Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker

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Slow Cooker Pork Belly turns out incredibly tender with great flavor, and you can easily crisp up the skin under the broiler in just a few minutes. It’s one of the easiest ways to make pork belly.

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Pork Belly 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 in the air fryer, 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.

Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker

Ingredients You Need

  • Pork Belly – Try to buy one that is about 2 pounds in size and is uniformly shaped, so that one side isn’t thicker than the other. You will be cooking it with the skin on. But if you don’t want the skin, just remove it and discard.
  • Dry rub – the ingredients in the dry rub are brown sugar paprika, black pepper, salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder 
  • Chicken or beef stock – You can use a boxed chicken broth, or mix water with a cube of chicken bouillon. Try and stay away from the low sodium stock.
  • Onion
  • Garlic
butcher box meat

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 a dry rub that’s got plenty of salt in it. I prefer to make a cross-hatch pattern on the skin (making sure not to cut into the meat), and use this homemade dry rub. You can find the full recipe at that link. The amounts and instructions to make it are also in the recipe card below.

slow cooker pork belly

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.

pork belly cooked in the slow cooker

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.

slow cooker pork belly

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Possible to Overcook Pork Belly

As much as it looks like you’re just cooking the pork belly to the point of dryness, you’re not. The cooking process is long for pork belly because of the amount of fat in the layers. This fat needs to break down and render so it’s not thick and rubbery when you eat it.

However, there is a point at which you can overcook pork belly and it becomes dry and tough. That point is when the fat layer has completely rendered down into nothing. Cooking a 2 pound pork belly for 6 hours on low in the slow cooker is not enough time to overcook it.

Does Pork Belly Get Softer the Longer You Cook It?

Because of the amount of fat in a piece of pork belly, it takes quite a while to cook it to perfection, and it does become softer the longer you cook it, up to a point where you’ve properly rendered the fat. The meat should be moist and fall apart tender. If you over cook it, it will become dry and tough.

Do I Have to Use a Dry Rub?

The dry rub helps to add flavor along with the salt that is necessary to help dry out the skin of the pork. You can just add salt if you don’t want to make or purchase a dry rub, however it will take some of the flavor that can be added with the extra seasoning, so I don’t recommend leaving it out.

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Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker

Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Pork Belly turns out incredibly tender with great flavor after 6 hours in the slow cooker.
4.06 from 56 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pork
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 806kcal
Author: Laura

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork belly
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (not low sodium)
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed

For the dry rub

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder optional

Instructions

  • Remove the pork belly skin or score it with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern, taking care not to pierce the flesh.
  • Mix together the ingredients for the dry rub. Coat the pork belly on all sides with dry rub.
  • 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.

Equipment Needed

Notes

  • You can use any type of dry rub that you like, if you don’t want to mix up the seasonings to make the rub we recommend. You can also just use 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
  • Be sure to check the pork belly after 6 hours to see if it’s done. The meat should easily pull away and the fat layer should be very soft and spongy. If it’s not done, continue cooking for up to an additional hour, checking frequently.
  • If it not necessary to crisp the skin of the pork, if you don’t mind it not being crispy.

Nutrition

Calories: 806kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

See Our Other Slow Cooker Recipes

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Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker

18 thoughts on “Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker

  1. Lizet Bowen says:

    5 stars
    I didn’t know it would be this easy to make pork belly in the slow cooker. The meat was tender, and the tip for making the skin crisp worked to perfection.
    Great recipe!

  2. John says:

    2 stars
    Ingredient: Homemade dry rub

    Just say what it’s made of. Lazy writing.

    Made a version of this and it was bland.

    Do not recommend

    • Laura says:

      The dry rub recipe is linked to so you can see how to make it. I’m sorry you didn’t like your version of it.

    • Peter S says:

      More like lazy reading. It shows you’ve never been in accedemia or actually wrote an accademic paper and if you did it was horrible. Make the content focused on the main subject and if it is linked elsewhere then link to it. Well done to the writer. Very good receipe. I used my own kind of rub similar to the one LINKED by the writer.

    • Martha says:

      5 stars
      Just for clarity…

      You disliked the writing of the recipe, didn’t manage to navigate your way to the most important element of the recipe ( adding flavour) and yet chose to make it anyway? Lazy cooking in my opinion.

      Having followed the recipe and the links, I made this tonight for my family and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I would thoroughly recommend, thank you.

  3. Peter S says:

    5 stars
    Loved it. Well done on the wiring and not re-writing the ingredients of the rub since it can be found on another page with much more detail.

    All the family loved the receipe. I used a similar rub just with more heat.

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