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Thread: First Ever BBQ Pork Belly

  1. #1
    TVWBB Pro Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    First Ever BBQ Pork Belly

    On Saturday, the wife and I were debating via text about what I was going to cook while she was out grocery shopping. We were going through the various types of fish (none of which interested me) when she sent me a picture of a rolled up pork belly with no caption or message. The butcher apparently decided to trim it and tie it like a roast. I asked why she sent it and she said that she was getting it. Fair enough. I'm never one to turn down pork belly products. Here's what it looked like when I opened it yesterday.





    I spent some time trying to research online what to do with and never really came up with anything that moved me. So, I pulled out the books and searched for pork belly. Project Smoke was the first one in three attempts that had a pork belly recipe. Make a rub, put it on, smoke...voila! It also had a mustard vinegar sauce that accompanied it. One of the ingredients in there? Beer. I was sold. After acquiring the missing ingredients (I needed some beer, ketchup, dijon mustard and cider vinegar from the store), I went to work. Here she is all rubbed up:



    If you make a mental note of the uneven application of the rub on top, you can laugh at me later.

    I decided to cook this one on the 14" WSM. It's more moody than my 18", but there just wasn't the need to go burning extra charcoal (even though I have like 160 lbs. of KBB in the garage right now). The skies were really ominous, so I set up the tailgate tent and got the coals going. That turned out to be a good decision. Last time I cooked on the 14" was for that tri tip with the fat cap on it. If you read that post, you may recall that, once again, that 14" was a little jumpy with temps. So, I anticipated the same this time. Nope. I got her up to 200* and closed down the bottom vents almost completely. Rather than continue to climb, she came to a DEAD STOP. Quick little adjustment and she climbed to 211* and stuck there. I went ahead and put the belly roll on.



    Of course, you put cold meat on a little smoker and what do you get? Temp drop. I waited it out and it climbed back up to about 210*. I wanted it closer to 225*, so I went and opened the vents a smidge more. It finally settled in at 230*, so I was content to go make the sauce. Oh, btw, have I told y'all that I've never made a sauce before?

    Good Ole Raichlen's instructions were simple to follow. Mix ingredients, simmer, 6-10 minutes, and voila...sauce. So, I mixed the ingredients. And I started to simmer them.



    6-10 minutes later, the liquid had barely started to bubble. It wasn't near as thick as what I thought it should be. So, I brought the temps on the stove up and continued to whisk frequently like the instructions said. Well, you know how if you whisk too frequently, it has a hard time getting appropriately warm? Yeah. I wasn't thinking about that. The thickness was still not quite right. Bumped the temp up some more and stopped stirring as often.



    Ahhh...there we go! Finally, an hour later, it was the thickness that I wanted. The taste was delicious. I was really excited for this meal.

    Oh, while this was going on, it started raining cats and dogs. Luckily, I had the tailgate tent set up:


    See my vortex on the ground? I decided to hang my ThermoPro on it to keep it dry.

    Sadly, this pup doesn't like thunderstorms. I was busy, so she couldn't snuggle. So, she hid behind the door into the laundry room.


    Poor thing.


    To be continued in the comments...
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

  2. #2
    TVWBB Pro Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Mr. R's recipe said to pull the belly at 165*. That seemed low compared to a lot of cooks that I saw while researching. But, at 165*, I went and probed a few places. It still felt pretty firm, so I decided to go up to 175*.

    At 175*, it was better and probed easier. I pulled it off and, per the instructions, began to slice it.

    Remember that uneven rub coating?






    And, because you've been soo patient...not one, but TWO PLATED PICS!!



    That's Mexican Street Corn style corn from the grocer and their twice baked potato.

    And with the sauce added!!


    It came out really well. The flavors were great, though maybe a little spicy for my wife. But, she thought it was good. My only complaint, and this is being hyper-nitpicky, was it was a hair dry and not quite as tender as I thought it should be. Maybe I should have pulled it at 165? Or should I have gone longer? I'll take your comments off air. Regardless, it was really good. I'd do it again... with a slightly less spicy version...and whatever temp feedback y'all think might help.

