Slow Cooker Pork Belly turns out incredibly tender with great flavor after 6 hours in the slow cooker.
Pork belly has a lot going for it. It’s a cheaper cut of meat and it can be so amazing when it’s cooked properly. We make it quite frequently. Check out our recipe for pork belly slices, pork belly tacos, and air fryer pork belly bites.
If you’ve ever tried to make pork belly before, you know that it can be a pain to get it perfectly tender without overcooking. It takes a long cooking time for the meat to become tender and the fat to properly render. Then there’s the skin to content with.
However you end up cooking it, these things all need to be taken into consideration in order for it to turn out perfectly tender and juicy.
Cooking it in the slow cooker is a great way to set it and forget it, and have it turn out perfectly tender and not overcooked. It’s easier than the oven.
The one thing the slow cooker can’t do for the pork belly is make the skin crispy. For this reason, you either need to finish the pork belly in the oven to crisp up the skin, or remove the skin before cooking. It’s not really possible (or desirable) to eat the skin when it’s not crispy.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pork Belly
The most important consideration for pork belly is the skin. If you don’t wish to keep the skin on, it’s simple to remove it with a sharp knife.
If you want to keep the skin on and crisp it up at the end, you will need to score the skin and rub it with salt. I prefer to make a cross-hatch pattern on the skin (making sure not to cut into the meat), and use a homemade dry rub.
Slather the dry rub on and be sure to get it into the slits in the skin. The salt in the rub will help dry out the skin so it can get crispy.
Add 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock, one chopped onion and two crushed garlic cloves to the slow cooker. Place the pork on top. Close the lid and cook for 6-7 hours on low.
Six hour is long enough for a thinner piece of pork. It will take longer for a thicker piece. Check it after 6 hours with a fork. If it pulls away easily, it’s done.
If you’re going to crisp the skin, you’ll need to put the pork belly under the broiler for 5-10 minutes. Don’t set it too close to the cooking element or it will burn too quickly. Be sure to keep an eye on it, to avoid burning.
I prefer to turn it upside down to slice, as it’s easier to cut through the crispy skin that way.
Slice it to the thickness you wish and serve. In the image above, I’ve cut it into smaller pieces for an appetizer, dipped in ponzu sauce. Cut it into bigger chunks to serve as a full meal, like below.
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Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker
- 2 lbs pork belly
- 1 tbsp homemade dry rub
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- Remove the pork belly skin or score it with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern. Season with dry rub, rubbing it into the slits in the skin.
- Pour the chicken stock into the slow cooker. Add the onion and garlic. Place the pork on top.
- Put the lid on and cook on low for 6-7 hours, until pork is fork tender.
- If you’ve left the skin on, crisp the skin under the broiler for 5 minutes, watching closely.
- Slice to your desired thickness and serve immediately.