Pork belly is decadent and delicious. Soft, juicy pork and crisp skin (or cracklings) make it a luxurious protein addition for a variety of meals. It usually comes in a huge slab and is great for leftovers.
However, reheating pork belly isn’t as simple as throwing it in the microwave and hitting the buttons. The skin can get soggy and the meat can dry out. How do you do it well?
While you technically can reheat pork belly in an air fryer, on the grill, or in a steamer, these methods will either dry out the meat or make the pork skin soggy.
The key to successfully reheating pork belly is to keep the main part of the pork soft and tender while preserving the delicious crispness in the cracklings. To reheat the pork belly without drying out the meat, put it in the oven on a separate baking sheet from the skin.
This way, the skin will remain crispy and the pork will stay moist.
You can also reheat pork belly in the toaster oven or the microwave, but the oven is the best way.
No matter which reheating method you choose, there are pros and cons to consider for each. However, it’s also essential to store leftover pork belly correctly before heating it up again.
Food poisoning is a dangerous illness, but it can be avoided with proper food care and cooking techniques.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the best ways to reheat pork belly so it retains its juicy, fatty flavor and texture.
How to Reheat Pork Belly in the Oven
The best way to keep the crispness of your pork belly skin without drying out the meat is to reheat it in the oven. With the space provided by a standard oven, you can separate the skin from the meat and heat them separately.
Sprinkle some water on the meat and cover it with foil, leaving it in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400℉.
Once the meat is warm, take it out and set the oven to broil. Put the skin in the oven on the highest shelf to heat it without any excess moisture or steam. But, be sure to keep a close eye on it – it’s very easy to burn things when they are broiling!
The cracklings can go from crispy to charcoal in a matter of minutes.
Oven Reheating Pros
● The skin will get crispy
● The meat will stay moist
● It’s an easy process
● It’s good for reheating large amounts of pork belly at once
Oven Reheating Cons
- Separate heating takes time
- Crisping up the pork belly skin requires a watchful eye
How to Reheat Pork Belly in a Toaster Oven
Because it has the heat of a regular oven but the efficiency of a microwave, the toaster oven is a perfect middle ground if you don’t have time to use the oven. You don’t need to separate the meat and the skin because of the extreme heat and small size of a toaster oven.
Simply cover the pork belly in foil and put it in the preheated toaster oven for 10-15 minutes. This will warm the meat up without drying it out. Then, remove the foil and leave it in for another five minutes to keep the skin dry and crispy.
We recommend 400℉, but you can start with less if you’re afraid of burning the cracklings.
Toaster Oven Reheating Pros
- No need to separate the meat and skin
- The skin won’t get soggy
- Great for smaller portions
Toaster Oven Reheating Cons
- Toaster ovens aren’t as common as other appliances
- Not ideal if you have a large portion of pork belly left over
How to Reheat Pork Belly in a Microwave
The most convenient way to reheat almost anything is in the microwave. However, it’s not always the best way. Inherently, the microwave isn’t as good for pork belly and has a much higher chance of ending up with warm and chewy pigskin.
The meat will probably still be moist, especially if you sprinkle some water over it beforehand. But, you won’t get the contrast in textures the same way you would with other reheating methods.
To reheat the pork belly in the microwave, set the heat to low and heat it for four or five minutes. It might take longer than a minute or two on high, but it lessens the chances of chewy, soggy cracklings.
However, the longer you’ve had the leftovers, the more difficult it will be to retain that texture.
Microwave Reheating Pros
- It’s quick and convenient
Microwave Reheating Cons
- Can cause the pork to become soggy
- Not great for large portions
How to Store Pork Belly
To make pork belly last longer, you can store it in the refrigerator. The key to storing any meat is to keep it in an airtight container.
If you got your pork from a restaurant and the takeout container is cardboard, transfer it to a Tupperware container once you get home. This will help it last longer.
Storing food correctly won’t only help it last longer – it will also prevent you from getting food-borne illnesses.
Rotten meat often goes bad before it smells or tastes nasty, so you must store your pork well and throw it out after a few days.
If you have read this far, chances are you have some more specific questions about reheating pork belly. We’ve got you covered!
Can You Reheat Pork Belly Without Drying it Out?
It is possible to reheat the pork belly without drying it out. All you have to do is sprinkle water over the meat and cover it in foil while you’re reheating it (unless you are using the microwave – no foil there!).
Separate the skin from the meat so that the skin doesn’t get wet.
How Do You Keep the Pork Skin Crispy When You Reheat It?
The key to keeping the pork skin crispy is avoiding too much moisture when you’re reheating it. If you are reheating it in the oven, make sure you separate the meat from the skin and broil the skin to keep it crisp.
Avoid adding water to the skin and ensure it gets enough dry heat.
Can I Reheat Shredded Pork Belly in the Microwave?
Shredded pork belly is easier to reheat than a cut of pork belly because you don’t have to worry about the pork skin getting soggy.
You can put a covered dish in the microwave for a minute or so and enjoy it when it is warm enough for you.
It’s a great option if you want to use your leftover pork belly in a casserole, fried rice, or in a sandwich.
Pork belly can be just as delicious in leftovers as it is the first day you eat it. As long as you store and reheat it correctly, you’ll be able to enjoy your pork meat and skin without either being too dry or too soggy.