7 Straightforward Steps To Trim Pork Belly At Home

how to trim pork belly

Pork belly is a fatty cut of meat that can be tricky to prepare and cook.

If you want to know how to trim pork belly, this article will be a great help.

You can find a step-by-step guide on the blog post below.

Read it and learn how to do it yourself!

Why should we trim pork belly?

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There are actually two groups of people when it comes to preparing pork belly.

The first group prefers cooking the whole intact cut or pieces of pork belly without trimming.

Meanwhile, the other side thinks it is best to trim pork belly before cooking this cut.

Actually, trimming pork belly will depend on your preference and the method of cooking.

For example, you should leave the skin and fat in this cut if you expect a crispy crust when roasting pork belly or lovely crackling.

However, the skin usually ends up a little tough in conventional recipes, especially when you don’t cook it properly.

When it comes to trimming pork belly, we would recommend not peeling it all away because the meat will turn out less flavorful and juicy.

You will want to only trim parts of the fattiest part in the pork belly cut to reduce the fat intake and make your dish healthier.

Trimming pork belly will only take a little time, like 10 to 15 minutes for novice cooks and just a few minutes for an expert.

3 tips to trim pork belly

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So what makes trimming pork belly easier, more efficient, and the meat cut becomes better instead of getting worse? Here are some tips that will help you have the best piece of pork belly with the skin removed.

1. Do not remove all the fat and skin

We all know that fat is the part that brings flavors and can satisfyingly melt in our mouth, while the meat will offer a meaty texture.

Therefore, you won’t want to remove all the fat off.

It will be perfect for a ratio of fat between 20% and 50%.

The pork belly cut is not the pork belly anymore without fat.

So as mentioned above, there are cases that you will want to remove the skin and a little pure fat, while some recipes are best with intact pork belly.

Just make sure you know what you need and what the result will be before trimming your pork belly.

2. Use a very sharp knife to trim pork belly

This is the key factor to having the best cut of pork belly after trimming.

Although this won’t change how the pork belly tastes, a dull knife that is unused for a long time will result in a messy cut that looks unattractive when cooked.

Therefore, you need to buy a brand new knife to peel the skin away in case your old knife doesn’t work.

3. Start working from the corner of the cut

It is easiest to trim the pork belly starting from the corner of the cut.

When you can hold a piece of skin in the corner, it will be easier to pull it up with one hand and insert the knife under the skin with the other hand and remove it little by little.

One more thing to keep in mind is to angle your knife upwards so that the trimming will be easier and smoother.

How to trim pork belly?

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  • A sharp knife
  • A flat chopping board
  • Paper towels


Time needed: 45 minutes.

Now let’s get to the main part that will teach you how to trim pork belly.

With the step-by-step instructions below along with the aforementioned tips, you can trim pork belly with ease even if this is your first time doing it.

  1. Rinse the pork belly and pat it dry with paper towels
  2. Place pork belly on a large flat chopping board
  3. Flatten the skin

  4. Angle your knife upwards and start cut from the corner to the middle and make sure to not cut to the fat layer

  5. Wipe the blade often to retain the sharp edge of the knife while trimming

  6. While cutting, use one hand to hold the free part of the skin and pull it slightly (to the right for example), at the same time, the other hand holds the knife and goes in the opposite way to the left

  7. Do the same with the other side (repeat step 4, 5, 6) until you detach the skin completely from the meat


So we have taught you how to properly trim pork belly and when you should trim your fatty cut.

It’s time to practice now and after that, find out your best recipe to cook the perfectly trimmed pork belly cut that will wow every member of your family.

Read through our guide and get inspired to try something new today.

Good luck!