Best Spices for Pork Belly Plus Cooking Methods and Tips

by | Dec 12, 2023

Herb-crusted pork belly roast sliced with pomegranate seeds, garlic rosemary

Hello, culinary enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the sumptuous world of pork belly – a cut that, when cooked right, is nothing short of a delicacy.

The spices you use can make or break pork dishes, and I’m here to guide you through the best spices and blends to elevate your pork belly dish to new heights! We’ll also review the best cooking methods, including slow roasting, grilling, braising, and baking, to achieve tender, flavorful pork belly.

Popular Organic Spice Blends for Pork Belly

  • Baharat: This Middle Eastern gem, with its warm, sweet, and slightly spicy notes, is perfect for a succulent roast. It complements the rich fat of pork belly beautifully.
  • Honey Chipotle BBQ Seasoning: If you like it spicy this wing spice blend brings a smoky, sweet, and spicy profile to your smoking pork belly.
  • Chinese Five Spice: A classic for a reason. The combination of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds offers a complex flavor profile perfect for an Asian-inspired pork belly dish.
  • Sweet and Sassy Pork: This blend is tailor-made for pork. It adds a delightful sweet and spicy kick to your dish, great for baking or slow cooking.
  • Memphis Rib Rub: Not just for ribs! This blend adds a Southern twist to your pork belly, offering a balance of sweet and spicy flavors, ideal for a slow roast.

Individual/Single Organic Spices to Consider

Pork Cooking Methods & Tips

Slow Roasting

Ideal for when you want a tender, fall-apart texture. Use a rub like the Memphis Rib Rub, and slow roast at a low temperature for several hours. This method is perfect for a weekend cooking project.

  • Method: Slow roast in a large pan at 275°F (135°C).
  • Time & Weight Ratio: About 1 hour for every 2 pounds of pork.
  • Juiciness Tip: Baste with its juices every 30 minutes to keep it moist.
  • Doneness Indicator: Internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C), with a browned (but not burnt) exterior.
  • Browning Tip: If it’s cooked but not browned, broil under a top burner for about 3-5 minutes, watching it closely.

Grilling/Barbecue

Grilling is the way to go for a crispy, caramelized exterior. Use the Honey Chipotle BBQ and cook over medium-high heat. Remember to score the skin for that perfect crackling.

  • Method: Grill over medium-high heat (around 375°F or 190°C).
  • Preparation Tip: Score the skin for perfect crackling.
  • Cooking Time: Usually about 8-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
  • Doneness Indicator: Meat should be well-browned on the outside and reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Braising

When you’re looking for depth of flavor. Combine garlic powder, cumin, and Baharat with a liquid base and slow cook. Braising is great for a richer, more complex flavor profile.

  • Method: Cook in a covered pot with a liquid base (like broth or wine) at a low simmer.
  • Temperature: Around 325°F (163°C) in the oven or low setting on a stovetop.
  • Cooking Time: Typically, 1.5-2.5 hours, depending on the cut size.
  • Tip: The meat should be tender enough to be easily pulled apart with a fork.

Baking

A more straightforward yet still delicious method. Season with Chinese Five Spice or Sweet and Sassy Pork blend and bake until the skin is crispy. Perfect for a hassle-free yet flavorful meal.

  • Method: Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F (175°C).
  • Time & Weight Ratio: Generally, about 25 minutes per pound.
  • Crispiness Indicator: Bake until the skin is crispy and the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).
  • Tip: Let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing to retain juices.

 

Remember, these are general guidelines, and actual cooking times may vary based on the specific cut of pork and individual oven or grill characteristics. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure pork is cooked to the correct internal temperature for safe consumption.

Experiment with our certified organic spices to find your perfect pork belly dish. Whether you’re slow roasting, grilling, braising, or baking, adding the right spice blend for pork can transform this humble cut into a gourmet feast. Happy cooking!

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