How to Cook Perfect Pork Belly on a Kamado Joe Grill

Juicy pork belly with crispy crackling is a mouthwatering treat. Cooking it properly allows you to achieve tender meat and irresistible crunchy skin. While it takes some time and patience, pork belly excels when prepared on a Kamado Joe grill.

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to cook pork belly on a Kamado Joe for amazing results every time. Let’s get cooking!


  • 2-3 lb pork belly slab
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spice rub (optional)

Prep the Pork Belly

  • Remove rib bones from the pork belly using a sharp knife Keep the knife close to the bones to minimize meat loss

  • Pat the skin very dry with paper towels. Use a meat tenderizer to poke holes all over the skin. Avoid piercing the fat layer underneath.

  • Lightly score the meat by making shallow horizontal slices 2-3 cm apart. Make a few vertical scores as well

  • Place the pork skin-side up on a rack and refrigerate uncovered for 48 hours. This dries out the skin for crispy crackling.

Set Up the Kamado Joe

  • Place fuel in one side of the fire bowl and ignite it. Add deflector plate on the empty side.

  • Create a makeshift rack over the flame using grill grates and supports. This allows you to position the pork belly at an angle later.

  • Close the lid and preheat grill to about 250°C.

Cook the Pork Belly

  • Place pork belly meat-side down on support rack and close lid fully. Cook for 10 minutes.

  • Brush skin with oil and sprinkle with salt. Flip skin-side down towards fire. Partially close lid.

  • Rotate periodically to prevent burning. Cook until skin is bubbly and golden brown.

  • Reposition belly over deflector plate, skin-side up. Close lid and cook until internal temp reaches 85°C.

Rest, Slice and Serve

  • Let pork rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.

  • Carefully slice the belly and serve immediately with crackling intact.

  • Enjoy pork belly with favorite sides and sauces.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • Dry the skin extremely well and score it for better crackling.

  • Angle pork belly towards fire source to let fat drip away from meat.

  • Partially close lid to monitor crackling formation. Rotate as needed.

  • Use a meat thermometer to check for 85°C internal temp when nearly done.

  • Let pork rest before slicing to allow juices to reabsorb.

With the right prep and Kamado Joe setup, you can achieve incredible crispy pork belly at home. The secret is taking the time to properly dry the skin and then cooking it over direct heat to perfect the crackling. Follow the steps above for tender meat and irresistible crunch!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best wood for smoking pork belly?

Fruit woods like apple, cherry, and pecan pair wonderfully with pork belly. Hickory and maple also impart great flavor.

Should you brine pork belly before cooking?

Brining is optional since pork belly is well-marbled. If you do brine, only brine for 1-2 hours max to avoid overly salty meat. Rinse and pat very dry after brining.

What is the best way to get crispy pork skin?

Drying out the skin completely before cooking is key. Refrigerating uncovered for 24-48 hours works very well. Score the skin too. Cook over direct heat.

How do you prevent flare ups when cooking pork belly?

Flare ups happen when pork fat drips on the hot coals. Angling the pork so the fat can drip away and cooking over indirect heat prevents this.

Is pork belly good reheated?

Yes, leftover pork belly reheats very well! Reheat gently in a skillet to crisp up the skin again. Or slice and reheat it in the oven or microwave until warm.

Pork belly deserves patience for the perfect meld of tender meat and crispy skin. Let your Kamado Joe unlock this cut’s full potential for an unforgettable meal. Enjoy!

Super Crispy Pork Belly in the Kamado Joe by David Ong

Leave a Comment