With summer in full swing barbecue is always on our mind, and when we think about barbecue three things usually come to mind: rub, smoke and sauce. That pretty much brings us to today’s recipe. We have a very easy recipe for crispy grilled pork belly that is rubbed in a simple blend of spices and finished with a tangy vinegar-bbq sauce.
When dealing with pork belly you want to make sure to leave the skin-side scored and then untouched. The rub is really meant to flavor the meaty-side so the skin/fat side can render out nicely and become crisp and delicious. Our dry rub is quite simple and no-fuss with the exception of ground ginger. We added ground ginger to this dry rub because it doesn’t impart an intense flavor like its fresh counterpart, but the combination of pork and ginger overall go really nicely together.
The key with a fatty dish like pork belly is to start on super high heat to allow the skin to brown and crisp, and then to lower the heat significantly and allow the meat to cook low and slow. This way you’ll get soft, juicy, kissed by smoke meaty goodness with a crispy crackling surface, which is exactly what you want! The onions and beer also provide a nice bed for the pork belly to sit on to ensure the bottom doesn’t burn and that the meat slightly steams and stays moist.
Finally we’ve finished our pork belly dish today with a vinegar based bbq sauce. Why vinegar based? We think it pairs nicely with the pork belly and the tang from the vinegar helps to cut through some of the richness from the meat. If you’re looking for something a little different but still 100% delicious to grill up this summer, you should try this pork belly with vinegar-bbq sauce. It’s easy to make and a total crowd pleaser!!
Here are some perfect sides to serve with this recipe:
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Crispy Grilled Pork Belly with a Sweet and Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce
vinegar bbq sauce
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper optional
- 1 (2 1/2 lb.) slab pork belly with the skin on
- 4 yellow onions, roughly quartered and chopped
- 2 (12 fl. oz.) bottles beer of choice, divided can use broth as non-alcoholic option
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Preheat grill to 450˚F.
- For vinegar bbq sauce: Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth and completely blended. Set aside until ready to use.
- Place pork belly on a clean cutting board, skin-side up and score the skin. Pat dry with a paper towel and flip over so the meat-side is up.
- Place all dry rub ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together. Pour rub over meat-side of belly only and rub over entire surface.
- Place onions and one bottle of beer into a roasting dish, in an even layer, and top with pork (meat/rub side down).
- Place roasting dish into the hot grill and cover with the grill lid. Cook for about 45 minutes.
- Lower heat to 250˚F and continue to cook for about 1 hour. Remove lid and add remaining beer. Re-cover and cook for an additional 2 hours.
- At this point the fat should have rendered and the skin should be extra crispy.
- Carefully remove the pork belly from the baking dish and transfer onto a cutting board. Allow the slab to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Chop into pieces and serve atop sliced white bread with a generous drizzle of the vinegar bbq sauce.
- Makes 1 (2lb) pork belly
Did you make this recipe? We want to see!
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Hey Jenny. The recipe sounds delicious! This Saturday I’ll be cooking the pork belly above for the rest of my mates. I bout all the ingredients, however the pork belly I purchased is 5.67 lbs, not the 2 lbs. listed above. How would you adjust the cook time? And should I just double the recipe?
great idea, great flavors, love the dry rub, thank you for this recipe!
Just bought my first pork belly
I will be smoking it on my green egg tomorrow
Will let you know how it turns out
Tom: I’m going to try this on Big Green Egg this weekend. How did yours turn out?
Best part of this recipe was the BBQ sauce. Rest, shite. Pork belly turned to fatty mush. Waste of a good cut of meat. Please read the comments before trying this recipe.
Did you make sure to dry out the pork belly uncovered in the refrigerator ahead of time? And did you buy it SKIN ON? the SKIN ON pork belly is key for a crispy crust. Also, if you went to a regular grocery store they usually don’t sell SKIN ON pork belly, butchers, some Asian markets and specialty store are the place to go. Also, if you did in fact get SKIN ON pork belly and didn’t get a crispy crust, it would turn rubbery NOT fatty…so I assume you got skinless pork belly…not the way to go with this recipe. You NEED the skin. So yes, please make sure to not only read the comments, but to also read the post and follow the exact instructions.
In the last 12 minutes of the specified cooking time and the skin is completely mushy and not at all crispy. Could it be that there was a typo in the recipe and the cooking period at 450 was supposed to be uncovered? This recipe is so far not working out well :(
When I say cover, I mean the grill lid and not actually covering the baking dish with foil, etc. so the actual dish itself isn’t actually covered. If you did this in the oven, there’s also no need to “cover” the actual dish. Tightly covering the entire dish will definitely not produce crispy skin. Apologies if that was confusing!
And do you think this recipe would work with a pork loin, skin-on for crackling?
If I’m using a smaller bit of pork belly – say 600-800g, would the cooking time need adjusting and if so….by how much? Thanks Jenny!
I would reduce it by about 1/3 of the time
My Dish is Bomb
Pork belly is one of those dishes where I really don’t mind eating all the fat because it’s basically a mound of bacon for dinner and that’s all I’ll ever need. ;)
Totally agree that ginger and pork always pair nicely together and I love the addition of vinegar into the sauce! Will definitely try this one out.
Hello there, I would love to try the recipe for the pork belly, but I have not been able to find decent pork belly in my area. I live in Redondo Beach and I get the impression that you live in Manhattan Beach, correct? If that is right, I’m hoping you can tell me where to find pork belly here in the South Bay area!
Love your blog and your recipes!
Hi Debi! I actually live in Redondo Beach too!! Unfortunately I got mine from Chinatown bc my Korean market no longer sells pork belly with the skin on. I think a few Chinese markets in the area like 99Ranch might carry it. If not, Manhattan Beach Meats will special order it for you and it only takes about a day or two!
Thank you so much, Jenny!
Sara Leigh Merrey
I live in a condo and don’t have a grill. Can I do this in my oven using the same temperature settings and times?
This looks incredible! Pork belly is one of my favorites but I’ve never tried making it at home. Might have to give it a shot!