Crispy Slow-Roasted Pork Belly

Slow-roasted pork belly, sliced on a cutting board
The Spruce
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 55 mins
Total: 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
361 Calories
28g Fat
0g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 361
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 225mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 274mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pork belly is a fatty piece of meat that is often used to make bacon and pancetta. However, it can also be roasted, resulting in flavorful and tender pork covered with delicious crackling. It's that dual texture (often in a single bite) that makes it irresistible and guaranteed to please everyone at the dinner table.

This roasted pork belly recipe is simple, using nothing more than basic seasonings and extra-virgin olive oil. The long, slow roasting makes for tender meat, and the increased oven temperature near the end of the cooking time helps create a crispy skin.

Serve this pork belly with beans, black-eyed peas, scalloped potatoes, or mac and cheese.

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"This slow-roasted pork belly recipe delivers the ultimate combination of rich, meltingly tender meat and crisp crackled skin in every bite." —Diana Andrews

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Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for slow-roasted pork belly
    The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Place a rack (such as a cooling rack) on a rimmed baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make several parallel cuts across the skin of the pork belly, 1/4 to 1/2-inch apart. Cut through the skin and fat but not into the meat.

    Score the back of the meat
    The Spruce
  3. Sprinkle the pork all over with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and rub it all into the pork.

    Season the meat
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  4. Place the pork on the rack, skin-side up.

    Put the meat on metal rack
    The Spruce
  5. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender and falling apart. Increase the heat to 425 F and roast for 20 to 25 minutes longer to crisp the skin even more.

    Roast the meat in the oven
    The Spruce
  6. Remove the pork from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly, using the cuts in the skin as guides.

    Cooked pork belly on a metal cooling rack
    The Spruce

Tips

  • Allow the pork belly to rest in the fridge, uncovered, for about 4 hours before you plan to cook it, after you rub it with oil and season it with salt and pepper. The skin will dry out and result in a crispier crackling.
  • Make sure the pork is cold when you score it so it's easier to cut.
  • Placing the belly skin-side up is essential to tender meat because the fat renders while it cooks.
  • Adjust the cooking time for pork belly that weighs significantly more or less than 2 pounds or if your oven tends to run hot. The USDA's food safety guidelines state that the minimum safe internal temperature for whole pork cuts is 145 F.
  • You can strain the rendered pork fat in the baking sheet through a fine mesh strainer and save it for future use. Keep it in the refrigerator or freezer and use it the same way you would use bacon fat: toss with potatoes to roast in the oven, baste turkey or chicken, add to hot vinaigrettes, or use for general frying and sauteing.