden brown and crispy. Keep a close eye on it during this stage to prevent burning.
Once the pork belly is crispy, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
To serve, cut the pork belly into desired portions and serve with your favorite side dishes
1.2. How To Cook Pork Belly Slab in Air Fryer
- 1-1.5 lb pork belly slab, skin on
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
Pat the pork belly dry and score the skin in a cross-hatch pattern with a sharp knife, cutting about 1/8 inch deep.
Rub the pork belly all over with olive oil and then season generously with the minced garlic, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Place the seasoned pork belly skin-side up into the air fryer basket. Make sure not to overlap the sides of the basket.
Air fry at 370°F for 15 minutes. Flip the slab over and air fry for another 15 minutes.
Flip the pork belly again so the skin-side is up. Air fry for 5-10 minutes, until the skin puffs up crispy.
Check internal temp, air frying longer in 5 minute increments until it reaches 145°F.
Let the pork belly rest 5 minutes before slicing into portions. Serve the crispy skin along with the tender meat. Enjoy!
2. How To Cook Pork Belly Slices
2.1. How To Cook Pork Belly Slices in Oven
- 1.5-2 lbs pork belly
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper
Slice the pork belly into 1⁄2 inch thick slices.
In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, paprika, onion powder, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Arrange the pork belly slices in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Use a brush or spoon to coat both sides of each pork slice with the seasoning mixture. Make sure the slices are evenly coated.
Roast the pork slices in a preheated 375°F degrees F oven for 20-25 minutes. Flip the slices halfway during cooking.
The pork belly is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. Enjoy on salads, tacos, sandwiches or however you prefer!
2.2. How To Cook Pork Belly Slices in Air Fryer
- 1-1.5 lbs pork belly
- 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1⁄4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Slice the pork belly into 1⁄2 inch thick strips and pat dry with paper towels.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and red pepper flakes (if using). Add the pork belly strips and toss to evenly coat.
Arrange the coated pork belly strips in an even layer in the air fryer basket.
Air fry at 380°F for 8-10 minutes. Shake the basket halfway during cooking to redistribute.
Continue cooking until the pork belly slices are caramelized and crispy on the edges and reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F when checked with a meat thermometer.
Remove from the air fryer and serve hot, garnished with sliced scallions, if desired. Enjoy!
Pork belly is a delicious and versatile dish that can be cooked in many different ways. Whether you’re cooking pork belly slices or a whole slab, I hope that this article can satisfy you. Now, you know how to cook pork belly – crispy & delicious. So why not give it a try today