How to Remove Skin from Pork Belly – The Easy Way

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If you’re new to the world of butchery, getting rid of pork skin can seem like a tedious job. However, with the proper instruction and step-by-step procedure, you can learn how to remove the skin from pork belly in no time!

For skinning pork belly, get your tool first – a sharp knife and a butcher’s board. Make the meat cold for easy skinning. Then season the belly and keep it in the fridge for 2 hours. Finally, place the belly on the board and slice the skin from the meat with a sharp knife. Done! It’s ready to cook.

So, if your pork belly isn’t removed properly, you may be wondering what can go wrong with the meat? Well, your pork meat can taste chewy, crunchy, and even a lot tougher than regular. So, depending on your cooking style, you should remove the skin from the belly.

However, this task isn’t as easy with tools you may have to lie around. So, not only will we discuss the skin removal process of pork but also the utensils that can make the process much easier for you. Without any further ado, let’s begin!

What is the Skin on a Pork Belly?

What is the Skin on a Pork Belly

Pork belly comes in two different types – skinless and skin-on. The skin should be even and weigh around a pound. Larger cuts of pork belly require a longer cooking time. Your pork’s skin should be trimmed and have lean fat attached to it. 

However, when buying meat, you should be careful. Avoid thin scoring areas of pork belly – these areas are likely to burn during the first 30 minutes of roasting. After deciding on the kind of skin you want, score the skin. After scoring, allow the skin to rest overnight.

Salting the skin will draw moisture to the surface and produce crackling. Rock salt works with or without pricking holes, making the pork belly way too salty. The pork belly is first roasted with a salt crust before cooking without it. It will make the skin crispier and remove wrinkles.

How To Remove Skin From Pork Belly

How To Remove Skin From Pork Belly

How do you cut the skin off pork belly? You might be wondering this. There are several methods for doing this. Follow these steps below to ensure your pork belly is as clean as a slate!

Step 1: Prepare To Start Skinning

Start by preparing your ingredients. You should first have a cold pork belly on hand. Since cold meat is easier to cut, it won’t be an issue with the right knife.

A large chopping board will help you avoid slipping. The larger the surface, the easier it is to cut the skin from the meat. 

You should also ensure that you have enough room to work without bumping into the meat while removing the skin.

Step 2: Season Your Pork

For the marinade, rub generously with sea salt. Make sure to work it into the skin and score it.

Place the pork belly in the refrigerator for at least two hours to allow the marinade to penetrate through. Once it is ready, you can remove the skin. If you’re using a homemade marinade, you can substitute it with water and chicken bouillon. 

Then, use a sharp knife to cut off the skin from the belly.

Step 3: Start Skinning

To remove the skin from the pork belly, you can place the belly on a cutting board or a butcher block. If you want to remove the fat, first take the fat off the belly. 

Then use a sharp knife to slice the fat from the pork belly. Once you’ve removed the fat, you can remove the skin from the pork belly.

Now, carefully examine the piece of meat you want to cook for any remaining skin. If it’s clean, you’re set to cook it!

Should I Remove Skin From Pork Belly Before Smoking?

Should I Remove Skin From Pork Belly Before Smoking

Meat smokers have a common question: “Should I remove the skin from the pork belly before smoking it?” It’s a personal preference, but the answer is no for most people.

It’s perfectly fine. Pork belly is high in fat and makes for excellent slow-cooking. To ensure a tender, moist pork belly, remove the skin and make sure you’ve prepared the pork belly properly.

The skin is a natural part of the meat, and removing it will not change the flavor of your bacon. You can slice the meat into thick or thin slices before smoking. Once you’ve cut the pork belly, you can store it in the fridge or freezer for a week. 

How To Smoke Pork Belly After Skinning

How To Smoke Pork Belly After Skinning

After scoring the meat with a sharp knife, place the sliced pork belly on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with the dry rub. Be sure to score it with a 1″ crosshatch pattern. It is important because the skin will absorb liquid overnight. 

Before smoking, apply the dry rub to all the nooks and crevices. You may need to refrigerate the pork belly for 24 hours before smoking.

The next step is to score the fat side of the pork belly. If you have a large smoker, you can place the pork belly on top and wrap it in plastic overnight. 

When it reaches 165 degrees F, place a foil boat under it and smoke for at least 30 minutes. After that, serve the pork belly with rice or tacos. You can even wrap it in a foil boat before smoking it.

