Dear BBQ Friend:
It’s basically an uncut slab of bacon with or without the skin.
To cook a pork belly, you want to start with a fresh, uncured pork belly. Give it a good wash and pat dry. You can score the skin if your pork belly has the skin on or you can leave it unscored. If you score, be careful not to cut all the way through the skin to your fat layer. You can also remove the skin if you want to.
Apply your favorite rub and smoke at 250
℉. A nice fruitwood like apple goes good with bacon, but you can use whatever wood flavor you like. Using an internal meat temperature probe, just smoke it until the internal meat temerature is 215℉.
If you want, you can glaze some sauce on during the last hour of smoking. NOTE: I would not use a sauce if you intend to make cracklin’ as described below.
At this point, if you left the skin on, the skin will be a little tough. To make it edible, what you want to do is make...
Basically, what you are trying to accomplish is to apply high heat to the skin side of the pork belly just long enough to make the skin “pop” almost like popcorn. Once it has popped, remove it from the heat quickly or you will end up burning it. It’s almost like creating a caramel from sugar - there’s a fine line between a perfect caramel and burnt sugar.
You can use a very hot grill (preferably charcoal) to make your cracklin’ (skin side down) or slap it under your broiler in your kitchen (skin side up).
Slice or cut into squares and enjoy!