Crispy Pork Belly Recipe

Pork belly futures were once the darling of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, according to The New York Times. However, the source reports that as the American taste for pork grew, the market for pork belly futures dwindled. Today, when we think of pork belly, we think of bacon, pancetta, or even spare ribs. But right now, we're thinking about a tender, mouth-watering, crispy-skinned roast, which is what this pork belly recipe from recipe developer Catherine Brookes yields, with very little effort and just four ingredients. 

Pork belly is "a cut of meat from the belly of a pig," Brookes tells Mashed. It has a thick layer of skin and fat on top, which slowly infuses the meat with smoky, salty, and umami flavors while it's roasting. As if that weren't enough, Brookes shares her special trick for making sure that magical layer crisps up just before serving. So, let's get to it, shall we?  

Gather your ingredients for this crispy pork belly

To make Brookes' pork belly recipe, you'll need a pork belly or pork belly joint, as some butchers refer to it. The pork belly pictured here started out by weighing 26 ½ ounces, Brookes tells Mashed, but it shrinks down as it cooks. When looking for a good pork belly, Brookes suggests choosing one with relatively wrinkle-free skin, which is an indicator of the cut's freshness. In addition to the pork belly, you'll also need 2 teaspoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and black pepper to taste. 

Start by prepping the pork belly

Before prepping the pork belly, you'll want to preheat your oven to 320 F, the ideal low-and-slow-roast temperature to maximize the meat's umami succulence. Now, turning to the pork belly, there is no need to rinse or trim it, regardless of what you may have done with other meats in the past. Just remove the pork belly from its packaging and pat it dry with a paper towel. As Brookes explains, "It removes moisture from the skin which helps it to go nice and crispy in the oven."

Place the pork belly on a roasting rack

Grab a roasting pan or a sheet pan plus a roasting rack. The idea, as Brookes explains, is to raise the meat slightly off the solid surface below to allow air to circulate around the pork belly evenly. In addition, this will also ensure that the bottom of the pork belly does not end up overcooked or fried in its own juices (pork belly is not bacon after all, even though bacon comes from the pork belly).

Season your pork belly, roast, crisp, and enjoy

Drizzle the olive oil over the pork belly and massage it into the meat, including the skin. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the skin and rub that in as well. When your oven has preheated to 320 F, pop your roasting pan with the pork belly onto a rack and set a timer for 90 minutes. When the timer goes off, raise the oven temperature to 440 F and set another timer for 20 minutes. Leave the pork belly roasting in the oven as the temperature increases. This, says Brookes, is the secret to getting super crispy skin.

Allow the pork belly to rest for 10 minutes before slicing, and serve it with your choice of applesauce, crispy smashed potatoes, roasted carrots, or any combination of the above! Brookes shares, "Roasted pork belly is such a comforting dinner [...] It's one of my absolute favorites to make on a rainy weekend!" Rain or shine, you'll love this crispy pork belly dish. 

Crispy Pork Belly Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
This crispy pork belly is just as delicious as it sounds. Minimal prep work, a simple cooking technique, and just a few ingredients make this recipe a win.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sliced pork belly
Total time: 2 hours, 3 minutes
  • 1 (26 ½-ounce) pork belly joint
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 320 F.
  2. Pat the pork belly skin dry with a paper towel.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the pork belly, rubbing it in to cover the skin and sides.
  4. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on top and rub them in.
  5. Place the pork belly on a roasting rack placed in a roasting pan (or on top of a sheet pan).
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  7. Raise the oven temperature to 440 F and bake for a final 20 minutes.
  8. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before slicing, then serve.
Calories per Serving 311
Total Fat 20.7 g
Saturated Fat 6.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 92.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 0.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 364.1 mg
Protein 29.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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