Pork belly is an increasingly popular menu item, especially for Asian and barbecue restaurants. But what if you want to make it at home? This guide will explain where to buy pork belly and what to look for.
What Is Pork Belly?
As the name suggests, pork belly is a cut of meat from the underside of a pig. Grocery stores and butcher shops generally sell it either as a large slab or in long slices somewhat thicker than pre-packaged bacon.
Speaking of bacon, if you’ve ever eaten a slice of store bought bacon you’ve had pork belly.
Without going too deep into the differences between pork belly and bacon, let’s just say that most bacon is pork belly but not all pork belly is bacon.
Basically bacon is just pork belly that’s been sliced thin, smoked, and cured.
But what is you want to make your own bacon or try some amazing pork belly burnt ends?
In that case you’ll need to find pork belly for sale in its more natural form.
Where To Buy Pork Belly
Bacon is available in pretty much any supermarket or grocery store. I’ve even seen it in those little shops attached to a gas station. But depending where you live, pork belly might be harder to find.
Here are six places you’ll be able to find pork belly for sale.
If you happen to live near any local farms that raise pigs, this is a great option for pork belly and other cuts as well. You really can’t beat the freshness you get with farm-to-table meat.
Plus, you’ll be helping to support a local farmer and their family.
Unfortunately, not all of us live near locally raised pig so we need to search a little further to find pork belly for sale.
Local Butcher Shop
Many beloved butcher shops have been driven out of business because their customers choose big box stores like Walmart instead of small independent stores.
This makes finding an old school butcher shop difficult in many areas. But if you’re lucky enough to have one in your town, you can rest easy knowing you’ll get the freshest meat possible and cuts that aren’t available in all stores.
Pork belly has become more and more popular lately and you can now find it in the refrigerated section of many supermarkets.
Of course, many grocery stores still don’t carry pork belly and even if they do the selection will be limited. It may already be smoked, cured, or sliced in a way that won’t work for you.
If you have an Asian food market near you, there’s a good chance they have pork belly for sale. Pork belly is very popular in Asian cuisine and specialty shops that cater to Asian consumers will have items you can’t find anywhere else.
Warehouse club stores like Costco and Sam’s often carry pork belly, though there’s no guarantee your local store will have it in stock.
My local Costco has pork belly and I can get it pre-sliced or as a slab. Remember, the slab will always be a little cheaper than the pre-sliced.
The downside to warehouse clubs is that they only sell large portions, where a butcher would sell you a much smaller amount. But if you’re having a party or you have plenty of room in the freezer for leftovers, pork belly from Costco or Sam’s might be a good option.
If all else fails, you will definitely be able to buy pork belly online. Porter Road, Crowd Cow, and Snake River Farms are three online retailers who sell pork belly and many other delicious cuts of meat and deliver it right to your door.
Keep in mind these places charge premium prices and you have to pay for shipping. In other words they aren’t the cheapest option, but you can bet your pork belly the quality will be top notch!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is pork belly called at the grocery store?
Pork belly is simply labeled “pork belly” in stores. This is true whether sold as a slab or in slices.
How is pork belly sold?
Pork belly is typically sold as a large slab with the skin either on or off. Sometimes it is sold already sliced into pieces a bit thicker than bacon.
Do they sell pork belly at Costco?
Costco actually has three different types of pork belly for sale. You can buy a whole slab, pre-sliced strips still raw, or a vide pork belly that’s already been cooked and can be tossed right on the grill to heat up. That is great option for a quick appetizer when you have company.
Is it cheaper to buy pork belly or bacon?
Bacon is almost always more expensive than pork belly. This is because bacon goes through an additional smoking and curing process. That extra work and expense adds to the price.
Is pork belly better than bacon?
Pork belly is basically a more natural form of bacon that hasn’t been ultra-processed. Bacon goes through a smoking and curing process and it contains nitrates and large amounts of salt. Pork belly is more natural and considered a healthier alternative to bacon that you can salt and season yourself.