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Budget cuts: Pork Belly

The other other white meat cut from the same animal that brings you bacon, ham, butts, shoulders and who can forget ribs.

Pork belly is certainly a fad cut which yo-yos in price depending on which food diet is in place. Personally I think it’s a great learner cut for low and slow. Much like beef shorties it is really hard to ruin a pork belly. It’s full of fat and the longer you leave it the more flavour it packs.

Now the price does vary as I mentioned before but small cuts of pork belly have appeared in Aldi and Woolworths recently for a pretty good price. The other nice thing about pork belly is a little goes a long way, it’s a rich meats so the size they’re selling can feed 4 nicely or 2 if you really want ringer the sleeps.

I was able to pick up this little slab for under $15 from Aldi which I thought wasn’t a bad deal. The tip to picking on of these from the 100s at the shop is looking for one that has some pork to it and isn’t just fat look, for a 50 50 ratio.

I wanted to go for that sweet sticky coating so I coated the belly in emus sweet and hot rub then layered a little mild rub over the top for that barbecue flavour.

Smoking these things is easy, choose any wood flavour combo add fire to smoker and to you’re off. I had ironbark laying around so put a large chunk into the pit and placed the belly into the smoker which was sitting nicely around 230f.

For this size I was aiming for around 4 hours cook with a bit of a boat to keep all that delicious fat. It ended up taking about 5.5 hrs to really get the consistency I was after.

No probing required for this one, when you can see the pork starting to fall apart she is ready to devour. If you want to slab cut the meat then you might want to pull out a little earlier and rest before carving up.

The taste was great, what’s not to like? delicious pork fat rendered into the meat with a great smokey flavour. I topped this one off with some Lillie’s Carolina sauce and the vinegar cut the fat perfectly. Will 100% be doing this one again.

Cooking info

  • 5.5 hrs for pull apart
  • Pit at 220-230 top rack with water pan
  • Could do with a spritz of apple to sweeten things up if you want to go fancy.

Budget cut info

  • Most slabs under $15 feeds 4.
  • Available at Aldi/woolies
  • In the fridge most weeks