Grilling Pork Belly aka Lechon Kawali

Pork belly is pretty much bacon in a thicker cut. I remember pork belly being cooked rotisserie style when my parents owned a take out BBQ restaurant. They would have it cooking over charcoal for hours. It wasn’t until a few years ago I saw my uncle make this a bit differently which had so much flavor! Every time he made it I would wait patiently to eat some!

Since we moved to our new home, we’ve been cooking a lot and grilling too. Glen got a Weber Kettle Grill and a rotisserie attachment so we decided to try grilling the pork belly ourselves. It was definitely a process, but the prep is not that long. It’s just a lot of babysitting.

The steps of cooking this pork belly was taken from a fellow Filipino that shared the steps in a Facebook group of Weber Kettle Grill fans. We didn’t follow it exactly, but learned a lot for the next time!

First, we seasoned the meat in salt water for an hour or so.

Then cut the meat in a diamond pattern and added the seasonings – chopped garlic, lemongrass, salt, pepper and scallions. We then tied the meat with twine to keep the seasoning inside and from falling out. After doing that, we added the meat to the rotisserie attachment.

While the grill was firing up, we let the meat rest in room temperature until the grill was ready.

Grilling with a kettle grill is something I personally don’t do the dirty work for, Glen does that, but there is a certain way to align the coals, and then he added the meat to the rotisserie where it was open for 1 hour. After the 1 hour, he closed the grill and had it cook for about 2-3 hours with the bottom vent 1/2 closed and opened the top vent. Adding coals may have happened, but I was watching Hoarders and got really into the episode.

Close to 3 hours we had to move the coals closer to get the skin crispy. Eventually the skin was starting to burn so we took it off and it was pretty much done as the meat temp was already past 160 degrees (the ideal temperature).

It was delicious! So flavorful and fatty too.

Things we learned:

  • Dry the skin better so the skin crisps up more.
  • Add soy sauce to the outer skin for more flavor
  • Cut not as deep when doing the diamond cutting
  • Get a less fatty piece of pork belly and try to get one piece instead of 2 smaller pieces.

It’s definitely not going to be the last time making this!