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My honey glazed crispy pork belly is basted in honey to contrast a Spanish dry rub that includes smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. It’s so good it’s like meat candy!
If you’re on the hunt for a delicious weekend recipe, you’ve found it! Crispy pork belly is one of my favorite snacks. It’s honestly one of the only things that hold me back from becoming a vegetarian! I just love me some bacon, don’t you?
Whenever I come across a pork belly recipe, it’s usually prepared in an Asian-inspired marinade, glaze, or spice mix. While I do enjoy that, I love my spice rub made with smoked paprika and earthy cumin. When I eat it, I feel like I’m in a bar in Madrid munching on delicious Spanish tapas. Tapas are small plates of savory appetizers, just enough to whet the appetite and keep you wondering what’s next.
If you’ve ever wondered how to cook pork belly, I’ve got the ultimate recipe for you. You can enjoy this dish as an app, or you can pan-fry it and enjoy it in a sandwich. No matter which way you eat it, you’ll want to go back for seconds!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Pork Belly – Not to be confused with bacon, pork belly is a fatty boneless piece of pork.
- Cumin – Earthy, warm, and complex, this spice is a must-have for my Spanish-inspired spice rub.
- Smoked Paprika – The smokiness of the paprika adds even more richness to my crispy pork belly spice rub and pairs wonderfully with the meat.
- Garlic Powder – It wouldn’t be a savory spice rub without my favorite flavor add-on, garlic!
- Cayenne Powder – For some added heat. You can feel free to adjust the quantity so that it meets your spice preferences.
- Honey – My honey glazed pork belly gets its sweetness from, of course, honey!
- Salt – The final touch to the spice rub.
- Dry Sherry – You’ll add your honey to the dry sherry in order to create the glaze. Don’t worry — the alcohol will get burned off as it cooks.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY PORK BELLY
- Prepare The Meat. You can keep your pork belly as is, or you can slice it into two 10-inch by 1-inch by 1-inch slabs, depending on its size. To prepare it for cooking, score the skin with crosshatch marks using a sharp knife.
- Add The Spice Rub. Place the cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl and mix. Then, rub the mix all over the pork belly. Make sure to press it so that it adheres to the meat. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If you have time to leave it overnight, all the better!
- Roast The Pork Belly. If you did refrigerate the meat overnight, make sure to bring it to room temperature an hour before you roast it. While you wait, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the pork belly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. You can also use a deep baking dish. Roast the meat uncovered for 60 minutes with the skin side up.
- Make The Glaze. Combine the honey and dry sherry in a small bowl and then baste the meat with it to complete your honey glazed crispy pork belly recipe. Lower the temperature of your oven to 250°F and roast for 20 more minutes. Then, baste the meat once more and cook for 10 minutes.
- Slice & Serve. Take your crispy pork belly out of the oven and allow it to cool a bit before slicing. Now you know how to cook pork belly. Enjoy!
Why Is My Pork Belly Not Crispy?
Pork naturally has a lot of excess moisture in it, so you need to dry it out a bit before roasting it in order to ensure that it crisps up nicely. You can do so with my dry rub — the salt helps to draw out that moisture. Letting it sit overnight in the fridge uncovered with the dry rub can also do much to help make sure that the meat gets crispy when roasted. If you have the time, don’t skip this step!
Should You Boil Pork Before Roasting?
One of the questions that often comes up around how to cook pork belly is whether or not you should boil the pork before roasting. Blanching the meat can help make scoring the meat easier and it helps to retain moisture. This extra step isn’t necessary for my honey glazed pork belly, as we want a crispy outside!
How Do You Get Crunchy Crackling on Pork?
If you want your honey glazed pork belly recipe to be extra crispy, you can play around with the heat a bit and cook it for a lot longer. Roast it at 320°F for 2 and ½ hours, then crank up the temperature to 485°F for 30 minutes to get the crackling and crunchy results you’re after.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking May, 2016, and was updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.
Honey Glazed Crispy Pork Belly
- Keep whole or slice into 2 10" x 1" x 1" slabs of pork belly, depending on size of pork belly. Score the skin with a sharp knife with crosshatch marks.
- In a small bowl mix together the spice rub. Rub the spice blend on all sides of the pork belly, pressing to ensure it adheres and is coated. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (preferably overnight).
- If refrigerated over night, place on counter to come to room temperature an hour prior to roasting. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place pork belly on baking tray lined with parchment or a deep baking dish. Roast uncovered in greased pan for 60 minutes (skin side up).
- In a small bowl combine honey and dry sherry. Baste pork belly with honey sherry mixture. Drop temperature to 250°F and continue to render for 20 minutes. Baste one more time and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.