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How To Remove Skin From Pork Belly

A pork belly is known to be a cut of meat from the underside of a pig. Commonly used in Korean cuisine, it’s known for being rich in protein and high in unsaturated fat. But not all pork bellies are the same. Some markets will sell a lean version with a small amount of fat on top, while others have more fat. However, regardless of fat content, you need to know how to remove skin from pork belly before preparing the meat.

First, place the pork belly on a flat, sturdy surface to remove the skin from the pork belly. If there is a thin layer of extra fat between the skin and the meat, trim away this layer of fat with a knife. Next, grasp both sides of the skin on either side of the belly with your hands and pull down on each side of the flesh together to separate it from the meat. The top side of a pork belly is an ideal cut for bacon. 

Pork belly is a wonderfully versatile piece of meat. A braise will give you juicy, fall-apart-tender results while searing it quickly over high heat will yield something crisper and more robust. Pork belly can be seasoned simply or with all manner of spices, stuffed, or just nestled next to other ingredients in the skillet. While different methods demand specific cuts of pork belly, there are times when you want cleaner cuts. The skin prevents the meat from being separated cleanly with standard portions of pork belly, so sometimes it’s best to remove it.

How to remove skin from pork belly

how to remove skin from pork belly

1. Turn the blade on your chopper to the large cutting surface. Place the pork belly or brisket on the top side of the cutting surface. Set the weight to relieve pressure on your hand. The weight sits over the top of the blade. Place pork belly on the chopper.

 2. Slice off one corner of the pork belly so you can open it up like a book. Slice parallel to the knife at an angle in one direction, then slice in the other direction to meet in the middle in order to peel off skin like an apple corer. Cut any troublesome pieces that feel like they don’t want to let go. Be careful not to cut into the skin where fat is attached; this will make your pieces uneven when cooked.

3. Hold the skin from the opposite side of the rectangle with your second hand and pulling up slightly. This will loosen it from the fat side of the pork belly. With a pair of your kitchen shears, cut away as much of the skin as you can, being careful not to cut away any meat – you want to keep this intact. Since some of it will still be adhered to the fat, scrape off as much of it as you can with a spoon or paring knife before proceeding to the next step.

4. To remove the tough skin part, tie the pork belly sides together with string about 3 inches (8 cm) from the free ends. Submerge the tied pork in boiling water for about 30 seconds per side to loosen the skin, then remove it completely by cutting between the fat layers.

Another fast and simple step to remove skin from pork belly is:

 Loosen up the skin at the edges, pull it back over the meat and put two half-size nails or large staples in it so that they are sticking straight out. Heat some water to just boiling in a deep pot. Submerge the pork belly in it for 15 minutes. This will soften up the skin enough so that you can pull it all off together, use a sharp knife easily to slice off the stubborn strips of fat.

Pork belly is well-trimmed and has mostly lean meat, not much fat. It’s appealing to those who want the flavor of bacon but prefer less fat. It can be cooked in a number of different ways; roasted, boiled, baked, fried, and used as the main ingredient in the stew.

What to do with pork belly skin

What to do with pork belly skinYou can get pork belly skin from a butcher or Asian market, and the best quality will come from a single piece of belly, the same way you’d buy fresh bacon. Once you’ve got it, there are two options: cook it until very crispy and use it like cracklings to garnish soup or rice, or braise and then break it into pieces and use it like guanciale (Italian cured pork cheeks) for pasta sauces. And if you’re really adventurous, try smoking the pork belly skin with some sugar.

Pork belly skin is not only edible but tasty. You don’t need it to crisp up your dish, but you might want to consider adding it to the dish if you’re making ramen. Curing pork belly’s skin is another way of utilizing this off-cut.

There’s no reason to toss those pork belly skin or fat after cooking with pork belly. Save those skin and fat for use as cracklings, Pork Belly Fat for deep frying potatoes and steamed buns (baozi), and Pork Belly Skin for snacks like “bing” (white bread).

How to clean pork skin?

How to clean pork skinHow to clean pork skin? Start by thawing your pork skin thoroughly under warm water. Next, take your pork skin and rub it against a rough surface, like the bottom of a kitchen counter or an old bottom of a pan, to remove any fat or blood. Rinse off your pork skin with clean water to remove any meat scraps. Pat the pork skin dry and dry with paper towels to ensure it’s nice and dry before cooking.

To enjoy the full flavor of this appetizing roast, be sure to scrape off any fat from the exterior of the pork roast-there should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons. While cleaning soiled pork skin may seem a chore, it is a small task for a lot of rewards. Pork skin comprises a large percentage of the easily digestible protein so you can be healthier while making your stomach happier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you remove the skin from pork belly?

Many people remove the skin from the pork belly before cooking. If you have a slow cooker, it does not matter as much as the pork belly can cook slowly with the skin on. Many people feel that leaving the skin on adds flavor as well as keeping the meat moist.

Do you have to remove the skin from the pork belly when making bacon?

You don’t necessarily need to remove the skin from the pork belly when making bacon; this depends on your cooking goal. Many recipes are floating around that call for removing the skin. The best thing to do is to experiment, taste the result, and then decide how you will prepare your next batch.

Can you eat skin-on pork belly?

Yes, it contains more natural fats/oils, which are essential for an “optimal” diet. The fat content of the skin is much higher than that of the meat itself.

Can you cure sliced pork belly?

Yes, you can! Cured pork belly is delicious, inexpensive, and easy to make. One of the simplest, stressless and tastiest ways to prepare pork belly is to thinly slice it, dip it in an essential salt and sugar cure, and dehydrate it. You can use a basic Japanese-style dry cure or a flavor-packed Mediterranean-style cure. Either way, the result is richly hydrated, tender, fatty meat with a subtle sweetness and a gorgeous texture.

Can I cut bacon from pork belly?

Bacon is a delicious food made from pork belly. While it is often eaten as a breakfast meat, many people enjoy bacon with other meals as well, such as for a late-night snack. The process of making bacon from pork belly is sometimes called curing or smoking. In addition to giving the bacon its distinctive flavor, the salt helps the meat preserve better and generally makes it more palatable. 


If you’ve ever cooked pork belly, you may have noticed that the skin sticks to the meat and isn’t easy to remove. The secret is to let it cool enough so that it solidifies and becomes easier to get off. Let’s face it; no one likes pork belly skin. Well, now there is a solution to removing the skin without messing up your meat with our guide on how to remove skin from pork belly.

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