How to Spit Roast Pork Belly

How to Spit Roast Pork Belly

The Best Way to Cook Pork Belly on a Rotisserie

Pork belly cooked on a spit is one of my all-time favourite things to eat. If you do it right, you’ll end up with a magical crunch as you bite into the crackle while the rest will simply melt in your mouth. Now I’m sure there are plenty of ways to spit roast pork belly, some probably completely contradict the way that I recommend, but this is the method I’ve used quite often and it works just fine for me!

Step 1: Prepare the pork belly:

This image shows the pork belly fresh from the butchers and on the right the same pork belly seasoned with rub


Make small incisions all over the skin using the point of a sharp knife. I literally just prick it like I was using a needle. Using a paper towel, apply white vinegar to the outside of the skin. 

Apply a liberal amount of salt to the skin and rub in as best as you can. (For more information on preparing a pork belly for crackling, have a look at our blog on how to get the perfect crackling when spit roasting)

Leave overnight uncovered in the fridge, patting down any moisture which forms on the skin of the pork belly. 

Remove the pork belly from the fridge and select which rub you want to you. In this instance, I used the Butchers BBQ Honey rub While it tasted amazing, as you’ll see, the high sugar content caramelised and caused the outside to go dark. 

Apply a liberally amount of the rub to the underside only and apply more salt to the skin. Put the pork belly in the rotisserie cage, ensuring that the underside of the pork belly is touching the skewer, not the skin side. 


Step 2:Get the spit ready:

This image shows the charcoal lighting process using a Chimney BBQ starter


Light 3 natural firelighters in the base of your spit or wherever you’d planning on lighting your charcoal. Snap 6 Flaming Coals Hotrods in half and put them into a chimney starter. Put the chimney on top of the burning natural firelighters and leave it for about 40 mins to get ready. 

You’ll know the Hotrods are ready to pour out of the chimney and into the base of the spit when they are piping hot and have almost all changed colour. I definitely recommend using heat resistant BBQ gloves for this. Once the hotrods are in the spit, put the skewer with the rotisserie basket onto the spit and turn the electric rotisserie motor on. 

Step 3: Cooking the pork belly

This image show the pork belly in the rotisserie basket and on the Cyprus Spit



Once the pork belly is cooking on the spit, do not leave the spit unattended. As the fat from the pork starts to heat up, fat will start to drip onto the charcoal which could cause a fat fire. 6 hotrods snapped in half will generate enough heat to cook a pork belly in 3 hours. 

When you notice moisture starting to build on the pork belly skin, pat down with a paper power to make it as dry as possible. The key to getting crispy crackling is keeping the skin dry. As the pork belly cooks, the fat will start to render and will start to create a lot of moisture on the skin so make sure you have plenty of paper towel ready and some heat proof gloves so you can pat it down as needed. 

Tip 1: Try to get the crackling happing straight away when you put the porkbelly on the spit, the coal is at its hottest so take advantage of it. Put the meat low and hot and keep your eye on it. When you are happy, lift it up and start the spit roasting procedure. 

Tip 2: Instead of using heat proof BBQ gloves to handle your hot food and risk getting fat over them, we recommend using Nitrile Gloves with cotton glove liners underneath. The nitrile outer gloves are heat proof, sanitary and disposable so if you get fat and food on them, don't worry. The liners underneath insulate your hand from the heat.

You'll know the pork belly is cooked when you pierce it with a metal skewer for the temperature probe and there is very little resistance. This means the fat has rendered and aside from the crispy crackling, the rest should be super moist. 

Step 4: Serving the pork belly


This picture shows the pork Belly with crackling after it is cooked



By this stage, you've watched the pork belly turn on the spit for a few hours and been tortured by the amazing smells coming off your BBQ. If you're anything like me, you'll start pinching bits from the spit while it's hot and turning and forget to take pretty photos. Whoops!

Remove the skewer from the spit, making sure you're wearing 2 heat-resistant gloves (one for each hand!) Pick up the skewer with 2 hands, one on either end and put it on a chopping board. Open the basket and gently press down on the crackling to remove it from where it has stuck to the basket, otherwise your crackling is going to come off from the meat.

Turn the pork belly over so the skin is facing down on the board and then use a heavy knife to cut it. Provided you've done a great job with the crackling, you will need to really press down on the knife to break through the crackling.  


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by: Rhiannon Peterson