Honey Glazed Crispy Pork Belly

4.85 from 20 votes

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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!

juicy piece of pork belly on a cutting board


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!

several slices of honey glazed crispy pork belly on cutting board

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
pieces of pork belly on a wooden cutting board

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. 

closeup of pork belly ready to serve

This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking May, 2016, and was updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.

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Honey Glazed Crispy Pork Belly

4.85 from 20 votes
Roasted and crunchy on the outside, fork-tender on the inside, this honey glazed crispy pork belly is simply mouth-watering!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 667kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1203mg | Potassium: 260mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
honey glazed crispy pork belly on cutting board

Kevin

Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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100 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night!! Omg!! Absolute perfection! Had in restaurants several times and been wanting to make it!! Huge hit!! Will def make again!! This recipe is a KEEPER!!!!!! Thank you!!

  2. I thought this recipe had a real authentic Spanish feel to it. Only thing I changed, was adding a teaspoon of Fennel seeds to the dry rub….
    Also cooking…. did 30mins 180 (fan)… then 90mins 160…and 30 mins 180…. glazing in between – Delicious!!
    Thanks Kevin

  3. Holy cow!
    Never done pork belly but wanted to for a long time. Finally got one and came across your recipe. HOME RUN!
    We had a small family party for my sons college graduation and did a few other fun first time things like foie gras and wagyu on salt blocks.
    Your pork belly stole the show.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sounds like one tasty party! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know Scott. Congrats to your son, too.

  4. 4 stars
    I cooked it on “convection roast” in my oven so it may have been a little over crisped. But still tasty. Next time I’ll play around with the spice mixture and try maple syrup. Thanks!

  5. 4 stars
    I did mine on convection roast in my oven. Might have come out a bit over crisped. But still very good. Next time I’m going to play with the spice mixture and maybe try maple syrup instead of honey. Thanks!

  6. Hi Kevin,
    This recipe looks amazing. My pork belly is precooked and looks like thick slices of bacon. How would I need to adjust your recipe for meat like that?

  7. 5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe to use up some leftover pork belly and I didn’t have all day to cook it. This turned out to be an excellent faster alternative to more traditional slow-roasted recipes. I used Steen’s syrup (which is a local product for me) instead of honey, and sweet vermouth since I had that instead of sherry. It’s all good!

    1. So glad you tried this one and adapted for you tastes Sarah. Appreciate you coming back to let me know!

  8. 5 stars
    This dish is absolutely INCREDIBLE! My bf told me before he cooked it that he didn’t really like pork belly but after he finished it he was asking for more! I didn’t have honey so I used slightly less Agave nectar and I didn’t have dry sherry so I used some old red wine that we had saved for cooking. Absolutely perfect.

  9. 5 stars
    Brined pork slices @ 6% solution – Followed Kevin’s process , then… Laid broccoli florets and small spuds cut in half horizontally on bottom of leaf larded stone baker, Placed thick strips on top – supported by corn on cob (sliced vertically – then horizontally ) Oven per recipe.

    Thanks, Kevin

    Aloha, Tom