    Hope you've had a great weekend!! Thanks for putting up with this long post!
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

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    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Never have I ever seen a rolled pork belly with out any filling of some kind. Sort of like a PB roast, can't offer any advice as I've never done one. Looks good though.
    Funny I don't have a 14.5 but I did make a mini using a stock pot and a Smokey Joe. My mini is rock steady and my 18.5 gives me fits I'm always chasing temps with it.
    Had thunder also yesterday afternoon and our poor 7 month old black lab Abby got spooked, this was the first time she has heard thunder. We were home so we calmed her down and she buddied up with Whitney and all was well. All she does now is lift her head when there is thunder. But I'm sure when we get one of those house shaking booms that might change things.
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

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    TVWBB Super Fan Jeremy Calow's Avatar
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    That is a fine looking porchetta styled roast. I have done this with fennel, orange and onion layered inside the rolls, and that worked out great but that looks even better. Well done!
    I like my bbqing like I like my cars... Low and Slow
    18.5 WSM "Suzie Q" , 22.5 Performer "Barbie Q"

  5. #5
    TVWBB Olympian Cliff Bartlett's Avatar
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    Nice looking cook Dan. Looks and sounds delicious. Like your sides too.
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  6. #6
    TVWBB Pro Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Dahl View Post
    Never have I ever seen a rolled pork belly with out any filling of some kind. Sort of like a PB roast, can't offer any advice as I've never done one. Looks good though.
    Funny I don't have a 14.5 but I did make a mini using a stock pot and a Smokey Joe. My mini is rock steady and my 18.5 gives me fits I'm always chasing temps with it.
    Had thunder also yesterday afternoon and our poor 7 month old black lab Abby got spooked, this was the first time she has heard thunder. We were home so we calmed her down and she buddied up with Whitney and all was well. All she does now is lift her head when there is thunder. But I'm sure when we get one of those house shaking booms that might change things.
    I've come to the conclusion that each smoker has it's own personality...even those of the same make and size. It tasted great...not sure what the ideal temp is for a belly, whether rolled or not. I saw so many different answers when I looked into it. Raichlen said 165*, a user on here said 185* (can't remember who it was), and I saw a couple of recipes that said 175*. My guess, trial and error until you find your own personal preference.

    Hopefully, Abby won't continue to have problems with thunder in the future. I can't figure it out, but this has been a kinda recent phenomenon. She never used to get scared of storms but now she's even a little nervous when there's just rain. Poor girl.
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

  7. #7
    TVWBB Pro Dan C. FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Calow View Post
    That is a fine looking porchetta styled roast. I have done this with fennel, orange and onion layered inside the rolls, and that worked out great but that looks even better. Well done!
    Thanks Jeremy! It tasted great. In the past, I had thought about trying to do a porchetta but all of the recipes made it sound like more work than I want to do. Having had this, I think that I'd like to do a BBQed version next time that I find a belly as pretty as that one.

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Bartlett View Post
    Nice looking cook Dan. Looks and sounds delicious. Like your sides too.
    Thanks Cliff!!
    22" Weber Kettle; 18" Weber Kettle; Big Brother: 18" Weber Smokey Mountain ; and Brand New Baby Brother 14" Weber Smokey Mountain

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    Looks and sounds delicious to me. Awesome job

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    TVWBB Hall of Fame Barb D's Avatar
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    Dan, that is one interesting PB roast. Never seen that done before but it looks delicious. May have to give that one a try.
    2009 Performer Platinum , 1999 Genesis 1000 LX, Mini Smoker, 2009 E320ng, 18.5 , 1993 Smokey Joe, 2011 Performer Deluxe

  10. #10
    TVWBB Super Fan Jeremy Calow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan C. FL View Post
    Thanks Jeremy! It tasted great. In the past, I had thought about trying to do a porchetta but all of the recipes made it sound like more work than I want to do. Having had this, I think that I'd like to do a BBQed version next time that I find a belly as pretty as that one.
    Agreed that the recipes do sound more complicated than they should. And that was a darn fine looking belly, so I agree... find another one hehe
    I like my bbqing like I like my cars... Low and Slow
    18.5 WSM "Suzie Q" , 22.5 Performer "Barbie Q"

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