I’ve had a few people ask me how I manage to get good crackle on a pellet smoker, so I’m here to let you know that it’s a lot easier than you may have previously thought. Currently I’m using the GMG Daniel Boone Prime at home and thought I would share the whole process from start to finish to hopefully help a few others out.
I hope you enjoy the write-up.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Fridge time: 4.5hrs – 24hrs
Cook time: 1.5hrs
Pit temp: 550f/287.7c
Rest time: 1hr
Result: Smiles all round
1. Source your pork belly, try to find a thick and even as possible firm piece if you can. I used a couple of good ones I found at Aldi.
2. Fill the hopper with your desired wood pellets. I used Traeger’s signature blend of Hickory, Maple and Cherry from BBQ Spit Rottiseries.
3. Fire up your pellet smoker and set it to your highest temp. I ran my GMG at 550f/287.7c for this.
4. Remove from the package and pat dry with paper towel all over.
5. Using a sharp knife cut through the skin into how you would like your portions served. I did one belly with 6-8mm parallel lines for slices and the other into rectangles for thick pieces of belly to enjoy.
6. Heavily coat the skin in a fine salt and place in a tray to catch the juices as the salt draws the moisture out.
7. Place into the fridge uncovered for as long as you like, you can even do this the day before if you prefer. I had these ones in the fridge for only 4.5hrs and they turned out perfectly.
8. Remove from the fridge, drain the juices and pat dry with paper towel all over and place on a rack skin side up.
9. Use freshly cracked salt to lightly coat the skin.
10. Place the pork belly on the top rack in your smoker.
11. In 30minutes check the pork to see where the crackle is starting to form and where it is not:
12. Using scrunched-up foil, prop-up any low sections where liquid is pooling and preventing the crackle from forming.
13. 1 hour later the pork bellies were ready to come off.
14. I rested them for one hour in a pre-warmed oven to allow the juices to re-distribute, making for a much more tender end product.
15. When I took the pork off I threw the corn into the smoker after adding a generous coat of Meat Church BBQ’s Holy Voodoo from The Que Club.
16. Once the corn was ready I removed them, coated them heavily in a good quality butter all over, topped-off with mozzarella cheese on top and placed them in the warm oven for the cheese to melt.
17. Using my brisket knife I sliced through each pork belly where I had pre-sliced the skin, with no resistance, and watched as the juices flowed onto the board as I sliced away.
18. Plate up with the smoked cheesy corn and a side of home made coleslaw topped with home made white sauce on both the coleslaw and the corn. Enjoy
My slaw recipe
1/2 White Cabbage finely sliced
1/2 Red Cabbage finely sliced
1 Carrot grated
1 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped
2 x green apples cut into matchstick size pieces
My white sauce recipe
1 cup whole egg Mayo
1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked salt
Combine and enjoy.
Adjust to your desired balance, I find myself altering it often to suit what I’m pairing it with however this is a good base to start with.
The sauce is killer on smoked wings and I honestly hope that you legends enjoy these recipes if you decide to give them a crack yourself at home 😊