This recipe comes from Slothstradamus's food blog and can be found here: https://www.slothstradamus.com/texas-style-pork-belly-brisket/.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 hours & 30 minutes
- Inactive Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 7 hours
- 1 Pork Belly (~11lbs - Sams or Cotsco)
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup coarse black pepper
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Preparation: Start with a fresh slab of pork belly. If you buy a whole pork belly from Costco or Sams, slice into four even pieces. Do not trim off any excess fat, trust the process!
- Seasoning: For traditional Texas-style, use a 50/50 mix of kosher salt and coarse black pepper. This is a big cut of meat that can take a lot of seasoning. Don't be shy. Mix salt and pepper in a large bowl or an empty seasoning bottom before applying to meat.
- Smoking: Set your smoker to a steady 250°F. The low and slow approach is key to imitating the brisket experience. Place your pork belly fat-side up. Use chunks of hickory, mesquite, cherry, pecan, or oak if you're using a kettle, barrel, or offset smoker. Follow the same advice for pellets if you're using a pellet smoker.
- Cooking Time: Smoke the pork belly for about 4-5 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F. Spritz the meat every 45 minutes with an even mixture of apple cider vinegar and apple juice. This ensures the fat has rendered beautifully, and the meat is fork-tender.
- Resting: Like a brisket or any other cut of meat, allowing your smoked pork belly to rest is crucial. Wrap it in butcher paper or foil and let it sit for an hour before slicing, ensuring the juices redistribute.