Pork belly can be sliced into cracklings or skinned. In Asia, the skin is eaten as chicharron, scratchings, and pork rinds. Chinese people have been eating pork belly skin for eons, and many Asian dishes call for it. In the United States, pork belly is becoming more popular and is making its way to the barbecue pit and dinner table.

How To Make Crispy Crackling Pork Skin?

To create the best crackling skin, score the skin evenly. Start by scoring the skin, leaving about 1 inch of meat exposed. Sprinkle the meat with white vinegar and salt. You can also use a meat tenderizer to tenderize the meat before roasting it. 

Here are some more tips to make crispy pork skin:

  • While roasting, place aluminum foil over the meat to form a wall around it. If you don’t want to use the skin, you can sprinkle it with salt to prevent it from drying.
  • When roasting a pork belly, you can prick it multiple times. More holes will make the meat crispier and puffier. They also help release moisture while cooking and give the skin a crispy appearance. Pricking the skin shouldn’t pierce the fatty part underneath; only prick the surface. 
  • Broiling the meat over high heat will also create crispy skin. 

Traditionally, the pork belly is the cheapest pork cut. However, the fat content varies from animal to animal.

To make the best pork belly, score the skin on both sides. Doing so will make the fat render faster, and the skin crisps up. Then, sear the pork belly in a Dutch oven. The cooking will bring out the flavor and tenderness of the meat. While it takes more time to cook a pork belly, it’s well worth the wait!

Do You Remove Skin For Pork Belly Burnt Ends?

Do You Remove Skin For Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Are you trying to make pork belly burnt ends but aren’t sure how to do it?

  • First of all, make sure to cook the pork belly skinless. This way, you’ll ensure a softer, more tender cut. If you leave the skin on, it will be chewy.
  • Second, make sure the pork belly is well seasoned. Third, remove the skin before cooking. 

Pork belly burnt ends are best prepared with a smoker. Smoking them is a great way to keep them succulent and juicy. Drizzle them with honey or apple juice to make them even more delicious. Make sure that you don’t cut them too small! 

Then, toss them every couple of minutes to ensure they don’t dry out. As long as you keep frequently stirring during the cooking process, you’ll be sure that the skin doesn’t burn.

Best Knives To Remove Skin From Pork Belly

The great task of removing skin from a pork belly is only possible when you are ready with your flawless blade. A sharp knife indeed is essential. You may already have a knife in your kitchen; well, who doesn’t have one? However, adding a sharp knife is always a catch.

So, here we have a few sharp and sharpest knives, perfectly suitable for pork belly skinning.




Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger Skinner Knife 

  • Long lasting sharpness
  • Sheath does not move around
  • Non-toxic, safe for everyday use
  • With its advanced technology and sleek design, it helps to take skinning pork to the next level.
  • Handles made flimsier in comparison to the vintage models
  • Not ideal for deer skinning

Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite EDC folding knife 

  • Made of durable, lightweight and easy to clean materials that are corrosion resistant.
  • The 3.5″ blade is razor sharp and can easily handle most tasks you might encounter while outdoors.
  • Rounded handle provides a comfortable grip, pocket clip makes it accessible
  • Will need to be sharpened often
  • The folding hinge wears off overtime

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter LT Lightweight Folding Hunting Knife 

  • The buck knives have durable 3Cr13 stainless steel blades that are razor sharp.
  • The lockback mechanism makes it easy to open and close the knife.
  • Very lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Sub-par quality plastic handle
  • Not suitable for using on the move

Buck Knives 0863BRS Selkirk Fixed Blade Knife 

  • Full tang construction ensures strength and durability
  • Sheath included for safekeeping
  • Reinforced handle for extra grip
  • Heavier than its competitors
  • Blade edge may be blunt after a few uses

Havalon Piranta-Edge – Outdoor Knife 

  • Tapered edge for precision
  • Includes a sheath for protection
  • Ambidextrous Thumb Studs help with bendability
  • Sharp, durable, and mobile blade
  • Hard to clean
  • A bit expensive

Final Word

Are you still wondering, how to remove skin from pork belly?

For the best results, keep your pork belly in the fridge to cold. Now, add seasoning and keep it again in the fridge for 2 hours. Finally, take a sharp knife, place the belly on the board, and cut the skin. Job done!

So, what are you waiting for? Go and get your pork belly skinned.

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